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ALL THREE presidential hopefuls claim comfort from The Lawyer's opinion poll which showed strong support for the anti-establishment candidate Martin Mears alongside general apathy over the elections.
The Lawyer polled more than 1,000 practitioners. Of the 300 who had made up their mind who to support, 40 per cent plumped for Hodge, 37 per cent for Mears and just 23 per cent for Pembridge.
Deputy vice-president Henry Hodge admits to an evident protest vote for Mears.
He also says he is concerned at the level of apathy signalled by the fact that 21 per cent of the lawyers polled said they would not vote while 50 per cent had still not made up their mind whether to vote or who to vote for.
But he adds it is clear the first-ever woman candidate Eileen Pembridge will not win and that the election is now "a two horse race".
Pembridge, however, says she is unsurprised the council's preferred candidate, Hodge, and Mears' "vacuous" posturing had generated initial support before the campaign proper had got under way.
She points to the 70 per cent of the people in the poll who said they would not vote or had not made up their mind and says she is confident she can persuade them to vote for her.
Mears, meanwhile, is "encouraged" by the poll which he says took place before his manifesto was sent out.