David Norris an early leader. Fianna Fail waiting to back the winner?..

Not sure we should put too much store on what polls say this far out from November’s Presidential election (the first one in 14 years, it should be noted). Fianna Fail are vacillating (as are Sinn Fein), pretty certain that no one but Brian Crowley, their resilient and poll topping MEP in Munster, stands a pups chance of stablising the vote.

In the meantime, there’s not a huge lot between the three leading contenders, but Fianna Fail’s man is definitely taking up the rear:

Mr Norris, at 25 per cent, leads Mr Mitchell at 21 per cent; Mr Higgins at 18 per cent; Mr Gallagher 13 at per cent; Ms Davis at 12 per cent and Mr Ó Cuív at 11 per cent.

Interesting. I suspect Fianna Fail know very well, there’s nothing in this race for them so close after their defeat. Pat Leahy writing on Sunday suggested they could be hanging back to see how the wind blows (till early September is what Micheal Martin told Mary Wilson this evening), and may give their backing to Norris if this lead lengthens or at least looks durable.

There may be little or no margin in this one for the party directly, but not coming second to Sinn Fein has to be a key priority for the new man at Dev’s old helm…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty