Independent Media Centre Ireland

Joe Higgins is up two to 9% and could cause an upset in European election

category dublin | politics / elections | other press author Saturday May 30, 2009 00:38author by Socialist Party

Irish Times and RTE say that Joe Higgins is now fighting with Eoin Ryan and Mary Lou McDonald for the last MEP seat in Dublin.

Fierce battle for European seat


Fri, May 29, 2009

A fierce battle is underway for the last European Parliament seat in Dublin with Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party now in the reckoning along with Eoin Ryan of Fianna Fáil and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin, according to the latest Irish Times /TNS mrbi poll.

Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael and Proinsias De Rossa of the Labour Party seem assured of taking the first two seats in the capital.

The leading vote-getter in the poll, which was conducted with mock ballot papers, is Brian Crowley of Fianna Fáil who is closely followed Maireád McGuinness and Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael.

The poll was conducted from Tuesday to Thursday of this week among a representative sample of 2,000 voters. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 500 people in each of the four Euro constituencies. The margin of error is 2 per cent.

Declan Ganley of Libertas is stuck on just 9 per cent of the first preference vote in the North West constituency and has showed no improvement since the last poll.

Pat “The Cope” Gallagher of Fianna Fáil, with 20 per cent, leads the field in the constituency, followed by Independent, Marian Harkin, on 19 per cent and Jim Higgins of Fine Gael on 17 per cent.

The second Fine Gael candidate, Joe O’Reilly, has gained 2 points to 10 per cent, with a massive share of the vote in his native Cavan and the surrounding counties, while Sinn Féin candidate Pádraig MacLochlainn has slipped back to 9 per cent.

The likely winners in North West are Mr Gallagher, Mr Higgins and Ms Harkin.

In Dublin Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael leads the field with 28 per cent, followed by Proinsias De Rossa of the Labour Party with 25 per cent.

There is a big gap between them and the chasing field which is led by Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin on 11 per cent, followed by Eoin Ryan and Joe Higins on 9 per cent each.

Deirdre De Búrca of the Greens is next on 6 per cent, followed by former Green, Patricia McKenna, who has slipped back to 5 per cent the same as Eibhlín Byrne of Fianna Fáil. Caroline Simons of Libertas is on 2 per cent.

The transfers from the weaker candidates will determine who wins the three-way contest for the final seat.

In the East constituency the surge in support for Labour candidate, Nessa Childers, appears to have put paid to Fine Gael’s chances of holding two seats.

Maireád McGuinness will hold her seat for Fine Gael while Liam Aylward of Fianna Fáil also looks assured of holding his seat.

In the South constituency, Brian Crowley of Fianna Fáil has improved his position at the head of the field with 30 per cent, followed by Seán Kelly of Fine Gael, with 16 per cent. Both are almost certain of election.

Independent MEP Kathy Sinnott has gained two points since the last poll and is in with a good chance of holding off the challenge of Labour’s Alan Kelly, who has dropped back a point to 12 per cent. Transfers from Toireasa Ferris of Sinn Féin and Colm Burke of Fine Gael will be critical in determining the fate of the last seat.

© 2009

FF could lose Dublin European seat
watch listen Friday, 29 May 2009 22:46

A poll in tomorrow's Irish Times suggests that Fianna Fáil is in real danger of losing its European seat in Dublin.

It shows support for Eoin Ryan has slipped 2 points to 9% while his rival Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Fein has slipped 3 to 11%.

However, Socialist Joe Higgins is up two to 9% and could cause an upset.

The MRBI poll also indicates that Labour could return two extra MEPs.

Alan Kelly in the South and Nessa Childers in the East are believed to be in with a chance of winning new seats for Eamon Gilmore's team.

Earlier, a tns/MRBI poll in today's Irish Times showed Labour is the only party to show significant improvements since the last poll a fortnight ago.

If Fianna Fáil was hoping for a late surge in support as this election campaign enters its final week - there is no sign of it yet.

The party's support is at 20%, down one point since the last Irish Times poll two weeks ago.

Fine Gael is down two, but is still by far the party with the most support in the poll, with 36% support.

Labour is the only party to gain in this poll - it is up three points to 23%, in second place ahead of Fianna Fáil.

The Greens are unchanged at three, Sinn Féin drops one to eight, and Independents and others are up one to 10.

Satisfaction with the Government is up slightly, by two points to 12% - but 84% remain dissatisfied with its performance.

Satisfaction with Taoiseach Brian Cowen is also up, by three points - but at 21% he has the lowest satisfaction rating.

Eamon Gilmore retains the highest satisfaction rating, at 49%, though this is down two points in a fortnight.

Comments (5 of 5)

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author by Supporterpublication date Sat May 30, 2009 00:41author address author phone

Go to and volunteer to help in Joe Higgins election campaign and also donate much needed funds to help win a seat in the European Elections.

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Mon Jun 01, 2009 18:11author address author phone

Speaking at a press conference, the Taoiseach warned voters in the capital that the policies of Sinn Féin and the Socialist Party would not bring either jobs or investment to Dublin.

Mr Cowen was commenting following the latest Irish Times TNS/mrbi opinion poll which shows that Socialist Party candidate Joe Higgins is now in the reckoning for the final European seat in the capital along with Eoin Ryan and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin.

Calling on voters to support his party's candidates, Mr Cowen said: "the last thing Dublin and Ireland needs are representatives in Europe who have anti-EU policy agendas. They will be on the fringes of the Parliament. They will not have the allies or the influence to ensure Dublin benefits to the maximum possible extent from the EU funding opportunities that will be available to the region over the coming years."

"The policies of Sinn F€in and the Socialist Party will not bring one job or one euro of investment to Dublin. On the contrary, their election would send out the wrong message to foreign investors about support in our capital city for Europe and could cost Dublin jobs and investment," he claimed."

In other words - if you hate us - you know who to vote for !

author by B.Warned - Nonepublication date Mon Jun 01, 2009 20:56author address author phone

The use of negative polls as a rallying call has always been a mobilising technique of Fianna Fail.They have always used downward percentages or close margins to scare their supporters into coming out enmasse on polling days.

Percentage increase for Joe Higgins is great news,but lets think like the enemy.Lets mobilise enmasse to support socialist candidates both in Euro and Local Elections as if success is depending on every single last vote.

Dont get complacent by thinking that polls give a comfort zone,they are not reliable and if used as such will stifle supportive show on the day.

author by Terry Meagharpublication date Mon Jun 01, 2009 21:35author address author phone

Now is the time for all workers , pensioners, parents & unemployed to ensure a win for progressive candidates next Friday. Make sure you vote (early & often) and get others to do so.

author by Harry Richardspublication date Mon Jun 01, 2009 22:35author address author phone

I think that Cowen's red-scare can only increase the votes for Socialist Party and Sinn Féin. The enemies of FF will now know who to back. Even FG/Labour sympathisers will be aware that the real battle will be between Higgins, McDonald and Ryan and may tactically give them the first prederence. I'm sure DeRossa isn't happy that Higgins is in a close battle!

I also think it's ironic that Cowen is attacking SP and SF for economics!!! It's FF-Greens-PDs that have crashed the economy and have lost thousands of jobs. The left are offering real viable solutions and have a real alternative.

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