Hogan hits the panic button: #aras11

While the Dunphy show had the Mitchell v McGuinness face-off, the real fun was elsewhere, including today’s Sunday Independent which had a direct attack on Sinn Féin’s candidate by Fine Gael’s Phil Hogan (amongst others). It is hard to believe (looking at this morning’s paper) that the campaign is still a long way out from election day.

Hogan, a Carlow-Kilkenny TD, is the party’s blunt director of elections and general fixer (and erstwhile Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government). While the paper contained a number of articles, Hogan’s intervention in the presidential election sounds the outright panic button for the Mitchell campaign which appears to be failing to gain any traction. From what it merely describes as it’s own poll of 500 people, that Sindo article also reports current opinions (excluding don’t knows) as:

Michael D Higgins (27 per cent), David Norris (20 per cent), Sean Gallagher (13 per cent), Mary Davis (12 per cent), Martin McGuinness (11 per cent), Gay Mitchell (10 per cent) and Dana Rosemary Scallon (7 per cent)

If you can believe those numbers, attacking McGuinness seems pointless since Higgins and Norris are both out in front, and, more likely to be in direct competition with Mitchell for support. As government chief whip Paul Kehoe’s twitter account was also offering contributions to the progress of the Dunphy show debate, a generalised hysteria appears to be gripping Fine Gael at the moment.

Fine Gael’s problem is also likely to be Labour’s (and Higgin’s) problem as the election draws nearer. Not only will the inescapable Greek crisis keep the Euro and the EU to cente stage, probably in two weeks time. But as October draws to a close, the coalition will be preparing to pay a futher unsecured Anglo-Irish bond for €730m which will draw significant political damage in the final straight. Whoever benefits, it is unlikely to be Mitchell…

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  • Jimmy Sands

    I assume FG think that the thought of Coco going to the Aras will help motivate the core vote. I doubt thy expect to win, but I imagine they want to avoid humiliation.

  • Mick Fealty

    Heard Charlie Flanagan getting his eye wiped by Pearse Doherty on Morning Ireland. Panic and disorganisation seems right. Only candidate has played it with any alacrity.

  • Henry94

    You could imagine Michael D. turning over this morning and having a lie-in. Nobody seems even interested in knocking him off his front-runners perch.

  • Mick Fealty

    Indeed. Thinking about the interview though, it strikes me that Mitchell is wasted as a candidate. His analysis of SF and it’s bid for the Aras is the most acute of anyone I’ve read yet.

    But, in general, people don’t vote for analysts…

  • Munsterview

    Mick : Mitchell’s analysis ? Anyone of my Dublin political colleagues that had up close and personal encounters with Mitchell back to his Lord Mayor days, came away with the impression that he was a lightweight.

    The FG back-room boys and gals, first tried to stymie him, then they ignored him in the immediate aftermath of his selection and for a period after. It was only when Martin McGuiness declared that the back-room finally threw the machine behind him. His ‘analysis’ have Hogan’s paw prints all over them.

    Deep breath everybody, step back and reflect on some of the things that were said about President Mary McAilese fourteen years ago. It is all the same things are now said about Martin McG and from the same tired predictable Dublin 4 sources.

    The current Fine Gael Establishment blew this one big time, Cox was their preferred man and Cox would probably have done the business ( incidently anyone heard anything from this ‘FG’ source lately ?) for them. Mitchell cannot possibly win, it looks like he cannot even give a credible performance at this stage, the best he can do is continue his ‘on the man’ marking of McGuiness to attempt to damage Martin’s campaign.

    It is already backfiring as did the attack on the current President who will go down in history as the best Ireland has had to date and one of the best Public Figures that Ireland ever produced.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I heard that interview between MMcG and Mitchell. Mitchell really let himself down, lashing out at Dunphy and McGuinness in equal measure.

    Anyone of my Dublin political colleagues ..

    Ah, here we go ..

  • Munsterview

    ComradeS : some of us here had serious political involvements and experience in real parties. We were not just diligent dilettanti supporters of one the most harmless political platitude sprouting organizations in these Islands!

  • Greenflag

    FG have already given up on any possibility that Mitchell could win so effortds now will be directed at avoiding a complete humiliation in the polls and ensuring that above all others McGuinness is defeated . It should be interesting to see which way Mitchell’s preferences go . The SF candidate can probably expect about 10 votes at most from that source . Will FG party voters emerge in force on the day ?