The news this evening that Dana Scallon and David Norris had both secured the support of four councils means that there will be seven candidates for the Irish Presidency.
Dana was the first of the final two to acquire the support of four councils before the 12 noon deadline on Wednesday. With the support of Carlow, Roscommon, Donegal and Offaly county councils. Norris still seeking to be the first openly gay president of Ireland secured the support of his fourth council Dublin City late this evening to add to Laois, Fingal and Waterford. Cork had refused to support him earlier.
They join the five already nominated Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell, Labour's Michael D Higgins, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness and two independents, Mary Davis and Seán Gallagher. Labour and Sinn Féin nominated their candidates from their Oireachtas relatively smoothly. However, Fine Gael's selection of Mitchell ahead of more popular Mairaed McGuinness and leadership choice Pat Cox, he is not showing well in the polls despite Fine Gael topping the poll in February's elections.
Mary Davis had secured the nomination of 13 councils including Kerry, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan and Tipperary North. While Gallagher had the support of Leitrim, Meath and Clare County Councils and Cork City Council.
It means that the three independent council nomiated candidates Davis, Gallagher, Scallon and Norris will take on the figureheads of three of the four major parties Mitchell, Higgins and McGuinness. Although McGuinness is not running under the Sinn Féin banner but as an independent under the banner of "The People's President" having been nominated by the 14 Sinn Féin TDs and 3 Senators plus some independent members to get over the 20 required.
The election will be held on 27 October and is an instant run off, or really an AV election.