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Excerpt below from en.wikipedia.org
Despite withdrawing from the presidential race in July 2011, Norris maintained considerable and, in some cases, increased public support. A poll taken one week after Norris withdrew from the ** presidential race, showed a large increase in public support for his Presidency if they were given the choice to vote for him (topping the poll by a considerable margin) with 40 per cent of respondents now saying they would vote Norris number one in the proportional representation electorial system and 50 per cent saying they would give him a vote.
David Norris’s presidential nomination shows Ireland has come a long way • From gay activist to frontrunner for president, David Norris’s story says much about Ireland’s progress over the past 30 years – by Colm Tóibín guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 September 2011 21.28 BST Ireland-David-Norris-Long Way
In Galway city alone, more than 1,000 signatures in support of Norris for President were gathered from members of the public in just 12 hours on the weekend of 11 September. There was a similar result in the city of Cork. Days later, Norris was presented with a petition of 10,000 signatures, collected nationwide, by the We Want Norris campaign outside Leinster House. As a result Norris announced his return to the campaign on the Irish television talk programme The Late Late Show on Friday 16 September 2011, though he did not reveal the precise number of signatures belonging to TDs and Senators that he had secured. A Sunday Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll published on 18 September showed a high amount of popular support for Senator David Norris of 34 per cent.
“I’m not perfect and I’m not pretending to be perfect. If you’re waiting for a perfect president, you’ll be waiting a long time … I abhor abuse of children … This would be the biggest comeback in Irish political history. I think people love a comeback.”
David Norris confirmed his re-entry into the presidential race on a late-night appearance onThe Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy on 16 September 2011.
Despite attempts, Norris didn’t receive sufficient support from Oireachtas members to gain a nomination, having been nominated by 18 members, two short of the minimum number of 20. However, he received a nomination from four county councils (Fingal, Laois, Waterford and Dublin City), which is sufficient to gain a nomination. He was assisted by his rival, Labour Party candidate Michael D. Higgins, who urged his party colleagues on Dublin City Council to allow Norris onto the ticket “in the interests of democracy.” When Norris heard this on the radio he instructed his driver to stop the car so that he could phone Higgins to express his appreciation.
According to The Irish Times Norris had four times as many followers on Twitter as any of the other candidates as of 30 September.
In the first debate, held on RTÉ Radio 1’s News at One, Norris promised the electorate he would have no difficulty in either visiting Israel or in meeting Pope Benedict XVI as President of Ireland. Speaking after the disclosure of various fees received by his rivals Mary Davis and Seán Gallagher after they were appointed to State and commercial boards, Norris confirmed he had no stocks or shares to his name and that he was not a company director. Norris launched his campaign at Dublin Writers Museum on 5 October 2011.
He came fifth (of seven candidates) in the election receiving 109,469 (6.2%) first preference votes.
** The Irish presidential election of 2011 was the thirteenth presidential election to be held in Ireland, and the first to be contested by a record seven candidates. It was held on Thursday, 27 October 2011. The election was held to elect a successor to Mary McAleese, with the winner scheduled to be inaugurated as the ninth President of Ireland on 11 November 2011.