Egg on face 2
// October 23rd, 2011 // GE11
So we’re going into the final furlong or the last straight and the race has shifted considerably since the first attempt at this I had made. And how wrong that was, or right in some cases. Never one to back away from the table when there is the chance to double down and get more egg on my face. Here is my current assessment of what the 1st preference vote percentages will be.
Gallagher 31% – this is down considerable on what the polls are saying, my reasoning being that as his support base has grown so much only in the last few weeks that it is soft and open to picking away at by each of the other candidates. Some of whom may attempt to get people to lend them a No.1 before returning it to Gallagher in transfers if only to allow them to claim some expenses. I would hold that his surge to the top is down to two factors other than his own likeability (a) to a strongly anti-politician mindset on the part of the public and (b) because Gallagher is the least urban or urbane of the candidates. Davis, Norris, Mitchell are Dublin based, Higgins for all that he is from and of the West is an academic, McGuinness has no geographical base in the south, nor does Dana in truth though more of her support is in the West than elsewhere. So Gallagher has become go-to guy for the more rural minded folks, he is their George Bush, someone they could see themselves going for a pint or mug of tea with.
Higgins 24.8% – again I have him a little weaker than the polls show him because I think that he has never nailed down the support that was there for him. He has taken no risks and while he is competent and respected, that hasn’t translated in he being seen as inspirational.
McGuinness 13.7% – He will be seen has having underachieved and I believe his candidacy has actually ill served the SF cause in the south as it reminded too many people of the darkest days troubles and how SF and republican movement were in the thick of that awfulness. Made rather excessive claims for kudos for his role in slowing and eventually stopping the destruction of an avalanche of violence than he had himself assisted in setting in motion in the first place. That said had SF run someone of considerably less prominence I suspect their support would have struggled to match the GE result, but what harm.
Mitchell 11.4% – I still reckon a fair few FGers will give their No. 1 to Mitchell once they are in the polling booth. But it will be more out of sorrow than joy. I somehow doubt that the transfers from the 3 lower candidates will be enough for him to overhaul McGuinness. I think that after this election, FG need to seriously reassess the General Election result and realise that the public’s embrace was much more one of desperation and despair than of new found devotion the party and all its works. Trust and support needs to be earned, we’re on probation with the public (as all governments are in truth) and we need to give them more reasons to vote for us, rather than reinforcing the reasons not to vote for X or Y. Because along will come a Z and get the support we had loosened from X and Y.
Norris 10.5% – Some might imagine this a disaster but being in the race and being credible for so long is a triumph in itself. I don’t think he gets enough transfers from the 2 to be eliminated before him to claim his expenses which is a pity.
Davis 4.4% – I guess this is the difference between a well-funded campaign and a well-planned one. Gallagher had a plan to mark himself as the sensible non-establishment candidate (how someone so steeped in the largest party for so long can be able to so easily tag himself as the anti-establishment candidate is truly stunning. )
Scallon 4.2% - there is still an constituency out there for Dana, even if it is from people who feel sorry for her and themselves. She could yet make a return to Europe if she could see her vote in the West exceed 13%, that will be one of the interesting vignettes to look out for. That could be a platform for her if she could combine with Declan Ganley’s organisation.