Northern Ireland

Irish presidential election: Gallagher stretches poll lead

Sean Gallagher
Image caption Sean Gallagher came to prominence as one of the panel on the Irish version of Dragon's Den

Independent candidate Sean Gallagher has maintained a strong lead in the latest opinion poll ahead of the Irish presidential election next week.

The Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post newspaper suggests that Mr Gallagher is on 40 per cent, up one point from seven days ago.

His nearest rival is Labour candidate Michael D Higgins on 26 (-1) while Martin McGuinness is unchanged on 13.

Another independent, David Norris, is up three on 10.

Fine Gael candidate Gay Mitchell is on six while independent Dana Rosemary Scallon is on three (up two) and Mary Davis is on 2 (minus one).

Another poll for the Sunday Times puts Sean Gallagher on 38, Michael D Higgins on 26, Martin McGuinness on 17, Gay Mitchell on eight, David Norris on six, Mary Davis on three and Dana Rosemary Scallon on two.

Mr Gallagher has maintained his lead despite increasing scrutiny of his links to the opposition Fianna Fail party and his business affairs.

He came to prominence as one of the panel on the Irish version of the popular business television programme, Dragon's Den.

The election takes place on Thursday.

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