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Gaybo for the Áras? Byrne won't rule out presidential run

Already the former Late Late show presenter has topped one poll but would you vote for him?

Mulling a presidential bid?
Mulling a presidential bid?
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE FORMER LATE Late Show presenter Gay Byrne has not ruled out a possible presidential bid after he revealed that one poll put him well ahead of any of the other candidates in the race.

Byrne told RTÉ 2fm’s Tubridy Show yesterday that he “would take some considerable persuasion” but would not rule out the possibility of running for president in October when speaking to host Ryan Tubridy and later to a number of newspapers.

The TV legend and current head of the Road Safety Authority celebrated his 77th birthday yesterday and said that a poll by radio station 4fm found 46 per cent of listeners said they would vote for him in the October election.

“They put forward four names Mary Davis and Gay Mitchell and Michael D Higgins and Seán Gallagher and they wanted percentages of votes. My name wasn’t even mentioned and I got 46 per cent and the nearest one was Mary Davis at 16 per cent.

“It was extraordinary as my name wasn’t put forward at all. It’s quite amazing and complimentary and very nice,” he told The Tubridy Show.

Later speaking to the Irish Daily Star and Irish Daily Mail, Byrne did not rule out the possibility of running, telling the Star: “We’ll let the cacophony grow. We’ll see what develops.”

RTÉ reports that Fianna Fáil is not commenting on speculation that it failed to attract Byrne to run as their candidate in the election.

The speculation follows the withdrawal of independent David Norris who had led many polls in the presidential race but was forced to end his campaign following controversy over his former Ezra Nawi.

Poll: Would you vote for Gay Byrne to be president of Ireland?

Poll Results:

No (859)
Yes (849)
Don't know (117)

Read: ‘Norris for President’ petition gains nearly 3,000 signatures >

Read: Dana ‘considering 2011 Presidential run’ after Norris withdrawal – report >

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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