Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dana considering Presidential run

The Irish Times reports today that former MEP Rosemary “Dana” Scallon is considering an attempt to get on the ballot paper for the presidential election this October,
The story continues
"[...]according to her brother John Brown who acts as her spokesman.“She is deliberating on the matter and is looking at it very seriously,” he said yesterday following Senator David Norris’s decision to withdraw.

Mr Brown said that Ms Scallon had come under great pressure from various elements in society to stand in the election. He said she had gone on a two-week holiday and would make a decision on whether or not to seek a nomination on her return.

Mr Brown said the message was coming through that the people wanted to decide who would be president and they didn’t want the decision made for them by political parties. To secure a place on the ballot paper Ms Scallon would need the backing of four county councils or 20 Oireachtas members.

She ran for the presidency in 1997 and secured her place on the ballot paper by winning a nomination from four county councils.

Ms Scallon finished third in that election behind Mary McAleese of Fianna Fáil and Mary Banotti of Fine Gael. But she was ahead of Labour Party candidate Adi Roche.

She picked up more than 175,000 first-preference votes in that poll, winning the support of 13.8 per cent of the electorate, and expressed interest in running again in 2004 but was unable to secure a nomination. President McAleese was automatically returned.

Ms Scallon was elected an MEP for Ireland West in the 1999 European election, but failed to retain her seat in 2004. She also ran in the Galway West constituency in the general election of 2002 but was not elected.

As an MEP she campaigned strongly against the Nice Treaty and against the abortion referendum proposals advanced by Bertie Ahern’s administration in 2001. The electorate voted No in both referendums but in the second Nice referendum in 2002 a majority voted in favour. [...]

Interestingly two straw polls in yesterdays Independent looked at the prospects of all candidates.
The first presented a list of candidates who have declared to date or who had expressed a wish to do so and then added a category "none of the above". The result of this first straw poll was that 43% chose the "none of the above" category.

The second straw poll asked if Dana entered the race would you give her your No, 1 vote. At the time of writing, this straw poll is still live and can be accessed on this link . Whilst there is as yet no final result the poll clearly shows that there is massive support for Dana.