A coalition of community groups has placed newspaper adverts calling for independent candidates to run in the next general election in Co Mayo.

The advertisement appears in today’s Irish Independent and will appear in Mayo’s three local newspapers this week.

First Independent Mayo – an alliance of community groups in Co Mayo – placed the advertisement to find new candidates to run in the general election because it says voters have "lost faith" in party politics.

Successful applicants will take part in a series of town hall debates.

They will culminate with a selection convention to pick candidates to contest the general election under the First Independent Mayo banner in Co Mayo.

The alliance will also directly approach people to take part in its selection process, and it says what it is doing could be replicated in other parts of the country.

It says the process of selecting a general election candidate will ensure voters can highlight the issues that are important to them.

The next general election is expected to throw up a lot of surprises, and already polls are showing significant support for independent candidates.

Asked about the group's plans this afternoon, Mr Kenny said anyone could stand for office when nominations opened ahead of polling day. 

He rejected suggestions that Mayo was not being adequately represented at a national level and said there was more happening in provincial and rural Ireland than ever before.

He added that this was leading to an optimistic future all over the country. 

Mr Kenny said that given the catastrophic situation which the Coalition inherited when it took office, the country had come a long way in a very short time.

The Taoiseach added that he expected there would be huge investment in the areas of communications, broadband and other infrastructural improvements in the next five to ten years and that these would bring significant employment opportunities to rural areas. 

UCC-based Dr Liam Weeks, who is publishing a book called ‘Independents in Irish Democracy’ in the next year, says voters do not have traditional ties to political parties like they did in the past.

That, he says, is good for independents, and new political parties if they emerge between now and when the general election takes place.

Professor of Politics at UCD Dr David Farrell has said as we approach the next election, and after years of austerity budgets, he does not expect major political transformation or upset in the way people vote.

However, he sees space for a new political party to emerge.

In a recent business briefing for Davy, Prof Farrell mined through the 2011 National Election Study and showed the best space for a new party to emerge is on the centre-right of the political spectrum – precisely the space that independent TD Lucinda Creighton seeks to fill with Reboot Ireland.