Sunday 25 February 2018

Harris snapping at Clune's heels for Europe, says FG poll

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

FINE Gael's polling research shows party TD Simon Harris chasing hard on fellow candidate Senator Deirdre Clune in the European elections race.

Mr Harris is the party's new candidate for the European elections in the Ireland South constituency.

The party began a hunt for a candidate in the south-east after former IFA President John Bryan decided not to run for the party. Mr Harris will join sitting MEP Sean Kelly and Ms Clune on the party ticket in the constituency, which covers Munster and south Leinster.

Fine Gael badly needed a candidate in the Leinster end of the constituency as both Mr Kelly and Ms Clune are based in Munster.

Mr Harris, the youngest TD in the Dail and a member of the Dail Public Accounts Committee, is based in Wicklow.

The polling is understood to have shown Mr Kelly on 18pc, Ms Clune on 10pc and Mr Harris on 7pc – a solid showing before his hat was in the ring.

The party is seeking to win two seats in the Ireland South constituency.

The current polling figures would indicate Mr Kelly will win a seat and Ms Clune and Mr Harris would be in contention for a second seat, depending on which of the two gets ahead.

Fianna Fail MEP Brian Crowley is expected to top the poll, followed by Mr Kelly, leaving two seats up for grabs.

Aside from Fine Gael, Sinn Fein's Liadh Ni Riada is polling well while Labour Party MEP Phil Prendergast is struggling to hold her seat.

Mr Harris, a new Fine Gael TD from Wicklow, is understood to have performed far more strongly in the polls than his counterparts, Andrew Doyle from Wicklow and Michael D'Arcy from Wexford.

Irish Independent

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