Fine Gael Presidential candidate Gay Mitchell has rejected the findings of the latest opinion poll on the election, saying he does not believe any poll that shows such a wide fluctuation.

Mr Mitchell said 40% of people decided their voting intention in the last general election in the last seven days and Fine Gael will turn out the vote leading to a very different picture on Thursday week.

Former European Parliament president Pat Cox, who competed against Mr Mitchell for the Fine Gael nomination, joined him on his canvass this morning.

Mr Mitchell said that shows the solidarity that is within the party.

The Red C poll in today’s Sunday Business Post shows Mr Mitchell dropped two points to 8%.

Independent candidate Seán Gallagher saw his support increase by 18 points since the last Red C poll nine days ago and is now on 39%.

Michael D Higgins is on 27% an increase of two points.

However, all the other candidates have lost support with Martin McGuinness down three to 13%, David Norris down seven to 7%, Mary Davis down five to 4% and Dana Rosemary Scallon down 3 to 2%.

Meanwhile, Labour's presidential candidate Michael D Higgins has described as "crude" any talk of him being too old to be president.

He said any suggestions that the difference between the two front runners in the latest opinion poll was related to the age-groups to which they were appealing would be to get it entirely wrong.

He said he has been winning support from youth groups all over the country, and the previous Red C polls indicated that the biggest significant gains he was making was among young people.

He said the real issue was the significant differences between himself and Seán Gallagher.

He said their differences were that he was bringing essential requirements to the presidency, including a knowledge of how the constitution works; that he was a Cabinet minister; that he was president of the council of culture ministers; and that he spent time in a ministry that created thousands of jobs in the film industry.