Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

June2010 RedC

with 2 comments

Previously posted by me on in June, following a Red C Poll with the following figures;

FF 24% NC.
FG 33% +3.
LAB 27% +5.
Greens 2% -3
SF 8% -2
Ind 6% -3.



One of the reasons I was impatient for this poll was that I’d come up with a second (alternative) base for the swings, and was going to run both of them for the first time on an actual poll. The new base takes the ’07 figures, but adjusts for (a) regional swings, and, (b) some adjustment of the method of the base to account for a different LP swing where they come from a higher or lower base, which effectively ‘flattens’ a bit the uniform swing (using a swing of what % are NOT voting LP). In dry runs its shown a more similar pattern, on a constituency basis, than uniform swing, compared to the changed distribution in ’92 over ’89, which was the last time LP gained so much in a single GE.

In theory it should make very little difference to the overall number of TDs each part gets (and it doesn’t this time, re-assuringly enough), but gives a better idea where those gains will be.

Now ….. great poll for LP (best ever Red C and up 10% on what they appeared to be stuck on until recently – itself over two-thirds up on the last GE). Very high preference for Gilmore as Taoiseach (not just ‘approval’ rating’) means they’ll do well on Dks and also on transfers.

FG, while they’ll be relieved, are pretty much what I predicted – the Oscar Wilde maxim, and Kenny finally looking like a leader (although, as I said before, I think he’s not bad behind the scenes – I did say they’d regret it if they replaced him with RB). If they can knit a decent FB together, they are probably over the worst of it -a decent poll like this means that if there are any who still resent him (well there are I’m sure) they are utterly outflanked. The Shinners continue to pop between 6-10%, and 8% I have to say looks about right to me.

FF will shrug and say “nothing to see here” and effectively they are right. But the GP will be shocked. They’ve been rock solid at 5-6% in all RedC polls forever now. Could be a once off, given the margin of error, but still, they’ll be nervous in the extreme until another poll puts them in 4-5% territory. Certainly, they’ll not be pulling the plug any time soon.

Finally, of interest is a very poor showing by “Others”. Again, hard to say why, but maybe the talk of Gilmore as a possible Taoiseach is drawing votes from ‘protest’ candidates, where they may be seen as wasted, to the LP column.

So what are the spreadsheets saying? First figure is uniform swing from 07, second is swing from the adjusted figures based on regional swings etc, you can choose which suits your prejudices, but both are very close.

FG 62 or 56
LP 52 or 58
FF 43 or 43
SF 5 or 7
GP 0 or, eh, 0
OTH 4 or 2

As you can see, there’s a net 6 seat gain for LP over FG based on adjusting for regional swings and ‘flattening’ the swing, which would nudge LP ahead (although the number of seats going back and forward between the two methods is much more). I prefer to keep with the old method, which is the uniform swing method, as it is ‘purer’ (and therefore less open to human error) but there’s certainly much for LP to consider here. Even in the latter figures, there are 8-10 seats where a less pessimistic transfer rate would see them pull in seats (they don’t include Roscommon in either, for example, despite the addition fo a high profile candidate with a good electoral record). There are, however 62 seats they would win in either one or the other method.

So what would the implications be if something like this panned out? Well, the pretty obvious one is that FG and LP are neck and neck for seats, (FG slightly ahead) with FF a poor 3rd. If this became evident over the course of the election, one could see FF hit even harder, as the choice would no longer be between them and FG, but FG and LP, and one assumes that a number of those who want Gilmore to be Taoiseach are currently in the FF column). Another thing is that, on these figures, a left-led govt is not possible (unlike the MRBI one), given the more modest SF performance, and collapse of the GP and OTH vote.

Of course, it’s just one poll. What matters is the trend. Not long ago, we were being told that MRBI polls were ‘meaningless’ because they gave LP 24% after the adjustment, and Red C, giving LP 17%, were spot on. Now Red C are saying 27% (MRBI 32%) and the argument is how close they and FG are, and who is nudging ahead of who, with FF (currently) being in third place a foregone conclusion.

Right. Make of that what you will. I’m off to put the kids to bed, open a bottle of a Sicilian Red, and watch the second half of the Footy. See you when I’ve a few glasses under my belt!


NB – Since then I’ve honed the adjusted spreadsheet a bit more, and the overall results come out even closer to the ‘brute force’ uniform swing method while at the same time coming a lot closer to plausible local results, so I’ll be using that most of the time going forward.  Dotski 22/08/10

Written by Dotski

August 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. PS I just hit the “like” button to test it – honest! 🙂


    August 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm

  2. Red C poll this weekend?

    September 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm

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