Red C poll confirms Higgins retains leadership of the field…

The Red C poll is slightly less generous to McGuinness and more generous to Norris, but everything else is pretty much as the Irish Times:

Higgins 25% (+7); Gallagher 21% (+10); McGuinness 16 (nc); Norris 14 (-7); Mitchell 10 (-3); Davis 9 (-4); Scallon 5 (-1)

Key Findings (full report on the RTE site here)

• Michael D Higgins tops the poll securing 25% of the first preference vote, a rise of 7% since a similar poll conducted for the Sunday Business Post a week ago. He also remains in pole position with regard to transfers and based on this poll is likely to win the election.

• However, Sean Gallagher actually has even stronger upward momentum, and appears to benefit from the demise of both Norris and Davis. He takes second place in this poll with 21% of the first preference vote, a rise of 10% in just one week.

• McGuinness retains his position in third place, having secured 16% first preference, the same as a week ago. His share appears to be limited at around this level, with poor levels of transfer suggested by the poll analysis. He is also the candidate that over a third of the public least want to see become president.

• David Norris falls back into fourth place, securing 14% of the vote, a drop of 7%, having lead a similar poll last week with 21% share. He is still liked by the public who suggest he is the candidate that most would like to have to dinner, but his suitability for this role now appears to be in question.

• Gay Mitchell is fourth securing just 10% first preference, a fall of 3% in the past week. Suggesting that while the campaigning against other candidates like Norris, McGuinness and Davis is working, it isn’t giving Mitchell a lift himself. He also only secures 15% of the Fine Gael vote, with Higgins taking 27% and Gallagher 25%.

• Mary Davis also sees her vote decline by 3% after a week of intense scrutiny, leaving her in sixth place on 9% first preference.

• Finally, Dana remains in last place, securing 5% of the first preference vote, down 1% in the past week.

• It is a case of young vs. old among the top two candidates, with Higgins needing to do better among younger voters and Gallagher needing to persuade older voters more on his credentials.

• Transfers are initially positive for Gallagher, as Davis is likely to go out early on – but after this Higgins dominates the transfers for the next three candidates suggesting at this stage that he is currently in a strong position to secure the Presidency.

• When Irish Citizens are asked who they think will win the election, most think that Higgins will be elected, Gallagher needs to portray a stronger image of someone that should be President.

Hat tip to David and for the information…

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