Saturday 20 January 2018

Exciting Independent could win Aras race

The success of broadcaster Gay Byrne in effectively hijacking the presidential election is a sad commentary on the quality of the candidates on offer. With Fianna Fail seemingly determined to sit it out, the presidential election was Fine Gael's to lose.

Instead, former Taoiseach John Bruton declined the opportunity to run while the party's electoral college in its wisdom chose Gay Mitchell, whose appeal is confined largely to Dublin. Things are only marginally better for the Labour Party. While Michael D Higgins is well-regarded in cultural and artistic circles, how will he fare with the wider public during a long presidential election campaign? If the recent Red C poll, which put Mr Higgins on just 21pc, is any guide, the public might find it harder to warm to Mr Higgins.

All of which means that if Gaybo does decline to run, there is still time for another candidate to emerge to challenge the political parties' grip on the Aras.

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