HIGGINS HEADS FOR LANDSLIDE
Poll has president with 70% of first preference votes
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