There are two polls left in this presidential campaign. One (already leaked) doesn’t matter.
The other matters a lot.
Already the good folk at politics.ie are mulling the numbers from the last Red C poll and what they mean; by rights, they should mean nothing. But they do.
Apart from the die-hard hard right (Mitchell) and the utterly bonkers (Dana), there aren’t too many who will want to back a loser at this stage, and many voters will spend tomorrow choosing which of the winners to back.
Add the transfers of Mitchell and Dana, plus those of Mary Davis, to Gallagher’s considerable lead and he is likely to win.
Much as Norris loved not wisely but too well, the left has suffered from having three strong candidates in the field.
How Michael D must now regret playing his cards so close to his chest and not building on his lead before Gallagher got to work.
The showing of McGuinness (several points ahead of what his party managed in the general election) is a sign of how out of step the media are when it comes to the mood of the people.
Unsurprisingly, Independent Newspapers went after him from the off, as did Newstalk to a certain extent. Miriam O’Callaghan’s attempt to put a new slant on old questions backfired badly, damaging her reputation more than his.
If the media was out of touch with the mood of the people, so too was Norris. His handling of the clemency letters issue is surely the greatest Irish political misjudgment since Parnell said “it’s grand lads, as soon as she gets the divorce we’re cushty.”
But whatever the numbers posted in the Red C poll tomorrow, it should make no difference to how you vote. Nor should the platitudes, waffle and misleading questions of the debates.
Instead, voters should consider the careers of the candidates to date to find out what they really stand for. In doing so, all the spin and PR stunts, the bon mots and road-to-Damascus conversions fall away, hopefully leaving each honest voter with the person whom they feel best represents our country.
In doing so, spare a thought for those of us that are denied a vote. Successive Irish governments believe it OK to turn to the non-resident Irish in times of crisis, demanding that we play our part in a recovery but denying us any chance of representation in the process. For more information visit www.ballotbox.ie