Shane Ross has become the 18th Oireachtas member to sign the nomination papers for Senator David Norris to contest the Presidential Election. He is now just two signatures short for the nomination from Oireachtas members. Where will he get those two signatures is the big question.
Michael Lowry TD, Mattie McGrath TD and Senator Martin McAleese have all been mentioned as possible signatories but will it happen?
If he cannot get the 20 it is most likely that he will easily secure the support of 3 more councils to add to the nomination of Fingal County Council.
About 12 councils are meeting this week. Most of them will consider motions supporting both Senator Norris and Dana Rosemary Scanlon. The councils meeting this week are:
South Dublin County Council
Dublin City Council
Kilkenny County Council
Carlow County Council
Longford County Council
Roscommon County Council
Waterford City Council
Donegal County Council
Laois County Council
Cork County Council
Offaly County Council
The most interesting meeting will be that of Kilkenny County Council who meet at 8:30am on Wednesday to ensure that their nomination gets in by close of nomination at Midday. Paddy Power are even taking bets to see if Kilkenny will get their nomination in on time! There is talks of a Garda Escort!
The Sunday Business Post has two polls for us about the Irish Presidential Election. It has one poll with the 5 nominated candidates so far and one poll with the 7 candidates who will most likely be on the ballot on October 27th.
In the 5 Candidate poll the 1st preference vote would look as follows:
Higgins, Michael D (Lab) 27%
McGuinness, Martin (SF) 20%
Davis, Mary (Ind) 20%
Mitchell, Gay (FG) 15%
Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 15%
This poll is interesting as it has Davis level with McGuinness, but with Sinn Fein being transfer toxic, Davis could be the one to make it to the final count with Higgins.
In the 7 candidate the poll, the first preferences are as follows:
Norris, David (Ind) 21%
Higgins, Michael D (Ind) 18%
McGuinness, Martin (SF) 16%
Davis, Mary (Ind) 13%
Mitchell, Gay (FG) 13%
Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 11%
Scanlon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 6%
When Senator Norris is added in to the poll he takes a margin of error lead over Higgins. Davis falls back to tie with Fine Gael’s Mitchell who does not seem to be making much of an impact in the campaign.
Of course with this many candidates in the race it will all come down to transfers. With this looking like the first Presidential Election to go further then two counts, where the transfers go will be what is important. RED C have polled this and the results are interesting.
Norris, David (Ind) 6%
Higgins, Michael D (Ind) 20%
McGuinness, Martin (SF) 8%
Davis, Mary (Ind) 16%
Mitchell, Gay (FG) 14%
Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 14%
Scanlon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 7%
This is where the campaign for Norris falls down as he comes last in terms of 2nd preferences where he is beaten by McGuinness and Dana. This would spell disaster as both Higgins and Davis could easily gain enough transfers to leapfrog him and leave it as a two horse race. Unless Norris can get a larger lead, he may win the first count but ultimately lose the election. The beauty of the Irish Electoral System?
Today has seen a number of events in the race for the Presidency.
Firstly the Independent Candidate Mary Davis picked up two further Council nominations with Louth County Council and North Tipperary County Council both voting for Ms Davis as they had not been approached by any other candidates. This brings her total number of nominations to 12.
1997 Presidential Candidate Dana Rosemary Scanlon has today announced her intention to seek an nomination for this years nomination. On tonights 6.01 news Ms Scanlon claimed to have secured a number of nominations but would not divulge the exact number of signatures she has.
Rumours are also abounding about a possible withdrawal this week, but it is unlikely in my opinion. We see what happens as the week continues.
Tomorrow will see a decision by the Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party whether or not to nominate or support a candidate in the election. It is believed that if a free vote is allowed, Senator David Norris, Labhras O’Murchú and Dana Rosemary Scanlon could all appear on the ballot making it the biggest field ever in for a Presidential Election.
While a lot of attention is being focused on Senator David Norris’s attempt at getting 20 Oireachtas signatures, the Council route seems to have been neglected by the Senator.
That could change after tomorrow as Fingal County Council holds a special meeting to discuss motions for nominating a candidate in the Presidential Election.
The following have motions tabled for tomorrows Council meeting:
Senator Davis Norris
Dr Pat Jones
A motion in support of Sean Gallagher was also tabled, but the council decided that any candidate who has received the backing of four councils the motion in respect of that candidate would fall.
Fingal County Council was the only council to pass a motion in support of Senator Norris during the summer and it can be expected that tomorrow they will back him. That means he only needs to find three more councils before Wednesday 28th. That is doable.
Carlow County Council is due to meet today to discuss a motion supporting Sean Gallaghers bid for the Presidency. While Mr Gallagher has asked the council not to nominate him it is the only motion before them today.
Louth County Council today also became the 11th Council to endores Mary Davis’ nomination for Presidency. Later this afternoon, North Tipperary County Council will also vote on Ms Davis’ nomination. If passed she will have the backing of 12 councils.
Dana Rosemary Scanlon is also set to make an announcement today according to a number of media outlets. And it is being described as an “Important” one. It is known that one Independent TD is willing to support her and that is Mattie McGrath
It has also been confirmed who the four Independent TDs who nominated Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein are. TD’s Finian McGrath, Luke “Ming” Flanagan, Michael Healy-Rae and Tom Fleming all signed his nomination papers.
Today Mary Davies became the first Independent Candidate to get the backing of four councils for this years Presidential Election. Both Monaghan and South Tipperary Councils passed official nominations, meaning that Ms Davies has passed the constitutional minimum to be on the ballot paper following her nomination last week by Galway County Council and Sligo County Council.
Since then both Kerry County Council and Wicklow County Council have also passed nominations in support of Ms Davies.
Mayo County Council will be meeting at 5pm to discuss her nomination, while Galway City Council will be meeting at 7pm to also discuss her nomination.
Waterford County Council is also expected to back Ms Davies later today.
Waterford City and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Councils will also discuss nominating Ms Davies, but Sean Gallagher also has a chance of winning the backing of Waterford City. While in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Fine Gael and Labour Councillors have placed motions supporting their respective party candidates.
A number of Councils that have pledged backing Sean Gallagher, the other Independent to follow this route are set to meet later this evening and mean that Mr Gallagher will join Ms Davies on the Ballot as he only requires the backing of two more councils having already been nominated by Leitrim County Council and Meath County Council.
Also today it has emerged that former MEP and 1997 Presidential Candidate, Dana Rosemary Scanlon, has secured the backing of Matti McGrath TD. She now requires the backing of 19 more Oireachtas members. She will be meeting with the Technical Group later this week and is hoping for some support from Fianna Fail in getting the Nomination.