The Irish Times has what looks like a fairly definitive take on the race for the Aras:
The big news from the poll is the continued surge in support for Mr Gallagher. He has doubled his level of support despite the media focus over the past week on his role in Fianna Fáil and, potentially more damaging, the controversy surrounding some of his business dealings. Mr Gallagher is now the favoured choice of Fianna Fáil voters and that has given him a solid base on which to build. More surprisingly, he is also in the lead among Fine Gael voters. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is entitled to a quiet smile at the turn of events. He was widely castigated within his own party and outside it for the decision not to nomin
ate a candidate for the presidency. Now an Independent candidate with very close links to the party is on the verge of becoming the ninth president of Ireland, something an official party candidate could not have hoped to do. It goes to show that the Fianna Fáil brand may not be nearly as toxic as some of the party’s opponents have assumed. With the right candidates and the right policies the party may still have an important contribution to make to the country’s political future. It will be fascinating to see how the Fianna Fáil candidate in the Dublin West byelection, David McGuinness, performs on Thursday.
There’s little doubt that SF’s decision to put Martin McGuinness in that brought #Aras11 to life. Who knew that the main beneficiviary may turn out to be Fianna Fail, without even lifting a nominating finger.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty