Was Gallagher ‘holed above or below the water line’?

It’s worth following the Irish Times live blog today… Interesting speculation that the spectacular media ambush may not have hit its intended mark:

08:44

The big question of course is just how badly damaged Sean Gallagher was by last Monday’s Prime Time ambush.  As one pundit put it, the good ship Gallagher has been holed; the question is whether it’s above or below the waterline. Judging by some of the vox pops on RTÉ radio this morning, support for him remains strong in many parts.
pops on RTÉ radio this morning, support for him remains strong in many parts.

It will be late afternoon early evening before the first tallies come through.

  • Regardless, the lower turnout of around 2/3 of the General Election is likely to mean the SF core vote has an exaggerated inpact on its % support in the Republic. It will be able to claim victory regardless, which is what it does. If the ambush has reduced the % margins between the top three or four, all the better. For SF this was always a numbers game.

  • Rory Carr

    Initial tally, courtesy Pentagon Computers, from Cork South Central at 09:51

    Higgins 45.7
    Gallagher 23.2
    McGuinness 16.0
    Norris 6.2
    Mitchell 4.6
    Scallon 2.5
    Davis 1.9

    .http://bit.ly/tcJ0dU

  • Mick Fealty

    Good point TD. Gallaghers performance will be fascinating. The Ambush came very late in the day, and may have had more effect on shoring up support amongst independents/ULA than damaging SG per se.

  • Rory Carr

    Same source for Cork South Central has:

    MDH on 43.9%, Gallagher on 20.3%, MMG on 23.1% at 9.26am.

    Is my bet still safe?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Initial tally for Dublin South West:
    Higgins – 44.6
    Gallagher – 22.1
    McGuinness – 12.2
    Mitchell – 6.8
    Norris – 9.0
    Davis – 3.0
    Scallan – 2.2

  • keano10

    Early tallies on Politics.ie indicate that Higgins is well ahead across the country. Gallagher is even doing badly even in his home county which sounds ominous. McG generally polling around 16%.The real story of this election though may well be the collapse in the Fine Gael vote. I dont think that they will be able to put that down entirely to the individual in question.

    Meath East (25% boxes opened)

    Higgins 40%
    Gallagher 30%
    McGuinness 16%
    Dana 2%
    Norris 5%
    Davis 2%
    Mitchell 5%

  • Mick Fealty

    Ya Rory!!

  • keano10

    Dublin South Central (11% open)

    Higgins 31%
    McGuinness 29%
    Gallagher 15%
    Norris 10%
    mitchell 9%
    Davis 3%
    Dana 2%

  • JR

    Looks like below at this stage

  • keano10

    Dublin North Central 18 boxes counted

    Higgins 41.39%
    Gallagher 23.4%
    McG 16.87%
    Norris 10.7%

  • John Ó Néill

    I wouldn’t put too much store by the early tallies just yet, as most are based on small fractions of the total number of boxes.

  • JR

    Well, If you are right Mick and Seán suffered a grave injusdice at the hands of the media then when the truth comes out he has always the option of Dail politics. At least there he could hold a position where he could actually make a difference to jobs and prosperity unlike the Presidency.

  • keano10

    Dublin South East – 6,868 votes counted

    Higgins 3287
    Gallagher 1037
    McGuinness 902
    Norris 869
    Mitchell 413
    Davis 205
    Dana 155

  • Rory Carr

    From Twitter, a most discerning inquiry:

    paolotullio Paolo Tullio
    I’m puzzled. Why would a thrusting, dynamic, job-creating entrepreneur want to sit in the aras for 7 years? Unless he’s gone broke

  • keano10

    Gallagher now being quoted at 75-1 on Betfair

  • IanR

    Once the final count is in, an interesting question could arise (which might be worthy of a separate thread):

    If northerners had been allowed to vote in the Presidential election (as they arguably should be entitled to under the Good Friday Agreement), how much closer to victory could SF have been?

  • Mick F

    Why do you persist in claiming Gallagher was ambushed, unless I missed it you said no such thing when Norris and the letter hit the MSM, nor when SF leaders were called to account. Surely this is the cut and thrust of democratic politics, something which in recent years only those further down the political food chain had to experience, whilst the tops gorged at the public trough.(Gallagher included)

    As important, why do you continue to harp on about your so called ‘ambush, yet leave to one side the importance of his sham independent candidature. For most voters I would guess his close links with FF tops are far more important than Morgans ‘envelope’ alone.

    Unfairly I am sure, but it looks like you are preparing the ground for Slicks failure. ie he did his best but was brought down by the MSM, which is tosh, as whatever the result, like the rest of the Candidates, Gallaghar was master of his own destiny. Like many of his ilk in the past, he clearly thought he was untouchable, hence as I posted yesterday it will be interesting where his campaign money came from.

  • keano10

    Cork South Central 25% counted

    Higgins 45%
    Gallagher 23%
    McG 15%
    Norris 6%
    Mitchell 4%
    Dana 3%
    Davis 2%

  • keano10

    Donegal North East 50 boxes open

    McGuinness 38%
    Gallagher 28%
    Higgins 18%
    Dana 4.7%
    Mitchell 4.3%
    Norris 3%
    Davis 1.5%

  • Nunoftheabove

    11:06 (Betfair)

    Higgins 1/33

    Gallagher 49/1

  • the wrong side of 40

    This will be a milestone election. A party Sinn Fein has actually won an election, just not for their guy. Michael D will be reminded a lot that he owes his victory to Martin and co.

    Have to see I agree with the comments of Mickhall. And even if there was an ambush, it could only be carried out because Gallagher loaded the gun for the Shinners to fire.

    We can`t say however that the result will have been disaster for FF, prior to Monday night there redemption was about to confirmed. Gallagher blew it for them. FF must take the positives that before stepping back from Gallagher the electorate were prepared to bring them back in from the cold after a relatively short period.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    According to RTÉ,
    Donegal South West, tallies show Seán Gallagher on 32%, Michael D Higgins on 29% and Martin McGuinness on 22%.

  • IanR

    “We can`t say however that the result will have been disaster for FF, prior to Monday night there redemption was about to confirmed. Gallagher blew it for them. FF must take the positives that before stepping back from Gallagher the electorate were prepared to bring them back in from the cold after a relatively short period.”

    But they didn’t step back from Gallagher the Man after Monday, they stepped back from Gallagher the FF Trojan Horse. It is precisely because his FF connections were highlighted so starkly that his support dropped, which suggests that the electorate aren’t yet prepared to bring the party back in from the cold.

  • john

    If Donegal SW tally is correct it seems to be quite a drop in SF vote – obviously P.Doherty pulls in a big personal vote

  • John Ó Néill

    Donegal SW tallies would depend on where boxes came from – same with most. Based on what is being said Higgins appears to be home and hosed.

  • Jimmy Sands

    If Coco is a bad third in Donegal then even the shinners will find that hard to spin.

  • … or Gallagher was a busted flush from the original deal, even in the County Louth. But someone, somewhere needed to engineer a bit of excitement, so we had this media hype.

    The overall winner (in status, if not getting the seven-year tenancy of the tied cottage) may yet prove to be McGuinness. If SF come close to doubling the %age tally since February, the detoxification of that brand continues apace.

  • Rory Carr

    ” If Coco is a bad third in Donegal then even the shinners will find that hard to spin.”

    … and if they are a credible third nationally will you concede a well played game, Jimmy ?

  • keano10

    Some real random stuff happening – In one box in Galway City, Mitchell failed to get a single vote out of 300 votes counted. Quite astonishing.

  • We need too to remember that it was only last week we were talking about a late surge for Gallagher pushing him as a front-runner, and that when McG launched you would have thought from some that he was a slam dunk for the Aras on a wave of ‘independent’ hubris.

    McG may have holed Gallagher late in the day, but doubtful he has done himself or SF any favours in the long term. Whatever the national message, it would seem too that the message didn’t get through to Dublin West.

    In the end, the people seem to have opted for something dull and unexciting – and given the state of the Republic and the Euroland rumbles, maybe that is what is required.

  • Sorry: I’m trying to cope with thedissenter @ 2:35 pm representing the Micky D intellect as “dull and unexciting”.

    Back after this reality check:
    It’s been rough and rocky travelin’,
    But I’m finally standin’ upright on the ground.
    After takin’ several readings,
    I’m surprised to find my mind`s still fairly sound.

  • keano10

    The Irish Times live blog is now stating that McGuinness is doing well in some Dublin constituencies in which he is vying for 2nd place. Tallies place him on 24.7 in Dublin NW and 20% in Dublin NE.

  • Jimmy Sands

    … and if they are a credible third nationally will you concede a well played game, Jimmy ?

    I’ll do more than that, I’ll concede that he appeals to have won the election. Just not for himself.

  • Jimmy Sands

    … and if they are a credible third nationally will you concede a well played game, Jimmy ?

    I’ll do more than that, I’ll concede that he appears to have won the election. Just not for himself.

  • Harry Flashman

    If McGuinness finishes third that’s a very good result, SF will be happy and FG needs to take a moment of reflection.

  • Sean Og

    It’s all over now, baby Blueshirt.

  • Mack

    “But they didn’t step back from Gallagher the Man after Monday, they stepped back from Gallagher the FF Trojan Horse. “

    They didn’t though. With the perception of Gallagher as old school FF having been firmly established by the media (if unfairly) in the last week – it looks like he got around 33% of the vote (current tallies from RTE).

    When the dust settles FF hq will be delighted with that.

  • grandimarkey

    Jimmy Sands:
    “If Coco is a bad third in Donegal then even the shinners will find that hard to spin.”

    Perhaps, however some may have decided to vote Higgins 1 as the best option for keeping Gallagher out…

  • Tochais Síoraí

    There’s a chance Higgins might reach the quota without needing Mc Guinness’ transfers.

  • Nunoftheabove

    FG will have learned a few things from this, leastways they they will if they’ve any sense. Among them will be that their nomination process sucks and the fact that Charlie Flanagan must be among the most inept campaign managers currently breathing.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Perhaps, however some may have decided to vote Higgins 1 as the best option for keeping Gallagher out…

    Do natives of that county struggle with the concept of STV?

  • keano10

    This is now officially the worst Fine Gael performance in the history of presidential elections. The previous worst was Austin Currie with 17.01% in 1990.

  • Brian Boru

    Disappointed. He was taken out with LBJ “Just let him deny it” smear-politics. On the positive side, the man who wielded the dagger will not wear the crown. And it looks like the dangerous Oireachtas Inquiries referendum could be rejected. That is the more important vote to me. If passed it would allow the govt to determine the rights of persons called before Committee and allow those Committees to find you guilty even of activities like murder. And you would have no recourse to the courts. If that’s beaten I will sleep happily tonight.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Brian Boru

    Amen to that. That will be the real story and today’s highlight if it happens. The coverage of this significant issue in the mainstream media has been lamentable.

  • Nunoftheabove

    RTE now reporting that Higgins is a cert – appears likely to poll 39-40% 1st prefs, Gallagher 27-28% and McG on c. 15%.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    It’s being reported that Higgins could win the election even before McGuinness/Gallagher (whoever’s third) is eliminated.

  • WindsorRocker

    That figure of 15% being quoted from RTE perhaps gives a real indication of the attack made by McGuinness on The Frontline debate.

    Gallagher has managed, even after the fiasco, to retain pretty much the same core % of the 2011 FF vote as McGuinness has retained of the 2011 SF GE vote. Surely this was the vote that SF were afte?. They saw the chance to take the FF vote en masse after FF decided not to officially field a candidate.

    One can only wonder what the SF % would have been without that Frontline debate. Maybe Gallagher was retaining ALL the FF core vote and SF would have made NO inroads. Maybe the Frontline ambush was necessary from a SF to even leave themselves with a % that justified their running strategy?

    I’m sure McGuinness didn’t conduct that ambush to do the State or Higgins some service or out of the good of his community spirited heart…….

  • Brian Boru

    The urban-rural divide I predicted has come to pass. In Dublin, Higgins leads gallagher 46-16, compared to 37-31 or level in Leinster (excluding Dublin), Connaught-Ulster and Munster.

  • Brian Boru

    Gallagher leads by 20% in Cavan and Donegal NE (Pearse Doherty’s constituency) , Laois-IOffaly (Brian Cowen’s former constituency) and Tipperary North (Michael Lowry’s).

  • Brian Boru

    Clarification: the 20% Gallagher lead is in Cavan. He has a small lead in Donegal NE.

  • Brian Boru

    Correction: It;s actually Donegal SW where Gallagher is leading. That is Doherty’s constituency.

  • Mick Fealty

    Heard earlier RTE being reported for their handling of fake tweet. That should be interesting. Losing the committee referendum would be a blow from Govt angle. DubW tallies looked interesting before I went off line.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s probably O’Donaill taking back a chunk of what was previously his. Coughlan running cost FF both seats there where only one might have sufficed. Suspect too that the attack on Gallagher backfired badly in some pockets of rural Ireland. Townie mistake.

  • keano10

    Mick,

    With respect are’nt those comments out of step with your analysis last week. You did a lead thread on The Red C Poll with McGuinness on 13% and you were talking about the possibility of a lost deposit for him.

    Therefore could it not just as easily be argued that the attack on Gallagher has gained him an additional 2 or 3%? (if the Red C Poll was Indeed correct?)

  • keano10

    There are already plenty of plus points for SF particularly in Dublin. For example the 15.9% polled in Dublin Mid West would put Eoin O’Broin firmly in place for a seat in the next election. He polled 11.8% last time around.

  • keano10

    Gay Mitchell is the sandwich between Dana and David Norris. Now there’s an unlikely thought… 🙂

  • Rory Carr

    Gallagher has phoned Higgins to offer him congratulations on attaining the presidency.

  • Rory Carr

    Statement in from Sean Gallagher’s spokesperson:

    “In the last hour I’ve called Michael D. Higgins to congratulate him on his performance and his success in this election. He will have my full support as President and I sincerely thank him for a positive campaign. His slogan stated that he would be a President to be proud of and I believe he will be that President.”

  • I hereby nominate the Irish Times listing for Harry McGee’s piece as Headline of the Day:

    The Tweet that was heard all round the world

  • Brian Boru

    Very concession speech from Gallagher, in sharp contrast to what was thrown at him during the last days of the campaign.

  • Brian Boru @ 5:31 pm:

    Well, yes — fair enough.

    Somehow, though, the “concession” telephone call worries me. It has absolutely no legal effect (as John Kerry discovered, too late, in 2000) Yet it elevates the Irish Presidential Election to the status enjoyed by defeated US candidates every four years.

    So, to that extent, it is no more than a bit of ego-building, and a last chance of momentary fame by the defeated candidate(s) for a mainly-symbolic office.

    As to “what was thrown at him during the last days of the campaign”, this was politics — arguably the first really political presidential election we’ve had since Dev just barely elbowed out Tom O’Higgins. And politics is a down-and-dirty business. So … what was that thing about “heat” and “kitchen”?

    On the matter of “concession”, I see that Hoover sent FDR a telegram (9 Nov 1932) “conceding the national election”. Knowing there are so many experts in Sluggerdom, was this when the tradition began? Are there earlier recorded examples?

  • Brian Boru

    Yes Malcolm but I don’t recall very much heat going in Higgins’ direction. Vincent Browne ironically was the only journalist to field tough questions to him such as on the tax-amnesty his govt introduced in 1993. The way I look at it is that the Labour-friendly media decided Higgins should be president and proceeded to shred the reputations of the other candidates. The citing by Pat Kenny of what we now know was a fake ‘Sinn Fein’ twitter page as SF announcing they would reveal the man making the allegations the next day on Frontline was a new low in Irish political journalism. The bias evident in the studio audience which cheered his opponents and booed and jeered him even before this issue came up is further evidence Gallagher was stitched-up.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Not entirely true. The indo was clearly rooting for Gallagher right up until the wheels came off. They did try to go after Higgins on Palestine, but failed to get any traction.

  • “the people seem to have opted for something dull and unexciting”

    That is no bad thing in this job, is it? It is possible to appear somewhat dull and unexciting yet also be a dam good politician, Clem Attlee comes to mind. Carefully crafted media friendly politician have been a dam nuisance in recent decades, Bush, Bertie, Silvio Berlusconi and the war criminal Blair spring to mind and all four have proved disastrous.

  • Alias

    Brian Boru nailed it above. This was a partisan media deciding the result of an election. They became utterly hysterical once they realised that Gallagher’s election would work counter to their campaign to demonise FF.

    A public that might elect Gallaggher is a public that might redeem FF and a public that might regard the governance of Ireland’s monetary system by the EU as being at least partly responsible for the near collapse of that monetary system, and that is counter to the media campaign to ignore the role of EU government in the collapse and blame the collapse entirely on domestic government instead.

  • Alias @ 6:56 pm:

    Once again, fair enough.

    Except …

    If there were a “media”candidate, it was surely was Gallagher. Of whom the most concise description is “Up like a rocket; and down like the stick”.

    Beyond that, are we really, really convinced that a small cadre in Dublin 4 and environs can manipulate “the plain people of Ireland”?

    Or, as I used frequently to be told: “Catch yerself on”.

  • Rory Carr

    Run that by me again, Alias, there must be some interference somewhere, I could have sworn you wrote:

    “A public that might elect Gallaggher is a public that might redeem FF and a public that might regard the governance of Ireland’s monetary system by the EU as being at least partly responsible for the near collapse of that monetary system, and that is counter to the media campaign to ignore the role of EU government in the collapse and blame the collapse entirely on domestic government instead.”

    but that is just too silly for words so I assume gremlins are to blame.

  • Brian Boru

    Actually Malcolm the answer to your question is “Yes” if they control almost all the broadcast and print media. That’s why in totalitarian regimes the media is subject to strict censorship;