Archive for November 2010
While the blog was set up to look at Irish opinion polls, there’s one reported in the excellent UK Polling Report that is of some interest to Irish readers.
Aside from the general stuff about Labour and Tories being neck and neck, and the LibDems at 9%, this Yougov poll measured support for the UK’s role in the Irish Bailout.
just under half (48%) of respondents opposed Britain bailing out Ireland, with 36% supporting it. There was overwhelming (74%) rejection of Britain bailing out other European countries such as Portugal. Only 22% agreed with the statement that Britain’s economy was reliant upon our exports to other countries and therefore it was in our interests to help the Eurozone avoid a crisis, 60% think Britain has its own problems and cannot afford to help.
Given the reaction of someone cold-polled may be less considered than someone who had had time to look into the issues, that’s a little higher support for assistance to Ireland than I would have expected. It’s also interesting how much less unpopular it is than similar support for Portugal, although it’s unclear as to whether that’s a result of our closely interlinked economies, or a general fondness for the Micks….
Also, of interest to EU watchers, British Euro-scepticism is strong, although not apparently enough to see a threat to their membership
On the broader question of Britain’s relationship with the EU, 10% would like a more integrated Europe, 14% the status quo, 38% a less integrated Europe and 26% Britain’s total withdrawal from the European Union.
Interestingly, only 12% didn’t feel able to express an opinion. Obviously the fair and balanced reporting of the UK media has resulted in them all being very well informed on EU-related matters…. 😉
Finally, Royal watchers will be delighted to read a number of questions regarding the forthcoming nuptials of a certain young-ish couple. Among the gems….
YouGov also asked whether Kate Middleson should become Princess of Wales, should William be created Prince of Wales in due course. 74% think she should, 13% she shouldn’t.
The Princess of Hearts being the alternative, I suppose…?
Well, as polls in the 2009-2010 era of Irish politics go, that wasn’t too exciting (unless you’re a SF supporter). Every party within the m.o.e. of the previous RedC. How to make this interesting….. Oh, I’ll just have to get the Greens to announce they’re leaving govt… 😉
Sorry for the delay in getting this up – if I was a traffic whore I’d have got it up earlier today, given the amount of people on p.ie, but it wasn’t really feasible, alas.
As established, RedC generally have significantly higher ratings for FG and FF than all the other companies (and to a lesser extent SF and GP) and lower ratings for LP and OTH. So a poll that shows FF at a new low, and LP at their joint highest rating ever (and SF at their highest since March 2009) might sound good news for the Govt. However, the poll was largely conducted before the IMF’s role became apparent, and before Pat Rabbitte became a Youtube star
The most obvious movement is for SF. There are a few factors which can be accredited to this net 2% movement.
1. The announcement that Gerry Adams will context Louth in the GE. Locally, there are probably pros and cons to this decision – there’ll be ppl voting for him that didn’t vote for Morgan, but there are others who would object to someone coming in from outside the constituency (particularly someone with a lesser grasp of economic policy…). However, for all his shortcomings, Adams is their leader, and if he can perform better than he did in ’07 (and I suspect he can) he can come across as more relevant, and a bigger hitter than the worthy but dull O’Caolain.
2.Pearse Doherty has performed very well as a candidate in the DSW bye-election. They have been fortunate that the issue of it’s delay has arisen in a constituency where they have such a good candidate, and the national exposure of Doherty has, I have no doubt, resulted in a fair portion of the floating LP-to-SF vote (which is substantial) thinking more positively of SF than Frank McBreaty’s party.
3.SF are talking about dealing with the deficit over a much longer period than LP, and Gilmore distanced himself from SF’s economic policies in his Late Late Show interview. This may have been prudent from his p.o.v. for fear of votes drifting to FF/FG, but it presumably saw some movement from LP to SF.
As I said yesterday, the spreadsheet threw out the following projections (movement from last month’s RedC in brackets);
FG 61 (no change)
LP 55 (-2)
FF 26 (-1)
SF 14 (+7)
GP 1 (-2)
OTH 9 (-2)
Obviously, only FG/LP (116 seats, majority of c.66) or FG/FF (87 seats, majority of c.8) would be possible govts from these outcome. My money would be on FG/LP, with FG getting Taoiseach and 8 Ministers, but LP getting Finance and Foreign Affairs, and pretty much 50% of the Programme for Govt). Or rather, the IMF getting 90%, and FG and LP getting 5% apiece…
So, what would a uniform swing produce in each constituency? Well, the spreadsheet suggests….
FF 27% (2)
FG 37% (2)
LP 21% (1)
Two safe FG seats, one safe each for FF and LP, and the last seat between FF2 and LP2 (plus very long shot chance for FG3 if they did better on GP/SF transfers). While LP would do well from SF transfers and some GP voters, and FG3 should then assist LP2, I assume that enough GP votes go to the Govt partners to stop LP pulling off that second seat.
FF 18% (1)
FG 36.5% (2)
SF 29% (2)
Connolly (IND) 5%
Those who’ve followed the IPR projections will know that this constituency is shaping up for a fight between LP and SF’s Cavan candidate for the last seat. The previous time I gave it to LP, but this time I have SF2 very (very) narrowly edging LP’s Des Cullen for the last seat on foot of SF’s 2% surge in the latest poll. As with the previous poll, this could go either way.
FF 24% (1)
FG 43% (2)
Breen (Ind) 10.6% (1)
FF drop a seat, probably to FF gene-pool Indo and former TD Breen, although again LP are very close, but I have SF transfers splitting evenly enough between the two of them, which would be enough to keep Breen ahead, and probably be elected on LP transfers. All to play for though, and a good LP candidate could be a game-changer.
FF 17.5% (1)
FG 32.5% (1)
LP 38% (2)
No surprise here, LP have been looking at taking the second FF seat here in most polls for the last year.
FF 7% (yes, yes, I know…)
FG 34% (2)
LP 29% (1)
SF 12% (1)
Slight surprise, perhaps, compared to previous projections as a result of the SF surge, LP fall somewhat short of the last seat to SF. This assumes SF do better on Mick Barry’s transfers (as Lynch would already be elected), although if Gilroy is ahead (or the vote is split evenly) Lynch might just pull in enough SP transfers to take a 2nd seat
FF 31% (1)
FG 46.7% (2)
Not far off the recent FF poll , which had FG “less than 50%”, although that poll had LP above, rather than below, 20%. Again, even on these figures LP aren’t out of it, depending on FF surplus and GP/SF transfers, but FG2 just shading it.
FF 14.6% (1)
FG 38.5% (2)
LP 27.7% (2)
Largely similar to a FG poll although FF about 7% lower, but holding onto the seat they’d get either way. I’d not write off Chris O’Leary though on these figures, particularly if he can get decent transfer from his former colleague “Twitter” O’Boyle.
FF 22% (1)
FG 41% (1)
LP 24% (1)
Safe FG1, safe-ish LP seat, and FF holding on against FG for the last seat.
FF 28% (1)
FG 28% (1)
SF 23.5% (1)
SF take a seat from the retiring FF TD Jim McDaid. Another Senator J.Harte for the LP?
FG 27.5% (1)
SF 31.7% (1)
LP 18.7% (1)
While FF do somewhat better than the GE polling here last week they still lose out to McBrearty for the last seat as in that poll, on SF and FG transfers. Strange times, although I’d not write off Mary Coughlan just yet.
LP 37% (2)
SF 15% (1)
OTH 22% (1)
Hard one to call, as Indo/Oth is always hard to translate into local constituencies. In this case, I’d call it as 2 LP reasonably confidently, then O’Sullivan and Mary-Lou edging ahead of Donghue on Indo transfers, although it would be very close, and I’d not write off Cieran Perry. FF pretty much out of it. Unless HE runs, of course….
As I’ve commented previously, FG get very upset when I suggest they’re unlikely to go from zero seats to two here…..
FG 24% (1)
LP 38% (2)
SF 13.5% (1)
SF’s Eoin O’Broin, along with LP’s Robert Dowds, look good to take a seat here, from the GP and and Mary Harney, with FG’s Keating taking a seat from FF’s Chief whip John Curran. What odds on Frances FitzGerald to be the final ever Seanad leader?
FG 22% (1)
LP 31% (2)
GP 11.5% (1)
FF to lose 2 seats here, each to LP, who have an ample supply of councillors in Fingal. Sargant, on these figures, manages to hold on, staying ahead of FF1 on FF2 leakage, and then depending on FF transfers to stay ahead of SP’s Clare Daly. Very very close though, so I’d not be putting the house on anyone on the basis of this…. The Metro North issue in particular could see FF being more resilient to the Gilmore Gale in Swords
FG 33% (1)
LP 28% (1)
McGrath (IND) 15.5% (1)
LP take Sean Haughey’s seat, and Finian McGrath holds on from FF. Assumes that SF transfers favour him over FG2, although he’d also do better in FF transfers, so he’d be comfortable on these figures.
FG 27% (1)
LP 41% (2)
Tight context for the last seat (currently held by retiring FF TD Michael Woods) between LP2 and SF. While LP2 has yet to be decided, it’s most likely Killian Forde, and on these figures the former SF man is likely to take a seat against his former party colleague Larry O’Toole.
LP 46.3% (2)
SF 20% (1)
While there may be a degree of sympathy for Pat Carey after his recent savaging at the hands of Pat Rabbitte, it’s hard to see FF (or FG, for that matter) take a seat on these figures, unless the FF vote is more resilient in Dublin. Indeed, if LP run 3 candidates, LP 3 is likely to be ahead of the FG candidate, and when Mad Bill Tormey’s transfers are distributed, to be ahead of FF1. On these figures, they’d still probably lose the last seat to SF on FF transfers, but given this is a good poll for SF and FG and still the 2nd LP seat is safe, the argument against a 3rd LP candidate is becoming weaker….
FF 13% (1)
FG 36% (2)
LP 35% (2)
Fairly clear-cut, with 2 LP gains, 1 from FF (who have lost the late Seamus Brennan and are reportedly losing the ‘great’ Tom Kitt) and the other from Minister Eamon Ryan. FG hold onto their two seats, but don’t appear at the races for a third, whereas FF would be in the unusual position (this time) of having a new TD, unless they receive a refugee from Dun Laoghaire, which has ceded some of its territory, and where FF will go from 2 Ministers to 1 TD (it they’re lucky).
LP are safe enough on these figures, and may consider a 3 candidate strategy, given RedC isn’t their most generous polling company, and a third candidate could sweep up enough votes to keep LP3 ahead of Ryan after SF transfers, and challenge FF if the IMF business hits them badly. Either way, there’ll be LP Seanad leader Alex White (based in Rathfarnham), and one or two from Aidan Culhane (Dundrum), and Lettie McCarthy (Glencullen), both of whom led strong LP performances in last year’s LEs in their respective wards, and could be expected to poll strongly.
FG 19% (1)
LP 39% (3)
SF 13% (1)
FF collapse here (again, provided the swing in Dublin isn’t below average), FG steady, and LP who lost out on a 2nd seat here by 69 votes in ’07 (when 10% nationally) would get 3 seats, shading the last seat from Joan Collins, one of the original batch of “Militant Tendency” members expelled from LP, subsequently ‘eased out’ of that organisation, then Indo, then a member of the SWP-front “People Before Profit”, and a likely United Left Alliance candidate this time. Mind you, with a likely ticket of Eric Byrne, Michael Conaghan and Henry Upton, there will be fears that the lack of gender balance could see the scales tip towards Collins.
FF 13% (1)
FG 24% (1)
LP 39% (2)
Not a million miles from the recent FG poll here. FF are 5% lower, but other than that, FG are 1% higher, LP 2% lower and GP 1% lower. 2 LP and 1 FG seem pretty certain at this stage, and the last seat is FF vs GP, with FF clear favourite at this stage, although the fallout of the IMF/GP pull out may make this harder to call than suggested by this poll. Only threat to LP is the poor vote split recorded in the FG poll, but on these figures Humphies would still be safe. If they drifted down to about 20% or so nationally, though, they’d need to split is more evenly.
FG 25% (1)
LP 39% (2)
SF 19% (1)
FF lose both seats, probably with Charlie “Tallaman” O’Connor having the good sense to retire before polling, and the Lesser Minister Lenihen being given a lesson in natural selection. LP’s Eamonn Maloney and SF’s Sean Crowe appear safe bets to gain here. FG2 (if there is such a creature) will probably do no more than provide LP with any transfers required to get over the line.
FG 18.7% (1)
LP 43.8% (2)
ULA 16.4% (1)
The spreadsheet gives FF a boost her for the personal/sympathy factor, but on these figures, not be enough for the Minister for Finance to hold on, and it would appear unlikely that his stock has risen since the poll was taken. It’s still very close though, but I have LP2 taking the additional seat, and ULA/SP MEP Joe Higgins relieving FF of their only seat.
Needless to say, this would possibly be the story of the count.
FF 15% (1)
FG 28% (1)
LP 38% (2)
This constituency loses a seat, as each of the Govt parties do, the second going to LP2, who appear too strong for ULA/PBP hopeful Richie Boyd-Barrett. Hard to call which FF Minister will hold on, but if she’s leader by then (as some are suggesting) one presumes it’d be Mary Hanafin. If not, my money would be on Andrews.
FG 54% (3)
LP 18% (1)
FF look very low here, but they were below their national vote here last time also, and this time face a well balanced FG ticket and a rampant LP, whose leader hails from here. FF’s prospects would be enhanced if one of their (60 and 57 year old) TDs retire. I’d certainly not write them off, but they’ve a hell of a fight to hold onto a seat here, particularly if both outgoing TDs run.
FF 12% (1)
FG 28% (2)
LP 24% (1)
Grealish 11% (1)
I’ve rebalanced the vote here a bit to take account for Micheal D not running on the LP ticket, and it’s the difference between one and two seats for them, which are now unlikely unless they woo back Indo Cllr Connolly. FF lose one of their seats (presumably Fahey) to FG.
FG 36% (1)
LP 18% (1)
SF 29% (1)
Already poor territory for FF, they are assailed on three fronts here, with FG already strong on the ground, LP with the “Spring” brand to catch their share of the Gilmore Gale, and SF boosted by recent events nationally. Hard to see FF holding on, but one never knows….
FF 20.4% (1)
FG 30% (1)
LP 24% (1)
Cap-wearer’s association 17.9%
A tight one, but I have “The Bull” O’Donoghue holding on here against the younger Healy-Rae, thereby showin’ that crowd in Dublin what they think of them…..
FG 27% (1)
LP 39% (2)
Murphy 13% (1)
FF collapse, not even at the races, losing seats to LP and former By-election victor Catherine Murphy. By the following election and eventual retirement of Emmet Stagg, I’d not be surprised to see her on the LP ticket in 2015.
FF 30% (1)
FG 24% (1)
LP 37% (1)
FG gain a (single) seat from FF, who hold up better here than most places. Even with the IMF coming in, it would appear that FF1 is safe enough. LP are short for a second seat, but have a quota and a half, and so would be well advised to run a sweeper.
FF 39% (2)
FG 37% (2)
LP 11.4% (1)
Even with the addition of a leaders bonus, FF drop one of their 3 seats here, which is keenly fought for by LP and SF. On these figures, LP should shade it, particularly with FG transfers a-going, but close enough. If Lp run 2 candidates, as mooted, apparently, I’d say SF could nudge ahead on these figures, unless they were really increasing the vote, and I’m not sure they’ve anyone available who’d bring such a big personal vote (and if they they, presumably s/he could get elected without using a sweeper….)
FF 17% (1)
FG 33% (1)
LP 37% (2)
FF lose (Peter) Power, with Willie O’Dea holding the sole FF seat (that’s if he can be bothered running). LP are the beneficiaries, with FG losing O’Donnell to the constituency revision. It wouldn’t take much of a swing for FG2 to edge ahead of FF though, particularly if O’Dea decided that he couldn’t be bothered…
FF 25.3% (1)
FG 47.8% (1)
LP 23.0% (1)
Very very close, but on these figures I’d say LP’s James Heffernan (who performed very impressively in the LEs , getting more votes in Kilmallock than in all of Limerick West in ’07) shades it, needing slightly fewer transfer, but FG will be fighting hard to pull in that gain. FF are also barely over the quota, and could lose another seat if their voters are unimpressed with the IMF moving in. One to watch.
FF 20.5% (1)
FG 33.9% (1)
LP 37.5% (2)
LP to gain from FF, with FG2 too far behind to make it up (unless they do very well on SF transfers). Perhaps from O’Rourke who it is said will be hanging up her boots.
FF 12% (0 + Ceann Comhairle)
FG 38% (2)
LP 19% (1)
SF 22% (1)
Big shock here if this came to pass. Dermot “Fiction” Ahern would lose out, with FG and LP gaining. SF would increase their vote substantially, despite fielding a blow-in rookie candidate who has never sat in a real parliament…. . 😉
I’d not write him off, but Ahern is in trouble. There’s not going to be more than 2 seats in the North of the county, and Adams and FG2 appear to be shading it on these figures. A way to go yet, and Ahern is a noted political street-fighter …. don’t be surprised in facts that might be in the possession of, say, the Minister for Justice, might be released to the intended detriment of the President of SF.
FF 20% (1)
FG 57% (3)
LP 10.6% (1)
FF won a single seat here last time out, and while the return of the “Class Act” BCF saw them double their representation, the tide is out and they’re msot likely back at one TD. FG would hold their 3rd TD, and LP’s former Indo TD Jerry Cowley would be set to hold off a strong challenge from SF. I’d keep an eye out for former LP member Micahel Kilcoyle, who may be the dark horse here.
FG 33% (2)
LP 32% (1)
FF to lose both seats, one each to LP and FG2. If LP were together enough to have 2 candidates they’d be competitive for a second seat, but word is that they won’t,. It would however be almost impossible for LP to fail to take a seat with this level of vote, no matter how many candidates they run.
FG 38.8% (1)
LP 18.8% (1)
SF 17.8% (1)
Very tight, but on these figures FF would lose both seats, one to LP and one to SF. Given Noel Dempsey is one of these, that would be a major shock. FG2 would also be competitive, particularly if this poll is a blip for SF and they can nip ahead of them. Given this could see 5 candidates all around the 18-20% range fighting for 3 seats, it may be re-count territory….
Roscommon – S Leitrim
FG 45.6% (2)
LP 14.4% (1)
FF go to zero seats here, with FG taking 2, and LP staying ahead of SF on Indo transfers (Ming Flanagan fishing from the same electoral pool as LP’s former Indo, Cllr John Kelly) and then getting enough of a boost from SF to reel in FF. Very close though, although on these figures, with the IMF bailout, it’s SF rather than FF that would appear to be LP’s main threat.
Sligo- N Leitrim
FF 20.9% (1)
FG 45.8% (2)
Despite a left/republican vote of over 30%, these figures see SF pull ahead of LP, and then fail to get sufficient transfers to pull in FF who are just too far ahead. LP, fwiw, would probably succeed if they took 3% from SF, but on these figures they’re just not going to pull it off. Dark horse may be veteran ex-LP Marxist Declan Bree, who is reportedly going to run for the ULA.
FG 22% (1)
LP 19% (1)
Yeah, I know…. less I say about this the better……
FF 26% (1)
FG 27% (1)
Healy (IND) 17% (1)
FF hold a seat out of 2, probably Mattie, although if the IMF factor makes a difference they might not. LP losing last seat on these figures, on SF transfers to Seamus Healey, although I suspect that’ll depend how much indos get squeezed on the day….
FF 15% (1)
FG 35% (2)
LP 29% (1)
FF lose the seat that went with Martin Cullen to FG, who fends off competition from LP2 and SF. The sole FF seat would be in jeopardy if their vote dropped further. LP would be competitive if they managed to recruit local Indo Gilligan, but all the signs are that they’re not going to get that together….
FF 22% (1)
FG 38% (2)
LP 26% (1)
SF 12% (1)
FF lose a seat, although on these figures it’s to SF, rather than LP2 who they pip at the post. Very close though, and if LP could split their vote reasonably evenly (I’m assuming they won’t) they’d probably pull it off.
FG 34% (2)
LP 28% (2)
Behan (Ind) 10% (1)
LP take a seat from Dick Roche, and Behan holds the seat he won under the FF banner last time out. Should Behan no run, the 5th seat is wide open, but probably FF the likeliest to take it.
Well, that’s that. As the election approaches I’ll be refining the local adjustments further to incorporate any credible local polls, and also a weighted average of regional breakdowns of the national polls, and so the next projection you see will be further fine-tuned. Early experimentation shows no overall change in terms of national seat projections, but slightly more resilience in the FF-Dublin vote (with less outside Dublin) and a very slightly bigger increase in LP outside Dublin, with less of an increase in the capital. Net effect as I say is very small and well within the margin of error of the polls (c. 3 seats falling the other way), but worth doing.
Thanks for reading!
Spotty over on politics.ie has released the latest RedC offerings in tomorrow’s SBP. They are surprising, in that there’s no movement for anyone outside the margin of error.
The figures are;
FF 17% (-1)
FG 33% (+1)
LP 27% (nc)
SF 11% (+2)
GP 3% (-1)
OTH 8% (-2)
I’ve run these through the spreadsheet, and it produces the following figures (movement from last month’s RedC in brackets);
FG 61 (no change)
LP 55 (-2)
FF 26 (-1)
SF 14 (+7)
GP 1 (-2)
OTH 9 (-2)
RedC as you know tend to be good for FG, and they’d remain ahead on these figures, so they’ll be somewhat happy, although I’d have thought that both they and LP would have expected to make good gains this week as the shadow of the IMF loomed (although the actual landing occurred after the sampling on Monday and Tuesday this week). The biggest gain is clearly SF, who on these figures would pass the threshold in a number of constituencies, and would be in ‘proper party’ territory (in both sense of the word). Presumably this is a positive reaction to the announcement that their leader will contest the next GE.
I’ll do a more in depth analysis after the figures are confirmed, probably tomorrow when I’ve had a good look at the other findings.
As mentioned in the previous entry, politics.ie had a scoop yesterday, releasing the RedC/Paddy Power poll in Donegal SW some hours before any mainstream media outlet. Aside from the By-election polling, the poll gave the voting intentions for a GE, which amounted to 31% SF, 25% FG, 19% FF, 18% LP and 7% OTH. This would almost certainly produce 1 seat each for SF, LP and FG, with Mary Coughlan losing out.
I was curious as to how this compared with the spreadsheet’s projections.
The most recent spreadsheet projection for RedC was posted on 26 October here
The results were as follows;
FF 29% (10% higher than now)
FG 26% (1% higher than now)
SF 26% (5% lower than now)
LP 15% (3% lower than now)
Obviously, aside from national swings, there is also the effect that having an actual election has on the electorate (and of course, any shortcomings in the spreadsheet). These would suggest that the local campaigning, the recent bank/bailout controversy, and possibly the Gerry Adams announcement hit FF badly to the benefit of Doherty and McBrearty. Either that or the spreadsheet is overstating FF, and understating LP and SF, which would confuse some posters on p.ie who are arguing that it’s biased in the opposite direction…..
There’s word of a (national) RedC poll being published at the weekend, it will be interesting to see if a similar trend manifests in that. if it does, I’d expect FF in the low-to-mid teens, LP pushing 30% and SF in early double figures. If not, these figures are probably largely a result of the by-election/goldfish bowl effect.
Dave over on politics.ie has revealed in a scoop the details of a RedC poll for Paddy Power, showing Pearse Doherty of SF basically running away with it.
The poll, taken over the weekend, showed the following state of the candidates (percentage 2nd prefs in brackets);
Doherty (SF) 40% (19%)
O’Domhnaill (FF) 19% (10%)
O’Neill (FG) 16% (14%)
McBreaty (LP) 15% (20%)
Pringle (Ind) 8% (9%)
Sweeney(Ind) 2% (7%)
According to Dave, the m.o.e. is 4.4%, which puts FF/FG/LP all bunched together, and RedC are reporting that McBrearty ends up ahead of O’Neill, which will disappoint FG, given O’Neill and Pringle occupy the same neck of the woods. Assuming that McBreaty gets a good transfer from the FG candidate, this would to appear to make him likely to pull in FF and make it to the last count, but he’s so far behind, it’s hard to see him pull in Doherty, who is now red hot favourite to win the seat.
SF will be delighted with this. While they knew Doherty was doing well, the court case in particular giving him the perfect momentum, 40% suggests that his media performances have also gone down well. Certainly he’s polling well outside his republican comfort zone, and is no doubt also benefiting from a bandwagon effect. Of particular comfort to him will be that he has the second highest level of transfers, which suggests that he’ll not be stuck at that 40% as the counts progress. While a large chunk of that 19% may be in the 15% of LP voters, and McBreaty may end up being the only other candidate not eliminated, there’s presumably enough in the other piles (including Pringle’s) to see him over the line. At this stage, he only has to make sure that he doesn’t do anything wrong.
FF will be sick to see how far they’ve dropped. They didn’t really think they could win this election, but they were talking up their chances in media briefings in the hope they could rally the troops sufficiently to get a decent result. This falls well short of that territory, and while they’ll do better in a GE, this suggests that they’ll need their act together to even hold one seat, whenever that happens.
LP should be very pleased. Most commentary has suggested that the campaign has gone badly for them, so if they are ending up ahead of FG on transfers, and competitive with FF for second place, it’s an extraordinary poll for a man who has had more than his share of adversity in the past. They got 3% here in ’07, and about 8% in ’09 in the LEs, so this would suggest that the sort of swings being projected by the spreadsheet in rural Ireland are pretty close to the mark (sorry, Tommy!), and it’s notable that he has the highest percentage of second preferences. He’ll be hoping that he can get some momentum from this, and can gain enough to catch SF. It looks a long shot to me, but given the nature of his vote, I’d say FG would transfer to him in higher numbers than the other way around, and also I suspect that FF voters in Donegal would be less antagonistic to LP than FG, so McBrearty appears to be the only candidate with even an outside chance of catching Doherty. Mind you, one presumes that the margin he overtakes O’Neill by is within the margin of error, so he’s not certain of that by any means, and the impact of this poll will be interesting. I still can’t see him catching Doherty without something game-changing happening, though, and there’s still every chance he could fail to catch O’Neill and O’Domhnaill.
This result would be a disaster for FG, if they end up eliminated before LP (and not much better if they only scraped ahead). How Kenny would spin it, I’m not sure. Certainly by-elections can be funny things, but to be down, and fall so far behind SF, to still be behind FF, and finally to be probably caught by LP, in Donegal of all places, well that’s not good. Their choice of candidate, who hasn’t come across as especially strong could be part of the problem, and suspicions persist that McGinlay doesn’t want to leave the stage just yet. But if this is how it pans out, there’ll be rumblings….
Also in the figures supplied by Dave are the voting intentions in a GE. These are almost as stunning (in fact, more so, IMO). The pollster makes the important point that the By-election candidates may have a higher profile than sitting TDs at present, and this is particularly important in the context of the FF and FG vote being split so evenly. However, it comes in at
Doherty (SF) 31%
McBreaty (LP) 18%
McGinley (FG) 13%
O’Neill (FG) 12%
Coughlan (FF) 10%
O’Domhnaill (FF) 9%
Pringle (IND) 6%
Sweeney (IND) 1%
That’s almost certainly Doherty elected, with McBrearty, and McGinley both beating Coughlan to the last two seats. NO FF seat in one of their safest constituencies. That’s possibly FF lower than I expect, and I can see a recovery of sorts in a GE. But it’s a bad place to be starting from.
Also in the poll is a measure of choice of Taoiseach, which is also interesting. Nearly half (46%) prefer Eamon Gilmore, with Kenny (18%), and Cowen (13%) showing very strong support for the Labour leader in a very rural constituency. No doubt FG posters will say that this is all pointless, as he won’t have the candidates to be elected, but the figures from the main poll suggest otherwise. Certainly it would appear reasonable to believe that in a General Election, the campaigning by party leaders would assume greater prominence than in a by-election, and a bit of Gilmore’s star-dust would rub off on the various Frank McBreatys around the country.
All in all? A great poll for SF, a very good one for LP, a pretty bad one for FG, and a lousy one for FF.
I know a few people who’ll raise a glass to that…..
A RedC poll tomorrow in the Sun (yes, yes, I know….) shows a drop in support in for Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
According to the poll, just 11% of the population would support him for Taoiseach, down from 17% in the same poll 3 months ago, and 18% in an MRBI poll 4 months ago. This is the same level as he got in the aftermath of the “Drink-In” controversy.
Other figures in breakingnews.ie’s article include Eamon Gilmore up 6% to a gravity defying 39%, while Enda Kenny fell from 27% to 23%. Given the concerted campaign against Gilmore in the Indo last week, the strong performance (IMO) by Michael Noonan over the last few weeks, and given the poll was taken before Kenny’s weekend performance ‘explaining’ their new policy on PS numbers, this is very good news for Gilmore, and not great for either of his rivals. It would, if anything, suggest that there’s been a reaction against the Indo’s campaign over his wife selling the land that her mother left her on her death.
No party figures (none in the previous Sun/RedC effort either), but a few other bits and pieces, including the somewhat poignant statistic that 8%, have endured the break-up of their marriage or relationship as a result of the crisis.
Behind the billions of euros being talked about, we sometimes forget there are people whose lives are turned upside down by all this.
You probably know already if you’re a p.ie regular, but Dave has got his hands on the figures of a FG poll in Dublin SE, and the figures look pretty credible.
Chris Andrews Fianna Fail 18%
Lucinda Creighton Fine Gael 19%
John Gormley Green 8%
Kevin Humphreys Labour 10%
Eoghan Murphy Fine Gael 4%
Ruairi Quinn Labour 31%
Aside from the fact that he got hard figures from his (2 different) sources (respect!), they also very much tally with what the spreadsheet is suggesting here – the following figures are (a) the FG poll party totals, and (b) the average of the latest RedC and MRBI polls, projected by the spreadsheet to DSE;
FF 18% (16% – FG poll gives 2% higher)
FG 23% (20%- FG poll gives 3% higher)
LP 41% (43%- FG poll gives 2% lower)
GP 8% (9%- FG poll gives 1% lower)
That’s all the main players within the margin of error, and there’s no real conclusions to draw, other than LP are on course to win 2 seats, FG are certain of one (but only one), FF should hold one, and Gormley looks set to lose out, beating FG2 but losing the final seat to LP’s Kevin Humphries. Personally, I’d be lying if I pretended that I wasn’t gratified that it comes so close to the spreadsheet predictions, which along with FG and FF polls in Cork SC and Cork NW suggests that the formulae are working pretty well.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and polling day, but it would have to be a lot to upset this state of affairs.
Implications? Well, FF probably should be careful not to think about a running mate for Andrews – clearly if the FF vote is split, there could be significant leakage from FF2 to Gormley (who is a Govt Minister, after all) and see him pull off a Houdini act.
FG are safe enough with their two candidate strategy, given the weakness of Murphy in this poll, and so the only drawback of the two-candidate strategy would appear to be the disappointment on the day. They may consider running a high-profile outsider instead, but they are a full 18% behind LP here, and so their chances of catching them are so slight it would appear to be a waste of a good parachute (never a good idea).
LP, well they’ll feel that they’ve got it right. Over 2 quotas, but only barely, so 2 candidates are perfect. They should probably concentrate on splitting it better though (3/1 surprised me somewhat), as if they don’t and the LP vote declines over the course of the campaign, Gormley could slip in ahead of Humphries. On these figures, it would probably be wise to increase Humphries areas to make sure he doesn’t fall too far behind if there’s a swing against LP between now and polling day.
All assuming Mannix doesn’t run, of course….