I did say yesterday that, if pressed, I’d put money on Senator Brian O’ Domhnaill winning the Donegal by-election, but only just. I said Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty would be a close second and when I say “close second” I mean “several recounts and a handbag fight” close second.
But a Red C poll (Yes, hold on regular readers, just for a second) places the SF man way out in front, with 40% of the first preference and 19% of the second. That scenario is a convincing win for Sinn Fein and a bad loss, worse than they probably are thinking, for Fianna Fail and also Labour who are lagging behind.
I’ve never made any secret of my distaste and disbelief in polling and if another one two days from now says something completely different I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. I only give this one credence because it’s the only poll so far and its a pretty conclusive result.
So, it would appear that Doherty is the man to beat. His role in the calling of the election just gave him a running start, a talking point that was pretty much unassailable.
So unless the poll is inaccurate (and that a big “unless” this is just 510 people we’re talking about) or something comes up in the next week to floor Doherty, it would appear that he’ll have the seat.
He won’t bring down the government though, as much as he likes to claim.