Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

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

8 Responses

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  1. Dotski,
    i don’t know if it is the election getting officially underway, but i think you are deserting your normal rational nature and jumping around looking for significance in everything! 🙂

    There are virtually no posters on currently who are not giddy, including me and including you!!

    This poll, as you rightly say, “represents the reaction of the population to the very start of the campaign”, but the poll movement are all within the margin of error, so the only rational analysis of the poll is that the start of the campaign hasn’t affected attitudes much. that is the only definite conclusion we can make.

    we can make an assumption that the PP/RedC poll had FG at the top of their margin of error, because of their RedC rating before PP and their new RedC rating in this poll, but an assumption is all it is.

    Likewise, we can make an assumption that Labour were at least slightly on the bottom of their MoE in the PP/RedC poll, having recovered, admittedly by the full MoE, by 3%. again i emphasise assumption.

    when we look at next weekend’s RedC poll, we will know whether those assumptions are confirmed or not. there is little point in over-analysing these things now. i think anyone, including myself, who posts on, can place huge emphasis on things like Burton v Browne and think that must have a huge bearing on public opinion. it doesn’t.

    the election will shape opinions about Parties through lots of small mistakes or achievements or verbal gymnastics on tv debates, ie there has to be a momentum to the mistakes or to the victories that build to overall defeat or victory. individually they don’t matter much, collectively they can be huge.

    in this election though, i think all those small things will matter slightly than normal, as people will take the time to actually read manifestos and policy speeches themselves

    To finish, wait until next week before analysing the trends too much. FG may well be down next week, as i’m sure the debate issue will damage Kenny, though i still suspect he will appear on Tuesday, if Halligan hosts it.
    i’ll await that post with huge interest!


    February 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    • Sorry, I certainly wasn’t suggesting that you were among the giddy ones! There one or two who have started stalking me a bit, and I was directing it at them!

      I guess I’m in 2 minds over the previous RedC, which seemed unlikely to me, but was unsure if this was internal bias. I know movements can be within the m.o.e., but the closer they are to that, the less likely that is. A 3% movement is very unlikely when that’s the moe, and I don’t think LP have done anything to achieve that in the last week or so, so I’m minded to think that they never really went anywhere. Given the time overlap of the collection of the data, that’d reinforce that opinion, as RedC have been remarkable stable, generally with their figures, even over much longer periods.

      You may also be right about the Burton/Browne thing, I know LP posters who expressed fears to me about that, and I said what you did, but privately I wondered….. But yes, perhaps I/we sometimes spend too much in the goldfish bowl… same could of course apply to the “debate” issue, and the main issue driving movement over the next week may instead be the mortgage relief issue, which I think has both positive and negative aspects for FG, and it will be interesting to see where the net balance of that comes out (I speak as someone in rather deep negative equity myself….). On balance I suspect it will gain them more than they’ll lose, as those positively impacted about it will care more about it as an issue than those who are against it. But it’s a hard one to call.



      February 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm

      • i know it wasn’t personal. i was just saying that in the ferment of the campaign, we will all have red, green or blue tinted glasses on, leading us all to giddy assumptions, being quicker to get into fruitless back-and-forths, getting irate quicker and maybe even a little baiting of the other side if we’re feeling particularly nasty!

        my hunch is that the assumptions i referred to originally were correct, but perhaps both have over-corrected this time around, (ie FG are actually 36, Lab actually 21 as we stand tonight). no actual basis for that hunch of course.

        i think the only effect of the Browne/Burton affair is that it will confirm that Burton won’t be the most senior Labour minister after Gilmore, it won’t affect Labour share on 25.2.11.

        With regard to the debate, it will damage Kenny certainly next week, but FG won’t fall as much i think. In any case, it certainly won’t have any effect on 25.2.11 as there are certain to be bigger things happen between now and then, (particularly the debates he, Martin and Gilmore will do, AND the finance spokesperson debate, which if Noonan repeats his budget night performance against Lenihan, could be the game-changer of the election).
        if the debate row has a longer effect, i think it will be because of use of the suicide comment as an excuse, which was by far the worst thing about it in my opinion.

        Having said all that, if FG do badly, i am certain the experts analysis will blame this debate issue, but that will be a mistake.

        the mortgage proposal is an interesting one. i sympathise with you, i’m slightly under myself. i think Coveney did a good job (for once!) with it on Saturday View today. There is first mover advantage on this, if the others try to follow, and FF did after all announce that the removal of mortgage interest relief in 2013(?). i think Lynch saying she and Labour would go further was a mistake, (is that actually their position, Gilmore seemed lukewarm on it later on tv).

        i posted on earlier basically saying that all these threads on polls were a bad idea, we are generating plenty heat, but no clarity. it might be best for all of us just to look at trends only, on our own, form our own conclusions, and take plenty breaks from to get a bit of perspective (and actually watch the election, rather than each other!!)


        February 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm

        • i think my FG 36, Lab 21 assessment last week has been born out by the poll for tomorrow’s SBP.

          will you have a projection up this evening, Dotski?


          February 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

  2. On the RedC polls, my own view is that there is a degree of overlap between ULA & Sinn Féin results and that you will see an increase in the SF vote by election day.

    I am not sure that the LP will do as well seat wise, because of the degree of grandstanding by main candidates. For example, Róisín Shortall could have close to 1.75 quotas but leak votes leaving Johnny Lyons struggling. The same would apply in Limerick City, vote management needs to be much better.

    The problem with the FG proposal on mortgage interest is that it reflected a degree of desperation and a decline into auction politics, which will certainly turn off some of FG’s target vote. As they are consistently polling for issues and trends. I just wonder what drove them to publish the banking proposals.

    As a financially literate member of the electorate, I am absolutely shocked at the unwillingness of all parties (in public anyway) to admit to the level of disarray in our financial institutions. This is just a repeat of the 2007 disaster when they all used the Dept. of Finance’s completely flawed economic figures. They knew they were flawed, but kept quiet unwilling to challenge them.

    I had a look at the cost of it using the IBF’s mortgage statistics for 2005-2008 and making an estimate for 2004. I calculated a minimum first year cost of €120M. Their proposals to claw the money back from elsewhere are also bogus.

    The whole paper is a shambles – for example they talk about the banks increasing their lending, when in fact the banks must reduce their loans to the levels of their deposits under the orders of the ECB. This involves halving their loan books. Also the banks are losing deposits at a crazy rate. There will be little or nothing left of Irish banking by year end.

    AIB appears to be completely insolvent and looks like it will cost more than Anglo Irish in its zombie State. No further money should go in and it should be closed without delay.


    February 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

  3. Hey Up,

    As predicted in your asides, the “Constituency Polls” in today’s SBP are indeed by Quantum Research. Doesn’t stop Dr. Sir’s minions from trumpeting them as the most incisive insight into John Drennan’s navel fluff.

    I’ve quit looking at altogether – canvassing gives you much more of an insight into what people are thinking than watching people screaming pre-planned abuse at each other.


    February 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    • Don’t blame you re, I’ve stopped several times, as am not always sure it’s a good place for one’s mental health, but it pulls me back – I guess not being allowed canvass etc (being a civil servant) means this is one of my few real political outlets, aside form TU stuff).

      RU Lim East? Any surprises lurking there?


      February 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm

  4. John Drennan was on Pat Kenny this morning spouting on about their “poll” in Louth putting Fergus O’Dowd on 31% versus Grizzly on 17%. We know he has no shame, but what about the NUJ.

    While I am sure O’Dowd will be elected on the 1st count, does anyone think that Adams will not be in at the same time?


    February 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

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