Wednesday 26 October 2016

Floating Voter Day 10: Dáil hopefuls reveal political crushes for Valentine’s Day

Compiled by Cormac McQuinn

Published 13/02/2016 | 02:30

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Reuters
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Reuters
Sarah Palin. Photo: Reuters
The Tweeting Voter: "A Valentine special! As a child of the 80s and a Rick Astley fan..." - Lorraine Higgins @LorHiggins
Actor Johnny Depp. Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Beyonce. Photo: Reuters

It's the most romantic weekend of the year, but our campaigning politicians have no time for flowers and chocolates. Floating Voter asked some candidates who their dream political date would be.

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"Sarah Palin - to find out what goes on in her head," said Fine Gael's Alan Shatter.

"It's not fiscal space but it could be outer space. She's certainly spaced out. There's nothing about her policies I'd remotely share but it would be fascinating," he said of the former beauty queen and vice presidential candidate.

His Galway East Party colleague, Ciaran Cannon, said: "I could play gooseberry to Alan Shatter and Sarah Palin just to see what they'd talk about."

Dublin Rathdown's Josepha Madigan said: "Alastair Campbell.

"I wouldn't agree with him on everything but it would be interesting."

Dun Laoghaire candidate Mary Mitchell O'Connor likes dashing former US presidential candidate Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland.

Meanwhile, for Labour's Lorraine Higgins it's the devastatingly handsome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "If you can put in a good word for me I'd appreciate it!," she adds.

She might have competition in the form of Fine Gael's Cork North Central's Julie O'Leary. "He's got ambition and he knows how to use it," she says of Trudeau.

Labour leader Joan Burton is apparently also attracted to power. She said her dream date would be US President Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, a couple of candidates looked outside the political sphere.

"Can I not say Johnny Depp?," asked Mayo's Michelle Mulherin.

And Dublin Central's Joe Costello picked Beyoncé. Apparently she sang a political song at the Superbowl.

"She absolutely lit up the whole place," Joe said dreamily.


Out on the campaign trail, candidates were pulling Valentine's stunts in a bid to win the electorate's love. Cork South Central's Jerry Buttimer was handing out heart-emblazoned Kit Kats to motorists.

He also offered one to Frances Fitzgerald and Simon Coveney when they arrived for a Fine Gael event in the city.

"He gives them to all the ministers," someone quipped when Simon got his.

Though Floating Voter didn't see Taoiseach Enda Kenny offered one when he arrived.

In Dublin, Mary Mitchell O'Connor had love heart sweets for her romance-struck voters in Killiney.


Every Tuesday and Friday, our new podcasts on cut through the soundbites in the General Election. The Floating Voter, hosted by INM Group Political Editor Kevin Doyle, will go behind the headlines with political correspondents Niall O’Connor and Philip Ryan to debate the parties, personalities and the parish pump.

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