Runners jostle for position in the Red C #Aras11 Poll…

It looks like Michael D Higgins has lost his clear lead; suggesting he was previously drawing on large number of weak preferences (which is not necessarily a bad thing in a stand alone STV race):

Norris 21, Higgins 18 (down from 36%), McGuinness 16, Davis 13 (19%), Mitchell 13 (down from 24%), Gallagher 11 (21%), Dana 6.

There’s some secondary (weaker) evidence which suggests Norris and McGuinness will both struggle to gain transfers. But, as Tommy O’Brien on notes, that’s a difficult factor to discern at this stage of the game…

But the new entrants have clearly impacted the rating of those who were already in the race on the 9th September.

Mitchell is probably the biggest dropper, with Higgins’ long lead, cut in half. Tommy suggests Sean Gallagher’s prominent position within Fianna Fail has put him second from bottom (despite a well funded campaign). Indeed Gallagher’s performance may prove something of an endorsement of Micheal Martin’s decision not to put an FF dog in this race.

The one who’s lost least is Mary Davis, which suggests some resilience there. With Dana attracting very little support at this stage, Davis status as the only likely female winner may become a critical factor in where she goes from here.

New blood means people now have more choices and are shifting according to their stronger preferences. Things will move a great deal more before polling day as people pick likely winners, or seek to block those they like least.

Of the new entrants, the impact player is David Norris. Martin McGuinness, after dominating the headlines for a week, is just one point above his own party’s rate at 15%, which is solid, puts him in the mix but is not overly promising.

And that’s before the basting he’s taking in the papers today over his ‘economy with the truth’ regarding the nature and length of his career within the IRA.

However in lieu of second poll to demonstrate trend, a four percent increase (up from 11%) on the party’s last rating will no doubt please party strategists:

FG 33% (-8), Lab 16% (-3), FF 15% (-1), SF 15% (+4), Other 21% (+8)

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  • tuatha

    What?! No numbers for Dustin? Surely he/she/it would outpoll Dana!

  • toker

    Does anybody know what Norris and other candidates are positioned in recieving transfers.that could make the difference

    There is a big difference in this poll compared to the one on joe duffy show and other ‘phone in’ polls seems that Mc Guinness supporters may have been ringing early and ringing often.Im sure none of this was orchestrated at all

  • lover not a fighter

    Like it or not Martin McGuinness has certainly made this interesting.

    If he could get 20% or above in the actual election it will make for interesting analysis afterwards.

  • With 7 candidates in the field it’s going to be difficult for anyone to get 20%. However what Mick doesn’t mention here is that in the parallel poll conducted by Red C, also for today’s Sunday Business Post, McGuinness comes in at 20% (joint second with Davis) amongst those who are officially in the race at the moment. Add on the 7-8% who said they would give him a second preference and there is now quite a substantial amount of people now prepared to consider SF as a serious option. This to my mind opens up a hell of a lot of new ground for them in the south.

  • I never put much store in these things except as a guideline…a bit like Hughie Green on Opportunity Knocks…..”remember folks .the clapometer is only for fun, its your vote that counts”.
    The absence of a clear leader in the high 20s or low 30s seems very odd and while we are reasonably certain that we know the runners and riders with nominations closing this week……..the poll has been conducted against the background of some uncertainty.
    On these figures transfer-friendly is crucial.
    The Norris figures might be bolstered by people wanting him on the ballot paper rather than people who would vote for him………Some of his backers in the Sanate and on councils arent exactly enthusiastic.
    That probably means Higgins figure is too low. But this Election looks a little more animated than an election which would suit Higgins low profile.
    Transfers will be high between Higgins-Norris……but although I suspect that Higgins #1s will be more than Norris, I just dont think he can get transfers from the others.
    Dana……….might have been a force ten years ago but looks increasingly like past her sell by date and her religious stance is something that Mitchell might already have grabbed….he is from the Oliver J Flanagan School of Christianity…….and the decision to run him instead of Pat Cox just looks bizarre. He is 20th Century Fine Gael. But theres room for transfers between Dana-Mitchell.

    Gallagher is ultimately the Donald Trump-Alan Sugar candidate. He does have a political background but not too sure if he can do the hurly burly of debate.
    Martin McGuinness can do hurly burly. And Id think his 16% is understated but in fantasy polls will give comfort to his detractors. There is a “shame factor” in voting SF so probably really has about 20% sewn up. Not enough when youre not transfer friendly. But certainly enough to be second or third.
    As Ive said….I would vote McGuinness but not actually consider it a good thing if he wins. And there is a certain amount of voting for all candidates in this Election which seems totemic rather than “real”.
    It would be great if he lost by a single vote.
    A cruel disappointment for SF but a reality check for his over-excited detractors.
    Which makes me lean towards Mary Davis…….the candidate in the Adi Roche mold who might just emerge as the candidate with whom the Irish electorate identify most and benefits from not being any of the others.
    While perceived as ceremonial I think the Presidency is actually we see ourselves or how we would like to see ourselves.
    Deep down few of us want to see ourselves as Martin McGuinness or most of the others. And in that sense with a solid first preference vote and being ahead of maybe three contestants Mary Davis could emerge the winner on transfers.

  • Drumlins Rock

    FJH, losing by one vote would be the perfect outcome for SF, McGuinness is too important to remove from active politics for them. But it still looks like a Higgins Norris finish, with Higgins getting it at the end. I would think the shame factor is less than it was, still put Marty on 15-20%, espically as SF seem to be hitting the same figures, good for them, but also understandable considering the continuing demise of FF and being the only real opposition.

  • Mick Fealty


    Put that down to lack of time and the certainty that someone would pick it up! 😉 More on that later.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Actually the 15% party support is a bigger issue than the puppet president, bringing SF into opposition status more and more.

    Just watching the Brighton bomb documentary, its still so recent in many ways, too soon for Marty.

  • Mick Fealty


    Keeping Senator Norris out of the race would definitely have some effects. For completeness:

    Michael D Higgins 27%,
    Martin McGuinness and Independent Mary Davis 20%
    Gay Mitchell 18%
    Sean Gallagher 15%.

  • Munsterview

    Got through the Sunday Times, Business Post, Irish Times and The Irish (sic) Mail. ( Would not bother reading anything from the Indo stable,or even using same to clean up if the dog got sick [ could have put it a bit blunter than that but must not temp Mick] )

    Given that the anti-McGuiness editorials and ‘special articles’ had a full week to get their act together and build up a head of steam since MMG was ratified as a candidate, as a whole it was a rather muted mugging. No doubt that these papers did not fire all their shot in one go and it will get dirty yet, especially when ‘The Services’ on these Islands start feeding the media their material and black propaganda.

    The newspapers interested in preserving and increasing their Irish market share have to exercise a certain amount of caution in their attacks; if they in turn are accused and seen as ‘Anti-Republican’ or ‘Anti- Nationalism’ and their treatment of Martin becomes a election issue, it could effect sales of that particular paper long after the election is over.

    I have not personally been directly involved in the campaign as yet but I have spoken towards the weekend with some savvy experienced long time Republicans such as Martin Ferris and Danny Morrison. In general the feedback is good.

    On Saturday and yesterday I attended the funeral of The Knight Of Glin and met a fair cross section of people there including more than a Title or two. Not very fertile ground for Republican supporters one would be forgiven for thinking ?

    However since I was known to more than a few in the gathering, the subject of Martin’s candidacy continued to come up in conversation and surprisingly there was only one person among those I spoke to who were adamant that they would not vote for MMG under any circumstances…. but this had to do with how local SF Councillors voted on a planning issue rather than Martin’s Northern record.

    The general attitude was that his candidacy was a good thing and another milestone, as one person there said, “In putting this damm Northern nonsense behind us for once and for all” It is looking increasingly likely at this stage that the SF Leadership and the back-room boys and gals may have got this one right in terms of timing and mood.

    It is early days yet and the list is not even complete but so far it is looking good for Sinn Fein.