Back to business as usual…?
Another poll with FF in front, this time a Sindo one from Millward Brown (“alas, poor Quantum , I knew you well….*too* well…”). Just back in the jurisdiction so I’ve only run the figures through the spreadsheet now, and it comes up with the following;
First of all, yes, yes, 101% is after rounding….
Secondly…. FF on top again. Millward Brown don’t poll as frequently as the others in the big 3, and the shift since May 2012 has been most notable in FG (-11) and FF (+10). Other than that, LP are *up* 1% (that’s what it says….), SF unchanged, and both ULA and GP remain on 1%. Interesting, given how much has happened in the intervening period that a FG to FF move is the only one in the margin of error.
FG will be *very* twitchy about this, coming out so soon after #Promnight, whereas some in LP will be wondering how come they are up, not just in this from May, but they are 3% higher than the most recent MRBI, although no different to the latest RedC.
FF of course will be very happy, but are no doubt aware that this puts them back into territory where Govt formations will be an issue, and it is notable that Martin today rubbished the idea they could coalesce with SF. On these figures they would fall short*, but the spectre has been raised. FWIW, I think FF/FG could find common interest in a ‘partnership govt’ if these figures were reproduced in a GE…
On balance, FF distancing themselves from SF is probably the slightly smarter move, given this swing is apparently largely a conservative FF-to-FG-back-to-FF vote, but there will be a significant % who will be looking exactly for a FF/SF govt, and will be confused as to why it is ruled out. Similarly, SF has a real problem in deciding whether it wants to cosy up to FF (as it did in the run up to polling day in 2007) or whether it wants to rebuff that idea – effectively ruling out their participation in the next Govt.
Finally, ULA. Firstly, I am assuming the large majority of their supporters see little distincition between ULA and their recently departed comrades in the SP, and I have taken these figures as a combined ULA/SP figure (SP haven’t registered when polled for). I have long argued ULA should be measured in the polls, but they continue to falter in this series where they are measured. Some of this may be bad luck, given the margin of error is big relative to their support, but I think its more than that. The reality is that the trotskyist left in Ireland, having had an opportunity to step up to the mike as a result of the economic collapse, have managed to make a balls of it. The Clare Daley fiasco, the SP split, and now Paul “MEP” Murphy justifying the wrecking of County Council meetings, these have played badly, very badly, with what they like to refer to as “ordinary workers”.
At a time when their arguments are that the Govt has won a lousy deal on the Promissory Notes, they are coming across as people who couldn’t negotiate a decent deal for their car insurance (Comrade Daly excluded…). At a time that people are wondering how they can pay their bills, they see a substitute MEP playing student revolutionary to stop elected councillors hold meetings. And when they say we need a left-wing alternative to the right-wing consensus, they split over differences that mean nothing to the people who have voted for them. And finally, when they could be prioritising the fight against cuts to family benefits such as Child Benefit and restrictions to One-Parent Family Payment, they instead make the main focus of their campaigning their opposition to property tax, something the left actually argues *for* in other countries, something that (in the main) hits the better off far more than the less well off, and something which will take less out of the pockets of families living in deprivation than the aforementioned family benefit cuts. Sure, there are changes that socialists would make the property tax, but this isn’t what is pushing most low income families over the edge – it is however something that badly hits the likes of Pat Kenny, and failure to understand this, and that a populist non-payment of tax isn’t automatically a progressive action, is something that may, just may, be part of the reason that they are floundering in the polls.
As with the Holy Roman Empire, which wasn’t an Empire, wasn’t Roman, and wasn’t particularly Holy, the United Left Alliance have a brand that isn’t standing up too well at the moment.
Anyways, just read that and I realize I sound like an cranky old ex-Stalinist. But you know, there’s not a line I’d change, and it’s midnight and I have work in the morning. So like it or lump it!
* It has been suggested elsewhere that FF/SF might get closer to a majority in a GE on the basis of these figures if one used the d’Hondt system to assign seats. Given the election won’t be run under that system, I’m confused as to why that blogger continues to use this for his analysis, but it’s worth noting that he thinks LP would get 16 seats for 13% of the vote, despite getting 20 seats in 2002 and 2007, on 10% of the vote. He also over-estimated the FF seat tally in 2011 by 50% in his eve-of-poll prediction, so beware…everyone’s opinion may be equally valid, but not all predictions are equally accurate….