Norris edges back towards Áras starting line

Having abandoned his Irish presidential bid previously, independent Senator David Norris has now secured the support of 17 TDs and Senators (including himself) in his renewed bid to get on the ballot paper.  That’s still 3 short of the 20 required.  His only other hope would be to get nominated by 4 county councils.

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  • Henry94

    FF, FG and Labour should agree to give him a nominee each just to get him on the ballot. There are a lot of people who would like to vote for him and the parties should not be so cynical as to leave him just short.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Who does this hurt most?

    Higgins and McGuinness I would have thought. But who does it hurt most?

  • John Ó Néill

    1. Mary Ann O’Brien
    2. Eamonn Coghlan
    3. John Halligan
    4. Marie Louise O’Donnell
    5. Fiach Mac Conghail
    6. Katherine Zappone
    7. Joe Higgins
    8. Clare Daly
    9. Richard Boyd Barrett
    10. Joan Collins
    11. Catherine Murphy
    12. Maureen O’Sullivan
    13. Stephen Donnelly
    14. Mick Wallace
    15. John Crown
    16. Seán Barrett
    and, presuming he can self-nominate
    17. David Norris

    Available nominations would be Michael Lowry (who just lost his casino and may not be feeling the love for the government), Shane Ross (a suprise he isn’t yet on board), Seamus Healy, Pringle (although he seems to be a no), Denis Naughten (FG without the whip). There are also Fergal Quinn, Ronan Mullen and Martin McAleese (although it is probably not politic for him to do so) in the senate.

    I’d guess thats a done deal getting three of them to nominate (maybe Ross, Quinn and Mullen or Healy).

  • Nordie Northsider

    Lionel – it certainly hurts Michael D. to have another liberal voice in the contest. But I’m not sure many voters would be torn between Norris and McGuinness. If anything, Norris is identified as a very stern critic of the IRA’s campaign. His involvement will do more harm to Gay Mitchell, I’d have thought.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I certainely wouldn’t expect Norris to take the Sinn Fein core vote. But thats just 10%. Martin could be looking to get another 10% of a protest vote. I think that vote could be hurt by Norris. The kind of young voter who is looking for a percieved left wing anti establishment voice.

    Why do you think Norris will hurt Mitchell – polar opposites i would have thought? Dana would be more likely to hurt Mitchell – but even then you have a caveat that she could bring out a christian conservative vote that may eventually transfer to Mitchell.

    There seems to be a theory that getting Norris on the ticket may in fact give Mitchell’s campaign – which had seemed to be dead in the water- a chance because Norris will split the left wing vote

  • Nordie Northsider @ 5:50 pm may have it aright — but I don’t see it quite that way. Put Norris and Higgins on the same ballot — are they really going for the same constituency? Higgins will be taking votes from the West and from a certain romantic arty-lefty tendency. Norris is far more … err … metrosexual.

    Séamus Healy — as far as I know — is still playing very shy.

    Any way, on present form this one will go to multiple recounts and re-distributions. And at some stage — probably the third or fourth with (say) six candidates — the true leftist vote reunites. By that point, I’d reckon McGuinness’s transfers to be up for grabs.

    By the way, why should I be wholly convinced of Norris as a committed “leftist”?

    It also looks as if Ms Scallon is having to put herself around quite a bit. Would anyone of sense be greatly distressed were she not to make the cut?

  • Nordie Northsider

    Just to make things clear – I’m not suggesting that Norris and Gay Mitchell are close politically. It’s simply that voters with a strong antipathy to Sinn Féin have another option in Norris. The more liberal among them, who may have rowed in behind Mitchell, now have a candidate that more closely represents their views.

  • Greenflag

    McGuinness in his Cork interview seemed to be suggesting he’d welcome Norris as a fellow candidate . As for Dana back in 1997 she finished third behind Banotti with 13% of the votes . Since then the reputation of her favourite ‘institution’ has taken a beating . Dana would be the nearest thing to a born again Christian in her case Catholic in this election . I cannot imagine her improving on the 1997 result and the last thing she needs is for the RC church to speak up for her candidacy. Unless FF pull a dramatic last minute switcheroo and nominate her I can’t see her making the cut . Ironically if Senator Norris makes the cut as seems possible now that may help Dana getting a nomination but at that point the election would start resembling the listing in a 4 seat Dail constituency .

    The final result when it comes should give an insight into the electorates psyche even if the turn out averages 50% everywhere bar Dublin West where another McGuinness is trying to hold on to FF’s last Dail Seat in Dublin

    Action film roll in the upcoming epic for the Irish political scene ‘Martin’s Last Stand.

    Archbishop McQuaid would be turning in his grave if he could but see a Presidential campaign looking like it may end up as a contest between a gay Protestant Trinity Senator and a former IRA man with the established parties candidates and other independents being drowned out by the preferred choice of the erudite and the now armanied armalite .

  • John Ó Néill

    Lowry and Healy are both out saying they are not backing Norris. Is a double dip campaign on the cards?

  • Henry94

    Dana is looking likely while Norris may fall short. I think a lot of Norris supporters will feel very disillusioned if that is the case. Not that I begrudge Dana her run but there are far more people who want to vote for Norris.

  • Framer

    Ronan Mullen is hardly likely to nominate Norris. They are polar opposites given he is the Catholic Church senator.

    Why can’t some FG or Labour spare-vote TD make a kind and democratic gesture by slipping Norris a signature?

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    Kenny said today that FG Councillors won’t be told to vote against other candidates, so with a fair bloc abstaining on each vote, getting nominated by 4 councils will be a lot easier. And I think Norris has one behind him already and Dana 2?

  • Can anyone find a problem with anyone being nominated subsequent to a petition by some thousands of registered voters?

  • Drumlins Rock

    “Can anyone find a problem”
    yup, its not legal even if it had millions, its in the constitution and would need a referendum to change it. Two options only, 20 members signatures or 4 county councils. I wonder if Fermanagh nominated would that count.

  • JR

    Norris being in the election can only benifit McGuinness’s first preference votes but I don’t see him getting any Transfers form norris should he be eliminated so that advantage may well be cancelled.

    It would be nice if Fermanagh counted.

  • Greenflag

    @ henry 94,

    ‘Not that I begrudge Dana her run but there are far more people who want to vote for Norris.’

    True .

    ‘I think a lot of Norris supporters will feel very disillusioned if that is the case. ‘

    And many could be disillusioned enough to express it by voting and giving preferences to other independents i.e anybody but FG or Labour .

    btw ‘Martin’s Last Stand” above at 22 September 2011 at 9:21 pm was not in ref to McGuinness but to Michael Martin ..Whether McGuinness wins or is well placed his ‘political ‘ future is more secure than the FF leader .

    No matter which way one looks at this election one fact imo stands out above all others in it’s political significance and that is that the ‘natural ‘ruling party in the Republic since 1932 FF will not be putting forward a candidate . Who would have thought that 6 months ago.?

  • Henry94


    That’s right. Seven possible candidates and none of them FF. It was nearly worth the crisis.

    Fine Gael are now trying to get Norris in the race through the councils which suggests their private polling is showing McGuinness doing better than expected.

  • redhugh78

    Denis Naughten has said he won’t be nominating Norris.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Denis Naughten has said he won’t be nominating Norris.’

    What have the other members of the gang of 9 said other than just over a year ago they expressed no confidence in Enda Kenny’s ability to lead the party to victory at the then upcoming election ?

    All quiet on the gang of 9 front then ?

    And then of course there is the larger number 63 other FG TD’s who might feel constrained to help their own candidate by enabling Senator Norris to provide a major distraction to the other independents and then gather up the Senator’s preference votes to nudge Mitchell past Higgins or McGuinness . I think I’ll settle for Mary Davis as the weemen seem to do better at this job than the men ever did 😉

  • Greenflag

    henry94 ,

    ‘It was nearly worth the crisis.’

    You might think that but there are several million on this island who would disagree and they would’nt all be FF supporters either 😉