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Poll places Norris far ahead in Aras race

SENATOR David Norris remains the most popular choice to replace Mary McAleese as President, according to a new opinion poll, writes Fiach Kelly.

But former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is not completely out of the running, despite widespread public anger over his handling of the economy and massive pension payoffs.

Mr Ahern came third on 12pc in the poll carried out by Red C for bookmaker Paddy Power.

However, Mr Ahern and second-placed Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness -- slightly ahead on 13pc -- both trail Mr Norris, who is far ahead on 27pc.

Labour's Michael D Higgins is next on 11pc, followed by party colleague Fergus Finlay on 10pc, with Fianna Fail Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley also taking 10pc.

Mr Ahern has yet to definitively rule running in the presidential election, which is due to take place later this year.

Mr Norris yesterday said the poll was encouraging but said it was very early days in the race and another candidate, capable of winning the election, could still emerge.

Irish Independent