Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

A Public Service

with 7 comments

Another RedC out today, which suggests little movement from the recent polls across all the main companies (B&A being somewhat of an outlier…).  Poll findings (and IPR projections) as follows;

Projected result % seats
FG 28.00% 50
LP 11.00% 18
FF 25.00% 44
SF 16.00% 23
ULA & SP ** 3.07% 4
GP * 1.85% 1
OTH 15.08% 18
100.00% 158

No massive movement from recent offerings of the other main polling company, so not a lot new to say – GP I have being lucky in Dublin North, taking a 5th seat that isn’t really falling to anyone but have Sargant as last man standing….  Dublin Rathdown is also very hard to call.

Recent polls including this show a significant (if not catastrophic) drop in LP support, and rise in FF.  A number of reasons one could ascribe to this, although, being a PS worker, I’ve unsurprisingly been conscious of the CP2 effect – Brendan Howlin in particular is getting little love among my work colleagues.  Today’s polls asks related questions of the general public which suggest (perhaps surprisingly to some) that most voters – including those in the private sector, have more sympathy for the PS unions than you’d believe following mainstream media outlets.

1. “The government should cut public service pay.”

Agree: 30%

Disagree: 50%

Don’t know: 20%

2. “The government should accept the unions position and should try to renegotiate the Croke Park agreement.”

Agree: 56%

Disagree: 23%

Don’t know: 21 %


Fewer than a third supporting PS paycuts?  Calls for Govt to “accept the unions position and try to renegotiate”? Not sure any pundit would have seen this coming, and it suggests that LP’s position seems to have painted themselves into a corner here.  They are losing PS support, but there’s no corresponding private sector boost, with those voters perhaps feeling that after 2 paycuts any problems we still have with the Exchequer aren’t going to be fixed by going back for a third round.  But the only means by which the cuts could be avoided (or reduced, at least) would appear to be a tax on higher earners , which FG have set themselves full against.  Given the larger party is likely to lose out on the abortion issue to Labour (should the coalition survive), it’s hard to see them move on this also.

As I said, hard to see it not end in tears….

Other Question asked included ;

3. “The government should ease off on austerity by reducing pubic spending cuts.”

Agree: 54%

Disagree: 25%

Don’t know: 21%

4. “If the government has any spare cash left over, it should reduce taxes for working people.”

Agree: 68%

Disagree: 18%

Don’t know: 14%

Number 3 is unsurprising, particularly in the context of the PS question, Q4 though is almost a joke question…who, exactly, envisages the Govt having spare cash “left over”…?!  Biggest “If” I’ve ever seen in a polling question…


Anyways, must head.  Have a nice Sunday.






Written by Dotski

April 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Well, if Berlusconi can do it….

with 2 comments

A leaked poll on the Twittersphere suggests that FF are now ahead of FG.  According to what ppl are saying, the Sindo will have a Millawrd/Brown survey tomorrow showing the Soldiers of Destiny 3% ahead of their nearest competitors   Poll findings  along with IPR projections, are as follows;

Projected result % seats
FG 24.00% 44
LP 12.00% 21
FF 27.00% 49
SF 16.00% 22
ULA & SP ** 3.04% 4
GP * 2.00% 1
OTH 14.96% 17
  99.00% 158

FF climb is in line with the trend in other polls, but this one shows them ahead on seats, which if it happened in a GE would be quite a story.

A bad poll for FG, who would have hoped that the by-election would have bolstered support for them, but the normal advice about those elections holds, they are often local/temporary things, and not good national predictors.  FF will be pleased, given how the Govt won a second by-election (against recent tradition) to see that nationally they appear to be continuing to make traction.

Labour will be relieved.  The B&A poll, despite their lack of track record, was so low that many thought it signalled a collapse in their vote, especally in the context of the Meath East by-election.  But RedC did a poll around the same time that had them up to 13%, and this one has them up 3% also on the previous MB/L poll, and so while I doubt things are hale and hearty with the LP vote, they are more likely to be where the 2 established (and generally successful  pollsters have them, than where B&A (who have little in the way of track record) had them.

SF appear to have scaled back from earlier heights  and are are averaging just about enough to shade it on seats from LP, assuming the latter get decent FG transfers.  The dynamic between them and FF, who are chasing a similar vote in some instances  will be one to watch over the coming months.

ULA/SP remain a mess to project, but one does one’s best.  On these figures, they aren’t far off an additional seat in Cork NC, but that’s too hard to call, really.

Anyways, sin é for tonight.




Figures have been confirmed as above, with 35% being undecided.  This figure will vary from company to company, as they have different methods for ‘pushing’ reluctant declarees, but this is high.  General opinion internationally is to assume DKs either don’t vote (and 35% no-vote is not surprisingly high), or go to parties in the proportions that other people do (some assume they have a slight bias towards how they personally voted previously).  No doubt some will argue this shows potential for another party, although given the failure of “Others” to make headway there, the success of such a project would, IMO, be unlikely to be very successful

Written by Dotski

April 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Never been to Meath….

with 3 comments

By-election count tomorrow in #mhe13 and I’ll not dwell on it too much, except to say I think FF are likely to win it, and why.

Were this a General Election, and there was a uniform swing (based on the last RedC) the likely FPVwould be  as follows;

FG 32.8%

FF 26.8%

LP 14.0%

SF 13.1%

OTH 13.3%

However, this is a by-election, and famously there’s just been one such victory for a Govt party candidate since the early 1980s, and in Patrick Nulty’s case it has been argued that he wasn’t *really* a Govt candidate anyway (indeed, the candiate who described herself as the Govt candidate in that election was humiliated .  Even without an adjustment in the FPV, it would be neck and neck between FF/FG, and so it is, in my view, impossible to look past FF in this election, particularly as they are likely to be far less transfer repellent from SF/OTH than in #GE11 , with many of those voters looking to kick the Govt (including some who will stillvote FG or LP in a GE).

Some will point to the sympathy factor for the FG candidate  but a quick scan of by-elections since 1981 will show similar circumstances which repeatedly didn’t yield dividends, and I would be very surprised if this was any different.  Indeed, if the 2 by-elections in this parliament both saw a Govt party win, after 30-odd years of Govts losing similar, it would be quite stunning.

People will also query if FF could do so well, but even before their recent poll recovery, they surprised many with their performance in the Dublin West by-election , edging into second ahead of Cllr Ruth Coppinger and well ahead of FG.

In short, I think FF will challenge FG for top of the poll, and even if they fall short (which I think they will, just) SF transfers will be enough to put them over the line.  LP had, IMO a good candidate, but this wasn’t one he could be expected to win, and if he stay north of 10% it will be a surprise.

Prediction….? Totally unscientific, but here goes…

FG 31%

FF 27%

SF 19%

LP 9%

DDI 7%


SF to elect FF on the final count.

Finally, a little song to see us out…

Written by Dotski

March 28, 2013 at 12:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Beyond a Boundary*

with 2 comments

As Gavin pointed out yesterday, the new boundaries were signed into law by the President on Wednesday, and if a general election were to be called in the morning it would be under the new constituencies (further by-elections will continue to operate under the ones in play in #GE11).  And so, I’ve re-done the spreadsheet to reflect the new boundaries.

In some cases, there is a degree of subjectivity in calculating the base, as the indirect effects of the revision will be hard to call. It may be that moving 5,000 FF voters from one Dublin area to another will simply see them behave the same as  if left be, but would, for example, the presence of a strong Indo candidate such as Finian McGrath result in SF or LP voters from the old Dublin NE constituency change their colours?

Also, I’ve not been able to source national tallies for the new constituencies based on #GE11 , and so there is a degree of clunkiness involved in calculation of the 2011 base.  Again, if anyone comes forward with such tallies, I’d be grateful and would credit the supplier everytime I use the spreadsheet.

Anyways, the projections….

Projected result % seats
FG 28.00% 49
LP 13.00% 24
FF 24.00% 43
SF 14.00% 19
ULA & SP ** 3.24% 4
GP * 1.85% 1
OTH 15.91% 18
  100.00% 158

First thing to notice is that, compared to the same poll projected on the previous constituencies, FF is actually *up*, despite there being fewer seats up for grabs.  FG and LP are both down marginally, although larger constituencies here and there outside the capital put a few more seats ‘in play’ for LP in particular.  If you’re wondering why the changes see GP gain a seat, the addition of a 5th seat into the new Dublin Fingal sees a dog fight for that last seat, and one which I’d see Trevor Sargant just shading… but in the absence of a national figure for GP that’s a stab in the dark.

As regards the poll figures, they will give comfort to the coalition, in particular Labour, although I must admit to wondering if it’s an outlier.  LP have taken a bit of a battering among PS voters in the last month, and unless this is a case of the damage already being ‘priced into’ their previous ratings, it would surprise me to see them on the up.  There seems little reason for the drop in SF either….normally moves of 2%, despite being within the margin of error, are still quite probable, however on this occasion I wonder… we’ll see after the next poll, maybe.

Property Tax

The poll also asks what people think of property tax, although the results are less useful than presented.  When prompted by the surveyer, the following responses were made;

“I believe that this property tax is an unfair tax.”

Agree: 67%

Disagree: 33%

“I am worried that i will calculate my property tax wrongly and get fined by Revenue.”

Agree: 50%

Disagree: 50%

“I am eligible but do not intend to pay the property tax.”

Agree: 29%

Disagree: 71%

“I am less likely to support government parties as a result sf the property tax.

Agree: 59%

Disagree: 41%

No indications of the level of “Don’t Knows” in the link, there may be in the paper.

If people were asked, on the introduction of any tax they would personally be paying, whether they thought it was unfair, it would be surprising if less than half would reply in the affirmative.   Effectively, for many people, this question amounts to asking if they like paying tax.   If however, they were asked whether they’d rather the tax raised by it would be, instead, raised through higher income tax, or cuts in Health or Child Benefit, the figures would be very different.  Of course, we might prefer as a country we weren’t lumbered with the bank guarantee,  but that remains in effect whether or not Property tax is introduced.

Even less illuminating is the “less likely to vote for the Govt” as a result of the tax question. As pointed out by one person on Twitter last night, a clear majority said yes, but in a poll that showed an increase in support for the Govt.  A contradiction? No, an illustration of how polls can mislead.  There are two examples in this single question that make it pointless.  The first, and more obvious, is that the people being polled are the entire population, including people who would, under no circumstances, vote for the Govt.  Most of these, presumably, see this as “another bad thing that shower are doing” and hence consider themselves “even less likely” to vote for them as a result.  But given they weren’t going to anyway, this is a false positive.

The second point, is that it is a mild form of push polling.  By framing the question in that way, the respondent is thinking of *that* issue and the Govt’s role in it- above others – in the context of a GE decision.  But people rarely vote in a GE on the basis of one policy measure, over the course of 4 weeks various issues are thrown at them, and they make a decision, largely aggregating their views on these, with a subconscious weighting deciding what the key ones are.  The same person who, when prompted if they will vote against FG/LP as a result of property tax may, quite honestly, reply yes, but some of those, if then asked will they vote for FF (given the bank guarantee), or SF (given links with the IRA), or ULA (given their Marxist politics), or their local Indo (given his tax/penalty point status), they may also say “no” for a variety of reasons, and finally conclude that they will vote for the “lesser evil”.  Elevating one issue in the context of asking how you will vote will always skew a polling result, and that’s why the “party support” question would never be asked immediately after such a question.


Edit: I had forgotten to include the following explanation which is more articulate…

Finally…29% say they are eligible to pay the tax, but “do not intend to pay it”.  Unless I’ve misread the legislation, if they don’t pay it while alive, their Estate will pay it (with taxes/penalties) on the transfer of the property after their death.

The two great inevitables… death and taxes….

Anyways, TTFN


Written by Dotski

March 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Rogue C?

with 2 comments

EDIT : I missed Act being signed into law on Wednesday, tomorrow’s post on new boundaries will be one based on what would be actual boundaries – my first!

“@gavreilly: @dotski_w FYI: Electoral Amendment (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013 signed into law last Wednesday”

You’ll probably have heard that there’s a RedC poll in tomorrow’s SBPost.  I’ve run it through the spreadsheet for the {current} Dail Constituencies …

Projected result % seats
FG 28.00% 56
LP 13.00% 26
FF 24.00% 40
SF 14.00% 21
ULA 3.24% 4
GP 1.85% 0
OTH 15.91% 19
  100.00% 166


Written by Dotski

March 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Better late than never…

with 5 comments

OK, been busy, but finally got around to the RedC in last Sunday’s Business Post.  Not going to ponder on results especially, just to say that , in the absence of a ULA total I’m taking them with SP and assuming a similar proportion of them among the OTH (as SP do, incidentally, rating at 1%).  Also I’ll continue using current constituencies until they are amended by the Oireachtas (although proportions are unlikely to change hugely as a result of that, even if overall seat numbers are reduced a smidgeon)

Anyways, this is what it says….

Projected result % seats
FG 28.00% 50
LP 12.00% 23
FF 26.00% 45
SF 16.00% 24
ULA/SP* 2.70% 4
GP 2.00% 1
OTH* 13.30% 19
  100.00% 166

FF closing in on FG on those figures (I’m assuming they get a good transfer from SF)  SF, on the other hand barely ahead of LP, despite looking like they might leave them for dead some months ago…this would appear to suggest that the FF revival is, in part, taking from SF as well as from FG/LP.

It may sound obvious, but on this projection, FF regaining votes is bad news for all other parties.  Sometimes when one party does well, another party does disproportionately badly as a result, and others get away relatively lightly, but on this showing they would be taking seats across the board, showing the reach of the FF vote…evenly spread can see you do very badly on a low vote, but recover remarkably well if you pass above a certain threshold.  On these last few polls, it appears to me that they have risen above that threshold, and being in opposition are unlikely to fall below it again, IMO.

It may be time to get used to it….

*Drink* *Arse* *Feck*

Written by Dotski

March 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Back to business as usual…?

with 5 comments

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;

Projected result % seats
FG 25.00% 47
LP 13.00% 25
FF 27.00% 47
SF 20.00% 28
ULA* 1.00% 1
GP 1.00% 0
OTH* 14.00% 18
  101.00% 166

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….

Written by Dotski

February 18, 2013 at 1:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized


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