Irish Times Poll: It’s all about Higgins, Gallagher and McGuinness (and poor Gay Mitchell)…

Well that’s one of my Betfair punts in the waste basket, and the other one could yet cost me some serious cash. However, let’s remember for now that this is still only a gameshow!

The Red C poll results are out later, but for now, this is the #Aras11 world according to Ipsos/MRB:

Michael D Higgins 23 per cent (up five points); Seán Gallagher 20 per cent (up seven points); Martin McGuinness 19 per cent (not in last poll); Mary Davis 12 per cent (no change); David Norris 11 per cent (down 14 points); Gay Mitchell 9 per cent (down 12 points); and Dana Rosemary Scallon 6 per cent (not in last poll).

Two long distance runners keeping it steady (Higgins and McGuinness), and one surger (Sean Gallagher). Whether Gallagher’s surge is merely a sprint or serious momentum, we’ve yet to find out. But he seems to have won out over Mary Davis. Norris is tanking; possibly because of the abject nature of his long drawn out campaign to get the nominations he should have secured months ago.

Davis is steady, but needs the kind of momentum Gallagher appears to have stolen from her. She may not be the Continuity Mary candidate she hoped for (it’s also Twenty one years since there was a non Mary in the Aras.

But ironically Mitchell’s dive is the interesting one. Having been buried in Europe since since 2004 (double jobbing with a Dail seat until 2007) he is clearly struggling for name recognition. He’s bright, analytical, and passionate, but it is also true that he would not have been on the party ticket had Enda Kenny had his way.

The fact that the Taoiseach could not get his own candidate – the until lately independent Pat Cox – past his parliamentary party whose own preferred candidate in turn seems to be being rejected by its own voters, suggests the new incumbents at Leinster House have little of Fianna Fail’s understanding of the base.

We might infer then that FG’s popularity seems invested more in the person of its leader than in the secure base structure of its parliamentary party… Hmmm… It seems we may have been here before…

Anyway, another report when the Red C poll comes out later this morning. That should give us a better fix on McGuinness’ progress, since they weight for the ‘reluctance to reveal’ tendency which dogs pollsters regarding Sinn Fein questions.

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  • 241934 john brennan

    At the end of it all the truth will out. For amusement, here is a bit of doggerel about David Lloyd George – and it became his Irish epitaph.

    Lloyd George, no doubt,
    When his life ebbs out,
    Will ride in a flaming chariot,
    Seated in state
    On a red-hot plate
    ‘twixt Satan and Judas Iscariot;
    Ananias that day
    To the Devil will say,
    “My claim for precedence fails,
    So move me up higher,
    Away from the fire,
    And make way for that liar–from Wales!”

  • Drumlins Rock

    for the first time in the race it looks like Higgins has competition, Gallagher has shot up, he could bomb yet but more likely if he is seen as the real rival to Higgins he could suck up votes all round, he should get most of Dana’s & Mary’s transfers, which is about equal to Mitchell’s & Norris’s transfers, looks like Marty could be king maker, just what he wants, 19% is a good poll, he will be happy enough. But at the end of the day this is just an opinion poll, lots can change.

  • keano10

    This poll was conducted before the TV3 debate. It will be very interesting to see the how the next poll pans out. Todays Irish Star reports that over 820,000 people tuned in to the televised date. There were also 80,000 hits on TV3′s online stream. There may be a further bounce for McGuinness who performed well. I also thought that Mary Davis did particularly well during most of the debate.

    Could anyone please tell me when the next poll is scheduled for?

  • stewart1

    Red C poll due out around 1pm today

  • Cynic2

    “looks like Marty could be king maker, just what he wants”

    ….that’s real logic. I came a poor third or fourth or fifth …..

  • Mick Fealty


    I’ve linked the latest poll. It shows no change for Martin and a less traumatic fall for Norris. It’s hard to tell what to make of that.

    I’m not sure getting bogged down on the northern question is good for McGuinness. It just reminds people of his and the party’s past, and stops him doing what he really needs to do, which is to prove he is an all island man.

    That’s one reason I argued earlier, ie before he declared, that this was no job for a Nordie. But if you are going to run one then the press operation needs running out of Dublin, not Belfast.

    Ciaran Quinn should have been running this campaign from the south. The IRA stuff could have been finessed without McGuinness getting unnecessarily branded as a liar. And he could have got on with cementing the idea that the party is also indigenous to the south.

    The crying shame for SF is that Pearse Doherty is less than a year off 35, and therefore not eligible to run. I still don’t think he would have won, but at least he’d have helped harden the growth trend at a lower cost.

    In the meantime, if I were Micheal Martin, I might just be resisting a slight feeling of smugness. Keeping my troops off the field, whilst everyone else knocks themselves out over a titular office of great civic but little political account, begins to look like the smart politics few of us previously believed.

    Not a bad way to rest those varied bloodied noses…

  • keano10


    I am a big fan of Doherty, but even if was 35 they would’nt have fielded him. His considerable abilities are of much more use where he right now.

    I dont think McGuinness is willingly getting bogged down on the Northern Question. It’s simply that the media raise thr North in just about every question he gets asked.

    I still maintain what I said at the start. If he can poll around 18-19 per cent and double the General Election vote, it will have been a worthwhile exercise.

    I would also doubt that Michael Martin will be hailed for any shrewdness in not fielding a candidate. It smacked of simple cowardice from the offset and there are never too many plaudits to be earned by any political leader who is afraid to put his party before the public mandate.

  • Mick Fealty


    They can’t afford Martin, but they’ve done it!! As you say, it’s an exercise, not a serious bid.

    When Dublin was going daft on speculation over a McGuinness bid I rang round a few contacts to take soundings. One said he didn’t know but thought it would send the wrong signal.

    As it happens, I think he may be proven right. All that 18% will tell u is the current topline figure is and where. Martins as good a figure to test it with as any.

    But they need to establish a southern command control over the content. The reason SF is stuck in southern mud is because Northern Command does not understand the terrain.

    And are clearly not match fit! The IRA thing and that bank statement nonsense are both silly unforced errors.