Polls which appeared in today’s Sunday Business Post and Sunday Times newspapers both show Cavan native Gallagher holding a commanding lead, with Mr Higgins trailing in second place.
Mr Gallagher soared ahead in the polls last week and had become the subject of increased media scrutiny as a result. He also became the focus of some of the other candidates’ criticisms.
However this appears to have had little impact on his appeal to voters as his popularity continues to grow.
The Sunday Business Post / Red C poll has Mr Gallagher on 40%, up one point on last week’s figures.
Mr Higgins, meanwhile, polls second at 26%, down one point.
Martin McGuinness polls third with 13%, unchanged on last week, David Norris enjoys a three point rise to 10%, while Gay Mitchell is down two points to 6%.
Dana Rosemary Scallon polls second from bottom at 3%, up one point, while Mary Davis suffers a two point drop to 2%.
The poll was taken between Tuesday and Thursday of last week and asked the opinions of 1,000 voters.
The Sunday Times’ poll, carried out between Sunday and Tuesday by Behaviour and Attitudes, also shows Mr Gallagher with a strong lead over the field.
It places him on 38%, compared to 26% for Mr Higgins
Mr McGuinness again polls third with 17% while Mr Mitchell has the support of 8%. Mr Norris polls 6%, Ms Davis gets 3% while Ms Scallon records 2% support.
The Sunday Times poll also asked about the two referendums which are to be carried out on Thursday as well, and both look likely to be passed.
On the judicial pay referendum, 87% said they intended to vote yes; just 8% said they will vote no and 5% are undecided.
On strengthening Oireachtas investigations, 76% are in favour of the amendment, 18% opposed, while 6% are undecided.