Norris support plummets as Higgins leads latest poll


Labour’s Michael D Higgins is leading the presidential election race, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll which shows that Independent candidate Sean Gallagher in second place.

The poll also shows Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness is close behind the leaders in third place but support for Senator David Norris and Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael has plummeted over the past two months.

Mr Mitchell is now in second last place ahead of Dana Rosemary Scallon who entered the contest at the last minute.

When people were asked who they would vote for if the presidential election was held tomorrow, the figures (when undecided voters were excluded) compared to the last Irish Times poll on July 19th were: Michael D Higgins 23 per cent (up five points); Sean Gallagher 20 per cent (up seven points); Martin McGuinness 19 per cent (not in last poll); Mary Davis 12 per cent (no change); David Norris 11 per cent (down 14 points); Gay Mitchell 9 per cent (down 11 points); and Dana Rosemary Scallon 6 per cent (not in last poll).

The poll was on Monday and Tuesday of this week 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.

With three weeks to go before the presidential election the poll indicates that unless there is some dramatic development it will come down to a battle between Mr Higgins, Mr Gallagher and Mr McGuinness with the issue being decided on transfers.

Mr Higgins does best when it comes to attracting second preferences, followed by Mr Gallagher while Mr McGuinness does worst of the leading candidates.