Higgins – Norris Transfer Pact on the Cards?

Labour presidential nominee Michael D Higgins has indicated he would not be against the possibility of a transfer pact with Independent candidate Senator David Norris in next week’s election. Mr Higgins stated that there have, as of yet, been no formal discussions on the matter but remains open to the idea.

The comments came after Mr Higgins earlier distanced himself from a statement issued in his name which criticised Senator Norris’s voting record on the 2008 banking guarantee.

The statement, which was released yesterday, said Mr Norris was “being somewhat economical with the truth when he has claimed on several occasions during the Presidential election campaign that he “voted against the bank guarantee”.”

Responding this morning, the Norris team said they viewed the statement as an attempt by Mr Higgins to deflect attention from his support for the Tax Amnesty Bill in 1993. They stated: “At 7.15pm on the evening of 1st October 2008 Senator David Norris voted against the amendment to the Order of Business to allow the Seanad to force through a guillotined Bank Guarantee Bill which was being forced through the Dáil and the Government then wished to force through the Seanad without an opportunity for appropriate debate.”

In a debate between the two candidates at NUI Maynooth today, Mr Higgins firmly withdrew the statement and described it as a rare example of something being released from his office without him first seeing it.

The former frontrunner in the opinion polls has now fallen into second place behind Independent Seán Gallagher. Senator Norris remains hovering in the mid-section of most recent surveys. He has so far not given his opinion on the potential transfer pact.