Its official as of this week the Irish Presidential Election will take place on Friday, October 26th. On the same-day, there will vote on Thirty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Repeal of offence of publication or utterance of blasphemous matter) Bill 2018.
A number of candidates are vying to get on the on the ticket to challenge sitting President Michael D Higgins. There are three ways to get on the ballot paper, a sitting President (or former President who served only one term) may nominate themselves, nomination by 20 members of the Oireachtas or by nomination by 4 local authorities.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have both said they will not be nominating a candidate and will be supporting the President. Labour who nominated Michael D Higgins in 2011 are supporting him in this election.
Sinn Fein will also be announcing a candidate. They have a process in train and will announce a candidate on the 10th of September.
The last Presidential election in 2011 had a record 7 candidates, this year could equal that or exceed it providing that the independents in the Dail and Seanad agree on a candidate and the county councils nominate the maximum number of candidates. There are 31 councils (26 County Councils, 3 City Councils and 2 City & County Councils), 4 per candidate meaning 6 possible candidates from this route, as well as the incumbent and the Sinn Fein Nominee, meaning a possible 8 candidates from the 11 announced so far.
I hope to keep this post updated as nominations come in before the deadline on September 26th
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.
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
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.
A feature of any election campaign, is the election broadcasts. This year is no different. So far only broadcasts from Mary Davis and Sean Gallagher have been aired. I will endeavour to post the others as they are aired.
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?
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:
Micheal D Higgins,
Dana Rosemary Scallon,
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.
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.
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.
Sean Gallagher tonight secured his final two nominations needed to contest the Presidential Election. Following his nomination last week by Leitrim County Council and Meath Council, Mr Gallagher was today nominated by Clare County Council and Cork City Council.
This makes Mr Gallagher the fourth candidate to succeed in gaining a nomination from councils in order to contest the Presidential Election. This means that he joins Mary Davis, Micheal D Higgins and Gay Mitchell on the Ballot Paper.