Higgins still in the lead, but Gallagher makes gains
The latest presidential poll show Michael D. Higgins very much still in the driving seat to become the next President of Ireland. He takes 25% first preference share, up 7% on just a week ago.
It now looks like it could be Sean Gallagher that gives him any competition. Gallagher jumps a huge 10% in share of first preference and in doing so secures 21% of the vote. This leaves him not far behind Higgins.
However further analysis of possible transfers susggest that on the current figures he would probably fall short of overtaking Higgins. He does well out of Mary Davis potential transfer, but after this as other candidates are eliminated it looks as if Higgins will do much better.
Martin McGuinness secures 16% first preference, the same as he managed two weeks ago. However, other measures in the survey suggest he may struggle to increase this. Over a third say that he is the candidate they would least want to see become President, and his possible transfers also appear limited, apart from within Dana’s limited pool of votes.
Support for David Norris has fallen back heavily, losing 7% first preference share in the past two weeks, leaving him securing just 14% . This means he falls from first place a week ago to fourth place in this poll. He still retains appeal among the public who suggest he is the candidate that they would most like to invite to dinner, but perhaps no longer for the role as President. In fact a relatively high proportion (16%) suggest that he is the candidate that people least want to see become president.
Gay Mitchell has not made any progress and appears to be running out of time in this campaign. He loses 3% share in the past week, which means he secures just 10% of the first preference vote. Most worrying for him will be the fact that just 15% of Fine Gael supporters say they will give him their first preference, with most backing either Higgins or Gallagher.
Mary Davis also suffers over the past two weeks. We had seen her improve her share over a number of polls. But the concerted attacks on her over the past two weeks has seen her share fall by 4%, to leave her securing just 9% first preference in today poll.
Finally, Dana brings up the rear of the field, routed in last place with just 5% of the first preference share. It appears unlikely that this will change as she is the second highest candidate that the people would least like to see become president behind Martin McGuinness.
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