58% switched to Higgins after debate

 

POLL:AN OPINION poll conducted on the day of the election shows there was a significant swing from Seán Gallagher to Michael D Higgins in the wake of the television debate involving all of the candidates last Monday night.

A total of 35 per cent said they were influenced a lot by the RTÉ Frontlinedebate; 20 per cent said they were influenced a little and 45 per cent said they were not at all influenced by it.

A total of 28 per cent of voters said they changed their minds in the final week of the campaign with 58 per cent of them switching from Mr Gallagher to Mr Higgins.

The telephone poll, conducted by Red C for RTÉ on the day of the election, showed that 38 per cent of voters made up their minds in the final two or three days of the campaign.

In regional terms Mr Higgins won 46 per cent of the vote in Dublin compared to 16 per cent for Seán Gallagher. In Munster Mr Higgins led by 40 per cent to 33 per cent. In the rest of Leinster his lead was 36 per cent to 31 per cent and in Connacht-Ulster he led by 37 per cent to 31 per cent.

Mr Higgins captured the support of 70 per cent of those who voted for the Labour Party in last February’s general election but Gay Mitchell won only 15 per cent support among those who voted for Fine Gael in that election.

The poll showed that Mr Higgins captured three times as many Fine Gael voters as Mr Mitchell while Mr Gallagher won more votes from Fine Gael supporters than the party’s own candidate.

Among Fianna Fáil voters last February 62 per cent voted for Mr Gallagher while almost half of those who voted for the party in 2007 voted for him.

Martin McGuinness attracted the backing of 70 per cent of those who voted Sinn Féin in February.