Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

The PRC (People’s Republic of Cork)

with one comment

Well, having spent a lot of time on defending the spreadsheet against charges of anti-FG bias, and then comes along a poll that suggests a much worse result for them in Cork North-Central than it generated. To recap, the spreadsheet, based on the weekend’s RedC national poll (taken Tues-Thurs last week) projected the result as follows;

FF 10%
FG 40%
LP 22%
SF 11%
GP 2%
OTH 15%

However, a poll conducted by MRBI for the Irish Times, showed FG as much weaker. Some of the figures aren’t entirely clear, but the overall figures reported on are as follows;

FF 13% (3% higher)
FG 21% (19% lower!)
LP 28% (6% higher)
SF 16% (5% higher)
GP 1% (1% lower)
OTH 21% (6% higher)

The margin of error is 4.5% but even so there is a surprising variance, compared to previous Cork polls run against the spreadsheet projections which were very close here and here. The biggest reason for this would appear to be the retirement of Bernard Allen, as FG are way way down, to the benefit of everyone else (except the GP who are in the margin of error anyway). He was reputed to have a massive personal vote, but given the retirement of FF’s Noel O’Flynn, and FG’s running of former Lord Mayor Dara Murphy (who is supposedly very popular) I decided against making an adjustment in the base figures in the spreadsheet for CNC. However, there are a number of other factors that would result in deviance between the two sets of figures, and these are as follows;

1. The projections are from a RedC poll, and this is an MRBI poll. RedC have given higher FG figures since the LP vote has taken off, and so could be expected to be somewhat higher – the last 5 MRBI polls gave FG a rating of about 4% lower than the preceding RedC poll, and so we could expect a similar deviation here.

2. The RedC poll is based on party preference, whereas this MRBI (unlike national polls for either company) was based on a ballot paper. Also, 30% of those surveyed returned blank papers. While it is hard to draw conclusions from this, it is likely that this would result in a lower preference being expressed for parties whose candidates are new, and still at the “getting-to-know-you” stage of the election process.

3. The polling period was Thursday/Friday as opposed to Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, and this would tally with suggestions that the vote is very volatile.

4. It’s possible that one (or both) of the polls is an outlier.

Personally, I think probably the case that FG are somewhere in between the two figures. Certainly the MRBI figure looks too low, they were at 25.6% last time out, and the suggestion that they’re at barely over four-fifths of their ’07 seems very unlikely, even with the departure of Allen. However, it does seem reasonable to assume that this poll shows they have been hit hard by his leaving the stage, and I’ll be adjusting the base figures to reflect this in the spreadsheet.

What to take from it all?

Well, I think even with the above caveats, it makes the 2nd FG seat significantly less likely, as LP2 would appear likely to finish ahead of FG2. On this poll, that’s Gilroy on 10% who trails Lynch by 8%. LP should be looking to move him in to canvass in areas that she is strong in looking for number ones, on the grounds that she is safe, and sending her in to concentrate in areas where she is competing with O’Brien and/or Mick Barry. A more even split, combined with another couple of percentage points won at the expense of either SF or SP would appear enough to deliver a second seat on these figures. SF appear safe, but the margin of error means that they are far from over the line, and a squeeze in their vote could put this seat in jeopardy again. Barry will be hoping that this poll, showing him shading it from FF, will swing enough votes to give them. But there does, either way 3 left seats out of 4 appears likely.

FF will be disappointed to be well short of a quota and unlikely to take the seat, but it’s within the margin of error of the spreadsheet projection (and actually ahead of that figure). There’s FF supporters saying this is impossible with Martin being leader, but I suspect that the advantage of a Cork leader diminishes when its obvious that he’s not going to be in a position to deliver goodies. However, I’d not write Kelleher off on the basis of this poll, there may be a greater proportion of FF voters among the 30% of refuseniks. But I’d not put money on him unless it was 3/1 or better value….

All in all though, an interesting poll. An done which may temper over-optimism (or pessimism) among all us anoraks….

Written by Dotski

February 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. certainly true that Allen’s personal vote accounted for a large proportion of the FG vote in CNC. i cannot see why as he struck me as of distinctly average talent.

    however, considering the new Indo/Millward Brown poll tonight, anything is possible for FG.

    CNC 2FG is certainly looking a longshot at this stage though, regardless of national polls.

    i’d say 2 LAB, 1 FG, 1 SP at this stage. SF will be somewhat disappointed but FF will be having a breakdown. (how can the leader only produce one seat out of 9 in his home city?!)


    February 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm

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