Thursday 14 November 2019

Gallagher confident he can close the gap on Higgins

Hopeful: Seán Gallagher at the launch of his campaign. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Hopeful: Seán Gallagher at the launch of his campaign. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Conor McCrave and Laura Larkin

Presidential candidate Seán Gallagher moved to dismiss concerns over a poll which showed that he was trailing Michael D Higgins by a wide margin.

The businessman's campaign launch in the Shelbourne Hotel coincided with the release of a Red C poll which showed him at 14pc - a significant way behind Mr Higgins on 70pc.

"I'm focused not on the polls, I'm focused on election day, I'm focused on conveying my vision," he told the Irish Independent.

He was asked questions about the uphill battle facing him and the fact that something unprecedented would need to happen now for him to surpass the incumbent - even more so than the 'Frontline' debate which he has suggested derailed his 2011 campaign in its final days.

Mr Gallagher said: "I am living proof that many unprecedented things can happen.

"I think campaigns matter and we do have two weeks and I believe people are only now beginning to engage in the process of the election itself and we will have debates and we will have discourse and we will have issues... and most importantly people will engage and reflect," he said.

The poll showed Mr Higgins is on course to be re-elected, with Senator Joan Freeman third on 6pc, Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riada on 5pc, Gavin Duffy on 4pc, and Peter Casey on 1pc.

Red C sampled 1,000 people aged 18 and over at random by telephone between October 3 and 10. The results were revealed on RTÉ's 'Today With Seán O'Rourke' programme.

Irish Independent

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