Controversial gay senator David Norris is to re-enter Ireland’s Presidential election and will put his name to the people next month.
Norris is expected to confirm his latest decision to run when he appear on Irish television’s flagship show The Late Late next Friday night.
The Norris u-turn has come about after he featured prominently in a number of opinion polls.
Independent members of the Irish parliament and some County Councilors have also confirmed that they will back a new Norris bid.
The Senator was forced to withdraw from the Presidential election last month after a series of damning revelations about his past and his views on young gay men.
Just back in Ireland after a holiday abroad, Norris has discussed his strategy with a number of close advisors over the weekend.
The Sunday Independent newspaper has confirmed that he is to re-enter the election campaign and may even receive backing from some Fianna Fail members of the Irish parliament.
One senior Fianna Fail politician told the paper: “We haven’t got our own candidate and given the level of public support for Norris I think it would play well to nominate him.
“The public want him on the ballot paper and it would mean that Labor and Fine Gael would not get a clean run of it.
“I think the party leadership would turn a blind eye if some TDs or senators signed his papers. It would probably be up to the senators. They know him. He is a colleague.”
The latest Sunday Independent opinion poll shows 39 percent of the Irish electorate wants to see Norris contest the October election with 40 percent of that sector prepared to vote for him.
Already more than 7,000 people have signed an online petition supporting a Norris nomination.
Independent deputies Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and Maureen O’Sullivan and Socialist Party representatives Joe Higgins and Clare Daly have publicly backed a Norris return to the race.
Independent deputy O’Sullivan said: “My position did not change. I continued to support his nomination until he withdrew.
“In my view, it is up to the electorate to decide. I did not stop supporting him. If he came back into the race I would support him. I may be totally wrong but I remain doubtful about whether he will re-enter. I have received hundreds of emails expressing support for him.”
Socialist Party leader Higgins said: “It is up to the Irish people to make the decision on David Norris and not the media, bloggers etc.”
People Before Profit deputy Richard Boyd Barrett will also support Norris but only "in the absence of any credible left wing candidate emerging."
Boyd Barrett said: “The attack on him has been outrageous and he is certainly the best of the current candidates.”
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