HIG­GINS HEADS FOR LANDSLIDE

Poll has pres­i­dent with 70% of first pref­er­ence votes

Irish Daily Mirror - - STATESIDE - By Brynmor pattison

PRES­I­DENT Michael D hig­gins is on course to be re-elected in a landslide vic­tory, poll­sters re­vealed yes­ter­day.

The Paddy Power/red C sur­vey shows the cur­rent head of state is sit­ting on 70% of first pref­er­ence sup­port.

That’s 3% up on the last Red C poll and is miles ahead of the other can­di­dates.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey Sean Gal­lagher is the clos­est at 14%, down one, while Joan Free­man has 6% of the vote that’s up 3% on the last poll.

Sinn Fein’s Li­adh Ni Ri­ada dropped two points to 5%, while Gavin Duffy is also down two to 4%. Peter Casey props up the field with just 1% of sup­port.

The re­main­ing per­cent­age point was gained from the failed can­di­dacy of Gemma O’do­herty.

A to­tal of 8% of peo­ple are still un­de­cided. The re­sults were an­nounced on RTE Ra­dio One’s To­day With Sean O’rourke show yes­ter­day.

Red C sam­pled 1,000 peo­ple aged 18 and over by tele­phone be­tween Oc­to­ber 3 and 10. Some of those con­tacted would have been spo­ken to af­ter this week’s Bud­get. Mr Hig­gins en­joys broad ap­peal and is backed by 58% of Fianna Fail vot­ers and 78% of Fine Gael vot­ers.

He is sup­ported by 85% of Labour back­ers, and a sim­i­lar num­ber of those who vote for In­de­pen­dent can­di­dates. And 55% of Sinn Fein vot­ers will sup­port the in­cum­bent.

Mr Hig­gins is very pop­u­lar with younger peo­ple and can ex­pect 83% of 18 to 34 year olds to vote for him. Around 66% of those aged 35 and older will also en­dorse him.

Mr Gal­lagher has 26% of Fianna Fail vot­ers, 12% of Fine Gael, 14% of Labour, 2% of Sinn Fein and 14% of In­de­pen­dent sup­port­ers.

Mrs Free­man has 10% of FF, 3% of FG, 3% of SF, 1% of In­de­pen­dents and no Labour back­ers. The poll found Ms Ni Ri­ada has 2% of FF, 1% of FG, 33% of Sinn Fein vot­ers, 1% of In­de­pen­dents and no Labour vot­ers.

Mr Duffy can ex­pect the sup­port of 4% of FF, 5% of FG, 1% of Labour vot­ers, 3% of Sinn Fein and no In­de­pen­dents.

And Mr Casey has 1% of Fine Gael, 3% of Sinn Fein and no Fianna Fail, Labour or In­de­pen­dents.

Mean­while, there is an over­whelm­ing con­sen­sus for a full ac­count of the ex­pen­di­ture within the of­fice of the pres­i­dency.

And 65% of peo­ple who took part in a Paddy Power sur­vey be­lieve Mr Hig­gins €250,000 salary is much too high.

A spokesman for the bookie said: “As a na­tion that prides our­selves in be­grudgery, there’s noth­ing like the thoughts of some­one liv­ing in a free gaff that’s be­ing paid for by the State who is also in re­ceipt of a whop­per salary to get our blood boil­ing.

“Our poll proves this in spades, with 65% of the pop­u­la­tion agree­ing a ‘re­duced’ salary of a quar­ter of a mil­lion per an­num for the Pres­i­dent on top of all the other bells and whis­tles he gets, is much too high.”

Joan Free­man +3

Gavin Duffy -2

Michael D Hig­gins +3

Sean Gal­lagher -1

Li­adh Ni Ri­ada -2

Peter Casey +0

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