The deadline to vote in the Green Party leadership contest has passed. Members had to submit their ballots by 5.30pm this evening.

They will be counted tomorrow and the result will be announced at 7pm in an online broadcast.

By midday today, a total of 1,950 Green Party members had voted in the contest which has two candidates - leader Eamon Ryan and deputy leader Catherine Martin.

A party spokesperson said ballots were issued to 2,336 members in the Republic and to 598 Green Party members in Northern Ireland.

Both candidates have taken part in a series of online hustings with members posing questions via video link.

They were asked a variety of questions, including what skills they possessed in order to lead the party.

Mr Ryan laid out his experience. He has been the leader since 2011 when the party was wiped out in that year's general election losing all seats.

Ms Martin said it was good to bring fresh eyes to the leadership and to encourage people to step up.

The Green Party leadership contest was seen as controversial when it was announced during the government formation talks in June.

Under party rules, a vote to decide on who will be its leader must take place within six months of any general election.

In May, when four councillors urged Catherine Martin to challenge for the leadership, she confirmed she would, saying at the time she was "grateful and humbled" for the nominations.

The government formation talks continued and although some Green Party members, including TDs and councillors were vocally against it, a majority of 76% voted for the coalition deal.

Both Mr Ryan and Ms Martin are now ministers but their future in the coalition government was something party members pressed them on during the online hustings.

Ms Martin said the party's membership in Government "requires constant review to ensure its policies are being implemented".

Mr Ryan agreed with her that if green policies were not being focused on, the plug could be pulled on the coalition.

He said his "experience shows it is hard being in government but working together with collective responsibility is part of it".

Both candidates will give statements following the result tomorrow night.