An opinion poll in the Irish Independent at the weekend indicates that former poll topper Mairead McGuinness could have a battle on her hands to retain her European seat in the forthcoming elections.
The Millward Brown Opinion Poll published in Saturday’s Independent placed Ms McGuinness at 11%, neck and neck with her Fine Gael colleague Jim Higgins.
The figures relate to first preferences only and while they do not spell great new for McGuinness, she is one of the most transfer friendly candidates on the ballot paper this year.
The surge of Sinn Fein’s fortunes looks set to continue with Monaghan’s Matt Carthy polling at 17%, indicating that he may top the poll in the Midlands North West constituency.
Meath man Thomas Byrne is polling in second place at 16%, considerably ahead of party colleague Pat the Cope Gallagher who polled 9%.
Roscommon TD Luke Ming Flanagan polled a very respectable 12% with Independent Marian Harkin also resting at 12%.
No government candidated featured in the first four listed in the poll in this four seat constituency.
Incidentally, Louth cannabis campaigner Mark Fitzsimons polled 3% with the Green Party’s Mark Dearey, polling at 2%.
The Midlands North West constituency comprises of 15 counties from Donegal to Louth and down to Kildare, earning it the nickname Malin M50 .