Joan Burton expected to announce resignation as Labour leader

The former Tánaiste is due to tell Labour's parliamentary party of her decision this afternoon

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Joan Burton. Image:

Members of Labour's parliamentary party will meet this afternoon where it is expected the former Tánaiste and party leader Joan Burton will step down.

It follows a disastrous general election result for the party, which resulted in only seven Labour TDs in the 32nd Dáil - down from 33 before the election.

Labour’s constitution requires a leadership contest if the party is not in government after a general election.

The Deputy leader Alan Kelly and Sean Sherlock look set to put their names forward for the role - and it is not clear if Brendan Howlin will be a challenger.

Political reporter with The Irish Times, Sarah Bardon, says that Deputy Kelly's recent performances could give the former Environment Minister an edge in the contest.

"Deputy leader Alan Kelly has been canvassing for support for the position, and if he decides to stand forth Mr Howlin is expected to stand back," she explained.

Sarah suggests Deputy Kelly's speeches, including one on water charges, have helped win back some public support for the party:

She also says it 'can't be ruled out' that former Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan may be willing to contest the role.