Presidential battle down to two
The presidential election, due to take place on 27th October appears to be down to two contenders if the latest opinion polls are to be believed.
A poll by Red C for the Sunday Business Post puts Independent candidate Seán Gallagher on 39% and another by Quantum Research for the Sunday Independent puts him on 29%. In an almost mirror image, the two polls swop over when it comes to Labour Party candidate Michael Higgins. In the Red C poll he gets 27% and in the Quantum Research poll he gets 36%.
Other candidates in the race do not appear to be making much late campaign impact. Martin McGuiness of Sinn Féin has dropped from a high of 19% to just 13% in both of the recent polls and comes third.
Most embarrassing of all is the poor performance by governing party Fine Gael candidate Gay Mitchell. Prime Minister Enda Kenny will be concerned that his candidate is polling just 8% and 6% in the two polls and appears to be fading fast.
David Norris, who was the frontrunner early on, has plummeted from 21% to less than 10%.
The role of president in Ireland is largely ceremonial, but this election appears to have created a buzz if only for some of the non political controversies that have arisen during the campaign.