In less then two weeks we'll know for sure whether Fianna Fail will indeed run a candidate for the upcoming Presidential election in October. Gaybo's withdrawal from the race, while a blow to Michael Martin who had approached him about possibly running, left many Fianna Fail members and indeed many not affiliated with the party, quietly satisfied, that he decided not to contest. One might ponder if indeed the t.v chat show 'legend' was ever seriously contemplating it. Was it all just about seeking attention and more of a personal ego trip for him. Nevertheless his withdrawal likewise with Norris, again throws this race wide open. Feels like Deja vu. The same question about where will Norris's declared supporters go will similarly be asked of those who supported Gaybo, or declared they would in polls we've probably all took a glance at in the papers over recent days.
One thing seems assured, we won't get our celebrity in the Aras (well we conceivably could if Martin Sheen, or Michael O Muircheartaigh jumps in the race but that's a long shot!). Personally i think choosing a celebrity candidate is an insult to the office of President, but that's beside the point but what on earth makes them think they're a more suitable choice.
Michael D Higgins leads the pack in the polls, as a result of Gaybo's exist, leaving Gay Mitchell a distant enough second with plenty of ground to make up. Both Mary Davis and Sean Gallaher although Independents seem to be putting in a relatively strong showing. They'll be there or there abouts in the end, i'm sure both will attract a decent enough vote, but it would be a stretch to say either will win or has a credible chance. Being an Independent these days alone can attract voters though, many who've become disenchanted by all the parties in the state. While i do like each of the Fianna Fail candidates who have shown an interest in running, Fianna Fail will have to choose a candidate who has the best chance of winning or at least to ensure that we increase our share of the vote from the general election. Eamonn O'Cuiv has had a poor showing in all the polls i've seen, struggling to get above 11%, while Mary Hanafin likewise with O'Cuiv was a cabinet member while Fianna Fail were in government and it does not need to be explained why choosing either of those wouldn't be a good idea. The only plausible choice were left with is Brian Crowley, if Fianna Fail are to salvage any respectability from the public he has to be our choice. I'm assured too, that he'd be more then a challenge to both Higgins and Mitchell. Maybe even an upset is on the cards. We dare to hope. Unlike Gaybo who admitted he didn't have the stomach for it, we should not feel the same for Crowley. To answer the title question, i think they will. I don't believe we can afford to remain on the sidelines in the election, especially seeing as both Labour and Fine Gael have their own nominees, now is not the time to risk becoming irrelevant.