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Two polls, and two very different results. has been dissecting the results, and predictably, those who prefer the outcome of RedC are arguing that Lansdowne and Millward Brown are somehow unfit for purpose. LP at either 23% or 35%? SF at 4% or 10%? While it would appear that there is a significant vote floating between those two parties, it’s still not enough to explain these variances.

As (I think) I showed in this exchange , Lansdowne/Millward are as good as most, and have in fact been pretty impressive in the past. But RedC have a fine GE record also, even though they’ve been out of sync to a degree with MRBI recently, and particularly the last 12 months.

In fact, the best argument in favour RedC’s methodology is that Quantum Research also disagree with it on LP and SF support rating LP at 33% when undecideds are excluded, which means that QR is closer to MRBI (32%) and Lansdowne/Millward (35%) than RedC. Although personally, I’ve assumed that this is a lack of imagination on the good Doctor’s part, rather than professional excellence on the part of QR.

RedC could of course be out of kilter, as they’ve been disagreeing with MRBI also regarding the level LP are at, although this argument may be resolved in the coming days

MRBI may move with the change in methodology, but if they don’t (and they had LP on 29% without adjustments), that puts RedC on their own, as no-one else is currently putting LP in the 20s, never mind 23%. If MRBI put them at below 25% next week, most analysts (including myself) will believe it). But if MRBI keep them above 26%, RedC are pretty isolated, and from companies with comparable track records to themselves.

Anyways, I told people on that I’d do a breakdown of the 2 polls by constituency, and (for reasons best known to who knows) I’ll keep my word. Before reading this, please bear in mind that local results always vary somewhat from the uniform swing. This gives you an idea of what that uniform swing is that they’d be deviating from, rather than is some sort of portal into the future. However, if your party over-performs the national swing somewhere, it will under-perform elsewhere. Effectively, unless you’re a small party, the differences will cancel out.

The spreadsheet takes the 2007 results as a base for the distribution of the vote, and makes some small changes, e.g. Regarding PD votes, personal votes, effects of boundary changes etc.

It then computes uniform swings in (a) the vote each party received, and (b) the vote each party didn’t receive (e.g. Non-LP vote down from 90% to 65% is X% etc). The composite of these effects is combined with a further swing which take into account the proportion of the national swing in ’92 experienced in each area (the idea of this is that while LP got big gains then nationally, it was quite low in some areas such as Kerry). The composite of all these votes is them calculated. In each constituency, the total will now be above/below 100%, and each party total is then apportioned up/down to adjust to 100%. National totals are then calculated, and where they are deviating from the input figures, there is an adjustment across the board to bring them back in line. You then have a distribution of votes that adds up, and is remarkably similar in pattern to what has happened in the past when there was significant swings.

Sounds like a lot, but it takes less than a second, running on OpenOffice on a pretty old laptop.

Next, it feeds into 43 constituency tabs. Each of these assumes a percentage of each parties vote will go to particular candidates, and is set up to auto-compute counts when you enter your estimation of how the transfers go. This is a manual job, and is the most subjective part. I’m assuming good transfers between FG and LP, except when there’s a good left-wing candidate present (although FG still get a decent share there also). Better transfers too to SF this time, and also more SF transfer to FG than in the past (but more to LP, about 35-40%). GP / FF about 35-40% each way. A typical LP vote split is 2:1, although late 3rd additions are assumed to do pretty badly (3.5/2/1).

When I’ve finished the final count, I enter the party seats in each tab, and that feeds back to the ‘front’ tab, although if it’s very obvious from the headline figures, I may not bother with the constituency tab, and just enter the seat totals on the front tab.

So that’s how I do it. Disagree with the assumptions? Fine. Do your own, and share the results!

This post would be rather long without breaking it up a bit, so I’ll do that alphabetically (for no better reason than it’s how I’ve laid out the front page of the spreadsheet….). It’s lunchtime and I’ve done the first of 4 instalments (Carlow-Kilkenny to Donegal South-West). I’ll stick this up now, and the other 3 as they’re done (hopefully this evening, other duties permitting…..)


Carlow-Kilkenny to Donegal South-West

FF 32% – 2
FG 34% – 2
LP 26% -1
GP 4%

Fairly straightforward. The spreadsheet is adjusted to assume a lower swing against FF on the grounds that McGuiness will tap into a lot of the ex-PD vote for his “rebel” grandstanding (despite his happiness to feed from the trough when offered the opportunity). FG gain from FF, and LP gain from GP, with only a good FF performance (and the lack of a bad one from FG) stopping them taking another seat from FF.

FF 34% – 2
FG 35% -2
LP 17%-1
SF 7%
GP 6%

The same outcome, but no outside chance of LP getting a second seat. No risk to the single seat from a 2nd LP candidate though (30% in the broad left/green camp) so it would still appear prudent for LP to run 2 candidates. There’s no risk to FG running 3 candidates, as their 2 seats are safe.


FF 24% – 1
FG 37% – 2
LP 13% – 1
SF 16% – 1

This was a 4-seater last time out, due to Ardal O’Hanlon’s Dad being the CC. FF on these figures would lose 2 seats, one to FG and one to LP who will most likely field Teacher Des Cullen. I’m told that LP in Cavan has seen an a number of new people looking to join, with a new branch to be established in South Cavan, and these could be the bodies who help them over the line here. Unlikely? Well LP couldn’t run a candidate in 1989, but got 8.3% in ’92, when getting 19.5% nationally, i.e. about 43% of their national vote. The same proportion here would amount to 15% in Cavan-Monaghan, so this is far from impossible, particularly given the influx of Dub refugees since then.

FF 24% – 1
FG 34% – 2
SF 26% – 2
LP 6%

The much lower LP vote in this poll would be a result of SF, a party they are competing with for votes, and who are very strong here, getting much more, as a result of a general swing to them.

There’s a further 10% who would largely be well disposed to LP, but not enough for them to pull in the Cavan SF candidate on these figures. Looking at this, I think LP have to be about 4 times SF’s national polling to be pulling the seat here, e.g. 6% SF and 24% LP.


FF 29% – 1
FG 40% – 2
LP 14% – 1
Breen (Ind)11%
GP 3%

Well, assuming they run a candidate….. LP famously went from no candidate in 1989 to having a TD in ’92 with Dr Bhamjee who pulled in 11.5%. On the basis of this poll, a similar result is likely in Clare this time out.

FF 30% -1
FG 40% – 2
Breen(Ind) 11% – 1
LP 7%
SF 6%
GP 4%

In the RedC, LP would be likely to lose out to former a Indo TD, should he run. Should he not be in the race, LP are right back in it, fighting it out with FF for the last seat.

Cork East

FF 21% – 1
FG 30% – 1
LP 44% – 2

Fairly straightforward, with the second LP candidate (preumably Mulvihill the Younger) taking a second LP seat at FF’s expense.

FF 23% – 1
FG 31% – 1
LP 34% – 2
SF 8%
GP 2%

Closer, but still LP would be favourite to take the second seat, regardless of candidate split, given SF and GP transfers are more likely to benefit them than FG, who’d start off 3% behind anyway.

Cork NC

FF 12%
FG 30% – 2
LP 40% -2
SF 5%
SP 5%

LP’s Gilroy gain one seat very handily, and FG2 takes the last seat on SP transfers (with Mick Barry very nearly getting ahead of him – penultimate count being FG2 13.96%, FF1 13.59% and SP on 11.24%). Very tight.

FF 14%
FG 32% – 2
LP 24% -1
SF 11% – 1
SP 7%

Here LP lose out to SF. No threat to the 1st LP seat though (and it’s still possible if they split the vote fairly evenly), so 2-candidate strategy is justified, particularly as Gilroy is likely to be brining in extra votes.

Cork NW

FF 35% – 1
FG 42% – 1
LP 21% – 1

LP gain the seat, with a vote just over half that of FG (by about 0.5%). A handful of GP transfers, and the FF surplus would have to favour FG 2:1 over LP for the latter to lose out. Not safe, but very probable in these circumstances.

FF 38% – 1
FG 43% – 2
LP 14%

Rather worse for LP… in this case LP would be transfer fodder for FG.

Cork SC

FF 20% – 1
FG 34% – 2
LP 37% – 2
GP 4%
SF 2%

Pretty straightforward, LP’s Paula Desmond gains at the expense of FF. Dan Boyle tweeting about life being sooooo unfair 😦 LOL!

FF 23% – 1
FG 36% – 2
LP 23% – 1
SF 8% – 1
GP 6%

Somewhat more surprising this one…. LP are still in the hunt, but a poor vote split (about 2:1) would see her fall 0.7% behind SF’s new recruit O’Leary, who would be elected on LP surplus and GP transfers. It is quite a soft SF gain however, and even if they fell back to 9% nationally, they’d probably lose this to LP. Still, they’ll take some heart from the idea that they’d even have a chance, and this could see O’Leary stay south of the river.

Cork SW

FF 26%
FG 38%
LP 29%


FF 28%
FG 39%
LP 21%
SF 7%
GP 5%

Again 1/1/1, this time LP depending on at least a third of SF/GP transfers to get a quota.

Donegal NE

FF 35% – 1
FG 27% – 1
LP 18% – 1 (yes, I know…)
SF 12%

Quite a surprise, even if LP are 35% and SF 4% nationally. Or is it? LP went from nowhere here in 1989 to 11.34% in 1992, when they were 19.5% nationally. An equivilent vote on 35% would be 20% this time, and presumably Harte has brought some amount of a personal vote.

FF 35% – 1
FG 26% – 1
SF 21% – 1
LP 11%

Less surprising, SF taking a FF seat, and Harte doing slightly less well than Maloney did for LP in 1992. A run as Indo by McDaid could of course throw it all into confusion, of course….

Donegal SW

FF 35% – 1
FG 26% – 1
LP 21% – 1
SF 17%

As above for LP in Donegal. What odds Frank McBrearty as Minister for Justice? 😉 This shouldn’t surprise anyone who read this

FF 34% – 1
FG 25% – 1
SF 26% -1
LP 12%

Again, the national trends matter, as they are a composite of what is happening locally. LP need to be high 20s (and SF 6% or less) to be in with a shout here.

More at….

… and here…..

and final part here

Written by Dotski

September 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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