Friday 19 January 2018

Johnny Fallon: Why Gallagher is seen as a fresh start by worn-out voters

Johnny Fallon

THE latest set of opinion polls all point to one thing. Sean Gallagher is the most popular presidential candidate by some distance. Michael D. Higgins will still hope that he can make up ground with transfers but it is now looking like a tall order. There has been some surprise expressed at what exactly has made Gallagher so popular, but in his campaign there may be many lessons for politicians in the future.

Ireland has taken a battering in recent years. Most of its entire people have taken the hit. There is a fatigue with self-flagellation and blame. Once the general election was over the populace have become eager to start looking forward and daring to hope again. One crucial factor in the presidential campaign is to understand what people want.

There is enormous respect out there for Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese, but despite that respect there is also a hunger for a different type of president. Similar to the mood in 1990 this is not a reproach to previous office holders but merely a feeling that people would like something a little different.

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