Pat Leahy writes in today's Sunday Business Post that a polling firm headed up by a former Political Director of Fine Gael has been phoning members of the public to test messages to see if it would give the respondent a negative impression of Presidential candidates.
Pat Leahy reports that a householder was called by Amarach and ask about their attitudes to the various candidates. Among the things asked was whether the person called was aware Mary Davis had been appointed to a number of quangos by Bertie Ahern.Respondents to the poll, which was conducted over the telephone, were given information which would reflect negatively on candidates and asked if it would change their voting intention.
The person who was contacted got in touch with the Mary Davis campaign, who obviously contacted the Sunday Business Post.
The polling firm (Amarach) is run by former Fine Gael Political Director Michael McLoughlin. A FG spokesperson would not tell the SBP if the Amarach work was being done on behalf of Gay Mitchell's campaign.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Mary Davis' campaign team said some candidates were interested in mudslinging and called on all candidates to not use dirty-tricks.
Someone seems determined to make this campaign more about partisan mud slinging and less about ideas and vision.
Mary Davis Campaign