Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness and independent David Norris struggled to beat ‘Inanimate carbon rod’ in a popular online poll of potential presidential candidates recently.
When asked “Presuming that all of those widely mooted for the Presidential election at some point (both real and fictional) were/could be nominated, who would you vote for?” there was a groundswell of support among breakingnews.ie readers for the fictional object from ‘The Simpsons’.
The rod led the poll for about two days.
Though not a scientific poll, the survey nevertheless attracted a substantial 12,951 votes, a record for the website.
At the time of writing, Inanimate carbon rod was polling at 18.41% (2,384 votes), just behind Senator Norris on 19.32% (2,502 votes) and Mr McGuinness at 19.37% (2,509 votes).
Many voters used the poll to express their dissatisfaction with prospective candidates, with more than a third of respondents voting for either a fictional candidate (also including Dustin the Turkey) or “None of the Above”.
When those who were once mooted for the position but were not nominated are included, only 56.06% of respondents (7,132) voted for one of the seven candidates who will appear on the ballot paper on Thursday, October 27.
McGuinness and Norris aside, the poll does not bode well for the remaining nominated candidates. Only Michael D. Higgins managed to poll above 5% with 775 votes (5.98%). Dana Rosemary Scallon fared worst, attracting a mere 187 votes (1.44%), the second-worst showing in the poll overall.
The survey appears to vindicate Fianna Fáil’s decision not to run an internal candidate, with Senator Labhrás Ó’Murchú attracting a humble 29 votes, or 0.22% of the total. Party colleague and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern came in at 2.22% (288 votes).
Of all the candidates who theoretically could have secured a nomination but did not, RTÉ presenter Miriam O'Callaghan proved the most popular on 5.13%, or 665 votes.
The breakingnews.ie survey will stay open until formal, 'real-world' nominations close at 12 noon today.
The inanimate carbon rod is famed for an appearance in an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ entitled ‘Deep Space Homer’, where it beat Homer Simpson to a ‘Worker of the Week’ prize and is later honoured with a parade after Homer uses it to seal a space shuttle door shut.
The campaign to allow Inanimate carbon rod to bid for the Áras was first started by Facebook Group ‘Inanimate Carbon Rod for President of Ireland’, which currently has almost 8,000 members.