Gallagher in commanding lead, latest Áras poll shows

 

Independent candidate Seán Gallagher has built up a substantial lead going into the final days of the presidential election campaign, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

The poll shows Mr Gallagher has doubled his share of the vote since the last Irish Times poll less than three weeks ago to 40 per cent and he has pulled well ahead of Labour Party candidate Michael D Higgins, who lags behind on 25 per cent.

All of the other candidates have lost support since the last poll.

While Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness remains in third place, he is now well behind the two front-runners.

Support for Senator David Norris and Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael has continued to slide and both are now well out of contention.

Mary Davis has dropped into joint last place with Dana Rosemary Scallon as voters move to Mr Gallagher’s camp in large numbers.

The controversy surrounding Mr Gallagher’s membership of the Fianna Fáil national executive and his business dealings was in full spate while the poll was being taken at the end of last week.

When people were asked who they would vote for if the presidential election was held tomorrow, the figures (when the 21 per cent of undecided voters were excluded) compared to the last Irish Times poll on October 4th were: Seán Gallagher 40 per cent (up 20 points); Michael D Higgins 25 per cent (up two points); Martin McGuinness 15 per cent (down four points); David Norris 8 per cent (down three points); Gay Mitchell 6 per cent (down three points); Mary Davis 3 per cent (down nine points); and Dana Rosemary Scallon 3 per cent (no change).

The poll was taken on Thursday and Friday among a representative sample of 1,000 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all 43 constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.