A new series presented by RTÉ's Brian Dowling looking at key issues, policies and personalities ahead of the General Election.


Independents

One of the features of this Dáil has been the growth in support for Independents.

The General Election will see different strands of Independents running as candidates - what can they achieve? Independents Maureen O'Sullivan, Denis Naughten and Michael Fitzmaurice discuss what they can offer.

Growth in support for independents

Polling experts

Where do all of the main parties and groups stand in the polls as we near the end of the Dáil term?

And what are the challenges in capturing support for smaller groupings and parties?

Paul Moran of Millward Brown; Damian Loscher of Ipsos MRBI and Professor Michael Marsh of Trinity College Dublin discuss the polls.

Road to the Election - Polling experts

First-time TDs

For first-term TDs this Dáil is unique - it produced a Government with the biggest majority in the history of the State. The next Dáil will be a much different affair.

Three TDs coming to the end of their first Dáil term discuss the 31st Dail; Fine Gael’s Helen McEntee, Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen and Ciara Conway of the Labour Party.

Road to the Election - First-time TDs

United Left?

Can the Left unite to get radical change on water, housing, jobs, education and health services? Richard Boyd Barrett of Anti-Austerity Alliance - People Before Profit; Derek Nolan of the Labour Party and Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane discuss the Left ahead of the General Election.

Road to the Election - United Left?

Changing political landscape

The political landscape has changed radically in recent years - the old two-and-a-half party system is dead. Come the General Election, voters will have a wider choice than ever before. Finian McGrath of the Independent Alliance, Róisín Shortall of the Social Democrats and Billy Timmins of Renua Ireland discuss the new political landscape.

Road to the Election - Changing political landscape

Focus on housing

The issues of housing and homelessness continue to dominate the political agenda. Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne, Sinn Féin’s spokesman on housing Dessie Ellis and Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan discuss the problems.

Road to the Election - Focus on Housing

The gruelling campaign

The vast majority of sitting TDs and hundreds of aspiring TDs are already well into the long haul towards the General Election in the spring. In this episode, two long serving members of the Dáil who are not seeking re-election, Seamus Kirk and Jack Wall, discuss the gruelling campaign.

Road to the Election - The gruelling campaign

Big promises

Is it a flying pig with a €4bn price tag, or can the Government be serious about scrapping the USC? In episode five, Brian Keegan, Director of Taxation for Chartered Accountants Ireland, and Prof Alan Barrett, Director of the ESRI, discuss big promises from the Government.

Road to the Election - Big Promises

The Budget

Before there is any number crunching at the ballot box there is the small business of number crunching in the Budget. Former general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions David Begg and Cormac Lucey, a former adviser in government to Michael McDowell discuss the upcoming Budget. 

Road to the Election - Budget

Low pay

With the Budget on the horizon and a General Election somewhere in the distance, there is a lot of emphasis now on low pay. Patricia Callan of the Small Firms Association and economist Michael Taff discuss low pay, on the week the Government launched its forum on a living wage.

Road to the Election - Low pay

Cutting taxes

The Government has signalled it has €750m available for cutting taxes. In episode two, Cora O’Brien, Director of Policy for the Irish Tax Institute and Dr Micheál Collins of the Nevin Institute discuss just how well off people may be.

Road to the Election - Cutting taxes

Polls, polls, polls

There have been 115 national polls since the 2011 General Election. In episode one, polling analyst Seán Donnelly and Richard Caldwell, of Red C Polling, analyse the trends in political polls in recent times.

Road to the Election - Polls