Asking the Candidates: If elected will you continue to use Facebook/Twitter

Free twitter badge
Image via Wikipedia

After thinking about all the tweets and facebooking from the Irish Presidential Candidates, I decided to ask them if they would contine use Twitter/Facebook if they were elected President of the Republic of Ireland.

I asked the question on Twitter initially, but then posted it also on the candidates Facebook to give them all a fair chance of responding.

These are the respons in the order I have recieved them and on what medium they responded on.

Mary Davis – Facebook

Hi Stephen, when I am elected I will definitely ensure that social media is a key part of my Áras an Uachtarán communications.

Sean GallagherFacebook

Certainly Stephen. I was using both Facebook and Twitter well before I announced my intention to run for the Presidency. Social media and new technologies mean that I can reach people and hear what you, the people of Ireland are saying more clearly than ever before. Best wishes, Seán

Michael D HigginsTwitter

@spiller2 if elected I hope to continue using social media Stephen #aras11

Martin McGuinnessTwitter

@spiller2 I do indeed Stephen

UPDATE 20:25

Dana Rosemary Scallon Twitter

@spiller2 I’m still learning, but I will keep it up while I’m in office. It’s a great way to connect with the people. #aras11 #dana

Senator David Norris (Team) – Facebook

Hi Stephen, I have asked your question and can confirmed a David Norris Presidency would certainly be using Social Media to make the Office of President even more accessible while continuing on the fantastic dialogue David Norris has enjoyed throughout his campaign. Admin (Ronan)

I have yet to recieve a response from Gay Mitchell. When I do I will update this post.

Pollwatch: Sunday Business Post/Red C October 16th

Michael D Banner

Tomorrow the Sunday Business  Post have a Red C poll for the Presidential Election. The comparison is with the Red C poll for Paddy Power on October 6th. The field work for this poll was done between Monday and Wednesday so does not include any changes, if any, after the Prime Time debate.

  • Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 39% (+18)
  • Higgins, Michael D (Lab) 27% (+2)
  • McGuinness, Martin (SF) 13% (-3)
  • Mitchell, Gay (FG) 8% (-2)
  • Norris, David (Ind) 7% (-7)
  • Davis, Mary (Ind) 4% (-5)
  • Scallon, Dana Rosemary 2% (-3)

The major change in this poll is the massive 18% leap in support for Sean Gallagher. It is becoming a two horse race between Gallagher and Michael D Higgins of Labour as they are the only candidates to see a rise in support.

All the other candidates have seen a drop in support, and independent Senator David Norris who has seen his support halved from 14% t0 7%. The other candidates have all seen their support drop between 2-5%.

The rise the Fine Gael were hoping to see for Gay Mitchell does not seem to have materialised as he drops 2%. But have the attacks on Martin McGuinness had some effect as he has dropped 3% in the poll?

Of course, no polls seem to be agreeing over a week so it will be interesting if next week the polls will change as the debate and revelations from Dana have any effect in the next set of polls, and of course will the media turn their attention on the leading candidates and change it all again?

Pollwatch: Catch up, October 6th Polls

The Poster Campaign: Gay Mitchell For President
Image by infomatique via Flickr

Its been a busy week here and I have managed to miss to polls that were published last Thursday, the 6th of October. The first poll was in the Irish Times and was carried out by Ipsos MRBI. The figures were as follows:

  • Higgins, Michael D (Lab) 23%
  • Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 20%
  • McGuinness, Martin (SF) 19%
  • Davis, Mary (Ind) 12%
  • Norris, David (Ind) 11%
  • Mitchell, Gay (FG) 9%
  • Scallon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 6%

In the second poll by Red C for Paddy Power showed a similar result.

  • Higgins, Michael D (Lab) 25%
  • Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 21%
  • McGuinness, Martin (SF) 16%
  • Norris, David (Ind) 14%
  • Mitchell, Gay (FG) 10%
  • Davis, Mary (Ind) 9%
  • Scallon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 5%

The polls are interesting to look at as they really are within the margin of error of 3%. The other fact to take in these polls is the collapse in the support for Senator David Norris. It seemed that he enjoyed more support when he wasnt on the ballot paper.

The surprise of the polls  is that Sean Gallagher is now the second favourite. This of course can be seen by the media now turning their attention to him and his past.

That is the one commonality in this campaign. As a candidate starts to climb in the polls, the media turns against them. Is that how we want our campaigns run?

Also if your not sure which way to vote, Votomatic is back to help you decide! I did it earlier and it suggested I vote in the following way:

  1. Mary Davis,
  2. Micheal D Higgins,
  3. Sean Gallagher,
  4. Martin McGuinness,
  5. David Norris,
  6. Dana Rosemary Scallon,
  7. Gay Mitchell.

With 16 days left in the campaign we will have plenty of polls and I will endeavour to keep on top of them. It will be interesting if the media can influence any further change in the polls. Interesting times ahead.

Pollwatch: RED C/SBP Polls September 25th

Sinn Fein Advice Centre, Circular Road, Castle...
Image via Wikipedia

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?

PollWatch: Sunday Independent/Millward Brown Landsdowne

Michael D. Higgins
Image via Wikipedia

The Sunday Independent has two polls in it today in relation to the Presidential Election today. I am going to ignore the “less scientific, Sunday Independent/ Quantum Research” poll.

The poll found support for the declared candidates as follows:

  • Michael D Higgins 32% (Lab)
  • David Norris 19% (Ind)
  • Mary Davis 18% (Ind)
  • Gay Mitchell 17% (FG)
  • Sean Gallagher 14% (Ind)

While this poll was taken before Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein entered the race, it is still interesting.

Sean Gallagher is starting to lag behind the other candidates in the poll while Mary Davis is starting to pick up speed and has jumped ahead of Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell who’s campaign does not seem to be gaining traction despite the support for Fine Gael being 40% in the polls.

David Norris’s support level is quite surprising, while at least he is second he is a good 13% behind Labour’s Micheal D Higgins who is managing to retain the top spot.

The entry of Martin McGuinness could change this balance. But with the possiblity of Norris and Labhrás O Muchú of Fianna Fail being added to the field, it wont be until Friday and the close of nominations that we have any idea what will happen. Then the polls will get very interesting.

PollWatch: RED C/Paddy Power #aras11

The president of Ireland's residence in the Ph...
Image via Wikipedia

So with the campaigning underway and nominations coming in, Paddy Power has commissioned RED C to undertake an opinion poll for the Presidential Election.

The results are interesting and changes are from the last RED C Poll in August.

  • Micheal D Higgins (Lab) 36% (-3)
  • Gay Mitchell (FG) 24% (-1)
  • Sean Gallagher (Ind) 21% (nc)
  • Mary Davies (Ind) 19% (+4)

The only candidate to rise in the poll is Mary Davies, which may show some momentum in the campaign as her profile rises. The drop in the support of the two party candidates will be a surprise to the teams, but may also serve to light the fire under them to get them working harder.

The other key finding of the poll in 33% of votes are undecided on who they will support. They are predominately young voters under 35.

While Sinn Fein have yet to announce a candidate, they possible will this weekend, this is the first poll with the four candidates and no “fantasy” candidate.

As the polls come in, during the campaign, I will again be doing a poll of polls. This is will be the initial poll.

Meanwhile in the betting stakes, also from Paddy Power, the odds are:

  • 8/13 Michael D.Higgins (from 4/7)
  • 3/1 Gay Mitchell
  • 13/2 Mary Davis
  • 8/1 Sean Gallagher (from 9/1)
  • 28/1 Mary Lou McDonald
  • 28/1 Martin McGuinness
  • 28/1 Michelle Gildernew

Its getting interesting.

Race for the Aras Gets Under-way

Presidential flag of Ireland.
Image via Wikipedia

This week has the campaign for the Irish Presidency has got properly under-way. Official nominations have begun to passed by nominating Local Authorities. So far five local authorities have used there constitutional right to nominate a candidate.

Sean Gallagher is the closest independent candidate to gaining a full nomination having received the backing of three councils. Meath County Council, Leitrim County Council have nominated him, while Cork City Council will officially nominate him at a meeting next week following a special meeting last night. Mr Gallagher has also the received motions of support from four other councils including, Longford County Council, Donegal County Council, Roscommon County Council and Clare County Council.

Mary Davis has is halfway to the nomination. So far she has received nominations from two councils, Galway County Council and Sligo Council. She also has the support of six other councils. They include Louth County Council, Monaghan County Council, Mayo County Council, Limerick County Council, Kerry County Council and North Tipperary County Council.

In regards to the Party Candidates Labour’s Micheal D Higgins has begun to gather his 20 signatures at the Labour Party think in. Both Ciara Conway and Aodhan O’Riordain have tweeted about signing Micheal D’s nomination papers.

Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell seems to be continuing his campaign and as far as I can tell has no signatures signed yet, but he does have until the 28th of September and with the Fine Gael thinking starting today, he will begin to gather them.

A campaign to get David Norris to re-enter the campaign for the Aras is still going, they have a petition going and will be on the streets of Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Galway gathering signatures.

It is doubtful that David Norris will get the nomination as I cannot see 20 oireachtas members or four councils backing him in the time left.

One other thing to note will be the absence of a Fianna Fail Candidate on the ballot. This will be the first Presidential Election in which Fianna Fail will not contest. Whether this is a good idea or not only time will tell, but it certainly wont help them to win back votes and certainly seems to be a money saving idea.

 

Race for the Aras: The Fine Gael Candidate?

History of Fine Gael
Image via Wikipedia

So following on from my post “Race for the Aras” its time to look at the parties candidates for the Presidency elections. First up is Fine Gael.

Back in April the first candidate out of the block was current Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness announced her decision to seek Fine Gael’s nomination for the presidency.

Since then there as been many changes. Former Taoiseach John Bruton and Ireland South MEP have ruled themseleves out of the running.

Gay Mitchel, Ireland Dublin MEP has also announced his intention to run in a statement released by Fine Gael.

I have been giving serious consideration to the possibility of running for President. Yesterday I attended the funeral of Declan Costello whose political principles and approach to public service convinced me to join Fine Gael at the age of 16. Since then my political conviction is informed by a Christian Democratic ethos, based on four pillars: rights and responsibilities, enterprise and social justice.

I want to advance this ethos in public life and I see the Presidency as another way of doing so. My belief is that this ethos, if applied sensibly, will help equip Ireland to overcome some of our present economic and ethical difficulties and make us a country which others will want to emulate. I have decided to seek the Fine Gael nomination for the Presidency and an endorsement of these values.

Another name in the mix if former MEP and President of  the European Parliament  Pat Cox.  He has applied to join the St Lukes Branch in Cork North Central and the Party Exec will decide on his membership this evening. He is currently as seen as the outsider for the nomination despite having the backing of the leadership due to the procedure being used by Fine Gael to select their candidate this time out.

This year Fine Gael will be using an electoral college of three parts to select the candidate. The electoral college is made up of Local Councillors (20%), the Party Executive (10%) and the Parliamentary Party (70%). Only those who attend convention have a vote, so it will be a major numbers game.

The odds according to Paddy Power from the nomination are:

  • Gay Mitchell 1/2
  • Pat Cox 9/4
  • Mairead McGuinness 11/2

So if you had a vote in the Fine Gael Electoral College who would you vote for?

List: Irish MEPs and their Committees

If your like me, you will want to know what committees in the European Parliament the Irish MEPs have been assigned to. I have gleaned this information off the europarl website and some of ye might find it interesting.

Committee on Development

  • Gay Mitchell (FG/EPP – Dublin)

Committee on International Trade

  • Joe Higgins (SOC/GUE-NGL – Dublin)

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

  • Proinsias De Rossa (Lab/S&D – Dublin)
  • Marian Harkin (Ind/ALDE – North West)

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

  • Nessa Childers (Lab/S&D – East)

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy:

  • Brian Crowley (FF/ALDE – South)

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

  • Alan Kelly (Lab/S&D – South)

Committee on Transport and Tourism

  • Jim Higgins (FG/EPP – North West)

Committee on Regional Development

  • Sean Kelly (FG/EPP – South)

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

  • Mairead McGuinness (FG/EPP – East)
  • Liam Aylward (FF/ALDE – East)

Committee on Fisheries

  • Pat “The Cope” Gallagher (FF/ALDE – North West)

Committee on Petitions

  • Mairead McGuinness (FG/EPP – East)

A boring list, but usefull information.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tomorrow, Please Vote Fine Gael number 1.

The upcoming elections give the people of Ireland a chance to say enough is enough. Enough of this Government that wasted the boom, enough of Government that has not delivered, enough of a Government that is ensuring Ireland is one of the last European countries to recover from this Global Recession. As a young unemployed person, I want to see Fianna Fáil out as quickly as possible.

A vote for Fine Gael tomorrow, is only the only the start in getting Fianna Fáil out. To hit Fianna Fáil you need to hit them where it hurts, at the ballot box. That is where Fianna Fáil get there power, from control of local authorities and appointments made through them. June 5th is the starting place.

A vote for Fine Gael will help ensure that Fianna Fáil will not be in the next Government. Labour, if the maths are right, they will go into power with Fianna Fáil like they have done in the past.

Fine Gael is committed to improving Ireland. It is committed to getting people back to work. It is committed to getting rid of waste in the civil service and especially the health service, so that it is efficient and serves the people it is there for.

In the last 12 months the Governments have had two major opportunities to bring the public finances into order and on both occasions missed opportunities to bring about much needed change. But these elections will not change that straight away. We have to wait for a General Election for that.

A vote for Senator Paschal Donohoe in Dublin Central and George Lee in Dublin South will bring the possibility of a General Election closer then you think. Senator Donohoe has shown that is committed to Dublin Central though his work inside and outside the Oireachtas. He has worked hard and will continue to work hard in the Dáil for Dublin Central and Ireland. George Lee brings a wealth of economic experience to Fine Gael and to the Dáil if elected in Dublin South. George consistently warned about the way our economy was headed during the boom years by paying attention to what outside reports were saying, unlike the Government.

Fine Gael has represented Ireland well in the European Parliament. As the largest Irish Party, it has represented us in the European Peoples Party – European Democrats (EPP-ED) grouping in the Parliament. Fine Gael has used its position in the group to ensure Ireland’s position. The five Irish MEP’s are held in high regard both within the Grouping and across the Parliament. Gay Mitchell in Dublin, Mairead McGuinneas and John Paul Phelan in East, Jim Higgins and Joe O’Reilly in North-West and Colm Burke and Sean Kelly in South represent a mix of youth and experience from both within politics and in outside bodies. They are committed to representing us to ensure they get the best for Ireland.

The local elections see a large number of young candidates running for election. From Simon Harris in Greystones to Sinead Shepard in Cobh and many more across the country Fine Gael have encouraged young people to stand up and take part in their communities and play a positive role. This is an opportunity that should be open to all, but Fine Gael actually live up to rhetoric and actually support young people and helps them to make changes in their locality.

Fine Gael is committed to ensuring there is something to leave our younger generations. To encourage them to pick up the mantel, to help in getting Fianna Fáil out of power to ensure there is a bright future ahead.

Tomorrow you can help start that change! Vote Fine Gael

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]