Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

Budget Blues II

with 28 comments

Well, just when you think the polls might settle down a bit….

As noted at the time, the previous MRBI poll in September followed the FG pairings fiasco, and saw them slump, and a LP surge. This month’s offering follows strong performances by Michael Noonan and the apparent abduction of Enda, and this appears to have pushed them 5% ahead of their future partners/deadly enemies (delete as applicable). However, it does not appear that this is simple movement from LP to FG. What is notable is that the LP losses appear to mirror gains to SF and OTH, with FG gains at the expense of FF. Obviously, in reality there’s more movements involved than that, but the biggest changes appear to be within the left and right, and not between them.

The biggest gain in relative terms is SF, in the aftermath of the Adams announcement and Donegal by-election, and there is also an apparent increase in the OTH column, which may or may not be reflecting an impact from the launch of the ULA.

FG will be of course chuffed with this performance, which puts them ahead of LP in first preferences, and for Gilmore, he now faces a dilemma. While there has been a very clear left-wing vote of 40%+ or so in MRBI and Lansdowne for some time now, this has slowly been approached by RedC, and now all polling companies appear to agree with this finding, which is consistent with polling data on choice of Taoiseach. However, the composition of that 40% plus varies considerably depending on what’s news, and, ironically, movement to the left within this block makes an Enda Kenny led Govt even more likely, as it reduces LP’s seat total, relative to FG. While some of this is likely to drift to Gilmore in a GE campaign by virtue of his status as potential Taoiseach (and all polls for some time have shown LP as first or second place), he still needs to persuade a large chunk of the left to vote for him if he is to lead the next Government..

Now, the spreadsheet. As you know, I ran it when the poll was released and got the following totals;

FF 25
FG 58
LP 48
SF 23
GP 0
OTH 12

Where did they fall this time?

FF 27% (2 )
FG 36% (2 )
LP 20% (1 )
SF 12%
GP 5%

FF hold 2 of their 3 seats here, with LP’s Anne Phelan winning handily enough. I have SF narrowly beating off her running mate and taking FF2 to the last count, but see FF holding them off. FG take Mary White’s seat without breaking a sweat, but not at the races for three.

FF 18% (1)
FG 33% (2)
LP 7%
SF 34% ( 2)
GP 2%
IND 7%

FF lose 2 seats here, with ex-CC Rory O’Hanlon not running and Mags Conlon not making it. SF2 takes a seat, holding off challenges from LP’s Liam Hogan and IND Paudge Connolly on these figures.

FF 24% (1 )
FG 40% (2 )
LP 9%
SF 10.6%
IND 13.8%(1)

FF lose a seat, on these figures IND taking it in a tight tussle with SF and new LP candidate, former Indo euro-hopeful Michael McNamara, who will be hoping to broaden their appeal.

Cork E
FF 17% (1 )
FG 31% (1)
LP 37% (2)
SF 13%

FF would lose a seat to LP, but a strong challenge from SF could see them competitive. FG2 not completely out of it, and FF1 not safe.

Cork NC
FF 7%
FG 29.8% (2)
LP 26.4% (1)
SF 16.3% (1)
OTHs 20%

Very tight here, and the uncertainty about how Mick Barry is doing in INDs makes it next to impossible to call the last seat with much confidence. FF drop 2 seats, I have one going to SF reasonably handy, and the other is between Barry, LP2 and FG2. I have LP2 (Gilroy) falling behind Barry, and enough of his votes going to FG to keep both their candidates ahead of Barry. If Gilroy is ahead of either Barry or FG2 however, it would be him winning on transfers. If Lynch is LP2, Barry would win on her transfers. FF facing wipeout here – if I was them I’d pay their canvassers danger money here….

Cork NW
FF 31% (1)
FG 45% (2)
LP 17%
SF 5%
GP 2%

FG take two seats, holding off a strong challenge from LP, who would pull it off if they got stronger SF transfers than I assume.

Cork SC
FF 14% (1 )
FG 35% (2 )
LP 26% (1 )
SF 13% (1 )
GP 4%

FF lose a seat, but to SF rather than LP’s Paula Desmond, who on these figures would need LP vote to be evenly split to hold off O’Leary. FG3 not really at the races.

Cork SW
FF 22% (1)
FG 39% (1 )
LP 23% (1 )
SF 12%
GP 4%

LP look set to take a seat from one of the retiring FG TDs here, comfortably enough on these figures.

Donegal NE
FF 27% (1 )
FG 25% ( 1)
LP 12%
SF 28% ( 1)

SF look pretty safe to take a FF seat (if one can call Jim McDaid that)

Donegal SW
FF 20% (1 )
FG 23% (1 )
LP 12%
SF 34% (1 )
IND 10%

As you were. McBreaty (and SF2, if such a creature exists by then) would both challenge Mary Coughlan strongly on Pringle transfers, but on these figures she’d hold on (although perhaps not reaching the quota)

Dublin C
FF 10%
FG 12.6%
LP 33% (2)
SF 17% ( 1)
OTH 26% (1)

FF lose both seats (including Him), one handily enough to SF, the other a dogfight between FG, LP2 and possibly Cieran Perry (his vote is of course hardest to estimate). On these figures, I’d see LP2 winning as long as ahead of either one of the other two, but she will probably need at least a third of the LP vote to pull through. If O’Sullivan doesn’t run, I’d call it as Perry taking her seat (despite being the other end of the constituency) as there’s a decent amount of her vote that would be looking for an Indy leftwinger.

Dublin Mid-West
FF 11%
FG 21% (1)
LP 34% (2)
SF 18% (1)
GP 5%

FF, ex-PD and GP all lose out to LP2, GP and SF.

Dublin N
FF 14% (1)
FG 19% (1)
LP 28% (1)
SF 9%
GP 8%
OTH 22% (1)

Tight enough on these figures. Reilly and LP1 (probably Ryan) look safe as houses, but after that its hard to call. The current increase in OTH voters (which has occurred post the launch of ULA) and a bigger store of SF transfers mean that SP’s Clare Daly looks good to take the 3rd seat, with the last one between FF1 and LP2 (Tom Kelleher), with Sargant too far behind. On this projection, I see FF getting enough GP transfers to stay ahead of Kelleher.

Dublin NC
FF 14%
FG 29% (1)
LP 25% (1)
SF 12%
OTH 19% (1)

Hard to see anything other than LP ending another FF dynasty here.

Dublin NE
FF 10%
FG 24% (1)
LP 37% (1)
SF 22% (1)

SF take Michael Woods seat on these figures – one of a number of LP2s that fall to any Adams Avalanche

Dublin NW
FF 15%
FG 11%
LP 41% (2)
SF 25% (1)

LP vote would have to be disastrously split (say 3/1 or worse) for 2nd seat to be under threat on these figures, while the other gain from FF, for SF, looks safe enough. FG will be hoping that moving the current Lord Mayor onto the ticket with Mad Bill Tormey will help them, but it’s hard to see them pull it off.

Dublin S

FF 14% (1)
FG 34% (2)
LP 34% (2)
SF 9%
GP 5%

FF and GP both lose a seat to LP, who have selected Alex White, and are currently weighing up Aidan Culhane and Hettie McDonald (figuratively, I’d stress). If FF underperform (and going from 2 popular TDs to none, this could happen) a third left seat would appear possible given over 2 LP quotas and 14% between SF and GP. If LP start rising again in the polls, don’t be surprised if they choose to add both Culhane & McDonald to maximise the vote and let the voters decide.

Dublin SC
FF 7%
FG 16% (1)
LP 40% (3)
SF 17% (1)
OTH 19%

FF lose both seats here, with both gains going to a LP who narrowly missed out on 2 seats in ’07. However, they face a very strong challenge from ULA’s Joan Collins, and may yet rue leaving Rebecca Moynihan off the ticket.

Dublin SE
FF 14% (1)
FG 22% (1)
LP 37% (2)
SF 9%
GP 7%

Kevin Humprhies takes John Gormley’s seat, Chris Andrews holds on, more in the absence of a clear challenger.

Dublin SW
FF 10%
FG 21% (1)
LP 35% (2)
SF 23% (1)

FF lose both seats, to LP’s Eamon Delaney and SF’s Sean Crowe respectively.

Dublin W
FF 14.6%
FG 15.9% (1)
LP 40% (2)
SF 10%
OTH 19.7 % (1)

A seat here for LP2 (Burton’s running mate to be selected by head office, so presumably not Nulty who would have had the votes at a convention, I’m told), and another for veteran Trotskyist Joe Higgins, sees a fight for the final seat between Brian Lenihen and Leo Varadkar. Would you believe, I have Leo V winning on SF (hence anti-govt) transfers? Lenihen fails to stem the tide if FF are at 11% in Dublin as this poll suggests, and would join his brother among the ranks of unemployed.

Dun Laoghaire
FF 16% (1)
FG 26% (1)
LP 36% (2)
SF 7%
GP 3%
OTH 13%

A dropped seat here (5 to 4), and FF and GP both lose a seat, with Ivana Bacik finally making it to the Dail. The higher profile Hanafin is getting as a potential leader will probably push her ahead of Barry Andrews, and I see her just about pipping Richard Boyd Barrett for the final seat, although by close enough.

Galway E
FF 16% (1)
FG 46% (2)
LP 15% (1)
SF 9%
IND 13%

FF lose a seat to LP, and nearly another to Indo Sean Canney. FG would have been well placed to pick up a third seat, but for the retirement of their local complement, but they would appear unlikely to be in the running for this, unless FF slide further. Interestingly, LP have selected barrister Lorraine Higgins to run alongside Colm Keaveny, which should make it all interesting…..

Galway W
FF 11% (1)
FG 24% (1)
LP 25% (1)
SF 9%
GP 2%
OTH 30%(2)

Most constituency polls I’ve come across have been very close to the constituency projections, but there have been claims of a FF poll here that has them on 30%. Sounds well fishy to me, given they were under their national vote here in ’07 and that would have them on double it now, but just thought I’d mention it. On these figures, they are lucky to hold on to one seat (in part because LP only run one candidate), with Grealish being joined by ex-LP Cllr Catherine Connolly on the Independent benches.

Kerry N
FF 15%
FG 32% (1)
LP 16% (1)
SF 33% (1)

Arthur Spring becomes the third member of that dynasty to make DE, at the expense of FF. Both FG and SF may consider a running mate, which could put him under pressure, however.

Kerry S
FF 20%
FG 27% (1)
LP 22% (1)
SF 10%
OTH 20% (1)

LP to take a seat from “The Bull”, assuming they ever get around to selecting a candidate…. The younger Healy Rae to hang on, although the rumoured move of SF’s Toireasa Ferris would put the cat among the pigeons….

Kildare N
FF 10%
FG 25% (1)
LP 37% (2)
SF 8%
OTH 20% (1)

FF collapse, with Catherine Murphy and LP’s John McGinlay looking set to take a seat each, in part from SF transfers.

Kildare S
FF 30% (1)
FG 23% (1)
LP 36% (1)
SF 5%
GP 4%

Sean Power’s attempts to distance himself from FF seem unlikely to save him, as FG are well placed to take a seat here for the first time since Alan Dukes in 1997 (yes, really…!) LP1 and FF1 are both safe, but LP2 really needs LP to be at over 30% nationally to be competitive here.

FF 38% (2)
FG 34% (2)
LP 10.3%
SF 14.4% (1)

Even with a ‘leaders bonus’ for FF (which could be gone by election day) FF should hold 2 seats here, however the 3rd should be beyond them, with Maloney the likeliest casualty. FG survive the loss of Olwyn Enright who (really has) left politics to spend more time with her family (which I understand had a happy addition to it this week – good luck to all of them). I have SF taking the final seat, although I’ve made no adjustment (good bad or indifferent) for the controversial selection of high profile candidate John Whelan by LP. I’d say this could be an interesting one.

Limerick City

FF 16% (1)
FG 30% (1)
LP 35% (2)
SF 11%

Willie O’Dea holds on, but Power loses out to LP’s Joe Leddin who would be elected on Quinlivan’s transfers. Kieran O’Donnell is likely to rue the resurrection of his running mate Noonan, and the constituency revision which loses him a big chunk of votes. SF will hope that Quinlivan’s relatively high profile will see him outperform even the Adams avalanche predicted in this poll.

Limerick County
FF 25% (1)
FG 46% (1)
LP 22% (1)
SF 5%

LP’s Heffernan takes a seat off FF on SF transfers, with FG just falling short. A funny constituency over the years, it’s likely to give us another surprise this time on these figures.

FF 20% (1)
FG 32% (1)
LP 36% (2)
SF 10%

LP gain a seat from FF, possibly a vacant one left by Mammy O’Rourke, although Kelly will be nervous either way. FG will be hopeful of reeling Sexton in, but it’s hard to see them getting enough SF transfers to do this, unless the LP vote split is very bad (3.5 to 1 or so), which seems unlikely given the gender and county balance, regardless of her political history. They could go after her as not being very intellectual, but given the local FG candidate is James “Bonkers” Bannon, this may have less traction than they’d like….

FF 10% (1 incl CC)
FG 33% (2)
LP 16% (1)
SF 30% (1)
GP 3%

Rookie candidate Gerry Adams tops the poll at his first attempt, and Dermot Ahern shows his political nous by jumping first. LP takes a seat through Nash. Oh, and a handy enough 2nd seat for the FG candidate based near Dundalk, regardless of whether s/he is a celeb or not.

FF 20% (1)
FG 54% (3)
LP 10%
SF 13% (1)

Adams Avalanche trumping Gilmore Gale. Cowley has his work cut out for him, and more so if Kilcoyle runs as has been rumoured. Calleary will be pleased to see the back of Cooper Flynn on these figures. Oh, and 4th FG seat not on the cards, as there appears to be a fairly likely left / SF seat here.

Meath E
FF 13%
FG 30% (2)
LP 30% (1)
SF 11%

LP take one FF seat, FG the other, more by default than anything else. Don’t be surprised if a high profile Indo emerges here, as the figures suggest there’s a final seat up in the air.

Meath W
FF 18.5%
FG 34% (1)
LP 16.6% (1)
SF 22.% (1)

That Noel Dempsey is a very clever man, isn’t he? FF to lose both seats, one each to LP and SF, LP getting in on FG2 transfers, thereby returning the favour from Meath E.

Roscommon S Leitrim
FF 18.7%
FG 42.5% (2)
LP 13.2%
SF 18.7% (1)
IND 6%

While I see Flanagan transferring well to LP’s Kelly (for geography as much as any other reason) I don’t see him catching SF on these figures, and so his transfers end up electing FG2 and SF ahead of FF. Of course Flanagan’s vote could be higher (although the regional breakdown suggests that Indos are underperforming the national figures in Connaught-Ulster). If he got ahead of either LP or SF, I’d make him favourite to take a seat.

Sligo N Leitrim

FF 20.5% (1)
FG 42.8% (1)
LP 12%
SF 23% (1)

Here, FF muster enough support to take a single seat (I’m presuming they don’t split their vote evenly), with SF taking the other. However, if Bree runs for ULA it could be different.

Tipperary N
FF 15%
FG 20% (1)
LP 17% (1)
SF 10%
OTH 37 % (1)

Lowry romping home again, FG in on his transfers and LP largely in on SF number 2s. Hard to see any joy here for FF

Tipperary S
FF 20%
FG 24% (1)
LP 17% (1)
SF 10%
OTH 29% (1)

Even after Mattie declares his intentions it’ll be hard to predict the outcome here. At the moment I’m moving 5% from the FF column to OTH to adjust for him running as an Indo, and see him getting in on that basis, and also spoiling Seamus Healey’s pitch somewhat. Manseragh’s seat would fall to Prendergast. But almost anything could happen (other than FG lose what looks like a solid enough seat)

FF 14%
FG 31.5% (2)
LP 27% (1)
SF 15% (1)

FF lose both seats (including the one awaiting a by-election) – one to Coffey (FG) and the other to SF, should they get their act together, although Halligan could challenge them, particularly as LP will only run one candidate.

FF 22% (1)
FG 36% (2)
LP 24% (1)
SF 13% (1)

I’m told that SF have local difficulties, with their previous candidate set to run under the ULA banner, but even entering an adjustment for this I see them best placed to take the last seat on these figures. If they don’t, LP’s Pat Cody appears best placed to take advantage (unless Wexford has gone communist).


FF 10.7%
FG 29.7% (2)
LP 25.8% (1)
SF 13.7% (1)
OTHs 17% (1)

Very close for last few seats, with only FG1, LP1 and Behan safe if they got the FPV of these projections. While it would all be very close, I’d see the last 2 seats going to SF and FG2 in that order, with LP2 just missing out. Too competitive for FF who would be well short of a quota, being assailed from every direction, and so Dick Roche would lose out.

That’s it! Roll on the next RedC!

Written by Dotski

December 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

28 Responses

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  1. […] […]

  2. well done sir. Will the RedC have a poll out on Sunday?

    If the FF figures are as bad as being suggested in the polls and this is believed by the Fianna Failers then I guess we will see a serious run of regular FF TDs retiring, not just ministers concerned about pensions,


    December 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    • Cheers!

      Yes I heard RedC mentioned, although they don’t usually at this time of year, but I suppose given the circumstances they might. And yes, if I was a FF Minister awaiting a pension, I’d imagine it would look very inviting right now….


      December 18, 2010 at 12:33 am

  3. Fingers crossed


    December 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm

  4. Hey Dotski,

    I appreciate all the work you put into these projections. Always make for very interesting reading. Just a quick point on Kerry South, Cllr. Marie Moloney has been selected as the LP candidate: (second last paragraph)


    December 17, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    • Cheers Podge, had heard her mentioned on but didn’t realise she’d been selected.


      December 18, 2010 at 12:34 am

  5. Would love SF to get seat in Mayo but can’t see votes coverting to seats. Any view on this please?

    P Carroll

    December 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    • It’ll be tight, but they’re definitely in the running whatever anyone says. They are polling very well consistently at the moment nationally, but as you say they have to deliver. Experience suggests though that if the tide is in for you nationally, even half-decent candidates will pick it up, so it does come down to them (a) selecting decent ones, and (b) not alienating too much LP and Kilcoyle voters, whose transfers they are likely to need.


      December 18, 2010 at 12:52 am

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason Spratt, Jason Spratt. Jason Spratt said: Very interesting (fantastical?) projection based on recent poll – FF – 25 FG – 58 LP – 48 SF – 23 GP – 0 OTH – 12 […]

  7. I think Michael Kilcoyne (Independent) formerly of Labour has a great chance of a seat in Mayo. He got a big vote in the locals last year (2,300) and with Beverly out of the picture in Castlebar he has much better chance than SF of a seat.

    James Ryan

    December 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    • Agree that he could be the dark horse, particularly with BCF out of the way (I haven’t adjusted the spreadsheet for her absence yet, and had her as FF1 so it would be significant). Indos are always the column that’s least accurate with the spreadsheet though as national trends affect them least.

      Will be updating the local data over the Xmas holidays and this may bump him up a bit – there does seem to be a seat between him, LP and SF, barring another earthquake….


      December 18, 2010 at 12:37 am

  8. I note your comment re an Independent in Meath East, think that is very unlikely. Meath in fact has never elected an Independent to the Dail, they are party people down there!!!

    James Ryan

    December 17, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    • There’s always a first! 😉

      Yeah, you’re probably right, but the 9-10% who voted Indo last time (largely Brian FitzGerald) are throwing up a healthy Indo vote that could grow with current trends, and the fact that there’s no very obvious destination for the last seat suggests that a decent Indo could pull it off if polling 12-14% of the vote.

      But yeah, at the moment it appears that it would fall to FG2, despite there being quite a large LP/SF vote.


      December 18, 2010 at 12:41 am

  9. i’ve commented several times to you dotski regarding cork east. but i live in cork north central now, and i have to agree with you on the danger money!
    i would actually say that FG2 is less certain. in my part of the constituency (the kelly/murphy end), they are pathetically poor at leaflet drops.
    i get leaflets regularly from SP, much less from Billy Kelleher, (FF), and Labour, occasional from Worker’s Party and never from FG, (or SF, surprisingly).

    FG need to get their asses in gear in the city, though the increased country area in the constituency this time around may aid their case for 2nd seat.
    SF need to spread outside the farranree, gurranabraher, blackpool areas too.

    and FF? they need to get out the kevlar!


    December 18, 2010 at 12:39 am

    • ta, I actually think CNC could be one of the most fascinating constituencies, there’s such a large number of variables and dynamics. I also knew Barry when he was in Labour in the 80s and so I suppose I have a personal interest also.

      Whatever happens, I can see recriminations in at least two parties, as all of them have the capacity to fall short of what they should be aiming for in terms of seats.


      December 18, 2010 at 12:46 am

      • is varadkar only scraping in really that likely?
        i would have thought that his profile would mean he should get in comfortably?
        i mean, the projection had him getting only half (15%) of the FG national share of the vote (30%). surely he would have a good personal vote, which would more than counter balance the fact that he is in a left-leaning constituency?


        December 18, 2010 at 12:53 am

        • its a very competitive constituency though – and look at Lenihen’s profile which of all the candidates is the highest. FG were 20% here last time, and with the surge to LP/SF/OTH being recorded in the polls he’d be under pressure anyway, but I’ve also an adjustment in the base here to account for an increased personal vote for Lenihen, based on his health issues and also his raised profile.

          It’s not enough to save him, and Leo still is elected, but it does eat into the FG FPV locally (this does though slightly boost the FG vote across the board elsewhere, as the spreadsheet has an adjustment to ensure that the national totals still match the poll findings)

          If he does better (and he might, as despite not sharing his politics I’d recognise him as very smart) it would largely be at the expense of Lenihen, so no change in the seats in Dub West.


          December 18, 2010 at 1:02 am

  10. how long will it take to apply new Red C figures in a new post?
    these analyses are getting addictive


    December 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    • Cheers! headline figures up. the ‘narrative’ post takes a bit more time and I’m now making a template where it pushes out all the info after I’ve run the spreadsheet and I just have to add text


      December 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

  11. Any thoughts on why the MRBI figures have now aligned with RedC, whereas they didn’t in September?

    Do you know if they have changed their methodology again after September?

    Neville Bagnall

    December 19, 2010 at 1:19 am

    • One of the things I’m going to having a look at (not got the paper yet) it could be a degree of ‘firming up’ by some voters as RedC ignore those they consider unlikely to vote (there was some reporting that this poll shows more people moving into the “decided category” which would probably impact on that, I presume less certain voters were weighted as less likely to vote). It could of course just be that one is a blip and their average differential will remain unchanged in the medium term.


      December 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm

  12. […] […]

  13. I think Sinn Fein have a good chance of taking the last Mayo seat.

    Opposing Lisbon 1, very high unemployment in the county and disatisfaction with mainstream politics, strong opposition to the government such as with the Donegal By Election, and also the Corrib Gas Issue will play in their favour.


    December 19, 2010 at 7:23 pm

  14. Great reading and alot of work went into it,well done and keep it up.

    December 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm

  15. You give FG and Lab 61% combined in Cork SC but only three seats with just under 4 quotas, and also with Dan Boyle’s 4% which will hardly go to SF. Looks like 1FF, 2FG, 2Lab to me

    Brenndan Ryan

    January 25, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    • Would be very close on those figure and certainly the votes could fall the way you suggest, but the SF candidate here is a former GP councillor, and so I would expect him to pick up some of that vote. I’m also hearing of him being quite popular from middle-class Corkonians I know – he’s not got the ex-gunman aura about him that would turn off many voters. Problem for LP will also be how well they split the vote – 50/50 and they’d get it even on these figures, but if it’s 2/1 Desmond could fall behind FG3, and enough LP transfers would go to the single SF candidate to keep him ahead of FG3.

      But I suspect these figures could be superseded by the change in FF leadership …. I await the next couple of polls with interest ….


      January 26, 2011 at 8:11 pm

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