Aside from being busy, I’ve given up Twitter for January (along with a few things) , but I’ve managed to find a few minutes to look at the latest RedC offering for a certain bookmaker, and run it through the spreadsheet.
First off, I’m aware of another blogger who does a similar exercise, but then calculates seats using the d’Hondt system. This would be sensible, if that were system used to allocate seats in our system. However, it’s not, so it isn’t. D’Hondt results in different seat allocations, and if it didn’t, there wouldn’t be a need to have invented the PR-STV system that keeps us awake for weekends on end. My system isn’t of course perfect, but my final prediction for the last GE was closer than any in the media or blogosphere, so you can have some confidence that this shows what this sort of vote would produce in seats.
Anyways, here we go….
As you can see, not great movement from the second half of last year, FG and LP a bit down, but not as much as one might have expected following such a savage/harsh/tough/brave (delete according to your preferences) budget. This does rather suggest that the effects of these cuts and taxes were priced in a long time ago, and few voters are surprised by what was read out in December by Ministers Noonan and Howlin. The Greens will be pleased to reach up to the margin of error at 3%, but the Socialist Party will be concerned (I suspect) by the 0% rating they attract. Again, I think ULA should be the question asked here, as that is the “brand” those voters are choosing, and I very much doubt that Joe Higgins’ vote is down on 2011, whatever their problems with Comrade Clare. ULA I have calculated on a pro-rata basis again, and their main concern will be, if these figures are correct, the impact of Dun Laoghaire electing 3 TDs next time, with the Ceann Comhairle possibly depriving RBB of the final seat.
Other figures….the pro-life campaign will be disappointed that the initial impetus towards liberalising our abortion laws has not petered out. 29% support Abortion on demand (or request, as some of us prefer….), and a further 35% supporting legislation to allow for “X” (including suicide), shows a strong 64% in favour of movement at least as far as the Govt is proposing, compared to 26% who want legislation for “X” minus suicide, and only 8% who support those opposed to legislation at all. It would have been interesting what percentage of those in the “X” (including suicide) cohort would also have supported extending it to cases of rape, incest, or genetic abnormalities that made the fetus non-viable, however this was not asked on this occasion. As is common in polls in many countries, there are somewhat more pro-choice voters among men, and more anti-abortion voters among women. Interestingly though, there isn’t a lot of variance across demographic groups, and even where it is at the extremes (over 55s, farmers and Connaught-Ulster) there is still a majority who want to go at least as far as the Government, if not further. On balance, Labour will be pleased with this finding, and it will give any potential FG rebels pause for thought.
On the #flegs issue, well that was the one that hit the headlines, but I’m not surprised, if you actually consider the question, and the fact that many Southerners think all Northerners are mad, bad and dangerous to know.
When told that Belfast City Council (heckles raised already..) recently restricted (negative word) the flying of the Union Flag (“union flag – is that the union jack?!”) to 17 days per year (republican heckles raised – “why should it be raised at all?”) people were then asked if they thought these (Northern) politicians (everyone hates politicians) were right to restrict (repeat of negative word) the flying of the flag, 36% said yes. Given all the negative pushes along the way, this isn’t surprising. 46% on the other hand took the opportunity to say that these politicians were “wrong to restrict” (everyone likes freedom and hates politicians), “as Belfast is in the UK” (statement of fact, but then so is Huddersfield and they have a similar rota), “and the flag should be able to the flown there” (as it is, contrary to the implication). A casual, relatively apolitical listener, being told the second option is for those who think people should be allowed fly the UK flag in the UK would be inclined to say “yes that’s me”.
Had the question offered the 3 options of (a) No Flag as proposed by Nationalists, (b) the flag 365 days of the year, as proposed by Unionists, or (c) the compromise of raising it on 17 flag days, as is common in other UK Councils, as proposed by the Alliance Party, and as passed by a majority of the Council, I suspect the result would have been much different. But I guess it would have been less of a story….
Anyways, that’s it for today. Feel free to share on Twitter, seeing as I’m off it for the month meself…. I’ll see most of you again in February, unless I get a life or something in the meantime….