Archive for April 2011
First poll of the New Era ™ and it’s RedC. Of course, they were a bit out on polling day, with MRBI maintaining their record as the polling company who come closest to GE results, as I outlined here, however they are well regarded (particularly among FG supporters). The poll shows really no movement from the final poll RedC held prior to the GE, with party standings as follows;
FG 39% (down 1%)
LP 18% (no change)
FF 16% (up 1%)
SF 11% (up 1%)
OTH (incl. GP, ULA etc) 16% (down 1%).
Unlike most other blogs (and media outlets) I’ve compared the figures with the most recent RedC poll (23 Feb for Paddy Power), rather than the GE, as otherwise you’re not comparing like with like.
It’s a ridiculously tiny movement, given the formation of a new Government, which suggests that, whatever is being claimed from the opposition benches, there’s hardly a person in the country who are surprised by how things have changed (or stayed the same) under the new Government. I suspect that a lot of people at this stage made their minds up about a lot of things in February, and it will take significant developments for them to shift.
I ran this through the updated spreadsheet with Feb ’11 figures (and lets not forget RedC over-estimated FG in the last GE, as I suggested they would) and came up with the following figures;
While the FG seat total doesn’t look too much higher, this isn’t unsurprising. Garret Fitzgerald commented on RTE during the count analysis that FG had been very fortunate in the spread of their vote and how well their vote splitting strategies had gone (well in places wher ethey needed to, and where it went badly they still limped over the line) and opined that they could increase their vote by 3% and get no extra seats. That’s a slight exageration, but not much, and on these figures, they’d only get 1 additional net seat on nearly 3% of a higher vote. Of course, that additional 2.9% could be their “RedC” bonus, making it a moot point.
LP would get 2 fewer seats net, on a share 1.4% lower than they got on polling day, and FF would lose 3 seats on a similar drop. As pointed out during the campaign, there is a tipping point for FF somewhere in the mid-to-higher teens that they need be north of, and they will be concerned to see that going into opposition has not helped them in this, particularly given the Moriarty findings. They need to start making big hits soon, given the age of their partiamentary party, or could find themselves slipping further still.
SF also approach a tipping point here, and would appear to gain 4 more seats on just an additional 1.1%. Some are very close, but that’s often the way. This will be a big Dail for them, and if they can concentrate on their younger guns (so to speak) they could very well find themselves in Government in time for the centenary of the 1916 Rising.
Finally, others…. Well, I was critical of the polling companies for not separating ULA out from OTH during the GE, but I understood their reasoning, as they were not represented in the Dail at the time. Now, they have 5 seats, and there is no justification, IMO. I know they are an alliance as opposed to a single party (albeit one with a stated intention of forming a unified party in the future), but reputable polling companies in Germany always include the CDU/CSU alliance, the British polling companies included the SDP/Liberals as an alliance in their polling when that was a formal alliance, and their a a wide variety of similar arrangements internationally that are shown in polls, so there is no argument for their continued omission. Hopefully feedback will be negative on this, resulting in a change in their practise.
Finally, the poll was nothing exciting, but in fairness, I don’t think there’s much to be expected in the polls until after the Summer recess. I’ve updated the spreadsheet as I said, and so will now be able to turn around projections as quickly (or slowly!) as I ever did, and if you don’t want to subscribe to the blog (where you get sent email alerts) you might like to follow me on twitter and I’ll alert you when I’ve posted a new projection.
Sorry for the delay in compiling the results of the prediction competitions and getting back to you. Other pressures in my life have conspired to make me very busy, and in the absence of a forthcoming GE, it’s hard for me to make the case for putting too much more time into the blog. I’ve finally updated the spreadsheet to take account of the recent GE results, and so my next post will be a quick projection of last week’s RedC.
The winners of the competitions were Redgreenanarchist (not his/her real name I suspect….) and Ruairi O’hEithir – I’ve e-mailed both of them asking them to nominate their charities. Ruairi’s was particularly close, being 38 individual seats out (remember that’s really 19, as 1 seat too many for one party in a constituency means 1 too many for another), and a mere 10 out in the seats totals. In this, he out-predicted every published pundit’s predictions that I could find (not counting one’s which came to light after the election….)
In terms of the pundits, my spreadsheet didn’t let me down, and my final prediction was 14 seats out. Not as good as Ruairi’s, but much closer to any pre-published pundit I could find. Interestingly, the closest to this was Adrian Kavanagh, who also uses a spreadsheet who was 24 seats out, compared to Newstalk and Sunday Tribune projections which were closer to 60 seats out. I think this should put to rest any debate about the efficiency of using this method to project election results. It’s not perfect, and I never claimed it was, but it’s far closer to reality than the “gut feeling approach” that most people use.
Anyways, I’ll post the projections of last Sunday’s RedC and skedaddle, visitors this evening….