Senator David Norris is outright favourite among potential candidates to be the next President, an opinion poll suggests.
The colourful gay rights campaigner and Joycean scholar is favoured by 27pc of voters in the race for Aras an Uachtarain.
The Red C survey - commissioned by bookmaker Paddy Power - shows Mr Ahern picks up support particularly from younger voters.
Researchers interviewed a random sample of 1,000 adults, aged over 18, by telephone between January 4 and 6.
Potential Labour candidates Michael D Higgins and Fergus Finlay split the vote between them, with the poll suggesting one of the candidates could take close to 20pc support.
However, Mr Finlay isn't as popular among Labour supporters as the Galway West TD.
But support does not necessarily run along party lines.
Senator David Norris gets solid support from backers of most political parties, except Fianna Fail.