Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

Triple Crown

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Seats not finalised, but maybe its time to look at how the different companies did in their final polls of the campaign.

As I pointed out in 2011, MRBI had been the closest in 2007-  people still rubbished them, and they went on to be the most accurate in 2011 also. And yet, still the mockers.

This time, they introduced another adjustment which I was dubious of at first, and I didn’t project their first poll on the blog as a result.  Subsequently I met their MD for a coffee and he very kindly explained the reasoning and impact of that adjustment (along with other aspects of their vision of polling), and I was impressed enough with his reasoning to go back to projecting for their polls.

Just as well! This year they were looking to be the most accurate in both the pre-election poll and Exit poll, and managed it again with aplomb.

Figures below on the last polls and the exit polls from RedC, B&A, MillwardBrown, MRBI, the DIT poll and the IPR projections, along with the 2 exit polls.

Of the pre-election polls, MRBI were the closest, being a cumulative 11.36% out over over the 9 party/Oth totals.  My estimates were second at 13.68%, RedC 3rd with 14.6%, Millward Brown 4th with 17.36%, B&A 5th with 20.6%, and DIT last (just!) with 21.04%.

In the battle of the Exits (which had much smaller margins of error due to bigger and-presumably – more accurate samples of actual voters), MRBI were also closer, being an impressive 8.04% out, compared to B&A’s decent 10.38%.

Impossible to meaningfully compare these with the 2011 figures as the smaller parties weren’t measured in those.

Anyways, the figures are below. Read ’em and weep. Etc etc.

Last B&A 30 18 16 8 3 4 4 2 15 100
Out 4.48 6.35 2.15 1.39 0.95 1.28 1 0.18 2.82 20.6
Last MRBI 28 23 15 6 5 2 4 2 15 100
Out 2.48 1.35 1.15 0.61 1.05 0.72 1 0.18 2.82 11.36
Last MBrown 27 23 19 6 5 2 4 2 12 100
Out 1.48 1.35 5.15 0.61 1.05 0.72 1 0.18 5.82 17.36
Last RedC 30 20 15 7 3 3 4 2 16 100
Out 4.48 4.35 1.15 0.39 0.95 0.28 1 0.18 1.82 14.6
IPR 30 20 15 7.5 3.3 2.5 2.9 2.5 16.3 100
Out 4.48 4.35 1.15 0.89 0.65 0.22 0.1 0.32 1.52 13.68
DIT 32 20 15 8 2 2 4 2 14 99
out 6.48 4.35 1.15 1.39 1.95 0.72 1 0.18 3.82 21.04
B&A Ex 24.8 21.1 16 7.1 4.7 3.6 3.7 2.4 16.6 100
Out 0.72 3.25 2.15 0.49 0.75 0.88 0.7 0.22 1.22 10.38
MRBI Ex 26.1 22.9 14.9 7.8 3.6 3.5 2.8 2.6 15.8 100
Out 0.58 1.45 1.05 1.19 0.35 0.78 0.2 0.42 2.02 8.04
RESULT 25.52 24.35 13.85 6.61 3.95 2.72 3 2.18 17.82 100
Poll Out
Last B&A 20.6
Last MRBI 11.36
Last MBrown 17.36
Last RedC 14.6
IPR 13.68
DIT 21.04
B&A Ex 10.38
MRBI Ex 8.04

Written by Dotski

February 29, 2016 at 6:56 pm

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Labour pains

with 2 comments

As readers will be aware, I’m a Labour voter (usually) and the Labour result is one that’s not filled me with hope.  There will be much argued about where they went right and wrong, both in Govt and the campaign, but we’ll leave that for elsewhere.

As I write, Labour have 5 seats and are in the hunt (with varying degrees of hopefulness) for 4 further seats, and it appears (slightly) odds on they won’t make 7 in the new Dáil (unless they come to some arrangement with the SocDems or e.g. Zappone).

Worth noting that this day last week,  when projecting their performance in the Sindo/Millward Brown (poll=6%, seats=5) I stated the following;

“The couple of points LP are lower compared to RedC sees them miss out on a rake of seats (indeed falling short of the 7 required to be a Dail party), suggesting there is a very big tipping point for them between 6-8%… if they are about 7% on the day (quite possible on current polling) I suspect they will be involved in a lot of dogfights.  If they fall as low as this on polling day, this could be the last time the party contests an election (at least in its current form), as consideration of a re-alignment of the centre-left would surely arise if both they and the SocDems were below that threshold.  But we’ll see.”

This is pretty much what happened, although whether you draw the same conclusions is up to you.

On the day, they have received 6.6%, and while they may yet reach 7 seats, the issue of re-alignment of the centre left will probably remain.  Interestingly, this was below the 2 exit polls, which gave 7.1% and 7.8% – those margins may not seems much, but the seat projections for them were 7 and 11, so 5-9 (tending to 6) is around what you’d expect for 6.6%.

Looking at the projections I made over this series  (since I returned in December) that were under 8%, the seats projections were as follows (remember interactions with other parties also influence);

4% – 1

6% – 5

6% – 5

6% – 7

7% – 9

7.1% – 7

7.5% – 11

7.8% – 11

So  5-7 seats at 6% (averaging 6.3), 9 seats at 7%, and 7-11 seats in the space between 7 and 8%.  Quite where 6.6% is going to land is still uncertain but currently at 5-9 (looking like 6-7), it looks like it will end at the upper end of the 6% range.

That’s all for this post, back off to look at the Dublin Bay figures – I’m had Labour at about 35% chance (AOR) and 20% (KH) last night, but want to look at them again now I’m sober…




Written by Dotski

February 28, 2016 at 11:16 am

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A lot of partial tallies out there this year, making it harder to project.  By best clal at this stage seems to show SF doing slightly better than I would have taken from the exit polls.  Based on what we’ve heard (and projected into the gaps) I’m expecting something similar to the following now;

FG 49
FF 40-41
SF 27-28
LP 8-9
SD 3-4
GP 2
Re 0-1
OTH 20-21

How d’ya like them apples…?

Written by Dotski

February 27, 2016 at 2:06 pm

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Exit stage left…

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B&A exit poll shows a slightly bigger drop for FG/LP and bigger vote for the harder left.  Most noticeable is the tipping point for LP, which I’d noted at sims around 7%, comes into play again, the 7.1% here gives 7 seats, compared to 11 seats on 7.8% (although interplay of other parties also contributes to this).  This suggests their reaching the ‘speaking rights’ threshold is far from certain.  Anyway, projections…

FG 24.8% 50
FF 21.1% 38
SF 16.0% 27
LB 7.1% 7
GP 3.6% 3
AAA/PBP 4.7% 6
SocDems 3.7% 5
Renua 2.4% 2
OTH 16.6% 20
100.0% 158

These figures, no chance of FG/LP core of Govt. Numbers there for something witgh a FF/SF/LP/SD core, but I don’t see it.  FG/FF in some shape or form again.

FWIW, Prof Mike marsh did an official projection for RTE and he has been similiar enough in the past, and is again on this occasion (difference in brackets);

FG 46 (-4), LAB 9 (+2), FF 37 (-1), SF 27 (same), SD 7 (+2), PBP 6 (same), GP 4 (+1), IA 4, R 3(+1), INDs 13, OTHERS 2.


Written by Dotski

February 27, 2016 at 9:02 am

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Exit to the Right…

with 3 comments

The Irish Times/MRBI poll came out (almost) on time, and suggests the swing to FF recorded over the course of the campaign continued.  FG are lower than in most polls, LP about average or slightly above, SF dipping in the direction the polls had indicated.  Of the minor parties, the margin of error makes it less revealing, but on these figures a good poll for the Greens, and more at the disappointing end for AAA and the SocDems. Possibly.

OK, projection here, but (get one’s excuses in early), I have half a bottle of wine in me, and so if these are on the button I get *bonus* points.

FG 26.1% 52
FF 22.9% 41
SF 14.9% 22
LB 7.8% 11
GP 3.5% 3
AAA/PBP 3.6% 4
SocDems 2.8% 4
Renua 2.6% 2
OTH 15.8% 19
100.0% 158

NB, I am assuming a fair few non-transferable votes in the later stage of the counts, a few seats (notably LP) benefit from this, and if this is over-estimated LP and to some extent FG may suffer.

On these figures its hard to see past a minority FG govt with FF support (until they pull the plug), but only after weeks of talks.  Even FG+LP+GP+SDs+Ren=72, and even that ragtag would need another 7 votes from the 19 in OTH (which seems impossible to me given the likely composition).

A FF-led Govt would be as implausible (if not, at the same time, impossible), if one ignores their ‘red-lines’. FF+SF+LP+GP+SD=81 but even if they agreed to talk to SF (who would have to agree to go in with them) FF would have to persuade LP (below 15 and licking their wounds) and Greens and SocDems to hitch their wagon to a caravan that could come unstuck very quickly.  FF+SF+LP as a ‘core’ would come to 74, and one could at a stretch imagine 5+ Indos coming on board, but that, again would be a precarious arrangement, and not one many would relish explaining in November when it fell apart.  Maybe.

So anyways, only a poll, but the Exit poll in 2011 was very close, and the final MRBI conducted a week earlier was slightly closer, so one imagines this is very close to being on the money.  B&A will however have another Exit poll tomorrow on RTE at 7am, and may have polled later into the day, which might make it more reliable.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll try to haul my ass up early tomorrow to run the sim on the B&A poll, and I’ll be while stuck at Dotski Jnr’s GAA match for some of the morning, hopefully the wonders of smartphone tech and my trusty election-day spreadsheet will allow me make decent extrapolations from the early tallies.  In 2011, after 15 partial tallies, it predicted the final result with a total deviation of 2.6% across the 6 totals, compared to 4.5% across the Exit poll.  Harder this time, given the new constituencies and parties – a disadvantage which won’t apply if we have a second election this year, but hopefully accurate enough for any candidates tailoring their speeches at the count centre.

Stay tuned!


Written by Dotski

February 27, 2016 at 12:51 am

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Ok…last time out, predictions from most quarters (including the other blog whose method was annoying me…) were so far out it wasn’t too hard to out-predict them.

This time out I note in the last week or so projections from all sources, and predictions on Twitter are converging on what I would consider sensible (at least if you exlcude the usual headbangers). Presumably that means they have improved their methods, or I have disimproved mine.

My projections therefore look less radical, and more boring as a result.

But here they are;

FG    30%     55 seats
FF    20%      39
SF    15%      22
LP     7.5%    11
AAA  3.3%      4
SD     2.9%      5
GP     2.5%      1
REN   2.5%     2
OTH  16.3%  19

Rumours of an MRBI/ITimes exit poll tonight, and RTE will have a B&A exit poll tomorrow at 7. While MRBI have a better record, its worth noting that to get the poll out early (10:30 has been mentioned) they may have to have a very small sample of later voters which may skew the figures.

I’ll have some projection based on what comes out.

Also, as in 2011, I have a formula which I used to take the early tallies and project final result (in FPVs). Basically it takes my constituency projections, looks at the average deviation of most recent tally from that, and projects the same deviation to everywhere theres no tally.

Last time out I poated what it had after 15 partial tallies, & cumulatively it was 2.6% out for party totals, compare to 4.6% in the exit poll. This time new constituencies and parties may make that base less accurate, so it will eb intersting if it works as well this time.

Anyways, 10 o clock!


Written by Dotski

February 26, 2016 at 11:01 pm

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False Dawn?

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Well, that rumoured Millward Brown poll never surfaced, so was either a hoax or privately commissioned.  So the last poll we have is one of very uncertain quality, being surveyed by DIT Market Research students (under what supervision I have no idea) for Method seems similar to the RedC phone approach.

But given I was geed up to do one last projection, I thought I’d run it anyway! 😉

FG 32% 61
FF 20% 36
SF 15% 20
LB 8% 13
GP 2% 0
AAA/PBP 2% 2
SocDems 4% 6
Renua 2% 2
OTH 14% 18
99% 158

Overall, the poll isn’t very far out from the professional companies, but appears to have higher rating for FG and lower for AAAPBP – other than that no great deviation.  FG boost however small in vote terms, combined with a good LP showing (unlikely both would occur at the same time, given they chase many similar voters) would be enough however to put FG/LP within touching distance of Govt – indeed on these figures they could get a majority if the SocDems were interested.  However, would a new party take a risk like that so soon into their existence, particularly for a Govt that could fall soon enough, given the size of its majority.  LP would also have to be persuaded, being below 15, however, if it was almost that and they had an ally like the SocDems joining them, I suspect that could persuade them.

Anways, a school night so off to bed.  Will post my projection before polls close tomorrow, although I notice online predictions on Twitter are broadly more sensible (and consistent) than they were in 2011 (or in certain site’s projections a few months ago) and so you are unlikely to find anything surprising in them.

Enjoy the rest of #GE16 ..




Written by Dotski

February 25, 2016 at 11:53 pm

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Hang the lot of ’em…

with 5 comments

Last RedC out today, tallies with trends in other polls, if slightly different details (slight in FPVs, if not in seat outcomes).

No time to do piece on it, but projections are as follows;

FG         30% 55
FF         20% 39
SF         15% 22
LB           7%   9
GP            3%   2
AAA/PBP 3% 5
SocDems 4% 6
Renua      2% 2
OTH       16% 18

(Sorry re format, done on my phone).

Rumour of Millward Brown in tomorrow’s Indo, so that’ll be last pre vote poll.

Written by Dotski

February 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

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Sign of the Times…

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MRBI in Irish Times this morning…did this on the phone so formatting is terrible. Won’t say much as at work and busy. May add some commentary this evening if have time.

FG          28% 53
FF          23% 43
SF          15% 25
LB             6%   5
GP            2%   1
AAA/PBP 5%  6
SocDems 4% 6
Renua        2% 2
OTH         15% 17

Written by Dotski

February 22, 2016 at 11:45 am

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Trendy politics

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Just a wee post on how the polling has progressed for the parties (across the pollsters) over the campaign.. more for myself (to separate out the noise from actual trends), but thought I’d leave up here for anyone interested.  Results of polls are in chronological order (i.e. oldest first).

NB this is NOT a prediction, simply a summary of what pollsters are indicating to date.

Fine Gael

There has been 7 RedC’s since the election was called.  In those, FG has polled;


So a range of 26-31%, starting and finishing at the higher end (30%). Before the last poll however this looked like a decline from 31% (mid campaign) to 26%, so far from certain the decline has been reversed on RedC data.  But 29-30% would look likely based on this pollster.

3 B&A polls, in those FG were 31-28-30.  Again implies a small decline, followed by a recovery, and support between 29-30%.

2 Millward Brown polls, both at 27%, and the 2 MRBIs  both 28%.

Overall, a figure of around 29%. 

Fianna Fail

RedC polling as follows;


Remarkably stable (almost suspiciously so..) 18% from them and solidly so.

B&A had them 20-20-23, so are consistently giving them more, and increasing at the end.  

Millward Brown 22 & 23, MRBI 21 & 23.

So RedC have stood apart from the others to date, and the difference implied 18% vs rising slightly to 23%, would make a very big difference to them.  Seem certain to be 2nd largest party in the new Dail either way.

Sinn Fein

RedC give them;


So possibly slight decline (except for 1 blip)…if the 20 was an outlier, they have 4 ‘going’ from 17 to 16… No momentum but no real decline there, looks about 16-17 to me.

B&A gave them 16-17-15, pretty stable, suggesting a vote about 15-16.

Millward Brown 21 & 19 so maybe a slight decline, but from a higher base..MRBI gave them 19 and 15.

About 16-17% overall on those figures maybe but slipping slightly towards 15%.


RedC have given them;


Fairly stable, but suggesting they may have peaked early in the campaign..suggestive of a little over 8.

B&A gave 6, 8 and (famously) 4 … a bit erratic and you’d be slow to take anything from that series..if forced you might suspect they were about 6

Millward Brown were 6% each time, and MRBI#1 gave them 7% and 6%.  

If I had to take anything from that set of figures it would be about 7%.


Red C figures were;

2-3-2-2-2-4-4 – Implies after a steady 2%, may have increased to 4% now.

B&A gave 3% in each poll so if there was a rise it was masked or hidden by variance in the sample.

Millward Brown gave 1 and 2, so slight rise but from lower base, really though the vote itself well within the margin of error.  The MRBI gave them 2% both times.

Hard to say for sure, but any movement there is does appear to have been upwards, polls appear to be suggesting they are at about 3%.


RedC have given them;

3-3-3-4-3-2-3.  Implication is they have straightlined at 3%.  I suspect this masks a slight increase in an initial total over-stated by ex-ULA candidates some voters may have assumed would be part of this alliance – as posters go up their voters would start to move to “OTH”, and so if stable I suspect they have actually risen.

B&A have given them 3-3-5, suggesting a rise from a similar base.

Millward Brown gave them 3 & 5, again suggesting an increase from the base of 3.  MRBI gave them 4 and 5.

Overall would read this as polls indicating rising to 5% at this stage.


RedC have given them;


Slow steady increase. Particularly satisfying for them is that the increase has happened in the same context of people in 26 constituencies discovering they have no SocDem candidate, which should be a downward pressure.  would suggest a vote of at least 4%, rising to 5%, but perhaps these figures still include people who won’t have the option.

B&A gave them 1-4-3 … basically lower base but reached 3-4%… woulda thought hopeful of 4% on these figures.

MB similarly see them go from 1% to 4%, and MRBI#1 gave them 2% rising to 4%.

Around 4% at this stage, I would have thought with slight upward momentum…


RedC have given them;


Implies a little shy of 2%, which is surprising given their candidates and profile. (Edit I’ve since been told were about 2.4% in the most recent one, so upper end of that).

B&A have given them 2-2-3, which is more promising and they will be hoping these figures are more accurate.

MB gave them 1-2, and MRBI#1 1% followed by 2%.

Something between 2-3% I think if accurate.given they have far more candidates than SocDems and AAA, this will spread very thinly if accurate.


RedC totals as follows;


Strongly suggests 15-16%.  As you can see!

B&A gave them 20-15-15.

MB saw them drop from 18 to 14. MRBI was 16% and 15%.

So about 15% but falling?  Maybe, we’ll see whether MRBI concurs.


Polls to date, across the pollsters, suggesting;


Fine Gael : Overall, a figure of around 29%.

Fianna Fail : RedC have stood apart from the others to date, and the difference implied 18% vs c.23%, would make a big difference to them.  Seem certain to be 2nd largest party in the new Dail either way.

Sinn Fein: Falling to 15%.

Labour: About 7% on average but big variance overall.  They’d rather RedC counting the votes on Saturday than B&A I think.

Greens : Hard to say for sure, but any movement there is does appear to have been upwards, polls appear to be suggesting they are at about 3%.

AAAPBP : Overall I would read this as polls indicating rising to 5% at this stage.

SocDems: Around 4% at this stage, I would have thought with slight upward momentum…

Renua: 2-3%…given they have far more candidates than SocDems and AAA, this will spread very thinly if accurate.
OTH: So about 15% but falling .  

Written by Dotski

February 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm

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He who is without Sindo..

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OK, started doing this last night but after a glass or 2 of vino I found the constituency count sims a bit ‘tiring’, so put it off to today.  Will be brief…

Sindo poll today from Millward Brown, which sows big gains for FF and LP, Indos down.  We are told that “Uniquely, the poll was limited to registered voters who say they are either “certain” or “likely” to vote”, which is an odd statement as other pollsters do this or similar (RedC recently increased the certainty threshold) and so one presumes this means this is a change to the MB method, which makes movement hard to judge, i.e. is it a result of real world change or the change in method?

Projections as follows;

FG 27% 52
FF 23% 41
SF 19% 31
LB 6% 5
GP 2% 1
AAA/PBP 5% 6
SocDems 4% 6
Renua 2% 2
OTH 12% 14
100% 158

The couple of points LP are lower compared to RedC sees them miss out on a rake of seats (indeed falling short of the 7 required to be a Dail party), suggesting there is a very big tipping point for them between 6-8%… if they are about 7% on the day (quite possible on current polling) I suspect they will be involved in a lot of dogfights.  If they fall as low as this on polling day, this could be the last time the party contests an election (at least in its current form), as consideration of a re-alignment of the centre-left would surely arise if both they and the SocDems were below that threshold.  But we’ll see.

FF will be well pleased with this poll, along with B&A it suggests that they will be comfortably the 2nd largest party in the next Dail.  The dilemma will be whether to Tallaght-strategy FG, coalesce (unlikely on these figures I think), or work to pull the plug in a few months and try to be the largest party in a 2nd vote (if these figures were delivered upon this week, that would be very possible, with FG in striking distance).

OTH looks too low to me, but beyond that, not much more can say on this one.

MRBI tomorrow, given their past record this will be a big one.


Written by Dotski

February 21, 2016 at 12:58 pm

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Back to life…

with one comment

Well, a lot of people excited by the B&A poll that was/wasn’t/will be, but another poll from RedC and we’re back where we started. Sorta.

Today’s poll shows LP back where they have been around in most polls (8%) – given the somewhat better performances they’ve had in the last few days they will be hopeful that the momentum is upwards.  FG are up again to 30%, which will settle a few nerves – SF continue to show a slow downward trend which, while will still keep them well ahead of LP means they won’t come close to FF in the next Dail, and the Greens up to the top end of their range to date (4%).  AAAPBP will be unhappy to see they are down to 3%, having been at 5% and ahead of LP in B&A (some claimed it was the first time a ‘socialist party’ was ahead of LP in the polls, however the marxist (and then pro-Soviet) WP led LP in a few polls in the 80s and threatened to overtake them in 1987 (they didn’t).  Also,  the WP *are* a party, unlike AAAPBP who are more in the nature of an alliance.. not quite a ‘broad/popular front’ but ..umm…anyway…

Projections as follows;

FG 30% 56
FF 18% 32
SF 16% 24
LB 8% 13
GP 4% 3
AAA/PBP 3% 4
SocDems 4% 6
Renua 2% 2
OTH 15% 18
100% 158

Interestingly, the combined improvement in both GP and SocDems would, on those figures, make a FG/LP/SD/GP coalition within touching distance of a majority if it could be cobbled together, although I suspect they’d not be able to get all to agree to it, the two smaller parties in particular would be looking at a single seat at cabinet which would be hard to sell (especially to the SocDems I suspect), and LP are mooted to be considering 15 seats a minimum before re-entering Govt…that said, if there were 2 other centre-left voices at cabinet, perhaps they might be flexible…

However if this was the outcome I’d still think FG/FF in some shape/form/arrangement, although there might be weeks of choreography before the Rainbow alternative was exhausted as an option.

Of course, just one poll, no doubt everyone will be clinging to the one that backs their party.  With, I understand, Millward Brown in the Sindo tomorrow and MRBI in the Irish Times on Monday, people will have plenty to choose from.  If they can’t find what they want among the 4 polls, they are probably in deep trouble…

So i guess I’ll see y’all here again soon…



Written by Dotski

February 20, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Trigger Happy…

with 3 comments

Those up last night will have (very briefly) seen the report of a B&A poll conducted for tomorrow’s Sunday Times.  While it was taken down very quickly and B&A have yet to comment on the matter, the Times (Saturday edition) have referred to the result and so we can assume that the figures are as contained in the leaked document.

A lot of conspiracy theories bouncing around the web on this, but having covered the reliability of B&A a while ago and talking to people who’ve used them before, I’d be more of the “cock-up” theory brigade – there is no benefit in B&A doing this as reliability is the most important thing in that business, and if a customer, in this case a Sunday newspaper, sells no papers as a result of spending a lot of money (a decent national poll will cost €5,000-€10,000), that hammers attractiveness.  Even if the poll is accurate, that’s a big minus for potential customers, and I do wonder if they expect the Sunday Times to pay them for a poll that everyone else will have read on Friday night or Saturday morning.

Anyway, the poll itself is most notable for seeing Labour support halve to 4%.  What you think of that is probably in part based on where your sympathies lie… while I’ve questioned B&A before (and the manner of the poll’s release doesn’t increase one’s faith in their competence..) it also seems unlikely to me that they could be the 4-5% out that this might be, compared with other recent polls.  So while it may be an outlier, there is a limit to how much of an outlier it could be, and I’d be surprised, therefore, not to see some downward movement in RedC later today (and I believe Millward Brown).  If there wasn’t, this would probably be the last time you see B&A polling commissioned  (save in event of the General Election coming into line with it).

Its of course also possible that it’s not an outlier, and the polls later today will be in line with it.  This would surprise me, but if I had to guess now I’d be thinking LP 8% in RedC and 6-7% in MB. Lower and B&A will be relieved. We’ll see I guess.

Other news and its also a bad poll for SF at 15% (their worst for a while, which is hard to credit in a poll that LP is down so much also and SocDems down also).  Good for FG, FF and Renua, along with AAAPBP who would surge past LP in a lot of places with this showing of 5%.  If it came to pass, we’d have a result which was similar to pre-crash Ireland, but with FG taking place of FF and SF swapping with LP (and AAAPBP taking role previously held by the WP, including the impending name-change and bitter split…), Renua playing role of the ‘rump’ PDs before they called it a day.  Govt would be almost certainly FG on their own with ‘Tallaght Strategy’ agreed with FF who would look to consolidate as 2nd party again, no way they’d play 2nd fiddle if they had over a quarter of the Dail.

Anyways, projections as follows, read ’em and weep…


FG 30% 60
FF 22% 41
SF 15% 21
LB 4% 1
GP 3% 2
AAA/PBP 5% 6
SocDems 3% 4
Renua 3% 3
OTH 15% 20
100% 158

Written by Dotski

February 20, 2016 at 11:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Double Donegal

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Following the MRBI/TG4 poll on Donegal reported on the other day, another from Tirconaill Tribune  and reported on by Highland Radio today which, while of less certain provenance, reiterates SF in danger of losing their 2nd seat,along with FG in deep trouble.

Not got too much time to comment, but this one shows SF at 31.4%, with PMcL struggling to take a seat, although only certainties are probably FF1, SF1, & most likely an Indo. Last 2 seats between Indos2, SF2, FF2 & FG who at 13.3% are struggling (17% in other poll).

One to watch I think..



Written by Dotski

February 18, 2016 at 2:43 pm

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Independents day

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Hot on the heels of today’s Kerry poll from MRBI, there’s further evidence of Indos (as distinct from smaller new parties) making headway, this time from RedC conducting a national poll for the Irish edition of the S*n.

As has been commented upon by everyone regarding every poll of the campaign, nothing much happening outside the margin of error, but is there a trend?  There was as it happens a RedC poll exactly a month ago, and the findings in this (compared to that poll) are as follows;

FG   26% (down 4%)
FF   19% (NC)
SF   17% (down 2%)
LP    9% (NC)
GP    4% (up 2%)
AAA 2% (down 1%)
SD    3% (up 2%)
Ren  2% (NC)

OTH 18% (up 3%)

Only movement outside margin of error has been a decline in FG, although OTH probably also up and GP/SDs would be pleased with movement in this direction.

Seat projections as follows;

FG 26% 49
FF 19% 32
SF 17% 28
LB 9% 15
GP 4% 3
AAA/PBP 2% 3
SocDems 3% 4
Renua 2% 1
OTH 18% 23
100% 158

FG will be concerned that their vote continues to drift to Indos, and they will hope much of this would come back in #2s.  At this level, they are vulnerable to a number of tipping points around the country.  Labour will be relieved that the apparent drift down has been reversed – it looks pretty much as if the 7-10% they are getting is a stable vote bobbing up and down the margin of error.  Greens may take hope with the 4% here but again they seem to be going up and down the 2-4% window, similarly there’s been no trend in SocDems or Renua that could be reliably identified as a trend.  Indos are up, but even then, it’s hard to say how solid that is, dependent as they are more on sentiment (which is more transitory than many of the reasons people vote the way they do) than parties with policies and records in Govt usually are.

Clearly there’s no Govt without both FG and FF here. FG/LP is 15 seats plus short – even with SocDems & Greens, they’d be looking for an unwieldy group of 8+ Indos – it wouldn’t last a budget day, IMO.  FF+SF would be even further adrift, and a ‘popular front’ of the Right to Change variety wouldn’t even come close.

In fact, even the FG/FF combo would be only 81 seats, and over the course of the Dáil would most likely rely on Indo support.

Some time to go, and some will hope that the debate last night will sway some people to their cause, but as I pointed out before, we are at a point where not much movement can be expected – some, yes, but more than 10 seats worth?  Hard to see on past evidence.

But we’ll see.






Written by Dotski

February 16, 2016 at 10:23 pm

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The West’s awake (and voting Healy-Rae…)

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Very surprising MRBI poll for TG4 today,  which, following on from last week’s surprise  showing SF losing their 2nd TD in the Donegal merger, shows an apparent collapse in the SF vote in Kerry, to the benefit of the Indos, presumably largely the Healy-Rae brothers.


Always hard to predict a new constituency, but one would have thought the merger of (effectively) 2 halves of the same county would be less surprising.  Ferris got 20.35% in the North (which contained part of Limerick county), and while there was no SF candidate in the South one would have expected some level of SF support had they run a candidate there, but the combined 7% Ferris now seems to be at (which would be fewer votes than he got in Kerry North alone last time, when SF was 10% nationally) in the county seems surprisingly low.  No real surprises with the other parties, in the IPR projection (based on the last RedC) FG came out at 27.9%, FF at 14.4%, LP at 8.3%, so the main move up is OTH/Indos, who appear to be mopping up the anti-establishment vote in the Kingdom.

On these figures, it seems impossible to see failure to elect a 2nd Indo, along with 1 FF, 1 FG and a dogfight between FG2, LP & SF.  Destination of the Indo surplus should decide whether Spring or Ferris is ahead of the other…if its Spring he may get enough from SF to be ahead of FG2 and take the final seat, if its Ferris, I would have thought while some North Kerry votes would go to him, enough would go to FG to put them over the line.  In theory a 3rd Indo is possible, but I can’t see the vote splitting kindly enough for this to happen.

This poll may be an outlier (or not) but either way it shows that, under the bonnet, there are big winners and losers that always buck the trend. They will generally cancel out (I suspect SF under-performing on the West coast means more of their swing in Dublin) however it shows that there are perhaps more seats in play that one would have thought…Spring was one of those I’d have nearly written off for Labour, but this poll shows him very much in the hunt.  But the big story is the Healy-Raes.

Bet the BBC will love that…


Edit: Further details…assuming strong Healy-Rae internal transfers they’d definately have 2 seats on this..FG vote split very well which would make them well placed to take the last seat.


Written by Dotski

February 16, 2016 at 7:19 pm

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The only bad publicity…

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RedC out today, and no great movement from the RedC for Paddy Power mid-week (although reportage ignores that poll and gives movement from the last RedC commissioned by SBP), beside an increase in SF at the expense (in net terms, anyway) of FG.  It would appear that the publicity SF have attracted in recent days has done them no damage (and may have even helped them) among those considering them for their first preference.

Votes and seat projections as follows;

FG 28% 55
FF 18% 31
SF 20% 30
LB 8% 12
GP 2% 1
AAA/PBP 3% 4
SocDems 4% 5
Renua 1% 0
OTH 16% 20
100% 158

As pointed out yesterday, the chances of significant movement (in net terms)  is increasingly unlikely at this stage, and with the outgoing coalition looking at 67 seats (and LP below the ‘magic’ 15), I can’t see it being re-elected.  13 seats would have to come from disparate interests, and while SocDems might be bidable (and they do well in this poll), they would still need another 8 from the 21 in GP/OTH. Given how unstable such a combo would be, I can’t see LP signing up to it, which leaves FG/FF the only option left.  Whether they would do this as a formal coalition or with a Tallaght II, I know no more than you do.  A ‘temporary arrangement’ for the 1916 centenary year (“in the national interest”) which allowed them co-habit before full marriage might be the outcome.



But we’ll see. Dinner to make and may have wine taken by the time the next polls are out, so may not be back until tomorrow.

Have a nice Valentine’s Eve…



Written by Dotski

February 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

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Are we nearly there yet? (Yes, probably)…

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Some discussion online about whether much more movement is likely at this stage. While I suspect much to play out locally, these tussles may cancel out in the national picture. To test this, I had a look back at the blogpost from this date 5 years ago.

(unlike a certain other blogger, I’ve left these projections up on the same site as my current ones, it allows you judge accuracy of my method for yourself)

That post had a RedC poll (equivilant to one coming out tomorrow evening) and the figures (and my projections) were as follows;

FF: 15%    17
FG: 38%   73
LP: 20%   40
SF: 10%    11
GP: 3%       2
OTH:14%  23

The actual result, a fortnight later was

FF: 17.5%    20
FG: 36.1%   76
LP: 19.5%   37
SF: 9.9%     14
GP: 1.8%       0
OTH:15.2%  19

So some movement (esp FF/SF), OTH doing worse on vote to seats ratio, FG doing better (I recall the late Garrett FitzGerald commenting on their good fortune on RTE during the coverage on how their votes distributed), but nothing seismic…all parties within 3% of that poll, and within 3 seats of the IPR projections.

Thats not to say there weren’t ups and downs in the meantime or (more likely) significant changes in how transfers would be used (that often happens in the polling booth), however it does suggest that the national picture is unlikely to change massively between now and polling day.

For my money, that makes some sort of FG/FF arrangement about 90% likely, with the only alternative a FG/LP govt with Indo/microparty support (and that dependent on LP gaining 2-3% over next fortnight, if that gain is FG’s I suspect the former option is only one in town, if they are to avoid a grand coalition. In practice this may involve a fixed period Tallaght Strategy by FF. Alternative is an election that nobody will want.

Maybe this time it will be different, the high OTH vote may be volatile (esp in 2nd preferences), but anyone hoping for a big swing in the closing days may be set for disapointment.





Written by Dotski

February 12, 2016 at 11:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Powers to the people!

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Paddy Power have a RedC poll out this morning on RTE. Thanks to the miracle of Google Drive I’ve been able to run spreadsheet during coffee break.

LP down to 8 (are the polls ‘herding’ already?), good for AAAPBP, bad for Renua..also rounding issues mean only 98% in totals, looking forward to seeing breakdowns later.

Projections as follows (can’t insert spreadsheet tables using the phone…)

FG     30%   58
FF      18%   32
SF      17%   26
LB        8%   12
GP        2%     1
AAAP.. 4%     4
SocD… 3%     3
Ren…   1%     0
OTH  15%   22

Thats FG/LP about 10 seats short…hard to see a Govt that could pass a budget in those circumstances without a lot of ‘special development zones’ being agreed with certain TDs, and I’m not sure Govt could risk the backlash.

Also figures on preferred Gov which, ironically show movement towards FG/LP on own (now 2nd, just behind FG/LP/IND).


At work and break over so will leave analysis for another day.

Written by Dotski

February 10, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A lighter shade of green…

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IPSOS-MRBI poll (click here for details) out tonight for the 5-seat Donegal constituency (commissioned by TG4), and it forecasts 2FF, 1 SF, 1FG, and a dogfight for the  last seat between SF & IND.  The poll seems to have used ballots and simulated counts, and show another IND (Dessie Sheils) to be giving Pringle a run for his money.

FWIW my projections have FF about 3% lower and SF higher by about the same, FG 1-2% higher and INDs c.1% lower, so quite close, but enough to make the 2nd SF seat safe in mine, and see Pringle stay ahead of FF2.

I was always dubious of SF’s 3 candidate strategy here but thought they should still hold onto MacLochlainn’s seat – this poll shows how precarious that may be.  In an election they are expected to make a breakthrough, if an established (and popular) TD loses – revision or not -they may be struggling to make the breakthrough.

Further polls for TG4 due next Tuesday (Kerry) and a 3rd one (presumably Galway West) will follow before polling day. All 3 are interesting constituencies so it will be great to see professional polls done at constituency level for once (usually thse are little more than canvassing returns).




Written by Dotski

February 9, 2016 at 11:02 pm

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A lot of folks ask me how I arrive at the figures in this blog, and given this is a new election with a new spreadsheet, I thought I’d update the explanation.

First of all, what it isn’t.  It’s *not* a portal into the future.  It’s not even a prediction of the result of the election.  What it is, is a projection of the sort of seats outcome most likely if there was a general election result in line with an opinion poll.  Each election do a projection for each usable poll (last one pre #GE11 here) and then I use the final figures (plus some final tweaking to account for information received during the campaign) to make my final prediction.  I compared pollsters and myself with the actual outcomes and I hope you’ll agree the outcomes show my approach works (within parameters that are possible) in terms of predicting national outcomes.  This doesn’t claim it will be close everywhere as there will always be local variation, but that generally cancels out at a national level (there’s only so much luck a party can have). Last one was more accurate than the media projections (OK, not hard) and well ahead of the other main spreadsheet predictions website, an outcome which is method related, rather than me having a good nose what what happens locally (I don’t think I have, particularly, but given such knowledge tends to be restricted to what you know best, it can involve significant confirmation bias- “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing“).

Given this election follows a constituency redrawing, the first element was/is creating a ‘base vote’,  This is largely an attempt to re-construct the 2011 General Election, with the new constituencies and, perhaps more challenging, with new parties and defections (but without taking account of swings since then).   This establishes the baseline, from which the swings are measured. Obviously, this is fraught with dangers but, in practice, being a bit out here and there doesn’t make a significant impact on the method’s accuracy, at least for the larger parties and in practice not for the smaller parties (beyond the margin of error, anyway), for reasons that become apparent below.

Each poll, I enter the ratings for each party.  Fortunately, the smaller parties are getting named this time around, which makes the approach much more accurate.  There’s another blog that aggregates the smaller parties and INDs into OTH, and as a result shows them gaining a lot of seats relative to LP.  However Inds, AAA and Renua are not as coherent a block as a single party, they don’t transfer as well as running mates, and they don’t manage their vote in the first place.  The same blog has been explaining its low vote to seat ratio for LP (much lower than received in other elections with fewer votes) on the basis that there are more fringe parties to overtake them now than in 1987, but this ignores that a fractured 15% OTH vote will transfer all over the place, especially as there are all sorts of reasons voters find themselves in that column.

The spreadsheet then calculates 2 variables for each party (and OTH)  The first, used by most others doing this, is the proportionate change in each party vote.  For example, let’s take a constituency (Upper Down) where PartyA had 16% last time (more properly, its the baseline figure rather than the actual 2011 vote but we’ll call it that for simplicity), when getting 8% nationally (i.e. they got double their national average there in 2011, so it’s a stronghold).

Say that party’s national vote increased from that 8% to 20% (quite an achievement!), that variable is  2.5 (20 divided by 8).  Formula 1, applied to this value, increase PartyA’s vote in Upper Down from 16% to 40%.

However, while somewhat instructive, early generations of this calculation (originally in BASIC on an 1980s home computer) found that this over-estimated the swing in constituencies where the party was already strong, and under-estimated where it was weak.  Overall this largely tended to cancel out in net terms, but I was keen to refine it.  So I did.


The second variable calculates the proportionate change in those not voting for the party locally.  This makes real-world sense, as any increase in a party vote is – largely – the result of people leaving other candidates.  Where you already have a lot of those votes, there’s fewer to win.  Variable B in this case, is the change nationally in the non-vote for each party , i.e. from 92% (100-8), to 80% (100-20).  So the non-vote variable in each constituency for PartyA is 92% by 80%, or 0.87 (i.e. the non-vote ‘shrinks’ by 13%).  There is also a step that ensure each value is above zero (required because can go below zero, as a result of the non-vote increasing a lot and not much needed to make it above 100% locally)…in such cases it ‘increases’ the vote to zero (as you’ll note later, this slightly reduces the vote for them elsewhere).

So the previous 16% vote for PartyA in Upper Down meant a non-vote of 84%.  Apply variable2 of 87%, and that’s 73% of a non-vote there now, or  a party vote of 27%.  In other words, the swing under this formula is smaller (because the vote was already relatively high).  Conversely, where that party would have been weaker than nationally would see that swing somewhat higher (try it and see, it’s fun! Kinda. Sorta…)

The spreadsheet then applies both variable A and variable B to PartyA (and the equivalent for all parties) into the party totals in each constituency, and an average of those is produced.  In this case, PartyA in Upper Down is looking at 33.35% (average of 40% + 27%), compared to 20% nationally.


OK, so in each constituency, you have a total for each party/OTH. But the total in each constituency won’t add up to exactly 100%.  Next job is to scale each party total up or down to make the total in that constituency 100.0%.  That’s simple enough.

Next job involves calculating what the national vote totals for each party are as a result of these new totals, based on the likely voters in each constituency.  This will not be level with the numbers that were in the poll you entered (it won’t be very far off, but may be more than 2% out, so it has to be adjusted for the projection to be sound).  When the spreadsheet calculates the drift from the poll figures, it then goes through each constituency and adjusts accordingly, by the appropriate percentage.

The final amount is calculated and is the final (unhidden) column for each party in each constituency, with a blank column for the seats in each constituency.


Then it’s the count.

In a majority of seats (in some constituencies all of them), it’s obvious from the FPV what the seats are going to be (at over 90% certainty) and so I don’t do a laborious count-by-count projection.  If FG are 50% in a 3-seater, FF 25%, LP 10% and OTH 15%, that’s clearly 2 seats FG, 1 FF (more than 9 times out of 10, anyway).  But where it’s not, I use a template on another tab.  It involves me splitting the party votes among candidates in a plausible fashion, and transfers in each count on the basis I judge (yes, you can’t do this another way) is most likely.  Current I assume LP/FG will transfer about 50% to each other (and 75-80% internally while have running mate).  SF/FF transfers similar outside Dublin, lower (c.30%) in the capital).  Indos transferring about a bit but the direction depends on the politics of local Indo candidates.  Local factors I suspect will be stronger this time and so a bit more leakages across parties to stay in the county.  AAAPBP transfers about 45% to SF, 15-20% to LP and 20% OTH.  A fair few non-transferables, as most voters already seem to be looking for a reason to vote for no-one.  In practice, a lot of last seats are being won in these constituencies without reaching the quota.

This count simulation may make it clear that the last seat is pretty certain to go to a particular party (at least so you’d be 90%+ sure). However some won’t, and where it’s a close call, I (again using my judgement) apportion probability.  Where it’s literally 50/50, too close to call, each gets 0.5 and so on.  This means that if a party has a two-thirds chance in 3 constituencies, the spreadsheet only gives them 2.0 seats, and that’s more accurate.  If you have 10 constituencies where you have a 67% chance of winning, you shouldn’t win all ten of them (if you do, they probably weren’t 67%).

Spreadsheet tots all these up, and then I manually round the totals (*.5 is rounded up, unless there’s more than 158 seats as a result, in which case they round down).

And that’s it.  Of course it involves some degree of subjectivity where final seats are close, although past record suggests I manage to avoid bias (I see little point in fooling myself, and this stuff is primarily for my own interest).

So that’s it. And if you still don’t trust it… that’s fine!  I’m happy it’s worked well in the past and will do so in the future.  I just thought I’d answer the question.




Written by Dotski

February 8, 2016 at 11:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Sunday blues

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Two more polls in this morning’s papers, which show significantly worse figures for the Govt than yesterday’s RedC numbers.  As is traditional, everyone is claiming that the one showing them doing best is the ‘one to watch’.  Which is fine if you’re more interested in self-delusion than anything else…

Sunday Times B&A offering is reported on here (€ paywall), data etc is available here , and Sindo’s Millward Brown is reported upon here.

First thing I noted in B&A is that while LP are 2% lower than last night’s offering from RedC (which itself was a ‘no change’ from the previous RedC poll), this survey shows a 2% leap from an even lower rating in their previous poll, with core vote up from 4% to 6% since last month, and the final adjusted figure up 2% to 8%.  This will be cold comfort for LP, who will be hoping RedC’s 10% is closer to the mark.  However, the general trend is at least positive, but must to do before most of their seats approach safety – for many of them, they need a big swing to even have a chance.

Biggest move among the big ‘uns is FG, down 3% to 28%.   FF unchanged at 20%, SF up 1% to 17%, and Greens apparently flatlining at 2%, however, that 2% rises to 3% when the Others are prompted with party names (which is a little odd, but happened in one of their previous polls).

Of the smaller parties, Soc Dems jump to 4% (having got 1% in the previous 4 B&A polls) – bit of a leap even within margin of error, I suspect either they have had some increase, the previuos poll underestimated, the current one over-estimates them, or a combination of all of these.  But they’ll be happy to read it!  AAAPBP occupying the 3% they’ve got elsewhere, WP who are measured here get 1% (right in the middle of the 0-2% they’ve registered to date) and Renua 2%. OTH/IND down 2%, but hard to read too much into that when, I suspect, there are Renua and possibly SocDem voters who still think their candidate is in that category.  Or it might be a reduction as people see the posters and realise they’re not.  We’ll see, I guess.

Projections from that poll as follows;

FG 28% 55
FF 20% 32
SF 17% 26
LB 8% 12
GP 3% 2
AAA/PBP 3% 3
SocDems 4% 4
Renua 2% 1
OTH 15% 23
100% 158

FG/FG arrangement of some sort most likely result on this outcome, as FG/LP would be I think too short at 67 seats to form a a stretch they could make an Indo Ceann Comhairle, maybe give a cabinet seat each to SocDems & Green, but that’s still them at 73 seats, needing another 7. While by my reckoning there would be up to 10-11 who could be dealt with, the chances of 7 of them all staying put (at least as far as a Budget vote)seems less than zero to me.  Candidates would be taking their posters down and storing them very carefully, as they’d be re-using them a few months later.

The Sindo/MB poll shows a worse outcome for both Govt parties, with less than a third of the vote (27% & 6%).  Unfortunately, there are no figures provided for any party outside the main 4 (in the online version anyway) and so I can’t project from those figures (the fractured nature of the current political situation is such that the composition of that 25% or so makes a big difference on the outcomes for the main 4), but I can note that in a previous full poll where LP got 6% their projection was 7 seats.  27% is lower than FG have got in recent polls, and I suspect they’d be low to mid 50s, which effectively would be the Govt on around 60 seats, well short of the 80 or so required to be re-elected.  In that case, you’d be looking at FG/FF (whether in cabinet coalition or some other arrangement) and/or a 2nd election.

Interestingly, only 45% of this sample say they are absolutely certain of how they will vote (which sounds at the low end), 35% pretty certain, 14% some reservations, 5% not at all certain, and 1% aren’t certain if they are certain or not…I think I often stand behind these people in queues…

Anyway, I’m off. Have a nice Sunday.




Written by Dotski

February 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Rainbow ahead…?

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Well, we’re into the campaign proper, and that means weekly polls from RedC (at least).  SBPost released this week’s results a little earlier, and while they show no movement outside the margin of error, the cumulative drift is currently in the direction of the outgoing Govt, if at possibly too slow a rate to save them.

Poll figures, and IPR projections, are as follows;

FG 31% 59
FF 17% 28
SF 17% 24
LB 10% 18
GP 2% 1
AAA/PBP 3% 3
SocDems 3% 3
Renua 1% 0
OTH 16% 22
100% 158

At 77 of the 81 seats required (including CC), this is moving in the direction the coalition would want, although they would still be found wanting.  The 2% gain from FG, coming in net terms from FG (via other swings, presumably), along with Labour holding what was a good poll for them last week suggests that, however unloved the current Govt might be, there seems little confidence for the alternative.  FG will see this as vindication of their current approach of talking about Fiscal Space… a lot of people in my timeline saying this is overly complicated language/jargon, but I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t understand what is meant by it.

SF will hope this drop is just a margin of error blip, and not the start of a trend.  FF continue to make no progress, and seem to be fighting SF for leadership of the opposition and little else.  LP…who knows, they may be pleased to hold 10%, but while this is well off the devastation some were gleefully predicting, 18 seats would still see a lot of TDs looking for Seanad nominations at the end of the month…

Below them, everyone in the margin of error, and hard to say exactly is going on…SocDems though will take some comfort from the 3% which would most likely see them holding their 3 seats, and will be hoping to push on up to take a few more – as one of the few parties that have not ruled out any possible coalition, they may yet to have an argument about which member of the triumvirate takes what was a LP seat at cabinet (perhaps the man with the same initials as the party?).

Greens largely miss out at this level. AAAPBP continue to struggle to break from the pack, and Renua have another poll showing them unable to even hold one seat.  My view is that they will do better than this on the day, as at least 2 of them in the running may still be seen by their voters as ‘independent’ (or even FG, in some cases….) – presumably that’s something at least postering achieves.

Anway, must run.



Written by Dotski

February 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Putting madness into the method?

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As you’re I’m sure all aware, the Irish Times/ MRBI published a poll this morning, which resulted in a lot of checking, at the end of which, has led to the discovery that the final figures are not a measure of the likely percentage votes, but of the likely percentages of “useful” votes.

Early look at the figures for me raised alarm bells as the LP ‘core figure’ was reported as having gone up 2% to 6% but final figure (after excluding 22% DKs) was unchanged at 7%. This was mathematically implausible, and I suspected either ‘at the edges’ rounding issues in both this & previous poll i.e. one rounded down, the other up, ( @Gavreilly pointed out the total came to 97%) or a transcription error in the Times.

Enquiries resulted in the revelation that there was indeed such a transcription error on the part of the Times, and I was informed that it was amended (current version on the web doesn’t appear to make mention of these values at all..) but that wasn’t all.  A footnote pointed out that the methodology had changed, and there was an additional question asked, as to the likelihood of the person’s vote being wasted (scale 1-10), and if they responded “1” (“makes no difference”), those people were omitted from the total figures, in the same way as people who say they won’t vote.

While I can see the intent behind this change, i.e. to measure shifts in those votes that make a difference (or at least that their owners think will), and those old enough to remember Ted Nealon’s Election analysis in the 70s will recall his concept of “Last Effective Vote” (admittedly measured ‘after the event’)– it does mean a ‘swing from last election’ approach is of little value, as this poll does not measure the First Preference Vote (FPV) but the % of FPVs that are considered, by their owners, may impact upon the result.  The swing is from one sort of measurement, to another.However, people aren’t comparing this poll with previous such measures, they are measuring it against the outcome last time, with a view to working out the sort of change #GE16 will make to the composition of the next Dail.

This causes a number of difficulties, aside from making it a different measure to other polls (which are attempting to measure FPV intention), including the last MRBI.

In the first instance, there is the issue of how one measures this accurately, and in a way that doesn’t instead skew for something entirely different.  Technically, the chance of any single vote impacting on the outcome of a single seat is so low as to be practically zero – there have been about a thousand constituency elections since the State was founded, and only a handful were decided by less than 5 votes, and, even in those cases 1 vote makes no difference. My vote will not change the outcome in my constituency.  Neither will yours. In theory, all votes should be excluded by this test as none are remotely likely to change outcome. However, they won’t, as most people will cling to the hope that their individual march to the polling station isn’t a waste of time.

Secondly, the more realistic/intelligent/engaged/experienced (or pessimistic) you are, the more likely you are to recognise this, meaning that cohort are more likely to drop out of the survey (i.e. them, rather than people whose votes won’t count in practice).  By contrast, the gullible/innumerate/inexperienced (and optimistic) are likely to be over-represented.  Of course, nearly everyone will think that hits their party most, however most of them will be wrong…I have my own view as to who this would benefit and who it would hit – you no doubt have yours…

But most crucially, the wasted votes are effectively ‘priced in’ where there is a projection to each constituency.  When I (or Adrian Kavanagh or Michael Marsh, or you) run a spreadsheet with whatever formulas, it produces plenty of constituencies where large swathes of votes – certainly their first preferences, which is what this poll is testing – do not count.  Take the last RedC, where Labour had 10%, there were 23/40 constituencies were the Labour votes did not elect their candidate (in my projection).  In many cases they may have elected someone else on transfers, but even here, in most cases, small beer.

In other words, of the 10% Labour got in the last RedC, as little as 6% of that may have contributed to someone’s election, and may therefore technically “makes no difference”.  Additionally, even those who were elected, many would see their vote as making no difference (Lowry voters, for instance, should know he is as safe as houses – their individual votes “make no difference”).

Of course, this will impact upon everyone, but least of all on FG as they are in with a shout everywhere, often could be 1 or 2 seats depending on how it goes, and are likely to get elected in at last 36-37/40 constituencies, perhaps more.  FF & SF will have some slippage (FF in most of Dublin, SF in parts of Dublin) but won’t lose much, LP lose a lot as are a national party but can expect 3-4% ‘wasted’ (or more) in a lot of places, GP similar, but AAA/SocDems/Renua all are likely to have quite concentrated votes in their areas (and no candidates in a lot of the areas they are weaker).  In the rebalancing, this would be expected to inflate FG, AAA, SDs & Renua, neutral for SF/FF, and hit LP & GP. (That is aside from the gullibility/inexperienced bias mentioned above).

The annoying thing about this meddling is that there was no reason for the change.  None at all. MRBI has been the most accurate in both the last 2 General Elections, and this change actively moves their final figure away from what their survey is telling them will be the result, and in a manner that is untested, to a figure that is of unpredictable usefulness, and is not a measure of FPVs (which is what the Irish Times are selling it as being in their reporting).  Of course, there are other adjustments that are made in polls, e.g. for likelihood to vote, however this is measuring for something that has a real impact on the FPV, in the control of the voter.  There is no evidence that I’m aware of that being a ‘wasted’ vote makes a vote less likely to be cast, and if it does it should be picked up on the likelihood to vote question anyway (edit: I’ve since read that there is no such question about likelihood to vote asked in MRBI polls, which makes their past accuracy – better than those who do – even more remarkable, and calls into question how effective that test is on improving accuracy).

I have asked MRBI via Twitter if they have figures on what this poll would have produced without that adjustment, and if I get it I will create a 2nd spreadsheet for MRBI polls that adjusts for that difference.  Without it, I can’t, and anyone saying they can  doesn’t understand what this data is.

One can only hope that someone who understands what this change does picks up on this, and it disappears before their next poll.

So, no projection at this stage, as the figures don’t measure likely FPVs, and so there are no FPV to project from.  Sorry about that, but gotta be honest.  It wouldn’t be accurate, and I’ve no reason to publish something that isn’t.


Written by Dotski

February 4, 2016 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Starter’s orders…

with 2 comments

Speculation rife that the election will be announced on Monday, allowing the Labour conference to be held in advance of the campaign, and a new RedC is out which will give hope to the smaller coalition partner.  The poll is in tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post, and is reported to be accompanied by an 8-page pull out election special, so I suspect it will boost circulation, not just in Mullingar.

Up to 10%, a steady, rather than spectacular, increase is evidenced by the polls, and there will be hopes among delegates this weekend that this trend for Labour will continue.  Values can go up as well as down, however, and anyone who gets carried away by these results may yet be disappointed. But clearly it is succour to candidates who, 3 months ago, would have seen their chances as between slim and none.  On these figures, there are over 20 seats where they are in with a shout, and local factors will push more into contention (of course, other local factors will push others out…sings and roundabouts and all that..)

FF, continue to flop, and one wonders how they will manage this, given their ‘brand’ is one of a party interested in Govt, but only if the biggest party.  SF and AAAPBP at least can sell themselves as an opposition who will shout loudest, Greens SocDems & Renua as smaller ‘watchdogs’ in a broader Govt, but what are FF for if they don’t contemplate Govt, with these figures?

FG will be unhappy to be down 1%, given the poll follows a conference, a factor Laour might bear in mind if they assume a further bounce is ‘in the bag’. Other than that, Greens at 3% will be happy, AAAPBP at 3% and SocDems at 2% will continue to be frustrated, and Renua at 1% will shift nervously.

Anyway, dinner cooking so figures/IPR seat projections as follows;

FG 29% 56
FF 17% 29
SF 19% 27
LB 10% 17
GP 3% 2
AAA/PBP 3% 2
SocDems 2% 2
Renua 1% 0
OTH 16% 23
100% 158

Outgoing Govt still well short of a majority, of course, but no other offering coming closer.




Written by Dotski

January 30, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Go West…

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Am at work so not much time to mull over it, but a local poll in Galway West (sample of 240, taken by a local newspaper in conjunction with, er, a motor dealer…) has SF taking a seat (likely), but also Labour’s Derek Nolan hanging on, at the expense of FG, apparently through transfers (those polled handed a mock ballot paper).

Always hard to decide how dismissive of these to fairness its not wildly out of line with my figures, but even so, hard to see Nolan hang on with 7.5%  (1-2% ahead of what I’d expect on current polls) although I’m sure this will help motivate the team…presumably it does show potential LP has to get decent transfers (or at least no worse than anyone else).

Anyways, sin é…


Written by Dotski

January 28, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


with 2 comments

Another poll out in today’s Sunday Times from B&A, which, to date, have shown greater volatility than the other polling companies, although in this poll that’s largely reserved for one party.  Given their lack of track record compared to the ‘big 3’, your guess may be as good as mine as to whether that reflects the electorate or the method, but no doubt we’ll see next month when, it seems, we’ll be able to compare their final prediction with a General Election.

The poll was taken 4th-13th Janaury, which (I understand) means it was largely taken before the RedC. A total of 27% are undecided, which is very high for this stage of the electoral cycle (remember, many those plumping for a party when asked are also likely to change their vote).

Also, interestingly, the Greens had two figures for ‘post adjusted’ total when you looked at the table and the bar graph (2% and 3%, which as you might imagine would impact greatly on their relative performance)…neither are mentioned in the commentary of the report as they are considered part of OTH by that.  It seems, however, that the extra 1% was hidden amongst ‘others’ and came home when parties names were prompted.  Which is interesting in itself…(although somewhat confusing for someone trawling through the report…)

I continue to bundle the Independents Alliance under OTHs, as many of the votes they attract are (I suspect) unbothered as to whether their candidate is in an alliance of other Indos or not… no-one really sees them as a party with policies/whips and I’m assuming the low rating they get here isn’t reflective of anything else.  WP turn up at the top end of their 0-2% cycle, but they are still kept in the OTH column as would be unlikely to take a seat with that distributed in a normal way (given lack of incumbents and a negligible vote in the last few elections)…this is different to SocDems and Renua who have outgoing TDs around whom most of a 2% vote share might be expected to cluster.  If (reliable) constituency polling shows one of their candidates with a chance of a seat I may revisit that.  Personally I suspect many saying WP are either Halligan voters or ex-ULA voters who confuse them with the SWP, but again, we’ll see before too long if that is the case.

As before, AAAPBP and Socialist Party collected separately and added to the total.

Anyways, IPR projections based on this poll are as follows;

FG 31% 61
FF 20% 34
SF 16% 25
LB 6% 7
GP 3% 2
AAA/PBP 3% 3
SocDems 1% 1
Renua 2% 2
OTH 17% 23
99% 158

First off,  this poll is suggesting the Labour revival found elsewhere is an error (or has dissipated and the RedC poll taken since this one is 3% out – right at the limits of the margin of error).  Reproduced in an election, it would produce an even worse result than 1987, when Labour got 6.4% of the vote and 12 seats, their worst result in most voters living memory.  While they would, even with these figures, in with a shout in 12-13 seats, 7 would appear to be the likeliest figure, and even then quite dependent upon transfers from 2nd FG candidates…and they could go as low as 5.  The only realistic Govt on offer would be FG/FF, with the alternative being a 2nd election.  Given these figures would give FF a clear 2nd place, it would be difficult choice for them…

Otherwise, figures aren’t enormously different from the big 3…FF a little higher but otherwise all within a percentage point or 2 of what you might expect.

All party leaders show a dip of 2-5% in popularity, save Martin who is up 1 to 41%, well ahead of the others who are all 31-34%, which is in keeping with this being a relatively good poll for FF.

Of some interest, given current narratives, is the poll on preferred coalition.  Figures were;

FG/LP 17%
FG/FF 13%
FG/SF 3%
FF/SF 11%
Other coalition 9%
Don’t Know 25%
Would not vote 6%

This shows no single option being the first preference of more than 17% who want ‘as you were’, and if it remains unchanged, will mean any Govt coming in would have great difficulty in justifying itself (making a 2nd election more likely?).  Interestingly, only 42% are recorded to want a Govt with FG, but it’s even less for Labour (34%), FF (24%), SF (20%) and OTH (17%). Admittedly there’s another 9% choosing other (un-named) options (speculating but single-party FG, FG/Renua, and SF/FF/LP would appear to be the likeliest options to feature), and 31% in the DK/DV columns, but that’s very much a ‘plague on all your houses’ response, and we are, most likely, about 6 weeks away from post election horse trading…

Some in FF might think this contradicts his having the highest leader popularity, but that’s a measure of satisfaction with someone in their current job…being satisfied with what he does as leader of FF isn’t the same thing as wanting him to be Taoiseach.

Any how, that’s all I’ve got time for. No doubt they’ll start coming in thick and fast over the next month.



Written by Dotski

January 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Plus ça change…

with one comment

A new RedC out in tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post, which is largely as you were …. headline figures show net movements of 2% from FG to FF, and 1% from SocDems to Inds. Both would be in margin of error.

IPR seat projections as follows;

FG 30% 57
FF 19% 32
SF 19% 28
LB 9% 15
GP 2% 1
AAA/PBP 3% 2
SocDems 1% 1
Renua 2% 3
OTH 15% 19
100% 158

Given the small movement there’s not much to say – other than perhaps notice the lack of movement (Govt may have hoped Budget measures reaching people’s pockets might have pushed them up a bit.  Soc Dems may be worried that the lift off hasn’t materialised just yet, but when you’re a small party in the margin of error, there’s only so much you can take from a single poll anyway.  They do appear consistently at 1-2% however, and it seems they have yet to establish themselves out there (their 3 leaders got over 1% in the last General Election between them), and will be hoping to do so in the next month or so. Renua alternatively may take some hope from this, although they very much scrape 3 seats on this simulation, with only 1 seat comfortable…they will need to increase substantially on this if they want to get at least 1 bum at the cabinet table.

We are also told;

“The poll also gauged voters’ attitudes to the recovery and the general direction of the country. While over two thirds of voters (68 per cent) of voters say the country is “generally on the right track”, some 60 per cent say that “we need a change of government in order to deliver a fairer society”

Again, hard to say what this means in practice.  Most partisans (the ones in opposition, anyway) will claim this means people want their party in Govt…however, every party think they are the party of ‘fairness’, it’s just a matter of who they think its currently unfair too…Renua would argue that their policies would be ‘fairer’ to the taxpayers, the hard left that they are ‘fairer’ to the disadvantaged….also supporting a change of Government pre-supposes a change of Govt in waiting, which, on current figures, would appear to be FG/FF or FG/SF. The likelihood of either (‘In The National Interest’) is something we will all have our views on, but few could claim, at this stage, that they are likely. A decent swing could make FF/SF/Inds mathematically possible, but would such a Govt last?


Anyways, gotta go!


Written by Dotski

January 16, 2016 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

In defence of polling

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Hope you all are having a great 2016, and all that….

I’m off Twitter for January (on the phone, anyway), but for those interested, this is an excellent article from UK Polling Report (no relation) on what polling is and why it is important.

Written by Dotski

January 1, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

He’s making a list…

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OK, not going to spend long on this tonight I’m afraid, beyond giving you the projections.

RedC, as you’re probably aware (given you follow this blog), have their final poll of 2015.  Breakdown of the smaller parties is circulating on Twitter by the usual sources so I’ve  run the projections in advance of the hard copy.

Again, in line with previous polls, Govt parties drifting up, and while FG/FF or FG/SF still the only combinations with the numbers, re-election the Govt is moving in the direction of ‘being in play’.  Still a long way to go though, and values may go down as well as up… Labour will be hoping however that polling over the last 12 months indicates they will improve in the new year…the 4 polls in December 2014 saw them go from 6% to 5% (6-6-5-5, an average of 5.5%), however they averaged 7.5% in the next 4 polls in January/February (and 8.67% in the 3 polls of March). At 9%/15 seats they are pretty much in the zone they spent most of the last few decades – no Spring Tide/Gilmore Gale, but more perhaps than some may have dared hope for a few months back (a ‘Burton Bump’?).  However, nothing is certain in politics, and they could lose this much easier than they won it.

FG will also be pleased, at 32% with a fragmentation of alternatives, it is, surely, impossible to see the next Govt being led by anyone but them, particularly with FF continuing to flounder. Some may hope this increase will build momentum, and see them move towards single party Govt, although that, too, seems unlikely. At the moment, at least…

FF/SF continue to battle it out, I suspect there will be no real daylight between them this side of the campaign proper.  Both will be working non-stop on election strategy.

AAAPBP, Greens, SocDems & Renua all in the territory where they will claim their support is either hidden in OTH, DKs or the 3% margin of error.  On these figures they are largely transfer fodder, with very few of their seats in what one could call the ‘safe zone’.

Anyways, gotta go.


Poll Seats
FG 32% 60
FF 17% 28
SF 19% 28
LB 9% 15
GP 2% 0
AAA/PBP 3% 3
SocDems 2% 3
Renua 2% 1
OTH 14% 20
100% 158

Written by Dotski

December 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Storms ahead.

with 2 comments

First poll I have (since returning) is a B&A offering for Sunday Times.  As I’ve pointed out previously, B&A have not had the General Election testing that the big 3 have, and without that track record are harder to judge. That said, their findings currently don’t differ much from the main companies.

Compared to recent polls, this is a good poll for FG and GP, OK for most others, and bad for SF, AAPBP & the SocDems.

Poll result and IPR projections as follows;

Poll Seats
FG 31% 58
FF 19% 34
SF 17% 27
LB 8% 14
GP 4% 2
AAA/PBP 4% 4
SocDems 1% 2
Renua 1% 0
OTH 14% 17

FG will be pleased and may be tempted to go earlier in the new year now, especially if Banking Inquiry difficulties gives them cover for that. Labour will see it in the light of polls that show some recovery for them, but less so than their Govt partners, and they will need to show the merit of their influence since 2011 if they are going to avoid losing half or more of their seats. Their strategy is clearly to argue that, while some other parties on the left may agree with them on certain issues (or go further), none of those are likely to be in Govt after the next election, and so they are the ones who could actually deliver (to some extent) on those policies.  It may work with some, but these figures show that most of the 19% who voted Labour in 2011 remain to be convinced, and I suspect even two-thirds of that vote would represent a big recovery for them at this stage.  As it is, they are still vulnerable to a small slippage that could lose them up to half of the seats even projected here.

My own money on current figures would be on a FG/FF govt, but recent polling on ‘preferred Govt’ showed a preference for the current coalition to continue (perhaps with outside support), and so LP will be doing their best to make the choice that stark.  Support for the Govt isn’t high though (35% vs 56%) and so that preference appears based upon distaste for the alternatives, rather than widespread enthusiasm for the status quo.

SF won’t be especially happy with this poll, but they were perhaps overstated in the previous B&A poll, and they would still be looking at a big increase in seats were this result to be realised.  But no chance of being in Govt for the centenary.  FF continue to bob along at a consistent rate, I suspect they have a core vote that won’t move much, but there is little sign they are going to make any great recovery from 2011 at this stage.

The AAAPBPULAWYHY (I made some of that up…) have reverted to the c.4% they were at before the previous 8% B&A gave them. Given it’s unlikely that the combined SF and old ULA vote dropped 8% in one month, I suspect this is more a symptom of something amiss with the previous figures, rather than something more drastic.  Their ability to show a united front (never their strength) will be tested further in the General Election.

This poll appears to have left some online SocDem supporters confused… Tens of retweets is always nice, but you need thousands of real-world 1st preference votes in your own constituency to be elected, and 1% of the national vote, if accurate, would be slightly less than their 3 TDs got in 2011, so they have to hope that this poll is a wrong ‘un, or that they can turn around their fortunes , otherwise they’ll be kicking their heels at the election counts with Renua..  Of course there’s the margin of error, but even if they got 3%, all that would do is make their 3 existing TDs safer than they are on these figures, and maybe put them in the mix for the last seat in 2-3 other constituencies. I suspect the lack of a leader (3 TDs, all of them co-leader, isn’t a model that might be termed ‘courageous’, perhaps even more so once the election starts). They may have to bite that bullet very shortly or find themselves very disappointed.

Otherwise, party leader ratings are largely negative for them all (except Ryan who many not have made much of an impression, and whose party poll well on this occasion), figures (satisfied/dis-) as follows;

Kenny 35/56 (-21%)

Burton 39/53 (-14%)

Martin 40/46 (-6%)

Adams 35/49 (-14%)

Ryan    35/36(-1%)

Anyways, that was longer than I intended.  Hope you find it fun/interesting etc.


Written by Dotski

December 13, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Am back… (sorta)

with 4 comments

As you’ll have noticed (if you’ve been following this blog), I’ve not made any posts in over 2 years. A number of factors have contributed, both family and work related.

However, I continue to get requests (and traffic!), and have updated the base data (for my own interest more than anything else), and so I’ll recommence now (starting with the B&A poll released last night).

I’ll not be doing very in depth analysis (compared to last time anyway), I’ve just not got the time, but hope I’ll be as accurate in #GE16 as I was with my #GE11 prediction (if I didn’t think I would be, I’d not bother). In part it is to provide an alternative to weaker models which, (predictably IMO), have not been as accurate in the past, but which will nevertheless continue to be quoted as reliable.

Method used is as before, a combination of uniform swing in each party vote and in the non-vote of each party. Base adjusted for new constituencies and new parties and defections of candidates.

So, enjoy. Or read ‘em and weep. Whatever! 😉

Written by Dotski

December 13, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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

The Empire Strikes Back

with one comment

As I’m sure you know, there’s an MRBI poll in the Times today that puts FF top of the pile for the first time since in about 5 years.  Polling figures, and the IPR projections, are as follows (usual pro-rata job on OTH/ULA etc);

Projected result % seats
FG 25.00% 51
LP 10.00% 19
FF 26.00% 46
SF 18.00% 25
ULA & SP * 3.38% 4
GP 1.00% 0
OTH* 16.62% 21
  100.00% 166


There are several very big moves from the previous MRBI, although it should be noted that this was taken in October, before the December Budget.   But even if you compare to the most recent RedC last month(and they usually don’t differ that much) FG and LP are down 4% and 3% respectively, whereas FF are up 5% and SF up 2%.   The combined ULA/SP/Oth column is up to 20%, although how those cards would fall is, as ever, hard to call.

But in terms of seats, well that’s probably the biggest story.  As you’ll have noticed before, there are certain thresholds for parties where, a but below they suffer badly, but if they get above them they surpassing the tipping point in a large number of consitituencies, and for FF that applies big time to this poll.  Whereas the January offering of 21% in RedC would have given them some 32 seats, the 26% here would be expected to give them 46.  Across the country, previuosly “wasted” votes of 15% or so in a 3-seater move up to 20% or so and take the last seat .

The main losers would, on these figures, be Labour. with their 10% returning a familiar 19 seats (they got 20 in 2002 and 2007 on a similar vote), although its noticable that a number of the seats FF pick up would otherwise be SF gains.  FG would be hit by the big drop in their vote, but not to the disproportionate level that their coalition colleagues would be.

But before I go, a few caveats.

One, as we know, this is pre-promissory note, taken on Monday-Tuesday.  hard to say what the effect of that is, and whether it will be lasting, but presumably there’s some significant effect.

Two, don’t knows are huge. 34%.  This is an enormous figure, and where they fall will be hugely influential.  One presumes the Sindo will continue banging on about the need for a new party (standing for what?) on foot of this.

Third, the “Others” is also very large, and will these voters transfer among such candidates, or come home to the parties on 2nd or 3rd transfers?


Answers to all 3?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Probably! 😉


Written by Dotski

February 9, 2013 at 11:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized


with 2 comments

Hi there,

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….

Projected result % seats
FG 29.00% 57
LP 13.00% 26
FF 21.00% 32
SF 16.00% 25
ULA* 3.04% 4
GP 3.00% 1
OTH* 14.96% 21
  100.00% 166

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…. 😉




Written by Dotski

January 12, 2013 at 12:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized


with 2 comments


I’ve been busy recently, and haven’t got the time together to analyse the previous two RedC polls, but given recent events, I’ve stayed up late to run the latest one through the machine.

The latest RedC came out today, and it looks both at party standings, and at an issue I had, somewhat foolishly I know, hoped would have been advanced quite some while ago.

First, the parties.  FG are taking a hammering, presumably as a result of their position on abortion – at least as far as they are portraying it – being somewhat out of step with an outraged public, and drop a massive 6% (I stand open to correction,  but this seems to be the largest single drop in a RedC poll over a similar period for any party).  Labour experience a slight upwards bump, and OTH see their vote up 4%,  one suspects this being more a Clare Daly effect, whatever Mattie McGrath protests…

The projections, are as follows…

Projected result % seats
FG 28.00% 53
LP 14.00% 30
FF 20.00% 31
SF 17.00% 25
ULA* 3.24% 5
GP** 1.85% 0
OTH* 15.91% 22

As you can see, the very high OTH vote makes it all a bit skewed, and the continued absence of ULA in the survey – particularly in this case, is undermining the usefulness of these polls. In the absence of more detailed information, I’ve had to assume GP at 2011 levels, and the ULA component tbeing he same proportion of the remaining OTH vote as in 2011.

Of course, another budget, and legislation for “X” may change this, but it looks to me as a significant FG vote has moved to LP, and another LP vote has moved to OTH.  Clearly the larger party has not had a good day at the office dealing with the Savita case – Shatter excepted – but Labour may not benefit from this unless they progress legislation promptly – clearly a significant proportion of the electorate is angry, and 20 years of waiting means many are not prepared to trust the Govt to show the required leadership to enact what is at the very minimum, IMO, needed, namely legislation that protects the lives of women.

Which brings us on to the other questions…

The poll also tested public opinion on abortion, and the various options that this and future govts might consider.  The figures will fortify those who are pro-choice, and will not make pleasant reading for those on the anti-abortion side of the debate.



Summary of the poll’s findings on each possible option for abortion law:

“Legislate for the X case, which means allowing abortion where the mother’s life is threatened, including by suicide.” Support: 85%

“A constitutional amendment to extend the right to abortion to all cases where the health of the mother is seriously threatened and also in cases of rape.” Support: 82%

“A constitutional amendment to allow for legal abortion in any case where a woman requests it.” Support: 36%


There’s little point in me adding much to these figures. But it might be worth looking at the figures in this way…


Support Abortion on request without specified limits (or “demand”)                                – 36%

Not on request, but extended to rape or serious threat to health                                       – 46%

Not further than “X”, but want “X” legislated for (including suicide)                                   –    3%

Oppose “X” being legislated for (includes ‘termination’ where reqd to save life of mother) – 15%


Clearly, not quite support for abortion without questions asked.  But also, it is obvious that a vast majority support legislation on “X”, and it would appear a very substantial majority would support a referendum that extended “X” to allow broader access to abortion.

I’ve not seen the poll data beyond the media reports, and, frankly, I’m tired, but I think for once the figures speak for themselves, and you don’t need my laboured opinion to understand them.

Labour. Push harder.

Written by Dotski

December 2, 2012 at 1:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Après Vote….

with 2 comments

Well, the first poll post-Fiscal Compact has come out, and it shows some interesting movement.

Figures, and IPR projections, are as follows;

Projected result % seats
FG 32.00% 60
LP 15.00% 30
FF 18.00% 24
SF 16.00% 25
ULA* 2.90% 5
GP** 1.85% 0
OTH* 14.25% 22

** GP assumed to be at GE11 levels

* ULA and OTH assumed to be at the same proportion as in GE11

It’s late and I’ve already had a long weekend, so I’ll not be saying much.  But the only movement matching the margin of error is the 3% drop in SF voters.  This could be due to a number of factors, but it does suggest the possibility that their increased coverage during the referendum – in order to ensure 50/50 coverage for both sides of the campaign – artificially boosted their rating, and having reverted to the level of coverage of, say, the Labour Party, that boost is starting to fade (and relatively quickly).  Time will of course tell, and there is a long time to go to the next GE, and much will happen between now and then.

FG will be pleased to be marginally up (+2%) on the previous poll.  Similarly Labour, who on these figures would come second on seats, by a reasonably comfortable margin.  They had been behind SF (and in some instances FF) in seats in previous polls, and so they will be pleased with this.

FF will be happy enough I suspect.  Martin did well in the recent referendum, and it appears that their bump from that campaign has shown greater resilience than that of SF.

Finally….OTH 1% up…..which suggests that the Mick #Wallets fiasco has not deterred people from voting for “like-minded” independents.

Anyways…that’s my lot for tonight.



Written by Dotski

June 23, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Stability Treaty I….

with 2 comments

Well, the polls are closing in about 10 minutes, so you’ve probably made your mind up by now.

I’ll not second guess what’s happened, turnout looks like it will be a factor, which would be expected to eat into the Yes poll-lead, and the NO side appear to have been working harder around town.  I’ll be surprised if it isn’t very close…

What I *do* have for you is a little exercise I did with tomorrow’s tally in mind.  Looking at the last 4 EU referenda, I calculated (estimated in some cases due to constituency revisions) what the average YES vote was in each constituency, and from that worked out the sort of figure I would expect there tomorrow *if it was a dead heat*.

Now, obviously this is just a guide, and there are people who were Yes for Lisbon & Nice who oppose this (and vice versa).  Indeed, there were individuals who both opposed and supported both of those treaties!  But is should give a decent guide as to whether the tallies coming in indicate a likely Yes or No, rather than represent a particular political strain in those constituencies.

The figures come out as follows;

Carlow Kilkenny 52.78%
Cavan Monaghan 48.87%
Clare 54.15%
Cork East 48.16%
Cork NC 42.03%
Cork NW 50.50%
Cork SC 49.42%
Cork SW 49.58%
Donegal NE 39.54%
Donegal SW 40.59%
Dublin C 45.54%
Dublin MW 45.44%
Dublin N 53.35%
Dublin NC 50.97%
Dublin NE 47.30%
Dublin NW 42.04%
Dublin S 60.34%
Dublin SC 43.88%
Dublin SE 57.75%
Dublin SW 42.45%
Dublin W 49.96%
Dun Laoghaire 60.94%
Galway E 51.00%
Galway W 48.22%
Kerry N 44.66%
Kerry S 48.13%
Kildare N 55.83%
Kildare S 52.06%
Laois-Offaly 54.65%
Limerick E 49.73%
Limerick County 50.81%
Westmeath 49.53%
Louth 46.90%
Mayo 45.50%
Meath E 54.44%
Meath W 48.46%
Roscommon-LS 49.60%
Sligo LN 48.44%
Tipperary N 53.22%
Tipperary S 51.44%
Waterford 50.75%
Wexford 49.43%
Wicklow 51.76%


As you can see, this suggests that a Yes vote in Dun Laoghaire of, say, 59% actually shows the Treaty in trouble, whereas a No vote in Donegal NE of no more than 60% would mean the Yes side likely to shade it.  Notably, Dublin West (home to Joe Higgins) is a weather-vane, with 49.97%  needed by the Yes side to be the more optimistic (although this could be lower as a result of Joe being one of the more prominent NO campaigners).  Similarly Cork NW and Limerick City are very close to an expected 50/50 were there a 50/50 split nationwide.

So as the results come in, you might compare them with these figures, and it could give you a clearer picture than the spin doctors and local journalists are providing you.

Till the next one….


Written by Dotski

May 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Poll-y Trinity #sorry…

with 7 comments

In addition to measuring support for the #euref, the polls form the 3 main companies over the weekend measured party support over the weekend.  Have been too busy to run all 3, but have done a ‘poll of polls’ for them, with the averages all within the margin of error for each party in each poll, although some more than others of course…

The findings were as follows;

mrbi redc l/mb
FG 32 30 36
LP 10 15 12
FF 17 18 17
SF 24 19 20

GP 2 1

As you can see, significant variance for FG and SF.  ULA were polled for by L/MB, and they will be very dissapointed to register 1% (comapred to 2.57% in #ge11, although the moe is big here for them, and you’d need a good few polls before you took this as read.  However, ominously for them, the OTH rating is generally down, and it does appear that a more nationalist position is gaining more traction in the face of #euref than the international socialist alternative, and that is something they will be nervy about.  Nevertheless, I’ve done my normal formula for them and OTH, assuming that they have a similar proportion to normal, and will do so until there are 3-4 polls that show were they are….Greens are measured in 2, so I’ve averaged them at the 1.5% their 1% & 2% would indicate, slightly below the 1.85% they got last year.

Anyways, the spreadsheet projects….

Projected result % seats
FG 32.66% 63
LP 12.33% 23
FF 17.33% 26
SF 21.00% 32
ULA 2.56% 5
GP 1.50% 0
OTH 12.60% 17

Very good for SF, but also for FF, who would stay ahead of LP on seats as well as votes on the average of these figures.  LP will be nervy on these figures.  Basically they’ve been pushing a referendum which isn’t popular with a significant proportion of their voters, and its perhaps unsurprising that they are down in 2 of the 3 findings (RedC having them up may just be a blip).  They will of course be watching this closely, and if they are in this territory come October, the Budgetary process could become quite strained…

Other than that, not much to add, so I’ll hit return and go back to the missus….



Written by Dotski

May 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Our cup runneth over….

with 3 comments

Well. final stretch of the stability/fiscal/austerity treaty, and a rake of polls to get through, all of them showing the YES side edging it, but not by enough to be sure.

First out of the blocks was MRBI, released on Friday evening and published in yesterday’s Irish Times.  As you’ll remember, the final MRBI was closest for both of the last two General Elections than all other companies, and this was also the most recently taken of the weekend polls (23-25 May), so a lot of people would be watching this closely.

The poll shows a decrease in the number of undecideds, with them breaking more or less pro-rata, Yes up 9 to 39%, No up 7 to 30%,  with “No Opinion” down to 22%. After DKs are excluded this came to 57-43.  The movement was from the previous MRBI which had been taken 5 weeks ago, and suggests that, despite a number of gaffes on the YES side, the voters are inching towards passing the treaty, albeit unenthusiastically.

Second to reach us was the RedC poll for the Sunday Business Post.  As with most RedCs, this was collected between Monday and Wednesday (21-23 May), and so was a slightly earlier poll, measuring opinion about half a week earlier than the MRBI offering.  This showed the Yes side down 4% from their previous poll to 49%, the No side up a corresponding amount to 35%, and DKs unchanged at 16%.  When the DKs are taken out, this comes to 58-42.

Third out was the Sunday Times  B&A.  This found that the Yes side had gained 3 points to 45%, and the No side was also up 3% to 30%, with DKs down to 24%.  DKs excluded this amounts to a 60-40 split.  The fieldwork was earlier still at 18-23 May.

Finally, the Sindo commissioned a real poll this week, with MB/Lansdowne offering arriving late to the party.  The reporting is awful sh!te and is trying to pump up interest in a poll with its thunder stolen, but the method I’m sure was excellent.  The figures were Yes 42% (+5), No 28% (+4), and with undecideds excluded it came out as 60-40, unchanged from the previous Lansdown offering.  I can’t find a reference to when the fieldwork was taken, but would guess around the time of the RedC or slightly earlier based on previous examples.

So what to make of it?  Well, the number of DKs varies, but we’d expect that, both through the various polling methods (RedC for example only count those who self describe as 70%+ likely to vote) and of course nearly a week in the difference in fieldwork, when voters might be likely to be making up their minds.  And yet, despite that, the variance in Yes/No is within the margin of error, with the yes chronologically moving 60-60(assuming MB/L 2nd taken)-58-57.  It might look like a slight trend to the NO side over the week involved, but 3% max.

Given the differing levels of DKs, this suggests that they are breaking very much pro-rata with perhaps a slight boost to the No side, but the DK numbers are getting too low to be enough to defeat the referendum if breaking in those proportions, or even a bit higher.  And remember, most DKs are non-voters who prefer to put it in those terms.

If there was indeed a 3% fall in the YES support over the last week, and it was repeated in the final week of the campaign (OK, big if), you’d expect it to be about 54-46 on the day.  The No side would then be hoping that turnout would help them, but it would still appear too much of an ask to me.  Say, for example the turnout among yes ‘voters’ was 50%, the ‘no’ side would need about 59% of their people to turn out.  That would mean a No voter was 18% more likely to vote than a Yes voter, and this seems unlikely to me given their respective demongraphics, and so if the referendum is rejected, I believe it will be a result of actual movement from the Yes to the No column.

Might that happen?  Yes, it may.  Certainly the Sindo are talking up the influence of their columnist $hane Ro$$ who comes out against the treaty today.  And it’s true that the financial journalist who backed Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Fingleton is not without his supporters among the wider electorate.  But a lot of that is already priced into these figures I think, I certainly reckoned he was voting No by now.  If anything, he may get a few more Yes voters out, as many referendum voters vote ‘against’ the politicians they despise rather than in favour of the ones they offer grudging support at election time.

So, all in all, still plenty to play for.  Advantage Yes, I think, but close enough for both sides to scrap for every vote…


Written by Dotski

May 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

On our way to Lansdowne….

with 3 comments

Yesterday saw the publication of a Millward Brown/Lansdowne poll in the Indo (details uploaded here on Thursday night on, the first in a while.

Lest you rush to dismiss Indo-publiched polls, Quantum Research is their vehicle for the dodgy stuff, MB/L are actually one of the best polling companies, and outperformed RedC in their final poll of #GE11, as you can see from this comparison of how the polling companies did.  Given this, it is probably worth taking note of what they found.  Rather daftly, IMO, they (or the Indo) have measured movement from GE figures, whereas the proper comparison would be with their final poll taken in the same week, but anyway, their percentage figures and IPR seat projections are as follows (NB rounding issues mean they are reporting 101%);

Projected result % seats
FG 34.00% 64
LP 15.00% 30
FF 17.00% 23
SF 17.00% 24
ULA 2.73% 5
GP 1.85% 0
OTH 13.42% 20

101.00% 166

As you can see, the figures are somewhat higher for FG and LP than RedC have been recording, not quite as good for FF, and a bit lower for SF.  The Govt parties will be hoping that, as in the GE, these figures as slightly closer to the mark than RedC’s, particularly LP who, while 2% behind both FF/SF, would reasonably comfortably pull ahead on seats.  Even FF would be close to taking SF on these figures which hasn’t been the case in most other polls, and again I suspect that reasonably strong performances by Martin in the #euref debate are behind this.  SF might be disappointed with the seat haul from this percentage vote, but as I pointed out when they moved into higher teens/low 20s, there is a tipping point in their lead over FF/LP where they get a bagful of seats, but this is somewhat below that threshold – they would however be the ‘best loser’ in a number of constituencies, so I’d still be happy enough with this …. “slow sustainable growth” as someone on has been known to say….

The same poll also measured intentions towards the referendum.  While this showed a similar proportion of decided voters in the Yes/No campaigns are other surveys (61-39%), there are many more undecideds in this poll (35%) than in other polls, and that doesn’t include 4% who say they won’t vote.  This contrasts sharply with the findings in other polls – for example, a RedC survey for Paddy Power this week was 62-38 excluding undecideds, but only 19% fell into that category.  The previous RedC had the undecideds at 16%, the one before that 18%.

What does this mean?  Well, different companies use different methods to try to coax out of voters their intentions, and it may be that RedC are more effective in eliciting a response from a wavering voter – although it may be legitimately wondered if this is always an accurate or truthful one.    Both the RedC and the M/LB appear to significantly overlap, and so it doesn’t appear to be an underlying movement, but a disagreement between the two companies.  No campaigners will be hoping that the M/LB is more reflective of the position on the ground, and that this, coupled with Richard Bruton’s gaffe-ridden Thursday will give them the boost they need to get to 50.1%+ on the day.

It’s still all to play for, IMO.  Certainly Bruton’s gaffe would be a help to the NO side, but I’m unsure to what degree.  Most voters appear to distrust both sides of the debate – certainly the “where will the money come from” argument is one I suspect the NO side will be looking to move away from. But does anyone actually want a succession of referenda on this Treaty?  I don’t think so, and suspect the main damage caused by Bruton’s intervention is that if a cabinet Minister doesn’t know the position  on something as straightforward as this, are his views on this to be taken seriously at all?

Anways, sin é,


Written by Dotski

May 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Doing Greek (or not, as the case may be….)

with 2 comments

Well, hot on the heels of the Greek (and French) elections, a RedC poll has come out assessing the state of our parties and, perhaps a little more pressing, the current level of support for the Irish Referendum on 31st May for the Stability Treaty/Fiscal Treaty/Austerity Treaty (delete as you wish, or you could just call it by its short and snappy official title which you’ll find here).

For the referendum, it is a significant swing towards acceptance.  The YES side has increased by 6%, to 53% (unprecedented a this stage of a European Referendum in Ireland), the NO vote has dropped 4 points to 31%, and the number of undecideds both sides will be chasing has diminished, by 2% to 16%.

This doesn’t of course mean that the Treaty is a done deal, of course, and there’s still plenty of time for things to change.  If, for example, Phil Hogan escapes from the cellar he’s been tied up in, it could change.  I also note that Chairman Ganley has decided to way in on the NO side.  But it does confirm my suspicions that the NO side have been very weak to date,  particularly when they are asked where we will find the money if we can’t enter another bailout.  A call to play chicken with the rest of the continent may play well to a SU debate, or in an argument on Twitter, but most people who have mortgages or whose income depends on the State being solvent need something a bit more specific in the matter of “Plan B”, and the NO side aren’t giving that, at least in their media performances.  Similarly accusing the Government of “scaremongering” isn’t a great tactic if most people listening don’t think you are proving them to be wrong.  Fail to convince on that, and you’re in fact telling people that the consequences are, in fact very scary….

Anyway, I expect the NO campaign to find a bit more polish in the coming weeks, particularly with Libertas Nua, and so it is still all to play for…

In terms of party standings, % figures and IPR projections are as follows;

Projected result % seats
FG 29.00% 57
LP 13.00% 26
FF 19.00% 27
SF 21.00% 34
ULA 2.73% 5
GP 1.85% 0
OTH 13.42% 17

100.00% 166

As per usual, no ULA figures, so calculated in line with % of OTH in #GE11.  A bad poll for the Govt, which may in part be reflective of the fact that the NO vote is higher than that of parties calling for it, although it is notable that it’s a very good poll for FF, perhaps reflecting good performances in the Referendum debate (among the better on the YES side).  A very good poll for SF, and if they maintain this into the Autumn, they will be thinking seriously of leading the next Government, whenever that election arises.

Anyways, heading off with the wains….Community Games trials today, a stronger call on my time than here, I’m afraid…

Till the next one,





Written by Dotski

May 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Physically Compacted…

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As those of you following me on Twitter will know, I tweeted my seat projections of today’s RedC/SBP poll yesterday evening.

For those of you who missed it, they were as follows;

FG 32% – 61,

SF 19% – 30,

LP 14% – 27,

FF 17% -24,

ULA 3% – 4,

OTH 15% -20.

As you can see, this is within the margin of error of the most recent MRBI.  However, contrary to suggestions elsewhere, it is not for RedC, as while it differs little from the previous SBP/RedC from 24th March (when SF were 18%) it is up from a more recent RedC effort (using the same methodology) commissioned by Paddy Power  and published a week later, which had them on 14%.  It may of course be that the SF is more volatile than most at the moment (perhaps reflecting a battle between them and ULA for voters over the Household Charge and the Fiscal Compact), but maybe it just a couple of polls testing the limits of the margin of error at the moment.  Those last few RedC polls have seen them go from 18% to 14% to 19%, but the m.o.e. means that over that time they could quite easily have  increased from about 15-16% to 18-19% without any downward movement at all in their underlying support.  It’s also interesting that, after FG, SF/LP/FF/OTH are stubbornly close to one another in either votes and/or seat projections in practically every single poll, something I can’t see lasting forever.

Also interesting, given the flac I gave Behaviour & Attitudes over their initial poll ratings, is that – according to Sunday Times journalist John Burns – they amended their methodology in their last poll for that paper.  While this, on a one-off basis, one presumes, had LP climbing and SF falling when all other polls showed the opposite trend, it does mean that they are now at least getting results very much in line with the companies that have a track record.  I suspect that the difference concerns weighting on liklihood to vote, and if they are doing that right now, I may pay them a bit more attention in the future.  I’ll still reserve judgement until they’ve a pre-GE poll that is close enough to compare with the others, though…

As I say, not much movement for the parties, so I’ll not dwell too long there, other than to note that the relatively small movement for FF (up) brings a significant bonus back in seats.  Basically they need to get higher teens to reach a tipping point, particularly in a number of seats outside Dublin where it’s them against SF, who would still shade it into second seats in the next Dail on these figures, albeit with LP close enough to pull them in if they got better transfers than I am assuming here (good from FG but lousy from elsewhere, except vs FF and then decent-ish from ULA, and 40/60 from SF).

The same poll also measures support on the forthcoming Fiscal Compact vote, putting it 47(-2) to 35(+2), with 18% undecided.  While there is a small movement to the NO side (with undecideds staying unchanged) it is within the margin of error and over a period of more than a month.  Fieldwork was done in the period Monday-Wednesday last week, so most voters wouldn’t have heard of the furore over the SF leaflets’ selective quoting of economists (and whatever your view of this or the Treaty, there’s little doubt that this was a widely-reported own goal among the wider public).  However, certain members of the Govt have also shown particular talent in messing things up PR wise over the last few months, and I suspect they’ll be locking Phil Hogan in a basement somewhere until 1st June.

Anyways, an interesting 5 weeks ahead, methinks….

À bientôt!


Written by Dotski

April 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Green Tide?

with 2 comments

As I’m sure you all know, the Irish Times published an MRBI State of the Parties poll yesterday, I’ve only been in a position to write this up this morning.

The poll is very good for SF, not great for FG, and bad for LP and FF.  Frustratingly, ULA remain subsumed in the OTH column, and so I’ve been forced to continue assuming a pro-rata portion of the OTH vote for them based on the last GE.  Figures (and the ‘magic spreadsheet’ projections) as follows;

Projected result % seats
FG 33.00% 65
LP 13.00% 27
FF 14.00% 11
SF 21.00% 37
ULA 2.87% 6
GP 2.00% 1
OTH 14.13% 19

100.00% 166

SF will be delighted with their first 20%+ rating in an established company’s poll.  On these figures, they would be extremely well placed to pick up seats across large swathes of the country, in the main from FF.  As I went through the simulation, constituency after constituency, particularly outside Dublin and especially in Connaught & Munster, they pick up seats from FF.  Of course, they would need to have their candidate strategy in order, but I suspect that by the time the next GE comes along, they will be in a position to do this.

The corollary of this is that FF would be stuffed, seats-wise. While this isn’t a long way south of recent polling, their position vis-a-vis SF would reach tipping point if there was a GE on these figures, and they would in fact be in  danger of dropping into single figures in the next Dail.  They are in a difficult position, and not really sure what part to play in opposition.  Their biggest difficulty is that few people actually believe that the economy is in the mess it is because of anyone other than them, and anyone who also blames the current Govt for prolonging the situation, does so on the grounds that they have been insufficiently different to FF (not fertile ground for Mr Martin and the boys…).  Looking at these figures, it’s hard to see a future for them, and if any of their TDs defect to SF, and on these figures some may be considering it, it could be the end of the road.

LP will be disappointed with these figures, particularly in the aftermath of a party conference, when parties generally have an upward bump.  While they have averaged 15-17% in recent “big-3” polls and this is more or less within the margin of error of that, there is clearly space opening up between SF and them, and if these figures are more than a ‘blip’, they would be significantly behind SF on seats on these figures.  They will, no doubt, be watching closely for the next RedC poll to see if it’s a one-off, or the start of a more significant trend.

FG may be quite dissapointed to be down 3%, but a majority of polls have had them in the 30-35% range, and they are still very much the largest party.  In fact, they might relish an election where they are the largest party by a distance, and where SF are the largest alternative….

Our old friends the Greens re-appear, at 2%, compared to the 1.85% they recorded last year.  Really they need to be in all polls to have an idea how they are doing, given they are within the margin of error – 10 polls over say 8 months where they are 2% in eight, 1% in one and 3% in another, now that would tell you they are at 2% or thereabouts, but really this once in a while stuff tells you very little (other than they haven’t climbed to 4-5%, which I doubt anyone thought anyway…).

OTH…..well, I won’t go on about it, you know my views.  Separate ULA figures please….


Written by Dotski

April 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

More Power to you..

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Another RedC poll came out earlier this week, this time commissioned by Paddy Power.  You’ll probably have read the details already if you follow me on Twitter so I won’t be poring over the details in micro, but I’ve just got around to the seat projections this morning, and so here they are….

Projected result % seats
FG 35.00% 71
LP 16.00% 31
FF 15.00% 13
SF 14.00% 23
ULA 3.07% 5
GP 1.85% 0
OTH 15.08% 23

100.00% 166


As before, they’ve not broken down GP/ULA/OTH, which limits the accuracy of my projections.  I’ve again taken GP at GE levels, and ULA as the same proportion of ULA/OTH as at the GE, but would really prefer if I had the actual data.  But there you go.

FG of course will be well pleased with this, particularly as it comes before, rather than after, the expected post-Ard Fheis bounce parties generally receive, putting them just a wee bit below what they received in the GE.  Anti-FF sentiment resulting from Mahon, and the China trip, can both be expected to have given them a bit of a lift.

LP will be similarly pleased, and the panic that gripped some when  B&A starting polling should be receding somewhat.  The Government is making difficult/unpopular/unfair (delete according to your views) decisions, and yet they are holding steady enough – not as high as the GE, but now, for the first time in a while, are the 2nd largest party in first preferences, and looking good to hold most of their seats, and indeed competitive enough for a gain here and there from FF.

FF may in fact be relieved this isn’t worse, given Mahon, but in reality, most of that was probably priced into their support level as it was.  If anything, they may have dropped a point or so in the Dublin area among those who still regard the Anoraked-one highly.  It’s noticeable that as they drop into the mid-teens, a lot of their seats come into play, and they should still be quite twitchy.  If another party on the centre-right/right emerges in the next year or so, they may sink closer to oblivion.

SF may be disappointed by this one, although it’s not too far south of what they are normally getting.  It may be that their position on the Household Charge (basically, as far as I can make out, “we’re not paying, but we’re not encouraging anyone else not to”) is confusing their supporters, and not as simple as the outright call to arms of the ULA on this matter.  Certainly the surge for OTH is likely to include some movement from SF to ULA, I suspect.  But I’m dubious that this will be a long-term problem for them, particularly if the ULA tactic ends in tears for some voters, as it may well do (a consideration I suspect informed the SF position).

Other than that, not a lot to get excited about.



Written by Dotski

March 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


with 5 comments

Have visitors so not much time, but attached pic has IPR projections of latest RedC being reported in blogosphere. Enjoy.


Written by Dotski

March 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Back to reality….

with one comment

Well, after a flurry of giddy excitement following last week’s B&A poll with the Sunday Times, another poll has come out from a company with a track record, and, as I suggested at the time on Twitter, it continues to show B&A to be well out of line with all the big boys, particularly with in respect of SF and LP.  Last week, B&A were arguing SF were 2.5 times LP’s support.  This week, RedC are reporting them as within the margin of error of one another.  Given the record of them and the other top-3, and given RedC under-estimated LP by 2.5% in their final pre-election poll last year (and over-estimated SF by 2.1%), B&A’s findings look implausible, to say the least.

Anyway, enough of dissing B&A, what do tonight’s figures tell us?  The following are the party standings, with the IPR projections in brackets (I’ve had to assume GP, ULA and OTH as they’re not broken down, basically GP at GE levels, ULA and OTH increasing at the same pro-rata rate.  If you don’t like those assumptions, take it up with the people commissioning the polls, as they tell RedC et al what parties they want tested).

FG (nc) 30% 59
LP (+2) 16% 31
FF (-1) 17% 22
SF (+1) 18% 27
ULA 3% 5
GP 2% 0
OTH 14% 22


So, not much to see here.  SF are doing well, but not in the crazy territory previously reported.  I suspect their strategists will be happier to see steady growth in a reliable poll than 25% in one of lesser reliability.  Some might think they’ll have been damaged subsequently by the ‘inkgate’ business, but I suspect, jokes aside, it’ll do them little harm.  FG seem to be steady enough, staying in the 30s (just) and I think they are unlikely to budge too far from there in the near future.  LP will be pleased enough to be reported up 2%, although it’s still down on the GE.  And FF will be worried, as I understand this poll was taken before O’Cuiv broke ranks over the Fiscal Pact Treaty, and yet has them down (albeit by 1%).

Speaking of which, the same poll shows (perhaps surprisingly) some movement in favour of the Treaty.  We are told that in reply to the question “How do you think you would currently vote in such a referendum?”, the figures were;

“Yes: 60% (+7% on Jan 29 Red C poll)

No: 40% (-7% on Jan 29 Red C poll)

Figure excludes ‘don’t knows’ (26%)”

Far too early to call.  But if you’d asked me yesterday to call it, I would have said it was facing defeat.  The fact that this shows a trend in the opposite direction…. I don’t know, but if pushed I’d say it’s 50/50, and will depend on the quality of the campaigns.

Interesting times….

Written by Dotski

March 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Sometimes its the little things….

with one comment

Another poll out tomorrow from RedC in the SBPost. The figures quoted show little movement (and the movement is complicated by the fact that they are quoted as from the last poll published in the paper, rather than the last RedC, which was for Paddy Power), however, they add to a drift, and appear to put FF ahead of Lab in seats for the first time since the GE, ans SF barely behind (both have been ahead in votes in a number of polls).

Figures, and IPR seat projections, are as follows;

FG 30%,60
FF 18%,31
SF 17%,24
LP 14%,25
OTH 21%,26

Some concern there for Labour, and apparently there will be data in the paper tomorrow showing that their remaining support is less fixed than that of other parties, notably SF.

FF of course will be delighted with this showing, but now face a problem that traditionally was one for their opponents. By the time of the next election, they will largely be looking to new candidates, with the class of 1997-2011 retired, and will need to build these up to combat the incumbency of FG and LP TDs. However, assuming this happens post the next LEs, I suspect they’ll cope with this. As long as a new force doesn’t emerge on the populist right to mop up some of the OTH vote (anyone seen Ganley?) they are well placed to present themselves as the “official opposition”.  SF will be very pleased, but given their past difficulties in delivering the votes on the day, and the time that’s likely to pass between now and a GE, they’ll not be getting carried away with themselves.

Other than that, there’s little more can be said before more complete figures emerge.

The same poll shows a majority supporting the fiscal compact vote, although tight enough for this to change. It’s been tweeted by the MD of RedC that there a majority against among older/more likely voters, however, so that will be tight if the text requires constitutional change.  This snippet is somewhat surprising, as there have been a number polls in recent Euro-referenda where older voters were more pro-EU than their younger counterparts.  I’ll read the full figures tomorrow with interest.

Anyways, that’s all we’ve got time for.

Till the next one….



Written by Dotski

January 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

First RedC of 2012….

with 8 comments

As most of you will be aware, RedC have published their first poll since last month’s Budget, and it makes somewhat comforting reading for the Government parties, in that they are up from the last RedC, if down from the last General Election.  Party standings, along with the IPR seat projections, as follows….

FG  33% – 63 seats

FF  17% – 23 seats

LP  16% – 31 seats

SF  14%  – 23 seats

GP  3% – 2 seats

ULA* 2.87% – 5 seats

OTH*  14.13%-19 seats

* I have apportioned the ULA share of OTH based on their share of that vote in the last GE.  The poll makes mention of the Socialist Party being 3% in Dublin, which is only what Joe Higgins and Clare Daly got between them last time, but the sample is too low to make any great inference from that.

My initial reaction was very much one of surprise, as I had expected the Government to lose votes following the Budget.  It may be, as Richard Collwell (RedC’s MD) suggested that the harsh budget was already  ‘priced in’ to the polling figures recorded last month.

Otherwise, it’s all pretty much as you were, except for the Greens, who poll 3% (up from 1.85% in the GE), which would give them 2 seats on my projections (although only marginally in both cases).  Given this is the margin of error, it’s too soon to say they are experiencing a recovery, but a couple of more polls saying the same thing and they’ll be – most likely – on the way back into the game.

One aspect of the poll is that it is another mainstream company result that massively contradicts Behaviour & Attitudes, currently the company of choice of the Sunday Times.  Their most recent effort (Dec 18th) had FG 30%, LP 11%, FF 20% , SF 21%, GP 3%(up 1%), OTH 15%.  Obviously, two polls either side of a Budget by different companies would be expected to be different, but FG 3% and LP 6% lower, FF 3% higher, SF 7% higher …. I don’t think so.  As pointed out before, their findings are well out on those of companies with an established track record of accurately predicting GE results, and unless something has happened to the other companies, there’s something wrong somewhere with B&A.  No offence intended (and it appears to have caused some in some quarters) but they’ve yet to convince me that they’re in the same league as the big 3 for this sort of poll.

Getting back to today’s RedC.  There’s also polling regarding the €100 annual Household charge.  The headline figures are;

42% say they are liable, and intend paying

24% say they don’t know if they are liable

19% say they are not liable (which seems a tad low to me)

15% say they are liable, but do not intend paying

Interestingly, Dublin voters are more likely to pay than those outside the capital (only 7% of Dubs are in the ‘liable but won’t pay’ category).  The more working class (and the more likely one is to vote for the left) the liklier one is to be a refusnik, with SF voters the most opposed to paying the charge.  Whether this is related to an ideological opposition, or simply that these voters have the least disposable income, is of course a matter of conjecture.  This shoudl be good news for SF, as they are better placed to pick up the votes of these people than ULA, who are very heavily based in Dublin (OK and Tipp South).  Unsurprisingly, those who are undecided about which party they would vote for are also the group who are most likely to be unsure as to whether they are liable for the tax….bet they vote in X-factor though…!

Anyways, sin é….  TTFN



Written by Dotski

January 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Pre Budget Poll

with 3 comments

As I’m sure you’ve read by now, RedC have a poll in today’s SBP. I’m unconvinced as to the usefulness of such a poll so shortly before a Budget, given the speculation re cuts etc, although it does ask a series of questions on the choices to be made this week. I’ve not seen the paper, but apparently my prediction that most people want cuts that affect other people has, shockingly, come true!

Anyway, am doing this on the phone and going out shortly, so I’ll be brief. Party standings, and the IPR seat projections are as follows;

FG  32%, 63
FF  18%,25
LP 15%,30
SF 15%,23
GP 1%,0
OTH 19%,25

LP a bit lower than most (but not all) polls, FF a bit higher, beyond that, not much you can take from it, given the circumstances. A poll taken this time next week, on the other hand….


Written by Dotski

December 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Party time….

with one comment

While we’re waiting for tomorrow’s Presidential count, I though it might be distracting to look at the 2 party polls that were largely ignored (in part by me!) that accompanied the Presidential polls at the weekend.

State of the parties (Red C first, then MRBI, then the average) were as follows;

FG 31%,  36%,  33.5%

LP 17%,  19%,  18%

SF 16%,  15%,  15.5%

FF 14%,  15%,  14.5%

GP 1%*  ,   1%,  1%

OTH 21%,  14%,  17.5%

First off, RedC are now lumping the GP into the OTH category, along with ULA, and so I’ve had to assume their score is the same as MRBI to be consistent.  For ULA, I’ve again assumed a similar proportionate rise as the rest of OTH.

Secondly, there is a massive difference between the polls for FG (much higher in MRBI) and OTH (similarly in RedC).  This would normally be off the scale unless one was a rogue poll, but I suspect it’s a spillover related to the ups and downs of Indo candidates in what has been a very volatile presidential election.  Given more FG voters are supporting Independents than Gay Mitchell, you would expect this to have a short-term impact this has on what voters think their behaviour would be in a GE.

Taking the average of the two figures (a mini Poll-of-polls if you like) and the spreadsheet projects the following figures;

FG  68 seats

LP  35 seats

SF  24 seats

FF  13 seats

ULA  6 seats

GP  0 seats

OTH  20 seats

No great surprises I think, the main question is whether FG are artificially low (and OTH/ULA artificially high) as a result of the MRBI poll.  I suspect FG would do slightly better if a GE was held tomorrow, but could go down to close to the MRBI finding if there was a GE after December’s budget, as clearly there’s a ‘new’ FG vote that’s open to offers.  Labour, while they are holding up extremely well, I suspect they are getting a bit of a bounce from Michael D, and will do very well to be in this territory come January.

SF are doing quite well, but no better than in polls before the last GE, and so I would be very slow to say there has been a significant boost generated from the McGuinness candidacy, and they are no longer ahead of Labour in the polls. Even so, they are well placed to pick up on dissatisfaction with Labour post-budget, and unless the Govt has found €20 billion behind a sofa in Merrion Street, I suspect SF will be about 3% ahead of Labour in the January polls.

FF will be disappointed to be back where they were polling before the GE, but with no (explicit) candidate in #Aras11, it probably isn’t as bad as it could be, and they too will be hoping to pick up on post-Budget anti-Govt sentiment (although I suspect their success in this will be limited, given most people will still blame them for the broad thrust of the Budget, if not the individual details). I’d imagine they will try to argue that aspects of the approach of the Govt, rather than the bottom line will be their tack, but their problem is that there is a plurality of opposition parties and Independents.  If they were the only really opposition party, they could expect some traction, but if FG/LP voters don’t like what is proposed in December, they are more likely to go to SF/ULA/OTH than to the party that everyone else blames for the need to have a painful fiscal adjustments in the first place.  That said, if LP fall in Dec/Jan, they are likely to fall below FF in FPVs, if not seats.

Other than that, little to comment upon, given the miserly detail on ULA et al.  I would note that the broad left would have about 73 seats on this projection, which might have longer term implications, but is more likely to reflect a time when a majority of voters are about to give their #1 to Michael D, SF, or David Norris in another type of election.  I suspect it will not be as pleasing to my eyes come January.

But we’ll see, eh?



Written by Dotski

October 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The next 7 years may drag on a bit….

with 3 comments

I’m assuming they’re correct (am tied up a bit later) but RedC figures have been extensively leaked, and they suggest that Gallagher is entering the final week in a very strong position.  The figures are;

Gallagher 40% +1,

Michael D 26% -1,

McGuinness 13% NC,

Norris 10% +3,

Mitchell 6% -2,

Dana 3% +1

Davis 2% -1

Apparently the polling took place early this week, but while there has been bad publicity for Gallagher in that period, there had been before it and he’s increased his vote, so I’d not be sure that would make much of a difference.

On the face of it, it looks nearly over.

Is there any comfort that Michael D’s campaign can take from this? Nothing really, and they’ll be hoping there is something in the detailed data that will make it closer in practise.  Firstly, the transfers of McGuinness, Norris & Mitchell.  If these are going to Gallagher/MDH in the same proportion as last week, it *is* over.  However, if the identification of Gallagher as FF has consolidated that “ex-FF” vote, it’s equally possible that the anti-FF vote will transfer better among each other. Michael D didn’t make up the ground he needed among these transfers last week, and will be hoping to do better in this week’s sample.

Another detail which will be pored over is the “likeliest voter” figures, which last week suggested Gallagher’s 12% lead last week would shrink to 8% if restricted to voters who rated their likelihood of voting as 7-10 to 10/10.  51% of voters were 10/10, close to the likely turnout, and so that’s not unlikely to be the actual voters on the day.  If that stays the same, the margin on FPVs would be 10% this week.  Combined with a better transfer rate, you could still be looking at a final count of 53/47, the sort of gap that could still be made up in the final week of the campaign.

But this would be lazarus stuff.  Michael D hasn’t really dropped, it’s just that everyone he would expect good transfers from has seen a decline in their vote, apparently moving to Gallagher.  Mitchell is now at 6% and doesn’t even seem a good bet for saving his deposit, something that would at least have got more FG voters out to vote, and then to transfer for him.  Similarly, Norris has not prospect, and those who demanded his right to run may have found other things to divert their attention.  McGuinness transfers were going strongly to Gallagher last week, and unless they have moved significantly they are not going to benefit Michael D.  And Davis now has slipped into the margin of error with Dana, and their transfers will be negligible.

Not over.  But not far off.  Only an effective “stop Gallagher” effort will stop his election next week, and at this stage it seems unlikely that this will materialise.

I need a glass of wine…..


EDIT: The Sunday Times also have a Behaviour and Attitudes poll. Slightly more encouraging for MDH, but less of a track record means less reliable. It gives Gallagher a lead of 38/26, MMG 17%, GM 8%, DN 6%, MD 3%, DRS 2%.

Written by Dotski

October 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

And Den there were two……

with 3 comments


Lashing this out before catching a train with one of the wains, so please excuse any typos….

I’m sure everyone who follows this blog are aware of the latest RedC Aras poll, which shows Gallagher storming into a commanding first preference lead, and the field effectively whittled down to him an Michael D Higgins.  For any who haven’t, the FPV figures are as follows;

Gallagher 39% (+18)

Michael D 27% (+2)

McGuinness 13% (-3)

Mitchell 8% (-2)

Norris 7% (-7)

Davis 4% (-5)

Dana 2% (-3)


First, the obvious.  Gallagher’s vote has almost doubled, and it’s largely at the expense of the other Independents, who losing votes hand over fist, and all of whom are dead ducks now, with no way back.  Secondly, Michael D is gaining votes, but not at the rate that he could stay ahead of that kind of surge.  SF are also leaking now, and are perilously close to the 12.5% required to hold their deposit.  Given the absence of FF, this would represent a step backwards for the party if replicated on the day, and they will be hoping that a sympathy factor, based on a media onslaught and the Primetime debate controversy, will help stem the tide that is going against their man.  And finally, Mitchell is approaching meltdown, and it will take a Herculean effort by the FG party machine for them to save their deposit.  It is still possible that they could overtake SF in there is a continued decline in the Derryman’s fortunes, but even that achievement appears less than odds on.

OK, what else?

Well, as you will also know, the poll was taken before the Primetime debate.  Most people believe that Gallagher performed poorly in that debate, handling the FF question particularly badly, and his odds lengthened at Paddy Powers following it (a trend reversed by the publication of this poll).  Personally I doubt this would be enough to wipe out a 12% lead, but one suspects it would have some impact.

Secondly, there’s the issue of transfers and likely voters.  I got the paper today hoping to get the level of detail on this that previous RedC polls have had, and was surprised to see less of this published than normal.  There are no specific figures for transfer rates or #2 votes, but Richard Colwell (RedC MD) says that Michael D beings to catch Gallagher “as Mary Davis, David Norris and Gay Mitchell all transfer strongly to him. However the question is whether this will be enough before Martin McGuinness is eliminated, as he transfers strongly to Gallagher”.  The unwillingness to say what way the poll indicates would suggest that it’s too close to call

If we were to assume from the above that Mitchell and Norris were going 60/20 MDH/SG, Davis 55/30, and Dana and MMG 30/60, the final result would be Gallagher winning by about 8-9%.  But we don’t know the transfer rates, and ones from previous polls are now useless as the Mary Davis vote of a fortnight ago isn’t the same cohort as today, given the swing since then.

Also of interest is when you look at committed voters.  RedC ask voters how likely they are to vote on a scale of 1-10, and discard 1s 2s and 3s, on the reasonable basis that they tend not to vote.  This is of particular interest in a vote like this where turnout is not expected to be high, with the last Presidential election attracting a turnout of 50% or so.  Those who are “definite” (i.e. 100% likely, according to them) in this poll, interestingly, amounts to some 51% of those polled, the gap is narrower, with Gallagher at 38% and Michael D up to 30%.

Both of these factors combined could, if stretched, be used to suggest that the lead on the final vote among those who will actually vote is around the margin of error, but personally, I think Gallagher would still have won on the final count if the vote had been held early last week, based on these figures.  The question, given the volatility of the figures, is whether he has built up an unstoppable momentum, or whether the “easy come, easy go” principle applies.

The poll is likely to be a game changer in a number of respects.  Firstly, Gallagher will get the attention other potential winners have received, and it remains to be seen how he handles this.  Certainly his views on FF, and more recent revelations about him getting funding from boards he sat on are unlikely to help him.  But is may also arouse some sympathy.  Perhaps more pertinently is whether Michael D continues to adopt the ‘play it safe’ policy, or starts being more expansive about his values, and the sort of Ireland he wants to see.

But it’s game on.  And if I had to bet the house on a result, having done the figures, it’s Gallagher’s to lose.


Written by Dotski

October 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized


with 2 comments

Just edited a typo in that last blog entry – I had inadvertently given LP 12% (as opposed to 18%) in the Summer MRBI poll!

Written by Dotski

October 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Bad Behaviour, Poor Attitude….

with 6 comments

Some of you will recall a poll being published last month by the Sunday Times, conducted by “Behaviours and Attitudes”, a polling company with little record of measuring party support. This poll was significantly out of step with other companies at the time and so I didn’t devote time to analysing it, but the Sunday Times have used them again this weekend, with findings that the people are, apparently overwhelmingly, in favour of cuts instead of tax rises.

Given the use of polling to try to persuade politicians, I think it’s worth having a look at how reliable B&A are.

As a company, they’ve not been used, generally, for party polling, but to measure attitudes. One example covered here attempted to measure our attitudes to sex and sin. Interesting stuff, and certainly good for filling column inches, but not something that can be tested really – it’s not like there will be a referendum on the issues tested. Good clean fun, but nothing that establishes the quality of the polling in the first place.

As I’ve pointed out beforehand, most of the big 3 (MRBI, RedC & Lansdown Millward/Brown) have a particularly decent record in calling General Elections. They’ve been doing it long enough, and they have records that speak for themselves. In the last GE, all measured FF, FG, LP, SF, GP and OTH quite well, and as I point out here  in the final polls of the GE 2011, of the 18 party totals, only one (FF in the L& M/B) was outside the margin of error (by 0.4%) and when you’re assuming a 3% margin of error to 95% probability, that’s about what you’d expect if polling was being done as close as perfect as possible (those margins are due to random statistical variation, not sample or method error). It’s worth noting that MRBI were closest (for the second GE in a row), Millward Brown were 2nd and RedC were third. (Unless you could my predictions which were slightly closer than MRBI, ahem!)

The B&A poll on 4th September had the following party totals;

FG 44%

LP 12%

FF 15%

SF 13%

GP 2%

OTH 12%.

Obviously, if this had been a finding of  a major company poll, this would have been big news, showing sudden swings from LP and to FG. The most recent poll had been an MRBI one (who were closest in the previous 2 General Elections). This showed FG at 38% and Labour at 18%. Assuming they haven’t suddenly become pants at polling, this suggested that, if B&A figures were true, Labour had lost some 6% over the summer (more properly between 3-9%), and FG had gained a similar amount.

So maybe they had? If so, you’d expect it to show up in the other company results. However, no joy for them there. MRBI have since come out with a poll that has FG at 35% (i.e. 3% down on July), and Labour 17% (down just 1%, unlike B&A well within the margin of error). Millard Brown (who were second closest to the result in February) also have released a poll since the B&A one, and this actually showed Labour up 1% to 20%, and FG down 2% to 40%. RedC, who came 3rd in February, do have Labour down in their latest poll, but within the margin of error, to 16%, and FG down a whopping 8% to 33%.

In other words, all the other polling companies have B&A’s latest results well out on FG and LP, not just in the totals, but in the trends they were suggesting.  Notably, their findings suggest an electorate that are more right wing than that found by the other pollsters, which of course, would not make them unattractive to a paper in the News International stable.

This isn’t to suggest that they aren’t a real company, that their polls are fraudulent, or even to suggest that there is bias at work.  It’s just to point out that, as polling companies go, their figures lack the credibility that more serious pollsters have earned over the years.  I don’t know why the Sunday Times have chosen them, certainly they don’t have the brand recognition or credibility that the big 3 have, and can only hope it’s because they are cheaper.

Judge them on their results, that’s what I always say….

Written by Dotski

October 9, 2011 at 10:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Come on you bhoys in green?

with 7 comments

It’s half-time in a (turgid) Andorra-Ireland match, and so I’ll be brief….

This morning’s MRBI poll in the Irish Times has made some headlines, with SF recording the second highest rating of all the parties.  The following are the party shares, and the IPR projections (again, ULA are within the OTH column, and so I’ve estimated their share on the vote as being pro-rata that amount)

FG 35% (-3) – 69 seats

SF 18% (+8) – 29 seats

LP 17% (-1) – 32 seats

FF 16% (-2)  – 16 seats

ULA 2% – 4 seats

GP 2% (NC) – 1 seat

OTH 10% – 15 seats

SF will be unsurprised to see LP still getting a better ‘bonus’ than they do, but may be encouraged by how little it puts them ahead in terms of seats.  In 3 cases (the 2 Donegals and Louth) a seat depends on them running a second candidate they didn’t last time, but still they will be very happy with this.  Largely, their gains hit the other parties more or less across the board.

I’ll not go into enormous depths about the poll, but I’ll just make the following observations;

1.  Contesting the Presidential election has been, obviously a good move for SF, but I suspect the main reason it has been as successful as it has is the onslaught from Gay Mitchell and others on SF.  By making SF the focus of FG/Govt scorn (in a way that FF used to be) they have apparently consolidated opposition to the Govt around a single party.

2. The gender gap, as has been commented by others, is startling with their support at 28% amongst men, but only 11% among women.  Some might assume that this would always have been the case, but no, not at all.  Last January, RedC ran a poll for Paddy Power which showed a very different story.  On that occasion, SF were 14% nationally, so they are up 4% in the intervening months.  And how much higher were they among men?  They weren’t.  In that poll, they rated 12% amongst men, and 15% amongst women.  In other words, since January, SF have risen 16% among men, but dropped 4% among women.  Really.

Now, that level of variation in January is m.o.e. stuff, but the current variation isn’t, so there clearly has been a very significant shift in SF support between the GE and now.

There’s not enough evidence to say for certain what has happened, but at the time in January I believed that SF’s rise was, in part, a surge among public sector workers, who are quite predominantly female.  Since then, it appears that they have lost some of this support, but gained more among men, apparently especially lower income and younger men.

It may be that this is a slight rouge element of the poll, as the variation between women and men out-strips anything I can recall in other polls, and I am reluctant to make any judgments based on this.  But it’s something no doubt we’ll see detailed in future polls in some detail, now it has become a matter of public comment.

anyways, back to Andorra-Ireland…..


Written by Dotski

October 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Gay abandoned

with 7 comments

One of the puzzling things about the Presidential Opinion Polls, for an outsider, might be as to how there could be such a large discrepancy between FG’s ratings in the state of the parties, and Gay Mitchell’s figures, with his score skittering between a half and a third of their party figures.

There are a number of reasons, in my view the main one being that he’s unsuited to a values type election, i.e. There are people voting FG now, not because they agree with their values, but because they see the State in a hole, and reckon FG will be the most brutal in pulling us out of it. This opinion gets some weight from a Presidential poll taken before the GE, when RedC found that, if Mairead McGuinness ran for FG against Norris, Bertie, Crowley, Michael D and Fergus Finlay, she would have polled some 13% (compared to 35% for FG in the previous poll) It is also possible, as I suggested in the last post, that the absence of FF means that being the “anti-FF” candidate no longer carries the same benefit.

While the January poll offered 2 choices for FF and LP, it was still way under half of the support her party was getting, which should’ve indicated to FG that this was not going to be a walk in the Park for them as a party. Further evidence arrived in June when a selection of four FG candidates, all representing different strains within the party, mustered less than 30% between them, even after exclusion of undecideds, with last-placed Gay Mitchell in the margin of error at 2.6%. It is beyond most people’s comprehension how Mitchell could have been picked following that poll – it clearly showed that FG were in serious trouble, and needed as many votes as possible to have a decent showing. Enda Kenny saw this when he pushed for Pat Cox, and Mairead McGuinness would, based on that poll, appear to have been a decent bet, but to go for the only candidate with no apparent personal vote was reckless, as they appear to be learning to their cost.

Nevertheless, many FG members appear perplexed, as they have bought into the myth that he’s a great vote getter, whereas the reality is that he is no more than competent, even in elections that suit his temperament.

His most recent outing was the 2009 European Elections, when he topped the poll in Dublin with 23.78% of the vote. Not bad, but above what FG would have got with another candidate? Probably not. On the same day, there were Local Elections, and the FG vote in Dublin amounted to almost exactly the same. In Dublin City and County, FG candidates got a total of 23.73% of the vote. In other words, the Mitchell vote was almost exactly at the same level as the party vote in the LEs, among the same voters on the same day.

His previous test was in 2004, again an EP election coinciding with the LEs. On that occasion, he polled 21.51%, again without a running mate. On this occasion, it was at least above the FG LE performance, but only marginally at less than 3%, and given how low the base was, it wasn’t something you could really use 7 years later to justify someone as an  über candidate.

Previous to that, his electoral tests were in Dublin South-Central. There, his prowess was largely agreed to be the result of intensive clientelism, and a well oiled local machine, neither of which will come into play in this election, but let’s have a look at how he did anyway. His base was always in the mid-to-northern end of the constituency, and if he had been serious about brining in a running mate he would have had one from the more middle-class Terenure end. But Gay was always too canny to allow something like that happen, and he eh, the party, chose Catherine Byrne (now a TD) as his running mate. She had come third in the previous bye-election, polling decently in his areas, and getting 20%, but was based in the Inner City, and if Gay wanted to outpoll his running mate in places like Terenure, she was the candidate to have on the ticket.

In the end, the vote was badly split, and he got 12.37% to her 4.57%, a combined vote of less than 17%. Given the advantages he had as an incumbant TD, geographically based in the middle of the constituency, and with his running mate at the end least FG-minded, his FPV of 5,444 on that occasion does not scream “winner” to me.

Going back to the last century, he managed to top the poll by crushing his running mate Ruairi McGinley in 1997, getting 22% to McGinley’s 3%. Again, its obvious that he was never keen to have a strong running mate, and McGinley a debutant, was never going to challenge Mitchell, who clearly saw topping the poll (and enhancing his reputation) as more important than bringing on a running mate. But even if you take it that this was evidence of his great vote getting ability, his strongest appeal was among what used to be called the “Senior Citizen” vote in Drimnagh and Crumlin. 14 years on, many of those voters are with us no more, and those that are certainly aren’t going to swing a national election.

I suspect he may still poll better on the day, but if he does it won’t be because he is a greater campaigner. It will be because he could hardly do worse. The best FG can hope to come out of this election is a realisation that those votes don’t “belong” to them, and listen to a wider circle than the lads who turn up for branch meetings.  Had they chosen Mairead McGuinness, they would probably be in the mix now, and this would be a very different election.  As it is, there will be a lot of soul searching in the party this Halloween.



Written by Dotski

October 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Starters orders….

with 5 comments

The RedC presidential poll is interesting on a number of counts.  Most obviously, this is the first time we’ve seen the likely full line-up, without ‘spoilers’, assuming Dana gets the nod from 4 Councils (and the speculation is that she will).  This gives us a clearer picture of where the up for grabs vote is likely, at this stage, to gravitate. Michael D, who is now officially the front runner, knows where he is, and those looking to knock him out of that pole position know he’s the person to beat.

To recap, the first preferences are as follows;

Norris 21%

MDH 18%

McGuinness 16%

Davis 13%

Mitchell 13%

Gallagher 11%

Dana 6%

On these figures,  it will clearly go to transfers, as no-one is remotely near the territory where they can reach 50% on FPVs, and even the front runners will need substantial transfers from more than one competitor.  The dynamic that will introduce to the campaign will be interesting.  While there is evidence that some in FG are out to highlight  the links between Mary Davis and FF, and Shane Ross scored a hit today highlighting her performance on various Quangos following her appointment by Bertie & Co, I suspect that most candidates will spend the rest of the campaign tripping over one another to be positive about themselves, rather than negative about their opponents.

And the transfers …. Well, according to the poll, the 2nd preferences of the candidates are as follows;

Higgins 20%
Davis 16%
Gallagher 14%
Mitchell 14%
McGuinness 8%
Dana 7%
Norris 6%

This is no great shakes for McGuinness (although unsurprisingly so, I would have thought), but shockingly poor for Norris.  It means that, while Michael D is among the top 2 choices of 38% of voters, Norris gets only 27% of voters marking him that high (with 30% for MMG).  Assuming a similar drop off in lower preferences, and neither Norris nor the SF man will be able to make it to the Aras, and both may fail to make it to the last count.

Given this, the question is who can catch Michael D?  When the poll was leaked, I tweeted that Davis would now be second favourite, and while she will get greater scrutiny now for her closeness to FF (and perhaps her pro-life views) I would still see her as the likeliest person to challenge.  However, Twitterer DJCP Moore projected this poll as ending in 59% Michael D to 41% Davis, and that looks about right to me.  Her best hope is that FG don’t swing behind Mitchell, but I think they will feel a need to shore up his vote and avoid an embarrassing early exit for their party.  Kenny may not have chosen Mitchell, and could gain some satisfaction from the party being shown such a dramatic outcome from ignoring his advice, but at the end of the day, you enter politics to win elections.  They’ll be hoping to get up to about 20% which, while a poor result, would be a lot better than the early polls are indicating, something no doubt Kenny would claim as his impact.

The reasons for the poor FG performance are open to debate.  Certainly Mitchell is a poor candidate, as they should have known in advance of nominating him, but on it’s own that’s not enough.  When he got only 2% in a poll including 4 FG candidates, the combined FG polling, which included 4 very different candidates encompassing all the main elements of their party, was only 29%, despite the same poll having the party on 42% for party support.  That would have disappointed FG at nearly any point of their history, so to be polling at that level now should be deeply troubling, and not just for this election.

In fact Mitchell appears to be, if anything, going backwards, as he had expected to get a decent share of the ex-FF vote, and so to be at this level when they’re not even in the race means he’s tumbling badly.  One reason might be precisely the absence of FF.  People vote for parties for all sorts of reasons, but most analysts agree that FG has always got substantial votes based on being the most anti-FF party.  Take FF out of the equation, and suddenly they need to rely on other reasons to support them.  That’s not to say those reasons don’t exist, but on their own they mightn’t  reach the heights that visceral hatred of FF has always brought out to vote for them.  FF of course may come back, but if they are reaching the end of the road as Dev Og appears to think, it may be bad news for FG also.

Otherwise, Gallagher is sinking fast (below the threshold required to get his deposit back), and Dana looks like she won’t register outside a few heartlands.  Their transfers will be courted however, with McGuinness hoping that geography will see them push him into a last count showdown with Michael D.

And Michael D …. It’s probably the first time in his life he could consider himself a favourite.  Certainly as President & Director of Galway Utd he has had his taste of defeat in his life (not to mention from a lifetime of social campaigning).  But with even ideological foes like Shane Ross coming out in support for him, its looking good for him.  That’s not to say that he can’t lose it, but at this stage it’d be him losing, rather than someone else winning.  In particular, he needs a decent Mitchell transfer to stay comfortably ahead of either Norris of MMG, and that suggests that Dublin will be an important region to perform well.   If he manages that, he should get sufficient transfers to be too far ahead of Davis to lose.  His biggest threat may be that Mitchell would make significant inroads to his support in Dublin, and if that happened, he could conceivably outpoll him.  Mitchell would still lose, as he’d not do as well on McGuiness and Norris transfers, but that would be of no substantive benefit to anyone but Davis.  Even considering this scenario, it appears odds-on that Michael D will win.

Yeah yeah, famous last words ….


Written by Dotski

September 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Phoning home…

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I won’t bore you with the details, but technical problems mean that this is my first blogpost from my phone. And hopefully my last from it…..

You will all be aware of the RedC poll in today’s SBP. This is the first to show a notable drop for both govt parties. I’ve run the figures through the laptop, and came up with the following seat projections.

FG  33%-68
LP  16%-34
SF  15%-23
FF  15%-16
ULA  3%*-5
GP  2%*-1
OTH  16%-19

*It’s unfortunate that the polls continue to lump ULA with Shame Ross et al. I raised this with RedC and was informed that it was what SBP requested.

I’ll not spend too long typing on this yoke just to tell you what you already know, but it is again striking how, in this territory, a few % points make a world of difference to FF.

Hopefully have access to desktop later to comment on the pres poll.


Written by Dotski

September 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Govt in “popular polling figures” shock

with 3 comments

I have to admit, but at this stage, even I’m surprised….

Until very recently, the new Govt were polling exceedingly well, to an extent that probably had  Minsters pinching themselves.  Then along came a poll from “Behaviours & Attitudes” that suggested that, while FG were climbing, LP were suddenly plummeting to 12%.  I didn’t run them through my spreadsheet as they have no track record compared to other polling companies (no party polls on record) and running a simulation based on that poll would give it some credibility (like Quantum Research), but still ppl questioned this, and quoted the poll as if it was more reliable than that of previous polls from tried and tested companies.

Well, there’s been a poll from a real company since then, and it actually shows LP up and FG down, so it would appear that B&A was, to be charitable, a bit out of line…

The Sindo tomorrow have commissioned a real (i.e. non-Quantum Research) poll.  In it, the state of the parties is as follows with changes since the last Millward Brown/Lansdown poll in brackets;

FG 40% (- 2%)

Lab 20% (+1%)

SF 11% (NC)

FF 10% (-6%)

Greens 2%

Inds (incl ULA)  17%

The biggest story here is the collapse of FF (and the polling period, of Aug 30-Sep 14 missed the Presidential policy meltdown), and when I run the simulation, this is particularly stark.  It comes out at;

FG 80 seats

LP 41 seats

SF 16 seats

FF 6 seats (yes, yes, I know…)

ULA 4 seats

GP 0 seats

OTH 19 seats

Just a poll, I know, but very troubling for Martin, particularly with rumours of Dev Og wielding a dagger…. I’ve not got time to analyse further (missus has a TV show paused on Skyplus and is waiting…), but will post again tomorrow.

The same poll, by the way has figures for the Presidential election, however it doesn’t poll for SF and so is a little overtaken by events, missing out on the “My Goodness, McGuiness” factor.  However, for your info, it comes out at;

Higgins – 32%
Norris – 18%
Davis – 18%, up 5%
Mitchell – 17%, down 4%
Gallagher – 14%

On those figures, Gay Mitchell is sinking fast, and the Norris vote is likely to largely find itself in the Galwayman’s column come polling day.  Davis is making ground, but still a long way behind MDH, and a fair bit of that Indo vote is probably SFers who are reluctant to support another party.  Of course, Marty will take a fair bit from from Michael D,and Mitchell will be hoping that voters will react against the Derryman by swinging to him,  but its hard on those figures to see anything but the LP and SF candidates fighting it out on transfers, and I suspect MDH will do somewhat better in that department.

Anyways, am off. Have fun and stay safe….


Written by Dotski

September 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Park Life

with 6 comments

As I’m sure you all know by now, the Millward Brown/Lansdowne poll also queried people on their Presidential choices. It’s still very early days, and there were 4 FG candidates on offer, and so there’s only so much we can take from it, but still, let’s see what there is…

Ratings given were as follows (figures after undecideds excluded in brackets);

Norris 21% (28%)

Michael D 19% (25.3%)

McGuinness 10% (13.3%)

Cox 7% (9.3%)

Gallagher 6% (8%)

Davis 4% (5.3%)

O’Dowd 3% (4%)

Doyle 3%(4%)

Mitchell 2% (2.6%)

Well, what does us tell us?  The only other poll by a reputable company on this election was last January, before the GE, when RedC did a survey.  On that occasion, 83% expressed an opinion, and so the 27% supporting Norris worked out as 32.5% after undecideds were excluded, and while it was a different set of candidates presented, it may be that he has lost some first preference support as a result of his own ‘Greek Crisis’.  Harder to measure (particularly as you won’t get honest answers) is how much worse he’ll do on transfers, as while there may have been a hardeneing of some support for him among those inclined to support him, he may also have lost a lot of casual preferences that he would’ve been dependent upon.  Still, he’ll be pleased that the headline is that he’s still the front-runner, a card he’ll use strongly in his efforts to be nominated.

Michael D will be very pleased.  He was on 11% in January with Finlay on 10%, and this suggests that he has taken most of his votes, pretty much en bloc, and then some.  He also knows that he’s seen as a front runner now, and this, combined with an enthusiastic campaign behind him (he is loved by many, and not just in the Labour Party) has to see him as very much a main contender.

Fine Gael will be bemused by this poll, particularly given its the same sample as yesterday’s party poll, and so can’t be attributed to a statistical oddity.  Four candidates on the ballot, each appealing to very different aspects of FG support, and they are at 29% between them.  Hard to see a single candidate garnering more than 22-24% on this basis, and so they’ll be looking closely at this.  McGuiness does appear their best bet, although Cox will argue that he would run the best campaign.  Doyle had barely entered the race formally, but will still be very disappointed at this showing, but not compared to Gay Mitchell (once dubbed “The Evil of Two Lessers”), who will be humiliated by this showing.  Certainly, it will take a brass neck for either of them to continue seeking the nomination, and I would expect at least one of them to quietly step aside in the next week or so.  HQ, however will be concerned to see none of the candidates setting the electorate alight, and I suspect their attentions may return to John Bruton, who they seem to think would be a big vote winner.

Of the rest, they’re all out of it.  On these figures, no-one cares for Gallagher (who is well known already), Davis (who many only know from her gaffe on the Presidential debate where she showed a poor knowledge of the powers of the President), and O’Dowd (whose heart is, apparently, in Ireland) are all polling too poorly to be considered in the race, and I suspect this will impact on their ability to be nominated.

A long way to go, and there may be surprises yet.  But there’s a few names we can start crossing off, on the basis of this poll.


Written by Dotski

June 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Blue Tide

with 3 comments

Well, the Government (particularly the larger Party), go from strength to strength.  I suspect this may all change after the next Budget, but to date, FG have gone up in popularity, and LP have maintained their support at roughly GE levels.

The Indo has a poll out tomorrow, and this time it’s by Millward Brown/Lansdowne (and not comedy pollsters Quantum ‘Research’).  Figures (with changes from the last MB/L held in the final week of the GE) are as follows;

FG 42% (+4)

LP 19% (-1)

FF 16% (+2)

SF 11% (NC)

Unfortunately, they continue to exclude ULA which, in my opinion, devalues the poll greatly, as you’ll know if you read my previous blog on the recent RedC poll. I’ve done a projection on the trusty IPR spreadsheet, and it makes happy reading for all the FG supporters out there.  Assuming ULA (and GP) at the same level as the GE (and there’s little to assume that the increase in FG is at the expense of Joe Higgins et al), the seat projections come out as follows;

FG 86

LP 35

FF 17

SF 14


OTH 11


Big story would be FG having an overall majority (and safe enough to rely on INDApendants), but surprising (to me, at least) is that this isn’t expecially at the expense of LP, who appear to be holding their own (winning and losing seats on these figures).  ULA would proportionately lose badly, despite being assumed not to have lost ground, but of the 2 seats lost, one would be in Dun Laoghiare as a result of the Ceann Comhairle being Sean Barrett, and the other would be Joan Collins losing out (very marginally) to FG in Dublin SC.

I’ll not spend the rest of the night poring over these figures, as (a) I’ve in-laws visiting, and (b) no great surprises here.

But I will say, to the polling companies ….. PLEASE …. ULA in the next poll.  They’ve FIVE seats, which is what SF have usually had, and they’ve been in every poll in the last 15-20 years or so.






Written by Dotski

June 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Plus ça change….

with 2 comments

Sorry for the delay there, I’d forgotten about the Champions League final – thankfully my better half didn’t….

I’ve run the figures, and quite a few very close calls, but not much movement.  One difficulty is that ULA (and GP) figures have to be assumed as there’s no breakdown.  As I’ve suggested before, there’s no excuse for this.  ULA are a clearly identifiable group, with as many TDs as SF had in the past when measured in opinion polls, and as much a single entity as other formations in other countries that are measured by professional, reputable polling companies.  Lumping them in with Shane Ross and co. is frankly unprofessional, and RedC have to put this right if they are going to start mending their reputation (which was over-egged by many in the run up to the last 2 GEs).  In the absence of this, I’ve assumed no change in the respective ULA and GP votes, with the main swing from OTH to FG/LP coming from the “like-minded Independents” who are closer ideologically to FG in particular than ULA.


Anways, seat total projections are as follows;

FG 79

LP 38

FF 16

SF 15


OTH 14

Very close to the GE, FG and SF up a bit, FF and OTH down (ULA only lose a seat as a result of the Ceann Comhairle’s appointment), but all just a few hundred votes away from the same seats totals.  It would appear that no-one is especially surprised to date with what the govt is doing, and any movement is unlikely to be seen until after the Summer recess and, IMO, after December’s Budget.



Written by Dotski

May 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

May Poll dance

with 2 comments

RTE have reported a RedC poll in tomorrow’s SBP which continues to show a relatively stable political landscape.  Figures reported are;

FG 41% (up 2%)

LP 19% (up 1%)

FF 16% (n/c)

SF 11% (n/c)

OTH  13% (down 3%)

A slight bump for the Govt, possibly a result of the positive press the recent visits to these shores would have created.  Interestingly I would have expected a slight downward movement for LP as Kenny got much more coverage than LP, but perhaps it all had very little impact.  Certainly, the more recent events around the JLC pay schemes could be expected to have had a greater impact on the electorate.

Am in the middle of getting dinner together, but will do a seats projection later.


Written by Dotski

May 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Red Dawn…..

with 2 comments

First poll of the New Era ™ and it’s RedC.   Of course, they were a bit out on polling day, with MRBI maintaining their record as the polling company who come closest to GE results, as I outlined here, however they are well regarded (particularly among FG supporters).  The poll shows really no movement from the final poll RedC held prior to the GE, with party standings as follows;

FG 39% (down 1%)

LP 18% (no change)

FF 16% (up 1%)

SF 11% (up 1%)

OTH (incl. GP, ULA etc) 16% (down 1%).

Unlike most other blogs (and media outlets) I’ve compared the figures with the most recent RedC poll (23 Feb for Paddy Power), rather than the GE, as otherwise you’re not comparing like with like.

It’s a ridiculously tiny movement, given the formation of a new Government, which suggests that, whatever is being claimed from the opposition benches, there’s hardly a person in the country who are surprised by how things have changed (or stayed the same) under the new Government.  I suspect that a lot of people at this stage made their minds up about a lot of things in February, and it will take significant developments for them to shift.

I ran this through the updated spreadsheet with Feb ’11 figures (and lets not forget RedC over-estimated FG in the last GE, as I suggested they would) and came up with the following figures;

FG 77

LP 35

FF 17

SF 17


OTH 15

While the FG seat total doesn’t look too much higher, this isn’t unsurprising.  Garret Fitzgerald commented on RTE during the count analysis that FG had been very fortunate in the spread of their vote and how well their vote splitting strategies had gone (well in places wher ethey needed to, and where it went badly they still limped over the line) and opined that they could increase their vote by 3% and get no extra seats.  That’s a slight exageration, but not much, and on these figures, they’d only get 1 additional net seat on nearly 3% of a higher vote.  Of course, that additional 2.9% could be their “RedC” bonus, making it a moot point.

LP would get 2 fewer seats net, on a share 1.4% lower than they got on polling day, and FF would lose 3 seats on a similar drop.  As pointed out during the campaign, there is a tipping point for FF somewhere in the mid-to-higher teens that they need be north of, and they will be concerned to see that going into opposition has not helped them in this, particularly given the Moriarty findings.  They need to start making big hits soon, given the age of their partiamentary party, or could find themselves slipping further still.

SF also approach a tipping point here, and would appear to gain 4 more seats on just an additional 1.1%.  Some are very close, but that’s often the way.  This will be a big Dail for them, and if they can concentrate on their younger guns (so to speak) they could very well find themselves in Government in time for the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Finally, others…. Well, I was critical of the polling companies for not separating ULA out from OTH during the GE, but I understood their reasoning, as they were not represented in the Dail at the time.  Now, they have 5 seats, and there is no justification, IMO.  I know they are an alliance as opposed to a single party (albeit one with a stated intention of forming a unified party in the future), but reputable polling companies in Germany always include the CDU/CSU alliance, the British polling companies included the SDP/Liberals as an alliance in their polling when that was a formal alliance, and their a a wide variety of similar arrangements internationally that are shown in polls, so there is no argument for their continued omission. Hopefully feedback will be negative on this, resulting in a change in their practise.

Finally, the poll was nothing exciting, but in fairness, I don’t think there’s much to be expected in the polls until after the Summer recess. I’ve updated the spreadsheet as I said, and so will now be able to turn around projections as quickly (or slowly!) as I ever did, and if you don’t want to subscribe to the blog (where you get sent email alerts) you might like to follow me on twitter and I’ll alert you when I’ve posted a new projection.



Written by Dotski

April 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hi, it’s me…!

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Sorry for the delay in compiling the results of the prediction competitions and getting back to you.  Other pressures in my life have conspired to make me very busy, and in the absence of a forthcoming GE, it’s hard for me to make the case for putting too much more time into the blog.  I’ve finally updated the spreadsheet to take account of the recent GE results, and so my next post will be a quick projection of last week’s RedC.

The winners of the competitions were Redgreenanarchist (not his/her real name I suspect….) and Ruairi O’hEithir – I’ve e-mailed both of them asking them to nominate their charities.  Ruairi’s was particularly close, being 38 individual seats out (remember that’s really 19, as 1 seat too many for one party in a constituency means 1 too many for another), and a mere 10 out in the seats totals.  In this, he out-predicted every published pundit’s predictions that I could find (not counting one’s which came to light after the election….)

In terms of the pundits, my spreadsheet didn’t let me down, and my final prediction was 14 seats out.  Not as good as Ruairi’s, but much closer to any pre-published pundit I could find.  Interestingly, the closest to this was Adrian Kavanagh, who also uses a spreadsheet who was 24 seats out, compared to Newstalk and Sunday Tribune projections which were closer to 60 seats out.   I think this should put to rest any debate about the efficiency of using this method to project election results.  It’s not perfect, and I never claimed it was, but it’s far closer to reality than the “gut feeling approach” that most people use.

Anyways, I’ll post the projections of last Sunday’s RedC and skedaddle, visitors this evening….


Written by Dotski

April 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

I think we have a winner……

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Sorry for the delay in collating competition winners.  Before I release, it appears that the winners of the GE predictions competitions were 40 and 38 seats out respectively (first and final predictions) – if anyone beleives that they sent me a more accurate prediction (there were a few that changed the formatting and my automated comparison may have failed to pick something like that up) please let me know by Weds midnight.



Written by Dotski

March 14, 2011 at 12:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Polls Positions

with 16 comments

The final seats have yet to be allocated, so I’ll be reserving my comments on this until after the last count, but at this stage we know the FPVs of each party, and I thought it might be timely to review how the different organisations (and my good self!) did in trying to gauge how many votes each party would get, that being the idea behind such polling in the first place.

Most of you will be well aware that MRBI and Millward/Lansdowne have been rubbished for some time by some FG posters on in particular, despite having as good a record in General Elections (I’ve outlined elsewhere why I believe you can’t compare effectiveness in predicting GE results with other elections).  The posters generally pointed to RedC as the most reliable, despite having no better (and arguably a worse)  record in predicting GE results.  This time, despite (yet again) being held closer to polling day than the other companies final pre-polling day efforts, RedC were actually the furthest out of all the respected polling companies, as I suspected they might be.

The last MRBI poll, which I flagged as the one to watch (having been extremely close in ’07), was the first of the “final” polls to be published, leaked on Sunday evening and published in Monday’s Irish Times.  They were out by 0.9% for FG, 0.4% for LP, 1.4% for FF, 1.1% for SF, 0.2% for GP, and 0.4% OTH, making their total deviation a very impressive 4.4%.  Millward Brown/Lansdown came out the following day and were 1.9% out for FG, 0.6% for LP, 3.4% FF, 1.1% SF, 0.8% GP and 0.6% OTH, making their deviation a less impressive (but still solid) 8.4%.  The last official poll of the campaign came from RedC (as in 2007) and as in the previous GE, they failed to make this advantage work for them, with the least accurate prediction of the final vote.  They were 3.9% out for FG, 1.4% for LP, 2.4% for FF, 0.1% for SF, 1.2% for GP, and 1.4% for OTH, a whopping 10.4% overall.

As regular readers will be aware, I went out on a limb and posted my predictions on polling day and my figures were out by 1.8% for FG, 0.1% for LP, 1.1% for FF, 0.1% for SF, 0.2% for GP and 0.9% for OTH, a total deviation of 4.2%.  And finally, another MB/L poll, this time an exit poll for RTE, gave figures that deviated by 0% for FG, 1.1% for LP, 2.3% FF, 0.2% for SF, 0.9% for GP and 0.1% for OTH, a total deviation of 4.6%.

In summary, the total number of percentage points the last projections were out by was as follows;

MRBI 4.4%

MB/L 8.4%

RedC 10.4%

IPR 4.2%

Exit 4.6%

Now, that’s not to rubbish RedC, polling is a complicated discipline, but rather I think it does shoot the credibility of those who ridiculed the other company results, particularly people who poured scorn on MRBI for recording figures that they didn’t agree with, and who took particular exception to my basing projections on their data.  MRBI by contrast were the closest of all the polls in the final week (even better than the Exit Poll) and the only prediction I’m aware of being closer was mine, which was based in large part on their poll anyway.

So next time you hear someone scorning a polling company, check who they are, who they support, and look at the evidence.

Written by Dotski

February 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

17:50 update

leave a comment »


By my reckoning, likely vote shares after the remaining counts come in are roughly;

FF 17.2%

FG 35.7%

LP 20.6%

SF 9.6%

GP 1.8%

OTH 15%

Quite close to the exit poll, and arguably closer to my prediction yesterday (described by one tweeter as “spooky” earlier today) which was;

% seats
FF 16.3% 20
FG 37.9% 73
LP 19.5% 42
GP 2.0% 0
SF 9.8% 10
oth 14.5% 21

For what its worth, my current prediction is;

FF 22

FG 73

LP 39

SF 12

OTH 20

A lot of water to go under the bridge before the accuracy of these is decided….





Written by Dotski

February 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Edge of their seats

with 5 comments

Twitter seems to have exploded ….


FWIW, the 1pm tallies are starting to look like the following to me;

FF 22 seats

FG 70 seats

LP 39 seats

SF 12 seats

GP 1 seat

OTH 22 seats


A lot of seats up in the air though, and transfers will be more than unpredictable….

Written by Dotski

February 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Early Indications part deux…

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Based on tallies of varying completeness in 23 constituencies;

FF 18% (25 seats)

FG 36% (73 seats)

LP 19% (38 seats)

SF 9% (9 seats)

GP 2% (0 seats)

OTH 16% (21 seats)

Obviously a drift to FF from LP there, although very early …. LP not certain of breaking 40 just yet, FF getting a bit of hope from some of those tallies.

Written by Dotski

February 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Early indications

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There’s about 15 partial tallies in, and while they all individually come with large health warnings, such difficulties tend to cancel one another out when you have a good spread.  I’m projecting from these a likely national vote in the region of the following;

FF 17.5%

FG 35.7%

LP 20.4%

SF 8.9%

GP 2.0%

OTH 15.5%

As you can see, that’s pretty close to the exit poll, but has FF a wee bit higher, perhaps 2-2.5%.  It could just be a blip, and not enough to save them from a disastrous result, but could save a few careers.  I’ll do a seats projection in a bit….

Written by Dotski

February 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Exit Strategy

with one comment

RTE Exit poll from Millward Brown is out, and if accurate (they wre very accurate in 2007) it would support my argument that MRBI was closest to the money again.  Vote shares (with my projections in brackets)

FF 15.1% (17)

FG 36.1% (71)

LP 20.5% (41)

SF 10.1% (12)

GP 2.7% (2)

OTH 15.5% (23)

As you can see from here that is very close to my projections from yesterday.  Just a poll and all that, but still, happy enough with that….

FF rating for Dublin is apparently very low (8% if I heard correctly) but that could be the lower sample, national figure will be more reliable given the 2.5% margin of error.

Of course, a long way to go, I’ll be updating projections based on the tallies as they come in today.



Written by Dotski

February 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Waiting …

with 11 comments


I’ve sat down and come to my final conclusions, and have (somewhat foolhardily, I suppose) decided to publish them, thereby setting myself up for ridicule, given some of the 43 constituencies are likely to go very differently. As I say, it’s not a portal on the future….

My national projected vote is roughly based on the MRBI figures and the general trend, plus some adjustments to the base votes to take account of constituency polling during the campaign. While RedC had a slight increase for FG in the margin of error in their last poll, the other two companies had them flattening, and I think that’s largely what was happening at the end of the campaign. On these figures, they would be well short of the 84 everyone is talking about, and which they were tipped to achieve on RTE radio the other day. LP similarly had appeared to have stopped the rot in all the polling towards the end. Some people see an on the day problem for them based on the 2009 Local/Euro elections and Donegal SW, but in GEs they’ve generally performed as the last MRBI polls projected, and I don’t see this being too different. Locals and Euros are a very different creature, and by-elections even more so (ask Catherine Murphy), but in GEs most ppl know pretty much how they will vote.

SF I have a little down, being ‘squeezed’ as smaller parties often are at the end. FF I see making only a small recovery on the day, and not enough to push them past territory more associated with LP. I have the GP just missing out in a couple of areas, although close enough that I won’t be surprised if Trevor Sargant in particular holds on. OTHs I see taking a decent block of seats.

Summary of my prediction is as follows.

% seats
FF 16.3% 20
FG 37.9% 73
LP 19.5% 42
GP 2.0% 0
SF 9.8% 10
oth 14.5% 21

FWIW, even including FF gene-pool, there’s only a mximum 11 “Enda-pendents”, making a FG-IND arrangement impossible without supplementary agreement from FF, who may yet find a role for themselves in the next Dail as a “loyal opposition” should negotiations on a Programme for Government break down between FG and LP.

Anways, these are my predictions – if you disagree with them, why not show me yours? 😉

I’ll be making projections tomorrow, initially based on the exit poll (on RTE sometime between 7am and 8am, but I can’t promise I’ll make it that early!) and then based on the tallies. The initial tally-based ones will be less reliable than the later ones, but if your party does better in the first 7 or 8 tallies that come in than one would expect, you can generally assume that its going to be a good day for you. Similarly, if they are all going badly ….

Anyways, enjoy the count, and who knows, we may be going this all over again in 6 months…..? 😉

Carlow-Kilkenny 5 25.4% 1 40.2% 3 13.5% 1 4.7%
6.6% 9.7%
Cavan-Monaghan 5 16.0% 1 38.7% 2 5.0% 1.5%
26.9% 1 12.0% 1
Clare 4 22.0% 1 45.4% 2 8.9% 3.0%
19.2% 1
Cork E 4 16.5% 37.1% 2 29.9% 2 0.8%
Cork NC 4 15.9% 1 23.5% 1 22.6% 1 2.1%
15.9% 1 20.0%
Cork NW 3 31.2% 1 46.8% 2 10.4% 1.6%
Cork SC 5 22.4% 1 40.2% 3 16.1% 1 3.0%
7.3% 11.0%
Cork SW 3 23.3% 1 40.0% 1 17.7% 1 3.8%
Donegal NE 3 18.5% 33.8% 1 15.3% 1 0.7%
22.3% 1 9.5%
Donegal SW 3 19.4% 1 28.8% 1 9.4% 0.6%
27.3% 1 14.6%
Dublin C 4 7.9%
20.5% 1 27.7% 1 0.6%
11.3% 31.9% 2
Dublin Mid-West 4 13.3% 31.8% 2 25.5% 1 6.1%
12.1% 1 11.2%
Dublin N 4 14.9% 32.7% 2 23.7% 1 10.7% 0.0%
18.0% 1
Dublin NC 3 12.0%
39.4% 1 17.3% 1 1.9%
21.8% 1
Dublin NE 3 11.6%
32.6% 1 30.0% 2 2.2%
14.6% 9.0%
Dublin NW 3 13.2%
22.3% 1 36.9% 2 0.5%
19.5% 7.6%
Dublin S 5 8.1% 37.0% 2 23.1% 2 6.9% 4.0%
20.9% 1
Dublin SC 5 4.6%
23.0% 1 40.1% 3 0.6%
10.9% 20.9% 1
Dublin SE 4 11.9% 29.8% 2 25.6% 1 6.9%
20.5% 1
Dublin SW 4 11.5%
32.9% 2 27.5% 1 1.1%
18.7% 1 8.3%
Dublin W 4 14.3% 25.0% 1 32.5% 2 0.0%
21.4% 1
Dun Laoghaire 4 17.4% 1 30.7% 1 31.7% 2 3.2%
Galway E 4 14.0% 51.3% 2 14.6% 1 0.0%
14.9% 1
Galway W 5 13.5% 1 36.5% 2 14.3% 1 2.5%
27.4% 1
Kerry N 3 13.8%
39.3% 1 17.1% 1 0.7%
22.5% 1 6.7%
Kerry S 3 15.9% 30.6% 1 15.8% 0.4%
31.5% 2
Kildare N 4 9.8%
36.9% 2 28.3% 1 1.9%
18.2% 1
Kildare S 3 24.0% 1 24.8% 1 28.8% 1 4.0%
Laois-Offaly 5 28.6% 2 40.4% 2 8.0% 0.6%
9.8% 1 12.6%
Limerick E 4 15.1% 1 40.0% 2 25.5% 1 0.7%
Limerick W 3 24.3% 1 51.8% 2 17.1% 1.2%
Longford-Westmeath 4 18.7% 1 37.1% 2 32.6% 1 0.4%
Louth 5 11.4% 1 40.2% 2 15.0% 1 2.8%
23.8% 1 6.7%
Mayo 5 16.9% 1 56.9% 3 8.2% 0.0%
7.8% 10.1% 1
Meath E 3 15.5% 47.6% 2 21.7% 1 0.9%
Meath W 3 14.0% 47.1% 2 13.0% 0.1%
16.4% 1 9.5%
Roscommon S Leitrim 3 14.6%
46.1% 2 12.4% 1 0.8%
11.1% 14.9%
Sligo N Leitrim 3 17.4% 1 45.3% 2 9.6% 0.8%
13.7% 13.2%
Tipperary N 3 13.7%
31.1% 1 14.2% 1 0.4%
34.6% 1
Tipperary S 3 13.2% 31.5% 1 14.6% 1 0.4%
35.2% 1
Waterford 4 13.4% 43.9% 2 18.6% 1 0.0%
9.5% 14.6% 1
Wexford 5 19.5% 1 39.8% 2 20.0% 1 0.8%
7.1% 12.7% 1
Wicklow 5 9.1% 40.2% 2 26.4% 2 2.0%
9.0% 13.2% 1

166 FF 20 FG 73 LP 42 GP 0 SF 10 OTH 21

Written by Dotski

February 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

RedC breaks from the pack …..

with 14 comments

The final poll from RedC during this campaign (and one presumes the last of any company until the polls close) has come out, and unlike those from the other companies, it suggests that the FG surge has continued, pushing them to the magical 40% figure.  Figures (plus uniform swing projected seats in brackets) are as follows;

FF 15% (17)

FG 40% (79)

LP 18% (35)

GP 3% (2)

SF 10% (11)

OTH 14% (22)

Clearly this is so close to FG getting a majority as makes no difference, the poll margin of error is significantly greater than that required to push them past 84 seats, and they could be lucky on transfers (although I’m assuming they’ll do well on these, especially OTH except in areas where this is a left-wing candidate).  They will be conscious though that they have been doing better in RedC (and LP worse) for 2 years or so, and in the last GE, RedC’s final poll was much further out than MRBI, particularly for the 3 main parties, despite being taken later than the MRBI one.  Then, RedC were 3.6% out for FF, 1.3% for FG, 0.9% for LP.  The MRBI effort was out by 0.6% for FF, 0.3% for FG, and  0.1% for LP.

LP will be hoping that the other polls (notably MRBI) which have them higher are more accurate, but it is notable that they are either steady or slightly up in the last poll for each company, and so it appears their campaign has been ending in a more successful manner than it started.  However, if the trend in RedC is correct, Gilmore may be leading a PLP of about 35-40 into opposition against a FG govt with a series of “understandings” with the Indo TDs.  Some will say, better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven, I suppose….

FF will be disturbed to see another poll pointing to a decline, rather than a recovery in their fortunes.  On these figures they are in real trouble, and it’s only the lower than average performance by SF that stops them doing even worse.  At this stage it’s hard to see them having the sort of recovery I initially expected of them.

SF will be slightly concerned to see a dip back to 10%, but can console themselves that this is (probably) normal movement within the margin of error.  GP by contrast may be given hope by a similar movement within the margin of error that puts them in “getting seats” territory, but this may be equally illusory.

Anyway, a reminder of the prediction competition – the prize is only a small donation to the charity of your choice, but bragging rights will of course be secured.  If you’re someone who has been slagging of the spreadsheet over on, I’d particularly suggest that you enter, to show us all how it’s done! 😉


EDIT: I’ve seen the poll report, and an interesting set of figures is the “how likely are you to vote for your party” question.  59% express themselves as having either made up their mind before the campaign (22%) or during it (37%), with the reaminder being either pretty sure but not completely (32%), or not at all (9%).

So what percentage of each party’s supporters made up their minds?  Figures are FF 61%, FG 69%, LP 71%, SF 69%, OTH 51% (no figure reported for GP, oddly enough).  While RedC say FF can take some comfort from this (reasoning being that many of the OTH vote is ex-FF), the quite low level of certainty among the FF voters suggests that they could do even worse on the day. It shoudl also not be assumed that uncertainty among former FF voters is a sign that FF will do well among those voters, as they may just be trying to choose among their non-FF options, and in most cases will take longer to decide as they’ve never voted against FF before.

Their deliberations could be informed by the question on most favoured Govt, with a FG/LP the most popular at 33%, but a growing number either wanting FG or FG/IND (32% combined between 2 options).  56% want LP in some sort of govt combination, although presumbly not all those who want LP/FF/SF wish to see them in with FG.


Written by Dotski

February 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Independents Day?

with one comment

Hi folks,

Am back in the country (was away on work) and see there’s another poll, this time from Lansdown/Millward Brown.  I’ve run it throught the spreadsheet and have got the following figures;

FF 14.0% 13
FG 38.0% 75
LP 20.0% 42
GP 1.0% 0
SF 11.0% 11
oth 16.0% 25

FG are still tottering just short of an overall majority, but the drop in FF (and even the small one in SF) would appear to give LP the edge in a few battleground seats (in the West, as it happens…)

It’s late, but I’ll be back to the blog tomorrow, when I understand that there’s likely to be a RedC poll (one presumes the last of the campaign).







Written by Dotski

February 23, 2011 at 1:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Last lap

with 3 comments


I’m out of the jurisdiction at the moment (and posting this from a hot-spot that refuses to recognise Firefox!), but got a text last night of figures for the last MRBI poll, which I presume you’ve all read. This is an important one, as the final MRBI in 2007 out predicted all the other polls, including a later effort from RedC, with the MRBI poll being to the nearest percentage point for FF, FG and LP.

The percentages (along with seat projections) are as follows;

FF 16% (18 seats)

FG 37% (74 seats)

LP 19% (38 seats)

SF 11% (16 seats)

GP 2%

OTH 15% (20 seats)

Unsurprisingly, it reflects the swing against LP last week, and if LP are to finish north of 40 seats, they will need to have some sort of modest recovery in the final week. This level is almost exactly what they got in 1992, although there was must less of the vote to their left in that election. In ’92, had they run sufficient numbers of candidates they would have got about this figure, so it is open to argument as to whether this would be a better or worse result.

FG, perhaps slightly surprisingly, appear to be approaching a ceiling. My own expectation was that they’d break the 40% barrier in this poll, with a bandwagon effect (coupled with the fear of Indos holding sway) pushing them over the line towards overall majority territory. While this would represent an outstanding result for them, it is again, like LP, no more than their best performance under Garret FitzGerald in the 1980s.

SF will be happy to see another poll that has them over 10%, and will be hoping that they hold this vote better than they did in ’07. Given how much of their vote appears to be rooted in anger over the bailout, I suspect that they will. The Greens, while still in the margin of error, will hope that they can push up to 3-4% in the final week and salvage up to 3 seats. OTHs remain an enigma, and one that won’t be resolved until Saturday when the votes start coming out of the boxes.

FF on the other hand seem stuck on 16%, and will be hoping that the methodology of all 3 polling companies is understating their support. They may be, however it’s hard to see this being more than a couple of percentage points, and they probably have to hit 19% or so to make the breakthough in a large number of 3 seats in the West.

And 19% undecided at this stage? Will they even make it to the polling stations, I wonder? Time will tell

I’d like to remind you that the prediction competition is open to the close of polls, when I understand that details of an Exit Poll may start to emerge. As soon as we have that out, I’ll run the figures, and on the day of the count, I’ll be using a spreadsheet I’ve developed to take the tallies as they come , compare them against the expected results, and use the variance to estimate the votes in un-tallied areas. The early results will be skewed by incomplete tallies in perhaps an unrepresentative sample of constituencies, but by 10-15 tallies in I expect us to have a reasonably good steer on where it’s going.



Written by Dotski

February 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Place your bets …..

with 3 comments


As promised, I’m running a second prediction competition, for entries made in the last week of the campaign.

Competitors will give their best estimate of the seats (and percentage vote share) in each constituency. The winner will be the entrant who is least out in terms of total seats for each party (e.g. if 2 too many for FF and 2 too few for FG, you are 4 out). If there is a tie, it will go to whoever was least out in percentage shares of the vote in each constituency. The winner will not gain any great riches for him/herself, but a small (€10) donation to a charity chosen by them, really just something to make it interesting.

Entries should be entered into the spreadsheet downloadable at this address (you may be asked to wait 20 seconds before downloading), and when you complete this, please save it and send to . Needless to say, I’ll not use your details for anything other than the competition.

NB Just to point out that Limerick East and West have been replace by Limerick City (4 seats) and Limerick County (3 seats) with a chunk going in with Kerry North – the spreadsheet uses the old names in case there is any confusion on this.

If you have any problems downloading the spreadsheet (or making it work) drop me a mail and I’ll do my best to sort it out.


Written by Dotski

February 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

It is now?

with 8 comments

The two last polls for Sunday papers are out, and both show a swing from LP to FF.

The Lansdown/Millward Brown effort (leaked, denied then re-released on earlier today) , gives the following figures (my seat projections in brackets);

FF 16% (18)

FG 37% (73)

LP 20% (40)

SF 12% (15)

GP 1% (0)

OTH 14% (20)

The RedC broke later (but was confirmed earlier!) and gives the following figures (again, IPR projections in brackets)

FF 16% (18 seats)

FG 39% (78 seats)

LP 17% (33 seats)

SF 12% (16 seats)

GP 2% (0 seats)

OTH 14% (21 seats)

As you can see, both projections indicate FG reaching mid-70s, and in the RedC figures they are 5 seats (+ CC) short of an overall majority, and the momentum would appear to be with them.  Even if they didn’t increase between now and Friday, they could cobble a government together with Indos, which would suggest that, should they fall short of the 84 seats, they will have a number of potential governmental colleagues.  It would appear that, short of a car crash performance by Enda next week, FG will be pushing for the overall majority in the final week, and have probably started considering in a strategic way their options.

LP will be very worried by these figures.  As you can see, there’s a big difference in seats between the 3% variance in their vote, there’s a tipping point in there somewhere between 17-20%, it seems.  While the 3% drop obviously hits them in terms of seats, a big problem for them is the possible recovery of FF, with whom they now appear to be competing with to lead the opposition.  In practical terms, it’s hard to see them lose enough ground to be overtaken in seats, but it cold happen in votes, which would for FF mean a successful campaign (and a terrible one for Gilmore).  The next week will be a crucial one for them, and Gilmore may prepare himself for having to choose between being Tanaiste, or leader of the opposition.

FF will be quietly relieved to see a small recovery in these polls, and the danger that they may finish behind SF appears to have receded.  However, unless their attractiveness for transfers has improved, they will be hard pushed to beat LP on seats.

SF will, while disappointed to see a FF recovery make their 4th placing look settled, will be relieved that two polls placing them on 10% have turned out to be a temporary dip.  The Greens appear condemned to losing all their seats, and Indos maintain their strong showing in the polls.

Off to have dinner, but I’ll be back with details of the prediction competition and other stuff, hopefully tonight (assuming I’ve not turned to the drink by then……)









Written by Dotski

February 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Local Heroes

with 15 comments

While the IPR spreadsheet extrapolates from national polls, there’s always been a (justifiable) argument made that things will be different in the individual constituencies. I’d argue that these differences tend to cancel out on a national basis, although of course, in the case of small parties in particular, you can be lucky or unlucky in that.

There’s been a number of constituency polls using mock ballot papers over the last few days from reputable companies (as opposed to other polls where IT students did a project in some areas for the local rag), and rather than pore over each of these, given they generally have individual margins of error of 4.5%, I thought it would be interesting to look at a composite of these (which would have a smaller margin of error) and compare this with the most recent IPR projections in those constituencies.

The polls in question provided the following figures;

  FF (%) FG (%) LP (%) GP (%) SF (%) OTH (%)
Cork NC (average) 14 23 30.5 1 14 17.5
Cork SC 27 36 19 3 8 7
Donegal NE 15 29 15 0 28.5 12.5
Dun Laoghaire 18 32 32 4 0 14
Galway W 19 31 12 3 6 29
Kerry Sth 15 31 15 0 1 38
Tipperary Sth 10 31 14 0 5 40
Average 16.86 30.43 19.64 1.57 8.93 22.57

So how do these stack against the most recent IPR projections? These were as follows;

    FF   FG   LP   GP   SF   OTH  
Cork NC   9.80%   40.40%   22.00%   2.00%   11.30%   14.50%  
Cork SC   17.30%   41.40%   17.20%   5.00%   7.30%   11.80%  
Donegal NE   21.20%   33.10%   12.80%   1.10%   22.80%   9.00%  
Dun Laoghaire   11.70%   28.80%   31.70%   4.60%   3.60%   19.60%  
Galway W   12.20%   35.90%   15.20%   4.30%   5.80%   26.60%  
Kerry S   15.50%   31.10%   16.90%   0.50%   5.90%   30.10%  
Tipperary S   13.50%   29.50%   14.40%   0.50%   5.20%   36.90%  
Average   14.46%   34.31%   18.60%   2.57%   8.84%   21.21%  

Well, interestingly, pretty close overall. In these polls, FF do 2.4% better, FG 3.9% worse, LP 1% better, GP 1% worse, SF 0.1% better and OTH 1.4% better. Very odd, given the protestations from some that the spreadsheet is biased against FG….

The main cause of FG’s underperformance in the polls relative to the projection is the retirement of Bernard Allen in Cork NC, and my underestimation of the individual effect this would have on their fortunes there. Interestingly though, what deviation there is in the other constituencies is also largely downwards. Even taking CNC out of the equation, the average FG vote in these polls is 31.7%, compared to 33.3% in the spreadsheet projections for those constituencies, which may temper the expectations among some that FG will significantly over-achieve compared to their national polling. They may of course do better on the day, but if they do, it will be the result of a national swing to them, rather than 43 cases of ‘local factors’ all going their way.

FF will draw some comfort that they are polling slightly higher in the constituency polls than in the projections, but given 2 of the 7 polls are in Cork City, this is likely to be at least in part a result of the Martin factor (a local langer leap) being underestimated by me. Interestingly, only two of the seven constituencies sees them make a quota despite Cork City being there twice, although they could be expected to get 4 seats out of these constituencies on these figures (CSC certain, Galway W pretty certain, Dun Laoghaire very probable, and touch & go in CNC and DNE), which is 1 seat more than I call it in the spreadsheet, so that couple of percentage points could make a big difference to them on the day. The big issue for them will be the 20-30% reported abstentions in these polls – whether these are “shy FFers”, or anti-FF voters who have yet to decide the flavour of their opposition, is the factor that is likely to seal their fate.

Labour should be happy enough with these polls overall. They’ve only 3 TDs running in these 7 constituencies, and their vote is 1% higher than the most recent projections. If I had to call the seats on these 7 polls, I’d give LP 7 seats , although 9 would be possible. This compares slightly favourably to the projections, where I have them getting 6 seats. Certainly, if offered these FPV shares at this stage of the campaign, they’d probably take them (if over the objections of Paula Desmond, who will be disappointed with the CSC figures).

After the largest 3 parties, it becomes harder to call given the margins of error, but it is noticeable that the SF vote is 0.1% higher in the polls than the projections, indicating that they should be able to translate their national fortunes locally, provided they get their voters out. The Greens however will be concerned that they under-perform in all 7 constituency polls, particularly as they are running an outgoing Oireachtas member in half of them, and so these are constituencies where their candidates are well known.

OTH do slightly better, although the nature of these candidates makes it hard to extrapolate nationally. It does suggest though that lack of high profile candidates will not impact on their appeal at the ballot box.

That’s all for tonight, I’ll have something for you tomorrow after the RedC poll breaks.


Written by Dotski

February 18, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Some of the crowd are on the pitch…..

with 19 comments

Well, another two polls today. A Hearld Poll of Dublin (using L/MB) as indicated that LP maintain their lead in the Capital, but all eyes this evening are on an national poll from them, in tomorrows Indo, which shows FG pulling well ahead of LP, , and FF and SF falling further behind the second party. While the poll was taken over the weekend, before the Valentine’s Night debate, indications are that this didn’t sway many – if any – voters, and so we can I think say that, short of a car crash moment, FG will emerge from the election as the largest party with LP the second biggest, and the only question now is whether Kenny & Co. will have the option of ruling without LP.

Anyways, the result, with the projections from the spreadsheet in brackets;

FF 12% (8 seats)
FG 38% (74 seats)
LP 23% (49 seats)
SF 10% (8 seats)
GP 1% (0 seats)
OTH 16% (27 seats)

Obviously, the apparent collapse in the FF vote is of course remarkable – but 8 seats? Well, maybe not, but that’s roughly what they’re looking at on these figures. Their big problem is that the areas where they may expect to get about a half above their national polling are largely in 3-seaters in the West of Ireland. To get getting 20%+ in those areas while 12% nationally, they’d have to be averaging 6% or so in places like Dublin , where they’re closer to 10%. Add to this and a transfer repellent brand, and they are utterly dependent on improving their FPV on the day. Now, they may do so, but any ‘Martin Bounce’ has been and gone, and this poll was taken after Martin was adjudged to have won the TV3 debate, so there’s no guarantee they’ll make up ground, and indeed could even lose some, as they may become to be seen as irrelevant – any hope they had of catching LP for 2nd place are surely gone now, with a vote of around half that of LP.

FG will be cock-a-hoop. Two polls in a row, from different companies, showing them at 38%. They go into the last week of the campaign assured of being the largest party after the election, and require only a small swing to get an overall majority. Even on these figures, there are Indos in Monaghan, Clare, DubS, GalE, GalW, KerryS, Mayo, Roscommon, TippN, TippS, Wicklow & poss. DSE that might be open to a deal (in the national interest, of course), which could give them an overall majority.

LP may prefer to not be down 1%, but given the movement in other polls they can’t be surprised, and indeed may even be relieved. It does seem likely that they’ve lost ground to FG on their right, but have gained an almost equivalent amount on their left. They have a week left to push their way back into contention, and it now seems to be a question as to whether Gilmore will be Tanaiste or Leader of the Opposition. Neither would be a poor result for a party historically used to being 10-15%, and to double this would be a historically brilliant result. However, if they don’t improve on it over the last week, they will look back on this as an opportunity missed.

SF will be concerned. Two polls now in a row, from different companies, both showing them at 10%. Again, that would be about half higher than last GE and a good result, but in the 10 polls between 3rd December and 6th February they averaged 13.2%, but two polls at 10% in a couple of days suggests that some of this has slipped. They will hope that Gerry Adams much improved performance in yesterday’s leader debate will turn this around, but there’ll be some nerves in Parnell Square reading these figures.

GP …. well … 1% in one poll, 3% in another ….. they’re in the margin of error, and if they hold a seat or two, it will be the direct result personal, rather than national issues. And OTH will be impossible to work out.

Whatever happens between now and Feb 25th – history of some sort awaits us, I think….

Written by Dotski

February 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The PRC (People’s Republic of Cork)

with one comment

Well, having spent a lot of time on defending the spreadsheet against charges of anti-FG bias, and then comes along a poll that suggests a much worse result for them in Cork North-Central than it generated. To recap, the spreadsheet, based on the weekend’s RedC national poll (taken Tues-Thurs last week) projected the result as follows;

FF 10%
FG 40%
LP 22%
SF 11%
GP 2%
OTH 15%

However, a poll conducted by MRBI for the Irish Times, showed FG as much weaker. Some of the figures aren’t entirely clear, but the overall figures reported on are as follows;

FF 13% (3% higher)
FG 21% (19% lower!)
LP 28% (6% higher)
SF 16% (5% higher)
GP 1% (1% lower)
OTH 21% (6% higher)

The margin of error is 4.5% but even so there is a surprising variance, compared to previous Cork polls run against the spreadsheet projections which were very close here and here. The biggest reason for this would appear to be the retirement of Bernard Allen, as FG are way way down, to the benefit of everyone else (except the GP who are in the margin of error anyway). He was reputed to have a massive personal vote, but given the retirement of FF’s Noel O’Flynn, and FG’s running of former Lord Mayor Dara Murphy (who is supposedly very popular) I decided against making an adjustment in the base figures in the spreadsheet for CNC. However, there are a number of other factors that would result in deviance between the two sets of figures, and these are as follows;

1. The projections are from a RedC poll, and this is an MRBI poll. RedC have given higher FG figures since the LP vote has taken off, and so could be expected to be somewhat higher – the last 5 MRBI polls gave FG a rating of about 4% lower than the preceding RedC poll, and so we could expect a similar deviation here.

2. The RedC poll is based on party preference, whereas this MRBI (unlike national polls for either company) was based on a ballot paper. Also, 30% of those surveyed returned blank papers. While it is hard to draw conclusions from this, it is likely that this would result in a lower preference being expressed for parties whose candidates are new, and still at the “getting-to-know-you” stage of the election process.

3. The polling period was Thursday/Friday as opposed to Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, and this would tally with suggestions that the vote is very volatile.

4. It’s possible that one (or both) of the polls is an outlier.

Personally, I think probably the case that FG are somewhere in between the two figures. Certainly the MRBI figure looks too low, they were at 25.6% last time out, and the suggestion that they’re at barely over four-fifths of their ’07 seems very unlikely, even with the departure of Allen. However, it does seem reasonable to assume that this poll shows they have been hit hard by his leaving the stage, and I’ll be adjusting the base figures to reflect this in the spreadsheet.

What to take from it all?

Well, I think even with the above caveats, it makes the 2nd FG seat significantly less likely, as LP2 would appear likely to finish ahead of FG2. On this poll, that’s Gilroy on 10% who trails Lynch by 8%. LP should be looking to move him in to canvass in areas that she is strong in looking for number ones, on the grounds that she is safe, and sending her in to concentrate in areas where she is competing with O’Brien and/or Mick Barry. A more even split, combined with another couple of percentage points won at the expense of either SF or SP would appear enough to deliver a second seat on these figures. SF appear safe, but the margin of error means that they are far from over the line, and a squeeze in their vote could put this seat in jeopardy again. Barry will be hoping that this poll, showing him shading it from FF, will swing enough votes to give them. But there does, either way 3 left seats out of 4 appears likely.

FF will be disappointed to be well short of a quota and unlikely to take the seat, but it’s within the margin of error of the spreadsheet projection (and actually ahead of that figure). There’s FF supporters saying this is impossible with Martin being leader, but I suspect that the advantage of a Cork leader diminishes when its obvious that he’s not going to be in a position to deliver goodies. However, I’d not write Kelleher off on the basis of this poll, there may be a greater proportion of FF voters among the 30% of refuseniks. But I’d not put money on him unless it was 3/1 or better value….

All in all though, an interesting poll. An done which may temper over-optimism (or pessimism) among all us anoraks….

Written by Dotski

February 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Table toppers

with 10 comments


Family stuff has meant I’ve not had the time to write a narrative over each constituency, but you can find below the output of the most recent RedC poll in table format (please let me know if you have any difficulties reading it on your PC, I know another bloggers whose tables only read OK in Firefox).  The format (if you find it hard to read) is Constituency name; Number of seats; FF share of vote, FF seats;FG share of votes;FG share of seats etc, followed by LP, GP, SF & OTH.  If you have any difficulties, please try downloading the PDF version at

I’ve been following the regional patterns in the polls with interest, as they’ve had a slight deviation from what the spreadsheet was throwing up (noticeably a higher LP vote in Connaught-Ulster), but given the much higher margin of error in these and the fact that they are often only partially reported, I had to date decided against making an adjustment based on them, but last week Prof Michael Marsh of TCD did an analysis of the composite of these that would have a very low margin of error.  Now, you might say that this is not a good measure of current party support in the respective regions, given the timescale involved, and you’d be right, but that doesn’t actually matter for the purposes of this.  What matters with the spreadsheet is that the distribution of the votes is correct, as it simply takes the national totals and distributes them in a way that strives to be the likeliest distribution at their respective party levels in each constituency.

Now, no doubt you’ll disagree with the likely outcomes in terms of seats in a number of constituencies, and that’s grand, I’d not expect two people to agree on all 43 projections, but I’ve a good track record on these before and have been hard on LP in particular to overcome any bias, and am generally assuming a poor split where they’ve a sitting TD running with a new candidate, and transfers from other left candidates no higher than ’07 (and lower when competing with SF).  I’m also assuming much poorer transfers from FG to LP this time, given the way the campaign has gone.

There will be a few constituencies where the result will appear to have given a party a seat too much, and most often this is a result of a ‘spare’ quota largely squatting among disparate OTH candidates.  For example, in Carlow-Kilkenny FG have 37.8% of the vote or 2.27 quotas, but would go from 1 seat to 3.  Similarly in Cavan-Monaghan, where they are projected as getting 39.1%.  In both constituencies, they are looking at an OTH vote of 10-13%, without an obvious individual likely to consolidate that into a seat-winning campaign, and while they may not especially favour FG, they would have to favour LP and/or SF very substantially for the benefit not to accrue to Kenny.  I don’t believe they will, and there will be a lot of those votes which peter out long before reaching a successful candidate.

In terms of overall analysis, as I said yesterday, I think it’s pretty clear that if the current momentum continues, Kenny will be Taoiseach, and most likely Gilmore will be leader of the opposition.   The fallback in FF’s fortunes continues to surprise me, and if it continues they will return a very weakened parliamentary party  to DE next month.  SF’s drop may only be a statistical blip, but I’d imagine they’ll be eyeing nervously the next poll (rumoured to be Lansdowne/Millward Brown in the Indo next week), as memories of their last minute dip in ’07 are fresh enough.  I suspect they may end up on around 10% come polling day, which while down on their previous poll ratings, would still see them return more than 10 seats, and if more fortunate, could even yield mid-teens in their next PP.

Anyways, read them and weep.  (I know I did…)


Carlow-Kilkenny 5 24.1% 1 37.8% 3 12.7% 1 6.2%
6.6% 12.6%
Cavan-Monaghan 5 16.1% 1 39.1% 3 4.7% 2.2%
27.9% 1 10.0%
Clare 4 20.6% 1 45.5% 2 8.5% 3.7%
16.0% 1
Cork E 4 15.9% 1 36.9% 2 31.0% 1 1.8%
Cork NC 4 9.8%
40.4% 2 22.0% 1 2.0%
11.3% 1 14.5%
Cork NW 3 30.2% 1 46.9% 2 11.0% 2.5%
Cork SC 5 17.3% 1 41.4% 3 17.2% 1 5.0%
7.3% 11.8%
Cork SW 3 22.4% 1 39.7% 1 18.4% 1 5.1%
Donegal NE 3 21.2% 1 33.1% 1 12.8%
22.8% 1 9.0%
Donegal SW 3 19.0% 29.1% 1 9.2% 0.9%
28.0% 1 13.7% 1
Dublin C 4 4.5%
20.7% 1 31.2% 1 1.5%
12.1% 1 30.0% 1
Dublin Mid-West 4 9.6% 31.4% 2 27.0% 2 8.7%
11.5% 11.9%
Dublin N 4 13.0% 29.6% 1 22.5% 1 13.7% 1 0.0%
21.2% 1
Dublin NC 3 11.5%
39.1% 1 18.3% 1 3.4%
20.1% 1
Dublin NE 3 7.8%
33.0% 1 31.7% 1 3.5%
15.2% 1 8.8%
Dublin NW 3 12.5%
21.9% 1 38.2% 1 1.4%
19.3% 1 6.7%
Dublin S 5 8.2% 36.0% 2 23.8% 1 9.2% 1 4.0%
18.8% 1
Dublin SC 5 4.4%
22.6% 1 41.6% 3 1.4%
10.8% 19.1% 1
Dublin SE 4 11.3% 28.9% 1 26.3% 2 9.9%
18.3% 1
Dublin SW 4 9.0%
32.2% 1 28.6% 2 2.2%
18.4% 1 9.6%
Dublin W 4 13.7% 24.9% 1 34.1% 2 0.7%
19.8% 1
Dun Laoghaire 4 11.7% 28.8% 1 31.7% 2 4.6%
19.6% 1
Galway E 4 13.5% 51.5% 2 15.7% 1 0.1%
14.0% 1
Galway W 5 12.2% 1 35.9% 2 15.2% 1 4.3%
26.6% 1
Kerry N 3 13.3%
39.3% 1 15.2% 1 1.2%
24.9% 1 6.0%
Kerry S 3 15.5% 31.1% 1 16.9% 0.5%
30.1% 2
Kildare N 4 8.6%
35.5% 2 29.0% 1 3.3%
18.7% 1
Kildare S 3 23.1% 1 24.6% 1 29.9% 1 5.5%
Laois-Offaly 5 27.6% 1 40.2% 3 9.9% 1 1.0%
9.8% 11.5%
Limerick E 4 14.3% 1 39.5% 2 26.8% 1 1.8%
Limerick W 3 22.8% 1 51.6% 2 18.8% 1.9%
Longford-Westmeath 4 18.1% 1 38.5% 2 32.0% 1 0.5%
Louth 5 7.2% 1 42.4% 2 14.8% 1 4.7%
24.7% 1 6.3%
Mayo 5 16.7% 1 58.7% 3 6.6% 0.0%
8.3% 9.7% 1
Meath E 3 14.7% 47.0% 2 22.9% 1 2.0%
Meath W 3 13.4% 46.7% 2 13.9% 1 0.9%
16.4% 8.7%
Roscommon S Leitrim 3 14.3%
46.8% 2 12.0% 1.4%
11.4% 14.1% 1
Sligo N Leitrim 3 17.2% 45.6% 2 8.4% 1.3%
14.4% 1 13.1%
Tipperary N 3 13.4%
31.6% 1 15.2% 1 0.6%
33.1% 1
Tipperary S 3 13.5% 29.5% 1 14.4% 0.5%
36.9% 2
Waterford 4 11.3% 42.9% 2 20.8% 1 0.1%
10.3% 14.6% 1
Wexford 5 18.9% 1 39.9% 2 21.1% 1 1.4%
7.2% 11.6% 1
Wicklow 5 8.7% 39.4% 2 27.6% 2 3.5%
9.0% 11.9% 1

166 FF 17 FG 73 LP 40 GP 2 SF 11 OTH 23

% seats
% of seats

FF 15.0% 17

FG 38.0% 73

LP 20.0% 40

GP 3.0% 2

SF 10.0% 11

oth 14.0% 23

Written by Dotski

February 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Red see blue ….

with 18 comments

RedC figures for tomorrow’s SBP are out, and they show a relative surge to FG. The figures, which were collected over the period Tuesday-Thursday, were mainly taken after the TV3 debate, and would appear to vindicate those of Enda’s handlers that advised him to stay away from the debate. While FF and LP both fall by amounts within the margin of error, it’s not the direction they want to be going. Indeed, given the rather overwhelming consensus that Martin won the debate, Labour will be relieved not to drop by a more significant margin. SF will be more concerned to be down by the full margin of error, and this may be a squeeze that typically happens to smaller parties in the course of campaign. The figures are as follows;

FF: 15% (-2)
FG: 38% (+3)
LP: 20% (-2)
SF: 10% (-3)
GP: 3% (+1)
OTH:14% (+3)

Projected to seats, and the spreadsheet says that comes out as

FG 73
LP 40
FF 17
SF 11
GP 2
OTH 23

Clearly on these figures FG are starting to edge towards single party govt, perhaps with the support of either FF or like-minded Indos. While the OTH category is the least reliable to project, 8 or 9 of these Indos could be described as centre/centre-right, which would leave them tantalisingly close to a majority, and further movement in this direction would be likely to put them in a position to do such a deal. Indeed, another 4% or so and they could possibly get an overall majority themselves. Of course, there were over two weeks to go at the time of polling, and they can’t keep Enda out of the debates forever, but it’s as good a place as they could have wished for.

LP will be relieved that a rumour on putting them behind FF in this poll didn’t materialise, and it seems that, barring a car-crash moment, they should stay ahead of FF on these figures, if they lost no ground following Tuesday’s debate. Their task now is to persuade people that there is a reason to vote for them instead of FG, and I suspect that this has been their strategy the last few days.

SF will be nervy. A drop of the full margin of error to 10% puts them where they were before the “Doherty Drive” took off, and they may, as I say, be getting squeezed. They will be hoping for a good performance in the ‘gang of 5’ debate, although it will be hard to get a word in edgeways at that, I would have thought.

GP will be pleased to edge up, and on these figures I see them scraping 2 seats. All very hard to say though – they are a party now living in the margin of error. But at least this poll will give them more, rather than less hope.

And OTH, well they’re up. But which OTH? Only time will tell.

I’ll try to get a round-up posted over the weekend.

Written by Dotski

February 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


with 2 comments


Just a reminder that the first GE prediction competition (for predictions made in the first week) closes at midnight tonight. While there has been about 100 downloads of the spreadsheets (a version 2 added a cpl of features I’d meant to put in version 1) there’s only 10 or so entries received to date, so if you get your entry in now you have an excellent chance of winning.

The only entry identified will be the winning one, so don’t feel inhibited by the possibility of failure!

Best of luck!


Written by Dotski

February 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Red See-Saw…

with 8 comments

Well, another RedC poll, this time for the SBP, and it does little to quell my suspicions that their previous effort – which gave FG a record 37% – was a bit of an outlier, and brings them back to the top of the 30-35% band they’ve only veered out of twice since October 2008.

Interestingly, they overlapped. The Paddy Power commission was collected between 29th Jan-1st Feb (i.e. last Saturday to Tuesday), whereas tomorrows effort for the SBP was gathered over 1st-2nd Feb (i.e. Tuesday and Wednesday). Therefore, what we can take from the movement represents the reaction of the population to the very start of the campaign. As you probably know, RedC are usually the kindest polls for FG, and so it will be interesting to see if the trend in this poll is also reflected in any Lansdowne or MRBI polls conducted in the rest of the campaign.

Anyways, the figures (with seat projections in brackets) are as follows;

FF 17% -1 (20)
FG 35% -2 (64)
LP 22% +3 (47)
SF 13% +1 (17)
GP 2% -1 (0)
OTH 11% NC (18)

FG may be disappointed to be down, as some of the giddier posters on were starting to talk about an overall majority, but this may be a blessing in disguise. As I suggested before, many ppl may be nervous about giving them complete control of the shop, and will be happier with a FG/LP govt than one where say Leo Varadkar could take control.

LP while up will be more relieved than pleased, I think. As I said at the time of the last RedC, they needed to be up to at least 20% in this poll. The fact they’ve done that with a bit to spare means they can avoid panicking, and be happy that whatever they’re doing at the moment, it seems to be working. Given the previous poll was taken when the Joan Burton row was at its peak (the Daily Mail headline having come out on the Saturday evening) the last poll may just have been taken at a bad time, and the polls taken around now may see them make up more ground on FG, which of course is their main aim in the course of the campaign.

SF will be happy, steady as she goes, and the public seem unconcerned by Gerry Adams performance when talking about economics on Radio 1 on Sunday. This suggests that their electorate are voting for an opposition, rather than a govt, and realise that by the time SF are actually in Govt, it will be the next generation that will be making the decisions. Either that, or they think he did well enough. If either is the case, it will be extremely hard to make inroads into that vote, and I have to say that I can’t see them ending up below 10%, and they have the potential to end up mid-teens if they have a good campaign.

GP will continue to be anxious, as they bounce around in the margin of error, and really anyone surviving will do so on a personal, rather than a party basis. I was canvassed by them at the door today, and a drench wind-swept neighbour practically pleaded with me to give Trevor Sargant as high a preference as possible. He didn’t sound confident, and while he may get transfers (including a no.3 or 4 from me), he’ll struggle to get in on these figures.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is that OTH remain at the low 11% level they did in the last RedC, which may suggest that they are losing out, even as high profile Indos become known. The questions is, which OTHs are losing – ULA or the Ross/Somerville’s Profits before People Alliance? I suspect over time it may be both, as Indos will have little influence in a Dáil where the govt will have a massive majority, and ppl will see the contest as being an internal one within what will be the governing coalition, with FF providing “mainstream” opposition, and SF providing an “angrier” alternative.

But time will tell.

Well that’s today’s instalment. There’s tell of constituency polls in tomorrow’s Sindo, if they’re done by a real company (as opposed to Quantum Research) I’ll pass my eye over them and report anything interesting. In the meantime, a reminder that the predictions competition closes midnight on Monday night/Tuesday morning – any late entries will go into the competition for predictions made in the final week.

Written by Dotski

February 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

11 and a half hours!

with 11 comments

Well, a third poll in 24 hours, this time from MRBI in tomorrow’s Irish Times. The missus is not pleased ….. 😉

This time, the figures are a lot closer to the Lansdowne poll in this morning’s Indo, and the numbers all companies had last week. Figures (with seat projections from me) are;

FF 15% – 17
FG 33% – 61
LP 24% – 53
SF 12% – 14
GP 1% – 0
OTH 15%-21

FF will be disappointed that the boost they got in the RedC/Paddy Power reported today isn’t borne out here. They may recover, but it appears that if they do it will be a long road back for them.

The more impulsive of FG supporters may be upset to see the 37% figure they got earlier today from RedC contradicted, but at least it’s ahead of the 30% they got in Lansdowne/MB last night, and at 33% is pretty much dead centre of the two. Cannier heads in FG may see this as a good poll, as scaremongering about a majority FG govt with Leo V as Finance Minister will seem less credible.

LP …. well, I’d say relief more than anything. Having got 24% in L/MB, the 19% in RedC was, as I said, not a good result. Had it been corroborated by this poll, they may have started panicking. Now, 2 of the 3 companies have them 24%, and within shooting distance of FG, which they need for their strategy to be credible. Similarly OTH, who had a nasty downwards lurch in the RedC, and they’ll be delighted to be back where other polls, including RedC, had them last week.

SF will be happy – steady as she goes, and GP will be hoping for some sort of game changer, as they are struggling to be even heard at present.

Hopefully no more polls until the SBP/RedC at the weekend – but if you need a ‘statto’ fix, why not enter the prediction competition here ?


Written by Dotski

February 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 hours

with 7 comments

It now appears that even half a day is a long time in politics. Only last night, this mornings Lansdowne/MB poll was recording a drop of 4% in FG’s support, and now a poll run by RedC over (roughly) the same period shows an increase of the same amount. While polls will often disagree on party levels, they really shouldn’t disagree on the trends, which leaves us to conclude that one of these may be, to come extent, a rogue poll. Either that, or FG are in the 33-34% range that both companies had them last week, and the two ratings of 30% and 37% are outliers at the limit of the margin of error (which is statistically unlikely, but not impossible). Both companies have a comparable record in predicting General Election results, and so, while many partisans will choose the company that gives a higher rating for their party (particularly on, and some pessimists may choose the lower, I’m personally inclined to think that the average of the two ratings is the most reliable of the lot.

Only time (and further polling evidence) will tell.

Anyways, the RedC/Paddy Power. Poll ratings (and seat projections) are as follows;

FF 18%-26
FG 37%-72
LP 19%-34
SF 12%-15
GP 3%-1
OTH 11%-18

Starkest movements here (only ones outside the margin of error) are FG up 4%, and OTH down 4%. It’s hard to be sure what is behind this movement, given how little has happened in the intervening period. Perhaps there was a cohort out there that was awaiting McWilliams to launch his “New Ireland” movement as a political force, and having seen him decline to do so are going to FG. But 37% is the highest in RedC for an eternity, and they have been 30-36% in their ratings since October 2008. If this isn’t an outlyer but represents a sudden trend towards FG, talk of an overall majority for FG, or at least a minority FG administration with support from FF or “independents” such as Shane Ross, can’t be discounted.

FF will also be pleased at this poll finding. Despite not enjoying any significant new leaders bounce in last week’s RedC poll (and polling an identical 16% in the L/MB polls) they appear to have started making headway since then. This would be unusual, as it would be more normal for the party to get a bigger bounce immediately upon changing leader and then fall back a bit, and it’s possible that it means that Cowen’s continued position as Taoiseach means that it is only dawning on some voters that there has in fact been a change of leadership in the party. If this is the case, they may make further gains in the coming week.

LP are down, and while it is in the margin or error, they will be concerned, as it is one of a number of such polls in RedC, with a cumulative figure that is very much outside the margin of error. They need the launch of their campaign to start moving them I the opposite direction if they are to have the sort of election that will break new ground for them. Only yesterday they were at 24% in Lansdowne, and a 5% differential will make them nervous, particularly those candidates who had expected to be competing with FG for the last seat. I understand the SBP will have weekly RedC polls form now on, and Labour will be looking to be back up to at least 20% in that if their nerves are to be steadied, as FF are now just 1% behind them. Even if they stabilise at 19%, the next poll won’t be good news for them.

SF will be satisfied, I suspect, at holding their support relatively level, and GP would no doubt be happier with the 3% recorded here than the 1% yesterday. But all those supporting candidates in the OTH category will be nervously wondering what the big drop in support for them means.

Finally, as I said, I’d be inclined to consider the average of the two polling company figures as, most likely, closest to where we’re at at the moment (certainly it’s closer to the polls that were out before these two). This, when fed into the spreadsheet comes out at;

FF 17% – 19
FG 33.5% – 63
LP 21.5% – 45
SF 12.5% – 18
GP 2% – 0
OTH 13.5% – 21

I suspect that these totals are going to move a lot over the next 3 weeks…..

Written by Dotski

February 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

GE prediction competition

with 7 comments


As promised, I’m running two prediction competitions for the forthcoming GE. The first will be based on predictions made in the first week of the campaign, and entries will be taken from 1st-7th February (Irish time!). Competitors will give their best estimate of the seats (and percentage vote share) in each constituency. The winner will be the entrant who is least out in terms of total seats for each party (e.g. if 2 too many for FF and 2 too few for FG, you are 4 out). If there is a tie, it will go to whoever was least out in percentage shares of the vote in each constituency. The winner will not gain any great riches for him/herself, but a small (€10) donation to a charity chosen by them, really just something to make it interesting. A similar prize awaits the winner of a second such competition I’ll arrange for the last week of the campaign (with entries taken up to the close of the polls).

Entries should be entered into the spreadsheet downloadable at this address (you may be asked to wait 20 seconds before downloading), and when you complete this, please save it and send to . Needless to say, I’ll not use your details for anything other than the competition.

If you have any problems downloading the spreadsheet (or making it work) drop me a mail and I’ll do my best to sort it out.

Good luck!


Written by Dotski

February 2, 2011 at 12:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

And they’re off!

with 3 comments

Well, the Dail has just been dissolved, and the polls are starting to come thick and fast. The Indo has commissioned a poll from Lansdowne/Millward Browne, only days after the Sindo had them do one, and while it’s out tomorrow, RTE announced the result tonight. It’s good for SF, bad for FG, but not much else to see.

FF 16% (NC)
FG 30% (-4)
LP 24% (NC)
SF 13% (+3)
GP 1% (NC)
OTH 16% (+1)

It has to be said that the last L/MB poll had SF lower than other surveys, and so it’s possible that this was an outlier for them, being corrected here. Either way, it’s good for them. FG on the other hand will be disappointed to see a drop outside the margin of error, the first recorded in a poll at the start of a campaign, and they’ll be hoping that this is just a blip. Cetainly, on FG supporters have been convinced that they are pulling away from LP in public support, and so they’ll be concerned to see a poll suggesting that their lead over Gilmore’s party has been reduced by two-fifths over the course of a single weekend – one which they thought was good for them (and/or bad for LP).

Everything else is m.o.e. stuff.

In terms of seats, I’ve put it through the spreadsheet, and it give the following results (change on the Sindo results in brackets);

FF 17 (-2)
FG 58 (-4)
LP 51 (-3)
SF 18 (+10)
GP 0
OTH 22 (-1)

As you can see, the big rise in SF (as they pass a tipping point) hits LP almost as much as FG in seats, despite them being stable in votes – this is a result of a lot of seats being between LP and SF, and while LP gain a couple of seats from FG on these figures, they lose more to SF, relative to the Sindo poll.

RedC poll out tomorrow for Paddy Power – I’ll try to get the prediction competition up in the next 24 hours.


Written by Dotski

February 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


with 20 comments

Hi folks,

Still no sign of an Irish Times poll, so I’ve done a constituency-by-constituency projection based on the average of the RedC and Lansdowne/MB polls published yesterday. Knowing my luck, they’ll come out about 10 minutes after I post this….. As ever, if you spot a mistake, please let me know.

For those of you who might be new here, this projection is based on a spreadsheet I’ve developed that extrapolates national votes to local areas. It’s not a portal to the future, and in some areas, parties are likely to outperform the national swing, and in other areas under-perform it, but this shows roughly what they may be deviating from, and largely those differences should cancel one another out.

I’ve made a few adjustments in the base distributions to acknowledge the change of leadership in FF, reducing the FF base vote in Laois-Offaly and increased it in Cork, with a double boost in CSC. Also a couple of tweaks where local factors may impact (e.g. Shane Ross in Dublin South), so the distribution has changed a tad.

Having made these changes, the headline figures are;

FF 16% (19 seats)
FG 33.5% (62 seats)
LP 22.5% (50 seats)
SF 11.5% (13 seats)
GP 1.5% (0 seats)
OTH 15% (22 seats)

Carlow-Kilkenny (5 seats)

FF 47.7% 3 seats – John McGuiness, Bobby Aylward, MJ Nolan
FG 29.6% 1 seat – Phil Hogan
LP 9.4%
GP 8.0% 1 seat- Mary White
SF 3.8%
OTH 1.6%

Local developments:
John McGuiness has distanced himself from the FF party, and his colleague MJ Nolan has announced that he will not run in 2011.

Likely candidates:
FF: McGuiness, Aylward, Jennifer Murnane
FG: Hogan, John-Paul Phelan, Pat Deering
LP: Anne Phelan, Des Hurley
GP: White
SF: Kathleen Funchion, John Cassin
OTH: Conor McLiam (ULA)

Projection based on poll
FF 26.8% (2 seats)
FG 37.5% (2 seats)
LP 16.6% (1 seat)
GP 4.3%
SF 8.6%
OTH 3.1%

FF hold on to 2 of their 3 seats here, with the other falling to LP. Depending on the internal SF transfer (and potentially the eveness of the LP vote) FF2 just holds off SF1, FG3 or LP2.

Cavan-Monaghan (5 seats)

2007 result
FF 37.8% 3 seats – Rory O’Hanlon (C.C.), Brendan Smith, Margaret Conlon
FG 31.2% 1 seat – Seymour Crawford
LP 1.2%
GP 3.6%
SF 20.0% 1 seat – Caoimhghin O’Caolain
OTH 6.2%

Local developments:
Reverts to 5 elected seats as Ceann Comhairle is now from Louth. O’Hanlon and Crawford are retiring. FG field 4 non-TDs in what may be some sort of record.

Likely candidates:
FF Smith, Conlan
FG Joe O’Reilly, Heather Humphries, Peter McVitty, Sean Conlan
LP Liam Hogan
SF O’Caolain + Kathryn Reilly
OTH Johnathon Rainey, John McGuirk

Projection based on poll
FF 16.5% (1 seat)
FG 35.5% (2 seats)
LP 6.1%
GP 1.3%
SF 30.4% (2 seats)
OTH 10.2%

FF hold on to one seat, probably Smith. Reilly makes a gain, with Humphries holding Crawford’s seat.

Clare (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 44.0% 2 seats – Timmy Dooley, Tom Kileen
FG 35.2% 2 seats – Joe Carey, Pat Breen
LP 1.6%
GP 5.1%
SF 3.4%
OTH 10.7%

Local developments:
Popular FF TD and Defence Minister Tony Kileen is retiring. The intentions of former IND FF TD James Breen who lost his seat in 2007 are unclear, but I’m assuming that he’s running. Former Independent MEP candidate Michael McNamara who polled 10,000 Clare votes in 2009 has joined the LP and will be seeking a seat.

Likely candidates:
FF Dooley, John Hillery
FG Carey, Breen, Tony Mulcahy
LP Michael McNamara
GP Brian Meaney
OTH James Breen, Jim Connolly

Projection based on poll
FF 21.8% 1 seat
FG 42.3% 2 seats
LP 10.6%
GP 2.5%
SF 7.2%
OTH 15.7% 1 seat

A scramble for Kileen’s seat, with it falling to Indo Breen on these figures, from McNamara. NB I’m told that SF aren’t contesting here (which appears strange, but there you go) – not clear at this stage what effect that might have.

Cork E (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 38.0% 2 seats – Michael Ahern, Ned O’Keefe
FG 30.9% 1 seat – David Stanton
LP 20.9% 1 seat – Sean Sherlock
GP 2.9%
SF 6.8%
OTH 0.5%

Local developments:
A population of c. 4,250 moves out for CNC. Both LP and FG will be hopeful of picking up a FF seat here. Ned O’Keefe has moved on, with son Kevin hoping to hold the seat in his place.

Likely candidates:
FF Ahern, O’Keefe
FG Stanton, Tom Barry, Pa O’Driscoll
LP Sherlock, John Mulvihill Snr
SF Sandra McLennan
OTH Paul O’Neill

Projection based on poll
FF 16.3%
FG 33.5% 2 seats
LP 34.9% 2 seats
GP 1%
SF 10.2%
OTH 4.1%

FF drop 2 seats, with leakage seeing LP and FG both nipping in, in part on SF transfers. Quite close though, and better SF-FF transfers could see one of the 2 FF candidates hold on.

Cork NC (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 35.7% 2 seats – Billy Kelleher, Noel O’Flynn
FG 25.6% 1 seat – Bernard Allen
LP 12.3% 1 seat – Kathleen Lynch
GP 3.6%
SF 8.2%
OTH 12.6%

Local developments:
Boundary revisions see the new voters from Cork E (above) and also a transfer of a population of c.4,300 from Cork NW, making it a slightly more rural constituency. Noel O’Flynn and Bernard Allen have both retired, the latter being replaced by popular former Mayor Dara Murphy. Lynch has a strong running mate in John Gilroy

Likely candidates:
FF Kelleher
FG Murphy, Pat Burton
LP Lynch, Gilroy
SF Johnathon O’Brien
ULA/SP Mick Barry,
OTH Padraig O’Sullivan, Ted Tyan (WP), Fergus O’Rourke

Projection based on poll
FF 8.3%
FG 32.8% 2 seats
LP 25.0% 1 seat
GP 0.3%
SF 12.2%
OTH 21.3% 1 seat

FF lose both seats, with one going to FG, and the other to the winner of a scramble between LP2, SF and SP. It looks like SP to me on these figures, but both LP2 and SF are competitive, and LP2 could even be elected in addition to SP if they split the vote well (at the expense of FG2).

Cork NW (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 53.05% 2 seats – Michael Moynihan, Batt O’Keefe
FG 38.42% 1 seat – Michael Creed
LP 4.91%
GP 3.62%

Local developments:
Batt O’Keefe is retiring.

Likely candidates:
FF Moynihan
FG Creed, Derry Canty, Aine Collins
LP Martin Coughlan
GP Mark Collins
SF Des O’Grady
ULA/PBP Anne Foley

Projection based on poll
FF 32.7% 1 seat
FG 43.1% 2 seats
LP 14.2%
GP 1.3%
SF 2.7%
OTH 6%

FG take a seat from FF, with LP too far behind to pull them in, even with SF and GP transfers.

Cork SC (5 seats)
2007 result
FF 44.28% 2 seats – Michael Martin, Michael McGrath
FG 28.41% 2 seats – Simon Coveney, Deirdre Clune
LP 9.25% 1 seat – Ciaran Lynch
GP 8.37%
SF 5.11%
OTH 4.57%

Local developments:
Micheál Martin is now leader of FF. Former GP Cllr Chris O’Leary is the SF candidate this time out

Likely candidates:
FF Martin, McGrath
FG Clune, Coveney, Jerry Buttimer
LP Lynch, Paula Desmond
GP Dan Boyle
SF O’Leary

Projection based on poll
FF 19.2% 1 seat
FG 37.2% 2 seats
LP 22.7% 2 seats
GP 2.2%
SF 9.5%
OTH 9.1%

Even Martin taking the leadership (which I give them a one-fifth bonus for) isn’t enough to give FF 2 seats, although it makes Martin’s previously didgy seat very safe. On these figures, Desmond would nudge ahead of O’leary and hold off FG3, but very close, and I’d not write off the former GP man on the basis of this.

Cork SW (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 42.60% 1 seat –Christy O’Sullivan
FG 36.00% 2 seats – Jim O’Keefe, PJ Sheehan
LP 9.60%
GP 6.70%
SF 5.10%

Local developments:
FG’s 2 TDs – Jim O’Keefe and PJ Sheehan are retiring

Likely candidates:
FF O’Sullivan, Denis O’Donovan
FG Jim Daly, Noel Harrington
LP Michael McCarthy
SF Paul Hayes
GP Jennifer Sleeman (although read a rumour on Twitter today that there may be a question mark over her candidacy)
OTH David McInerney, Trich Deeney, John Kearney

Projection based on poll
FF 24.5% 1 seat
FG 37.1% 1 seat
LP 22.1% 1 seat
GP 3%
SF 8.9%
OTH 4.5%

LP take one of the FG seats being retired . FF hold on to the seat.

Donegal NE (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 50.3% 2 seats – Neal Blaney, Jim McDaid
FG 22.6% 1 seat – Joe McHugh
LP 1.8%
GP 1.4%
SF 17.5%
OTH 6.5%

Local developments:
Jim McDaid has retired, and Blaney isn’t running for personal reasons. Former Indo, Cllr Jimmy Harte, has joined LP and will be their candidate. 4 electoral divisions (pop of 2,351) in the former Stranorlar Rural district are being transfered to South West.

Likely candidates:
FF Charlie McConalogue
FG McHugh
LP Harte
SF Padraig MacLoughlain
OTH Ryan Stewart

Projection based on poll
FF 25% 1 seat
FG 28.6% 1 seat
LP 12.9%
GP 0.6%
SF 24% 1 seat
OTH 9.1%

As predicted by most punters, I think, McDaid’s seat goes to SF. FF hold on to 1 seat, although if geogrpahy becomes an issue, he may struggle, with MacLoughlain also based in Inishowen. Hard to see either FF or SF fail to take a seat on these figures, though, although Harte will try to use his Letterkenny base to his best advantage.

Donegal SW (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 50.5% 2 seats – Mary Coughlan, Pat “The Cope” Gallagher
FG 23.0% 1 seat –Dinny McGinlay
LP 2.8%
GP 1.5%
SF 21.2%
OTH 1.0%

Local developments:
Gallagher has gone to the EP, and SF’s Pearse Doherty won the by-election by a country mile. As already mentioned, rural Stranorlar districts are moved from North East

Likely candidates:
FF Coughlan, Brian O’Domhnaill
FG McGinley
LP Frank McBrearty
SF Doherty
OTH Thomas Pringle, Ann Sweeney

Projection based on poll
FF 18.7%
FG 24.9% 1 seat
LP 10.2%
GP 0.5%
SF 28.8% 1 seat
OTH 16.9% 1 seat

Having lost 1 seat to SF in the by-election, FF lose a second, this time Tanaiste Mary Coughlan msot likely losing out to Indo Thomas Pringle, although McBreaty may push closer than expected if he does well in the new Stranorlar districts on his doorstep, coming in from North-East.

Dublin C (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 44.5% 2 seats – Bertie Ahern, Cyprian Brady
FG 9.5%
LP 12.6% 1 seat – Joe Costello
GP 5.8%
SF 9.2%
OTH 18.5% 1 seat Tony Gregory

Local developments:
Bertie Ahern is no longer Taoiseach and not expected to run. Tony Gregory died, and Maureen O’Sullivan won the by-election by a comfortable margin. FF at war.

Likely candidates:
FF Brady, Mary FitzPatrick
FG Paschal Donoghue
LP Costello, Aine Clancy
SF Mary-Lou McDonald
OTH Maureen O’Sullivan, Cieran Perry, Christy Burke

Projection based on poll
FF 5.7%
FG 15.1% 1 seat
LP 33.5% 1 seats
GP 1.3%
SF 13.2%
OTH 31.2% 2 seats

FF collapse, and while it’s possible that they could out-perform this if FitzPatrick plays the maverick card, it’s hard to see them do so to the extent that they hold a seat. On these figures, Donoghue’s dream finally comes true. The other FF seat is taken by and Indo (possibly Perry who haas a very strong base in Cabra and comes from the same republican/left gene poll that MLMcD is hoping will vote SF. Clancy misses out by a very small margin, largely as a result of poor vote management (I’m anticipating she gets no more than 33% of LP vote, but needs closer to 38% or so).

Dublin Mid-West
2007 result
FF 33.0% 1 seat – John Curran
FG 12.0%
LP 10.9% 1 seat – Joanna Tuffy
GP 10.8% 1 seat – Paul Gogarty
SF 9.3%
OTH 11.5% 1 seat- Mary Harney

Local developments:
Mary Harney is expected to retire. Ex-Indo Cllr Derek Keating has joined FG ticket with fellow 2007 hopeful Frances FitzGerald. LP have selected former Mayor Robert Dowds to their ticket alongside sitting TD Joanna Tuffy, and SF candidate will be former Belfast City Cllr Eoin O’Broin. Other than that, not much…. Oh yes, and rival ULA campaigns…..

Likely candidates:
FF Curran
FG Keating, Fitzgerlad
LP Tuffy, Dowds
GP Gogarty
SF O’Broin
OTH Gino Kenny (PBP/ULA), Robert Connolly (SP/ULA), Michael Finnegan (WP)

Projection based on poll
FF 10%
FG 26.3% 1 seat
LP 31.5% 2 seats
GP 4.3%
SF 14.9% 1 seat
OTH 13.1%

FG, LP and SF to take a Govt seat each from FF, GP and Mary Harney.

Dublin N (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 42.1% 2 seats – Michael Kennedy, Dara O’Brien
FG 14.3% 1 seat – James Reilly
LP 9.6%
GP 16.7% 1 seat- Trevor Sargant
SF 2.7%
OTH 14.9%

Local developments:
A large chunk of Swords (pop c. 12,800) has left for Dublin West, and another area around Portmarnock (pop. c. 9,000) goes to NE, making life harder for Kennedy and SP hopeful Clare Daly. Sargant is no longer GP leader.

Likely candidates:
FF Kennedy, O’Brien
FG Reilly, Alan Farrell
LP Brendan Ryan, Tom Kelleher
GP Sargant

Projection based on poll
FF 12.7%
FG 24.2% 1 seat
LP 25.7% 2 seats
GP 6.8%
SF 6.4%
OTH 24.1% 1 seat

FF lose both seats, one to LP and the other to SP, with LP taking a second from Sargant.

Dublin NC (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 44.0% 1 seat – Sean Haughey
FG 25.6% 1 seat – Richard Bruton
LP 7.3%
GP 5.2%
SF 3.8%
OTH 14.2% 1 seat – Finian McGrath

Local developments:
An area around Edenmore (pop. c. 2,750) arrives from NE. Callelly gone. Former GP candidate Browen Maher now in the LP

Likely candidates:
FF Haughey
FG Bruton , Naoise O’Muiri
LP Aodhan O’Riordan
GP Donna Cooney
SF Helen McCormack
OTH McGrath, John Lyons (ULA), Paul Clarke

Projection based on poll
FF 12.2%
FG 32.7% 1 seat
LP 21.4% 1 seat
GP 1.1%
SF 8.6%
OTH 24% 1 seat

LP take a seat from FF, ending the Haughey dynasty.

Dublin NE (3 seats)

2007 result
FF 39.7% 1 seat – Michael Woods
FG 22.9% 1 seat – Terence Flanagan
LP 15.2% 1 seat – Tommy Broughan
GP 6.7%
SF 13.3%
OTH 2.1%

Local developments:
As mentioned above, new area in Portmarnock, but losing voters in Edenmore. Killian Forde has left SF for LP, but failed to get the nomination ahead of Broughan and Sean Kenny (the ticket that took 2 seats in 1992!).

Likely candidates:
FF Averil Power
FG Flanagan
LP Broughan, Kenny
GP David Healy
SF Larry O’Toole
OTH Brian Greene (ULA)

Projection based on poll
FF 9.5%
FG 28.2% 1 seat
LP 38% 2 seats
GP 1.5%
SF 17.8%
OTH 5%

On these figures, veteran slug-fest between Larry O’Toole and Sean Kenny favours the LP man, but very close – both are very much in it, and FF transfers likely to decide it.

Dublin NW (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 48.8% 2 seats – Pat Carey, Noel Ahern
FG 10.0%
LP 20.3% 1 seat – Roisin Shorthall
GP 2.8%
SF 15.7%
OTH 2.4%

Local developments:
De Brudder is retiring. Apparently worried that Bill Tormey doesn’t send out the appropriate image for FG in DNW, they have added Clontarf-based LM Gerry Breen to the ticket, which should be good for a laugh – prepare to hear about a wave of Romanian drug-pushing prostitutes on a crime spree in a PR from our first citizen of the capital…… LP have added John Lyons to a ticket that will be aiming for 2 seats.

Likely candidates:
FF Carey,
FG Tormey, Breen
LP Shorthall, Lyons
SF Dessie Ellis
OTH Andrew Keegan (PBP-ULA), Daniel Boyne, John Dunne (WP)

Projection based on poll
FF 12.6%
FG 16.7%
LP 42.7% 2 seats
GP 0.0%
SF 21.6% 1 seat
OTH 6.4%

FF lose both seats, one to SF and the other to LP.

Dublin S (5 seats)
2007 result
FF 41.3% 2 seats – Seamus Brennan, Tom Kitt
FG 27.3% 2 seats – Olivia Mitchell, Alan Shatter
LP 10.4%
GP 11.1% 1 seat – Eamon Ryan
SF 3.0%
OTH 6.9%

Local developments:
Seamus Brennan has passed away, and politically George Lee came and did the same. Tom Kitt insists that he is retiring. A re-drawing of the constituency has seen a largely (upper) middle class area (pop c. 11,700) move in from Dun Laoghaire, and this may prove good hunting grounds for Shane Ross (running on a “Sunday” Independent ticket…) and Peter “Bankers” Matthews, possibly to the detrimnet of Alan Shatter, who will surely know there aren’t 4 FG gene-pool seats here.

Likely candidates:
FF Maria Corrigan
FG Mitchell, Shatter, Matthews
LP Alex White, Aidan Culhane
GP Ryan

Projection based on poll
FF 9.1%
FG 31.6% 2 seats
LP 28.7% 2 seats
GP 4.6%
SF 6.1%
OTH 19.9% 1 seat

Both FF seats go, one to Ross and the other to LP, who also nick in to take Eamon Ryan’s seat. Biggest danger for LP is getting a good split in the vote here, as Aidan Culhane was added very late to the ticket, and failure to do so could see them lose out.

Dublin SC (5 seats)

2007 result
FF 33.1% 2 seats – Sean Ardagh, Michael Mulcahy
FG 14.4% 1 seat – Catherine Byrne
LP 21.1% 1 seat – Mary Upton
GP 5.8%
SF 10.2% 1 seat – Aengus O’Snodaigh
OTH 15.5%

Local developments:
Sean Ardagh is retiring, as is Mary Upton, whose nephew Henry, son of the late Pat Upton, will join Eric Byrne (very narrow loser here in ’07) and Micahel Conaghan as LP try to pull off 3 seats. Their biggest difficulty is likely to be ULA Cllr Joan Collins, who will be supported by former opponent Brid Smith of the SWP/PBP.

Likely candidates:
FF Mulcahy
FG Byrne, Ruairi McGinley, Colm Brophy
LP Byrne, Upton, Conaghan
GP Oisin O’hAlmhain
SF O’Snodaigh
OTH Collins (ULA), Gerry Kelly

Projection based on poll
FF 4.6%
FG 17.9% 1 seats
LP 44% 2 seats
GP 1.0%
SF 12.3% 1 seats
OTH 20.2% 1 seats

FF lose both seats, one to LP, who narrowly lose out to Joan Collins for the last seat. Still, a sign of the times that they would go from narrowly missing a second seat to narrowly missing a third. No doubt this would be a happy outcome for Collins, who was expelled from LP when in the Militant Tendency. LP may yet rue not running Rebecca Moynihan, although one suspects that her day will come.

Dublin SE (4 seats)

2007 result
FF 28.7% 1 seat – Chris Andrews
FG 18.6% 1 seat – Lucinda Creighton
LP 16.7% 1 seat – Ruairi Quinn
GP 13.8% 1 seat – John Gormley
SF 4.7%
OTH 17.4%

Local developments:
Michael McDowell has retired, having got his cards from the electorate. Gormley has become GP leader. Paul Somerville takes time out from his busy schedule to tell us how to do stuff, and Mannix Flynn will be hoping to perform well.

Likely candidates:
FF Andrews
FG Creighton, Eoghan Murphy
LP Quinn, Kevin Humphries
GP Gormley
SF Daithi O’Doolan
OTH Somerville, Flynn, Annette Mooney (ULA)

Projection based on poll
FF 11.5%
FG 21.8% 1 seat
LP 30% 2 seats
GP 5.3%
SF 6.7%
OTH 24.7% 1 seat

On these figures, FF and GP lose their seats to Humprhies and INDs respectively, although LP need to split vote to a good extent to achieve this (their LEs record here suggests that they can do this)

Dublin SW (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 39.3% 2 seats – Conor Lenihan, Charlie O’Connor
FG 20.0% 1 seat – Brian Hayes
LP 20.0% 1 seat – Pat Rabbitte
GP 3.7%
SF 12.2%
OTH 4.8%

Local developments:
Rabbitte is no longer LP leader. None of the last 3 poll toppers were elected here in the following election, which may cause Conor Lenihen some anxiety, and he is reputedly seeking to run in Dub Sth.

Likely candidates:
FF O’Connor, Lenihan
FG Hayes
LP Rabitte, Eamon Maloney
SF Sean Crowe
OTH Mick Murphy (SP/ULA)

Projection based on poll
FF 9%
FG 26% 1 seat
LP 32.2% 2 seats
GP 0.4%
SF 19.6% 1 seat
OTH 12.7%

Collapse in FF vote, sees LP and SF gain a seat each.

Dublin W (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 37.5% 1 seat – Brian Lenihan
FG 20.4% 1 seat – Leo Varadkar
LP 17.1% 1 seat – Joan Burton
GP 3.8%
SF 4.8%
OTH 16.5%

Local developments:
Brian Lenihan’s health problems are likely to result in a sympathy vote, and so I’ve increased the base FF vote in the spreadsheet to 50%. Joe Higgins will run, following his successful foray in the recent EP elections. An additional seat, with voters moved in from Swords from Dublin North.

Likely candidates:
FF Lenihan, David McGuinness
FG Varadkar, Kieran Dennison
LP Burton, Patrick Nulty
SF Paul Donnelly
OTH Higgins (SP/ULA)

Projection based on poll
FF 13.3%
FG 19.1% 1 seat
LP 36.4% 2 seats
GP 0.0%
SF 7.4%
OTH 23.8% 1 seat

Lenihen appears to be in serious trouble, given the positive adjustment made to the FF base vote. On this, he’d lose his seat, with this and the additional seat going to LP2 and SP.

Dun Laoghaire (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 34.9% 2 seats – Mary Hanafin, Barry Andrews
FG 23.6% 1 seat – Sean Barrett
LP 16.0% 1 seat – Eamon Gilmore
GP 7.7% 1 seat – Ciaran Cuffe
SF 2.2%
OTH 15.7%

Local developments:
One less seat to go round with the boundary review, and a chunk of the consitiuency (largely FG, FF and PD voting) has left for Dub Sth. Eamon Gilmore has become LP leader, and has a high profile running mate in Ivana Bacik, who will challenge strongly for a seat, although FG’s Mary Mitchell-O’Connor and ULA’s Richard Boyd-Barrett will both be hopeful of beating her to it. 3 Ministers in Hanafin, Barry Andrews and Ciaran Cuffe are all up against it.

Likely candidates:
FF Hanafin, Andrews
FG Barrett, Mitchell-O’Connor
LP Gilmore, Bacik
GP Cuffe
OTH Richard Boyd-Barrett (SWP/ULA), Victor Boyhan, Raymond Whitehead

Projection based on poll
FF 11.7%
FG 23.3% 1 seat
LP 34.8% 2 seats
GP 1.9%
SF 4.2%
OTH 24% 1 seat

FF running both TDs lose both, one to LP and one to the constituency revision, with RBB taking Cuffe’s seat. While FG would fancy their chances, there appear to be insufficient transfers for them to take the seat, with GP and SF voters likely to lean left with their preferences, and FF unlikely to go anywhere in particular.

Galway E (4 seats)

2007 result
FF 39.7% 2 seats – Noel Tracey, Michael Kitt
FG 39.1% 2 seats – Paul Connaughton, Ulick Burke
LP 3.1%
GP 1.9%
SF 3.2%
OTH 13.0%

Local developments:
FG TDs Paul Connaghton and Ulick Burke have both announced thier retirements, and so interim “let’s get this party ended” PD leader Ciaran Cannon seems likely to be in the next Dail. Paddy McHugh is unlikely to run, but another indo (Sean Canney) is likely to take his place on the ticket.

Likely candidates:
FF Kitt, Michael Dolan
FG Cannon, Tom McHugh, Paul Connaughton, Jimmy McClern
LP Colin Keaveny, Lorraine Higgins
SF Dermot Connolly
OTH Canney, Tim Broderick

Projection based on poll
FF 15.6% 1 seat
FG 48.1% 2 seats
LP 13.9% 1 seats
GP 0.0%
SF 6.6%
OTH 15.8%

A tough one to call, given the multiplicity of candidates, but I have SF and GP transfers pushing LP1 ahead of FG3, to see him/her take enough FG transfers on the election of FG2 to beat Canney for the last seat, although Canney could still hold off FF, particularly if he does well on SF transfers. Very tight.

Galway W (5 seats)
2007 result
FF 37.1% 2 seats – Eamon O’Cuiv, Frank Fahey
FG 20.4% 1 seat – Padraig McCormack
LP 11.1% 1 seat – Michael D
GP 5.5%
SF 3.0%
OTH 23.0% 1 seat – Noel Grealish (PD)

Local developments:
Noel Grealish is now an Indo. Michael D and Padraig McC won’t run, and Margaret Cox looks unlikely to stand – I’ve added most of her vote to the FF base figures.

Likely candidates:
FF O Cuiv, Fahey, Crowe
FG Fidelma Healy-Eames, Brian Walsh, Sean Kyne, Seosamh Ó Laoi
LP Derek Nolan
GP Niall O’Brollachain
OTH Grealish, Catherine Connolly, Eamonn Walsh, Mike Cubbard

Projection based on poll
FF 12.1% 1 seat
FG 29.1% 1 seat
LP 17.9% 1 seat
GP 1.6%
SF 6.6%
OTH 32.7% 2 seats

On these figures, FF lose a seat to Catherine Connolly, with Nolan holding on to Michael Dee’s seat at the first attempt. FG take one seat, but FG2 narrowly loses out to Dev Og.

Kerry N – W Limerick (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 31.3% 1 seat – Tom McEllistrom
FG 32.3% 1 seat – Jimmy Deenihan
LP 10.9%
GP 1.9%
SF 20.4% 1 seat – Martin Ferris
OTH 3.2%

Local developments:
Boundary changes are significnat enough to warrant a name change for the old Kerry Nth – and area with a population of c.5,000 moves to kerry Sth, with a chunk of Western Limericak (pop. c. 13,000) moves intot he new constituency. Arthur Spring seeking to bring a third generation of the dynasty to Kerry North

Likely candidates:
FF McEllistrom, Norma Foley
FG Deenihan, John Sheahan
LP Spring
SF Ferris

Projection based on poll
FF 13.4%
FG 35.1% 1 seat
LP 14.8% 1 seat
GP 0.6%
SF 28.1% 1 seat
OTH 8%

FF lose a seat, but on these figures LP heavily dependent on transfers, and vulernable to a FG surge.

Kerry S (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 40.7% 1 seat – John O’Donoghue
FG 25.1% 1 seat -Tom Sheahan
LP 13.5%
GP 1.9%
SF 3.5%
OTH 15.4% 1 seat – Jackie Healy-Rae

Local developments:
As mentioned above, new voters arrive from Kerry Nth. The cap is being passed on to the next generation, with Michael Healy-Rae standing in his father’s stead. FF member Tom Fleming recently announced his intention to run as an Indo, and this will test how much of that vote will stay in the family fold. LP have decided against a dynastic candidate, by fielding a non-Moynihan, and it will be interesting to see how much of that vote was LP.

Likely candidates:
FF O’Donoghue
FG Sheahan, Seamus FitzGerald
LP Marie Maloney
SF Lynn Ni Bhaoigheallain
OTH Michael Healy-Rae, Tom Fleming, Michael Gleeson

Projection based on poll
FF 16.7%
FG 28% 1 seat
LP 19.1% 1 seat
GP 0.6%
SF 6.6%
OTH 28.9% 1 seat

LP re-take the seat, at the expense(s) of the Bull O’Donoghue.

Kildare N (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 39.5% 2 seats – Aine Brady, Michael Fitzpatrick
FG 21.2% 1 seat – Bernard Durkan
LP 17.4% 1 seat – Emmet Stagg
GP 4.9%
SF 2.4%
OTH 14.5%

Local developments:
A small transfer of population (c.1,300) to Kildare Sth. Michael FitzPatrick has been seriously ill for some time, but he has been reported as seeking re-election, although a 2-candidate strategy may sink FF’s hopes of a single seat here, and Martin may intervene.

Likely candidates:
FF Brady , Fitzpatrick
FG Durkan, Anthony Lawlor
LP Stagg, John McGinley
SF Martin Kelly
GP Shane FitzGerald
OTH Catherine Murphy, Eric Doyle-Higgins, Bart Murphy

Projection based on poll
FF 8.6%
FG 28.9% 1 seat
LP 32.6% 2 seats
GP 1.0%
SF 5.5%
OTH 23.3% 1 seat

FF lose both seats, one to LP and one to Murphy. SF transfers are enough to ward off FG’s ambitions for a 2nd seat, unless LP vote split very badly.

Kildare S (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 50.4% 2 seats – Sean Power, Sean O’Fearghal
FG 17.2%
LP 20.7% 1 seat – Jack Wall
GP 6.2%
OTH 5.6%

Local developments:
Former Minister Sean Power has tried to put some distance between himself and the FF leadership. Jack Wall has stoutly resisted to date having to accept a running mate, and is believed to be hoping to pass the seat on to his son the following election, although I understnad that internal polls are resulting in pressure for him to accept a running mate. FG looking to win back a seat here for the first time since Alan Dukes was their local man.

Likely candidates:
FF Power, O’Fearghal
FG Martin Heydon
LP Wall
SF Jason Turner
OTH Paddy Kennedy, Clifford Reid

Projection based on poll
FF 27.8% 1 seat
FG 25% 1 seat
LP 33.5% 1 seat
GP 3.2%
SF 2.7%
OTH 7.9%

FG take a seat from FF (as expected by most, I think).

Laois-Offaly (5 seats)

2007 result
FF 56.4% 3 seats – Brian Cowen, Sean Fleming, John Maloney
FG 27.4% 2 seats – Olywn Enwright, Charlie Flanagan
LP 2.4%
GP 1.1%
SF 5.1%
OTH 8.6%

Local developments:
A population of c.4,000 in Roscrea is moved from here to Tipp Nth. Big leaders bonus here for Brian Cowen has just gone, and he announced today that he won’t be a candidate (although his brother Barry is very likely). John Moloney rumooured to be quitting. LP will be hoping that the poor LP track record here since Pat Gallagher quit politics will be reversed by their selection of former Leinster Express editor John Whelan, although the local row this provoked may not help him, whatever Oscar Wilde said about bad publicity…although the subsequent split among those who opposed him possibly vindicates LP’s decision to go with him. FG lose Olywn Enright and got almost exactly their national average vote here last time, but are talking up their chances of a third seat.

Likely candidates:
FF Cowen, Fleming, John Foley
FG Flanagan, Liam Quinn, Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy
LP Whelan
SF Brian Stanley
OTH John Leahy, Eddie FitzPatrick, Liam Dumpleton (ex-ULA, now IND), Ray FitzPatrick (ULA), James Fanning

Projection based on poll
FF 28.2% 2 seats
FG 38.5% 2 seats
LP 11.3%
GP 0.5%
SF 12.2% 1 seat
OTH 9.2%

FF lose a seat, with SF looking the best placed to take advantage, although LP are very close to taking a second FF seat

Limerick City (4 seats – reduced from 5 when Limerick East)
2007 result
FF 48.7% 2 seats – Willie O’Dea, Peter Power
FG 25.5% 2 seats – Micahel Noonan, Kieran O’Donnell
LP 10.3% 1 seat – Jan O’Sullivan
GP 2.6%
SF 4.2%
OTH 8.6%

Local developments:
Drops a seat and renamed from Limerick East, with FG-friendly rural wards (pop. c.17,000) deserting Kieran O’Donnell for the County. Willie O’Dea now hoping his removal from cabinet over slandering SF candidate Maurice Quinlivan will distance him from the Govt, and Quinlivan will doubtless be hoping that the trick of winning a court case will give him the sort of boost that helped Pearse Doherty. Both FF and FG may end up dropping a seat, with their better long-term bets (in Power and O’Donnell) losing out to men who probably will be contesting their final GE, and Jan O’Sullivan may have to split her vote generously if she is to pull in running mate Joe Leddin.

Likely candidates:
FF O’Dea, Power
FG Noonan, O’Donnell
LP O’Sullivan, Joe Leddin
SF Maurice Quinlivan
OTH Cian Prendeville (ULA), Kevin Kiely

Projection based on poll
FF 15.7% 1 seat
FG 34% 1 seat
LP 34.7% 2 seats
GP 0.1%
SF 8.4%
OTH 7.1%

O’Donnell (FG) and Power both lose out to the older hands on their ticket, with LP gaining one seat and one leaving the constituency altogether.

Limerick County (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 47.2% 2 seats – John Cregan, Niall Collins
FG 39.9% 1 seat – Dan Nevillle
LP 5.6%
GP 2.4%
SF 0.0%
OTH 4.8%

Local developments:
Gains a bit from Limerick East, and loses a bit to Kerry North. The third seat has done funny things here over the years, going to the PDs, and going to FG2 on one occasion as a result of IND FF candidates splitting the FF vote oddly once, and young LP candidate James Heffernan, who polled very well in the ’09 LEs will be hoping to provide the surprise here this time.

Likely candidates:
FF Cregan, Collins
FG Neville, William O’Donnell , Patrick O’Donovan
LP James Heffernan
Oth John Dillon

Projection based on poll
FF 24.0% 1 seats
FG 48.9% 2 seats
LP 18.4%
GP 1%
SF 2.4%
OTH 5.2%

Not Heffernan’s day on these figures- FF short of a quota, but close enough to hold one of their 2 seats, and FG have enough votes to take the other.

Longford-Westmeath (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 41.2% 2 seats – Mary O’Rourke, Peter Kelly
FG 30.9% 1 seat, James “Bonkers” Bannon
LP 17.7% 1 seat, Willie Penrose
GP 1.7%
SF 3.9%
OTH 4.6%

Local developments:
Former PD TD, Longford-based Mae Sexton, has provoked deja-vu among those who remember Helena McAuliffe Ennis, and apoplexy among others, by joining LP, and is well placed to take Peter Kelly’s seat if it stays in Longford, although FG have high hopes that Nicky McFadden will bring it across the county line to Westmeath.

Likely candidates:
FF O’Rourke, Kelly, Robert Troy
FG Bannon, McFadden, Peter Burke
LP Penrose, Sexton
SF Paul Hogan
OTH Kevin Moran

Projection based on poll
FF 19% 1 seats
FG 34.8% 1 seats
LP 34.1% 2 seats
GP 0.7%
SF 6.9%
OTH 4.4%

Close, but the addition of gender and county balance to the LP ticket here should be enough to take a second seat, given the SF transfers that will be on offer. Sexton will need some Westmeath votes though, as Penrose will be well aware.

Louth (5 seats)
2007 result
FF 42.1% 2 seats – Dermot Ahern, Seamus Kirk
FG 29.4% 1 seat – Fergus O’Dowd
LP 5.0%
GP 7.6%
SF 15.0% 1 seat – Arthur Morgan
OTH 0.9%

Local developments:
Hardly anything here really…. 😉 Dermot Ahern and Arthur Morgan are retiring, Seamus Kirk won’t be on the ballot as Ceann Comhairle, Gerry Adams seeks a seat in a national parliament (that he’d take) for the first time. Technically, the Baron has had to be appointed to a job that doesn’t really exist, in order to resign from a Parliament that he never actually attended. When East meets West, eh…?

LP looking to take the seat that Michael Bell held in the 80s, assisted not just by a Gilmore Gale but also a large chunk of Meath adjacent to Drogheda (pop. c.17,500) which perviously voted LP in large measure and which Drogheda based Ged Nash will be hoping will seal the deal for him. FG replace Mairead McGuiness with GAA man Peter FitzPatrick

Likely candidates:
FF James Carroll, Declan Breathnach
FG O’Dowd, Fitzpatrick
LP Nash, Mary Moran
GP Mark Deary
SF Adams
OTH Thomas Clare, Gerry Crilly

Projection based on poll
FF 8% 1 seat (CC)
FG 36.8% 2 seats
LP 17.5% 1 seat
GP 2%
SF 27.2% 1 seat
OTH 8.6%

FF lose Ahern’s seat to FitzPatrick, with LP picking up the extra seat in the Southern end of the constituency. Adams romps home.

Mayo (5 seats)

2007 result
FF 24.5% 1 seat – Dara Calleary
FG 53.8% 3 seats – Enda Kenny, Michael Ring, John O’Mahoney
LP 1.2%
GP 0.8%
SF 5.0%
OTH 14.7% 1 seat – Beverly Cooper-Class Act-Flynn

Local developments:
We need more politicians with convictions, they say, but they’re losing one here, with the retirement of Beverly Cooper-Flynn – much to the relief, one imagines, of Dara Calleary who should now be safe. FG leader Enda Kenny will again try for the feat of a 4th seat that they weren’t a million miles off last time, but will be hampered by the decision of ex Indo TD Dr Jerry Cowley to join LP, and also any Adams Avalanche. Word is that ex-LP member and Indo Cllr Michael Kilcoyne isn’t running.

Likely candidates:
FF Calleary
FG Kenny, Ring, O’Mahoney,Michelle Mulherin
LP Cowley
SF Rose Conway-Walsh, Therese Ruane

Projection based on poll
FF 18.7% 1 seats
FG 55.6% 3 seats
LP 8.1% 1 seat
SF 9.3%
OTH 8.4%

FG4 loses out the the last leftist standing, LP on these figures, with the decision of SF to run 2 candidates a strange one…..

Meath E (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 43.6% 2 seats, Mary Wallace, Thomas Byrne
FG 25.9% 1 seat – Shane McEntee
LP 11.9%
GP 3.1%
SF 3.9%
OTH 11.6%

Local developments:
The constituency loses the chunk to Louth and gains c.6.750 votes around Kells from Meath W, dropping the LP vote a percentage point or two. Mary Wallace, has retired, allowing Byrne at least some chance of making it.

Likely candidates:
FF Byrne
FG McEntee, Regina Doherty
LP Dominic Hannigan
SF Michael Gallagher

Projection based on poll
FF 15.1%
FG 40.3% 2 seats
LP 25.3% 1 seat
GP 0.3%
SF 8%
OTH 11%

FF lose both seats, one each to FG and LP.

Meath W (3 seats)

2007 result
FF 51.6% Noel Dempsey, Johnny Brady
FG 29.0% Damien English
LP 4.0%
GP 2.5%
SF 11.3%
OTH 1.6%

Local developments:
Loses Kells to Meath E. This combined with the retirement of Noel Dempsey is expected to give a boost to Navan-based Jenny McHugh who lives in that town and is principal of a local National School. FG and SF both have high hopes here also, with the latter talking up new canididate Peadar Toibin’s chances. Famously, FG supporter Sarah Carey just before the ’07 election said that if Graeme Geraghty ran for the Communist Party in Meath he would be elected, however he ran for FG and got 3%, so perhaps the marxist left will take a seat here in 2011.

Likely candidates:
FF Johnny Brady, Shane Cassells
FG English, Catherine Yore, Ray Butler
LP Jenny McHugh
SF Toibin
OTH Seamus McDonagh (WP)

Projection based on poll
FF 15.8%
FG 39.1% 1 seat
LP 17.1% 1 seat
GP 0.0%
SF 18.2% 1 seat
OTH 9.8%

FF lose both seats, one to LP and the other to SF, FG’s hopes of a 2nd seat being hampered by, IMO, crazy candidate strategy. Expect lots of pictures of Yore in the papers, btw….

Roscommon S Leitrim (3 seats)

2007 result
FF 38.8% 1 seat – Michael Finneran
FG 39.1% 2 seats, Frank Feighen, Denis Naughton
LP 1.8%
GP 1.8%
SF 8.4%
OTH 10.1%

Local developments:
A population of c.3,400 moves from the Leitrim part of this constituency to Sligo-N.Leitrim. Michael Finneran has surprised many by announcing his retirement. Indo candidate John Kelly did very well here in ’07, polling 10%, and LP will hope that his running under their banner will see them pull off an historic seat here. SF however got 4 times as many votes as their candidate last time, and if SF do very well this time, they will be hard to beat. Add to the mix Luke “Ming” Flanagan, who was elected in Kelly’s ward (alebeit with a much lower vote) in ’09, and who is Roscommon’s Mayor, a certain FG seat, a very likely FG 2nd seat, the locally resented partition of Leitrim, and FF hoping to hold on to what was Finneran’s seat, and this could be a long – and contested count.

Likely candidates:
FF Gerry Kilraine, Ivan Connaughton
FG Feighen, Naughton
LP Kelly
SF Martin Kenny
OTH Flanagan

Projection based on poll
FF 15.6%
FG 44% 2 seats
LP 11.1%
GP 0.7%
SF 13.8%
OTH 14.9% 1 seat

Finneran may have known something …. FF lose their seat here, on these figures Flanagan surfing a wave of Indo votes, although he and Kelly are very competitive and competing on the same patch – however wins that tussle appears very likely to be elected.

Sligo N Leitrim (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 41.0% 2 seats – Eamon Scanlon, Jimmy Devins
FG 39.3% 1 seat – John Perry
LP 3.9%
GP 3.0%
SF 11.7%
OTH 1.1%

Local developments:
Again there are local resentments about the partitiion of Leitrim between two constituencies unlikely to return a TD from that county. Here the two FF TDs are, somewhat bizarrely, not taking the FF whip, but voting with the government on every issue. Jimmy Devins won’t run again, leaving the task of holding the FF seat to his fellow “rebel” (ahem) Eamon Scanlon. FG2 will be hopeful of taking a seat, as will LP’s Susan O’Keefe, who polled respectably in Ireland-West in the Euros, but SF will consider themselves favourites to take a seat in this constituency if there is a surge to their party, particulary as they got a decent vote here even when polling 1-2% nationally. The dark horse will be Declan Bree (ULA), having taken a seat in the Sping Tide for LP, but since cast aside his Tankie principals for an alliance dominated by Trotskyists.

Likely candidates:
FF Eamon Scanlan, Marc McSharry
FG Perry, McLaughlin
LP Susan O’Keefe
SF Michael Colreavy
OTH Declan Bree, Gabriel McSharry , Michael Clarke

Projection based on poll
FF 17.9%
FG 43.2% 2 seats
LP 10.3%
GP 1%
SF 17% 1 seat
OTH 10.6%

FF lose both of their non-seats, one to FG and the other to SF.

Tipperary N (3 seats)

2007 result
FF 34.3% 1 seat – Maire Hocter
FG 15.9% 1 seat – Noel Coonan
LP 10.3%
GP 1.1%
SF 3.8%
OTH 34.7% 1 seat – Michael Lowry

Local developments:
Lowry Country. More? Oh, well Alan Kelly is running for LP, and so a rainforest of leaflets promoting him should go through the local letterboxes. But other than that, no, sorry. I’ve got nothing.

Likely candidates:
FF Hocter, Michael Smith (jnr)
FG Coonan
LP Alan Kelly
OTH Michael Lowry, Donal O’Regan

Projection based on poll
FF 13.5%
FG 23.4% 1 seat
LP 14.5% 1 seat
GP 0.4%
SF 6.5%
OTH 41.6% 1 seat

FF lose a seat to LP, although if Lowry had a running mate he’d probably take him/her in with him instead.

Tipperary S (3 seats)
2007 result
FF 46.4% 2 seats – Mattie McGrath, Martin Manseragh
FG 21.1% 1 seat Tom Hayes
LP 8.8%
GP 1.5%
SF 3.1%
OTH 19.1%

Local developments:
Mattie McGrath. Mattie McGrath! MATTIE MCGRATH!!!!
Did I mention Mattie McGrath?

Likely candidates:
FF Manseragh
FG Hayes, Michael Murphy
LP Phil Prendergast
SF Michael Brown
OTH Mattie McGrath (IFF), Seamus Healy (ULA)

Projection based on poll
FF 17%
FG 23.8% 1 seat
LP 13.5%
GP 0.5%
SF 5.9%
OTH 39.3% 2 seats

I’m calling it Mattie, ULA and FG, with LP getting ahead of Manseragh on transfers but just too far behind.

Waterford (4 seats)
2007 result
FF 46.4% 2 seats – Martin Cullen, Brendan Keaneally
FG 27.4% 1 seat – John Deasy
LP 11.3% 1 seat – Brian O’Shea
GP 2.1%
SF 6.7%
OTH 6.0%

Local developments:
Martin Cullen has retired, and FG have high hopes for Paudge Coffey to take his seat. Brian O’Shea has retired, and LP are running City-based John Ryan and Dungarvan based Ciara Conway. Ex-WP cllr John Halligan is also expected to poll well.

Likely candidates:
FF Kenneally
FG Deasy, Paudie Coffey
LP Ryan, Conway
SF David Cullinane
OTH Halligan, Joe Conway, Joe Tobin (WP), Ben Nutty

Projection based on poll
FF 13.1%
FG 36.2% 2 seats
LP 21.9% 1 seat
GP 0.0%
SF 11.5%
OTH 17.3% 1 seat

FF lose both seats, one to FG and the other to Halligan.

Wexford (5 seats)
2007 result
FF 42.2% 2 seats – Sean Connick, John Browne
FG 31.6% 2 seats -Paul Kehoe, Michael D’arcy
LP 13.4% 1 seat Brendan Howlin
GP 1.2%
SF 7.4%
OTH 3.9%

Local developments:
Contrary to earlier rumours, I’m now told that ex-SF candidate John Dwyer will be running as an Independent left-wing candidate, rather than hitch his wagon to the ULA. The outcome here could depend on whether Brendan Howlin splits his vote, as otherwise his running mate Pat Cody could lose out to SF, Dwyer or, conceivably, FG3. FF got just over their national vote here last time, and so require a significant recovery if Browne and Connick are to be doing more than fighting over a single seat.

Likely candidates:
FF Connick, Browne
FG Kehoe, Darcy, Liam Twoomey
LP Howlin, Cody
SF Anthony Kelly
OTH John Dwyer (IND), Seamus O’Brien (ULA)

Projection based on poll
FF 19.4% 1 seat
FG 36.6% 2 seats
LP 24.2% 2 seats
GP 0.7%
SF 8.5%
OTH 10.6%

FF lose a seat to Cody, who edges ahead of Cody of the pack, assuming he manages about 38-40% of the LP vote – much less and he’d most likely lose out. I’d not write off Dwyer though, and if he holds on to more of the SF vote than I’ve given him here, he could be in the running also.

Wicklow (5 seats)

2007 result
FF 38.0% 2 seats – Dick Roche, Joe Behan
FG 23.2% 2 seats – Andrew Doyle, Billy Timmons
LP 16.3% 1 seat – Liz McManus
GP 7.4%
SF 5.0%
OTH 10.1%

Local developments:
Joe Behan has since reigned from FF in protest over the early phase of the cuts, although since then has supported much harsher measures, and might decide against running again. Liz McManus has retired, and her son didn’t make it on the 3 person ticket that seems well balanced in terms of geography.

Likely candidates:
FF Dick Roche, Pat Fitzgerald
FG Doyle, Timmons, Simon Harris
LP Anne Ferris, Tom Fortune, Conal Kavanagh
SF John Brady
OTH Joe Behan, Robert Kearns, Peter Dempsey TC,Stephen Donnelly, Thomas Clarke, Gerry Kinsella, Pat Kavanagh

Projection based on poll
FF 8.8%
FG 33.2% 2 seats
LP 29.4% 2 seats
GP 2.4%
SF 10.2%
OTH 15.9% 1 seat

FF lose both the Roche and Behan seats, to LP and Behan, although SF very much in the mix.


So that’s it. Next post will be post GE being called, and will have full details of the predictions competition.


Written by Dotski

February 1, 2011 at 1:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

… wait for it ….

with 4 comments


It was suggested to me that the Irish Times had a poll coming out tomorrow, and I was holding off the until the details of that came out, in order to do a ‘poll of polls’ constituency-by-constituency projection, as there’d be little point in dong 3 very similar posts like that within 2 days. There’s no sign of that at this stage (11:20 pm) and so it looks like that was a bum steer. I’ll post one based on the two out today on Monday evening (unless it’s leaked early enough on Monday, in which case I’ll do one based on all three).

On other matters, as mentioned previously, I’m running two predictions competitions for the GE, one for predictions in the first week of the campaign, and the other with predictions made in the last week. Both prizes will be a small donation to a charity chosen by the winners (so you can maintain your anonymity). I’ve put together a spreadsheet that will allow you give your percentage and seat predictions for each party in each constituency, in a format that will make it easy for me to pick out the winner if there are a lot of entrants. In both competitions, the winner will be the person who is out by the smallest total amount in the party seat totals for each constituency – the party vote levels in each constituency is the tie breaker.

I’ve also developed a spreadsheet for the day of the count that should put us ahead of the curve in terms of interpreting early tallies, and I’ll be filling you in more about this over the next week or two.

Anyways, work in the morning. Hopefully you’ll find tomorrows post interesting, and you’ll all enter the competition.


Written by Dotski

January 31, 2011 at 12:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

…. Get Set ….

with 10 comments

Rushing out the door now, but just saw RedC figures tweeted.

FF 16% (+2)
FG 33% (-2)
LP 21% NC
SF 13% (-1)
GP 2% (-2)
OTH 15% (+3)

Not got the time to analyse much further but ran it through the spreadsheet and got the following;

FF 20 seats
FG 59 seats
LP 45 seats
SF 20 seats
OTH 22 seats

Am off now, but will do a constituency profile tomorrow.

Written by Dotski

January 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

On your Marx….

with 7 comments

A few polls are expected in the next 48-72 hours – first off the blocks to be leaked is the Lansdowne poll commissioned by the Sindo (apparently showing what they really think of the credibility of Quantum Research).

According to the Twittersphere, the figures are;

FF 16%
FG 34%
LP 24%
SF 10%
GP 1%
OTH 15%

I’ve run this through the spreadsheet and come up with the following figures

FF 19 seats
FG 62 seats
LP 54 seats
SF 8 seats
GP nada
OTH 23 seats

Given Lansdowne are taken less frequently, it’s hard to comment too much on the trends here, but it does appear that FF have made some gains, mainly at the expense of SF, but also to the detriment of LP, FG and GP.

Am going out later (to a real life, rather than political, pantomime) so I don’t know whether I’ll catch the RedC figures. When I do I’ll obviously post for them, and will do a more in depth analysis following this. I’ll also be posting details of a prediction competition in the next day or so (no big prizes, I’m afraid, but a donation to a charity of the winner’s choice, just to make a bit more interesting….)

For what it’s worth, my initial reaction is that FF are lower in this than I’d have expected, given the honeymoon effect new leaders can generally bank upon, and this may be because we are so close to a GE. FG will be glad to be in a position of a clear lead, but will be nervous that they don’t have clear water between themselves and LP, given LP may expect better transfers from SF and OTH.

Written by Dotski

January 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized