The Social Democrats have said the decision on party leadership will be made by the parliamentary party if any of the party are re-elected to the Dáil later this month.
Speaking at a public meeting at the University of Limerick last month, joint party leader, Róisín Shortall said the decision on the leadership structure of the party will need to be decided soon after the General Election.
Deputy Shortall explained that the party does not expect to have a formal membership voting structure in place by the time the leadership decision is to be made and so the parliamentary party, if present in the next Dáil, will make the decision.
She said, however, that the party was “not committed to a single leader” and that “existing parties are too hierarchical.”
Deputy Shortall’s party colleague, Catherine Murphy explained that the party would be hopeful of establishing a formal membership structure following the election and that the issue would be discussed with supporters at the party’s AGM.
Deputy Murphy explained that the party would need to establish a constitution before it could create a formal membership structure.
Deputy Shortall said the party currently has in the range of 6,000 supporters or those who have approached the party expressing interest since it was established last summer.
The two joint leaders explained that the policies of the party and the recently published election manifesto were collaborations between supporters the leaders.
Deputy Shortall also said that the party did not want to be “boxed in” on the issue of coalition, pointing to a number of other parties who have ruled out entering into a coalition arrangement with others.
Holding up a copy of the Social Democrats election manifesto, she said that if the leader of Fine Gael, Enda Kenny approached the party wishing to implement the manifesto, they would be open to speaking to him.