Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

Archive for September 2011

Starters orders….

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The RedC presidential poll is interesting on a number of counts.  Most obviously, this is the first time we’ve seen the likely full line-up, without ‘spoilers’, assuming Dana gets the nod from 4 Councils (and the speculation is that she will).  This gives us a clearer picture of where the up for grabs vote is likely, at this stage, to gravitate. Michael D, who is now officially the front runner, knows where he is, and those looking to knock him out of that pole position know he’s the person to beat.

To recap, the first preferences are as follows;

Norris 21%

MDH 18%

McGuinness 16%

Davis 13%

Mitchell 13%

Gallagher 11%

Dana 6%

On these figures,  it will clearly go to transfers, as no-one is remotely near the territory where they can reach 50% on FPVs, and even the front runners will need substantial transfers from more than one competitor.  The dynamic that will introduce to the campaign will be interesting.  While there is evidence that some in FG are out to highlight  the links between Mary Davis and FF, and Shane Ross scored a hit today highlighting her performance on various Quangos following her appointment by Bertie & Co, I suspect that most candidates will spend the rest of the campaign tripping over one another to be positive about themselves, rather than negative about their opponents.

And the transfers …. Well, according to the poll, the 2nd preferences of the candidates are as follows;

Higgins 20%
Davis 16%
Gallagher 14%
Mitchell 14%
McGuinness 8%
Dana 7%
Norris 6%

This is no great shakes for McGuinness (although unsurprisingly so, I would have thought), but shockingly poor for Norris.  It means that, while Michael D is among the top 2 choices of 38% of voters, Norris gets only 27% of voters marking him that high (with 30% for MMG).  Assuming a similar drop off in lower preferences, and neither Norris nor the SF man will be able to make it to the Aras, and both may fail to make it to the last count.

Given this, the question is who can catch Michael D?  When the poll was leaked, I tweeted that Davis would now be second favourite, and while she will get greater scrutiny now for her closeness to FF (and perhaps her pro-life views) I would still see her as the likeliest person to challenge.  However, Twitterer DJCP Moore projected this poll as ending in 59% Michael D to 41% Davis, and that looks about right to me.  Her best hope is that FG don’t swing behind Mitchell, but I think they will feel a need to shore up his vote and avoid an embarrassing early exit for their party.  Kenny may not have chosen Mitchell, and could gain some satisfaction from the party being shown such a dramatic outcome from ignoring his advice, but at the end of the day, you enter politics to win elections.  They’ll be hoping to get up to about 20% which, while a poor result, would be a lot better than the early polls are indicating, something no doubt Kenny would claim as his impact.

The reasons for the poor FG performance are open to debate.  Certainly Mitchell is a poor candidate, as they should have known in advance of nominating him, but on it’s own that’s not enough.  When he got only 2% in a poll including 4 FG candidates, the combined FG polling, which included 4 very different candidates encompassing all the main elements of their party, was only 29%, despite the same poll having the party on 42% for party support.  That would have disappointed FG at nearly any point of their history, so to be polling at that level now should be deeply troubling, and not just for this election.

In fact Mitchell appears to be, if anything, going backwards, as he had expected to get a decent share of the ex-FF vote, and so to be at this level when they’re not even in the race means he’s tumbling badly.  One reason might be precisely the absence of FF.  People vote for parties for all sorts of reasons, but most analysts agree that FG has always got substantial votes based on being the most anti-FF party.  Take FF out of the equation, and suddenly they need to rely on other reasons to support them.  That’s not to say those reasons don’t exist, but on their own they mightn’t  reach the heights that visceral hatred of FF has always brought out to vote for them.  FF of course may come back, but if they are reaching the end of the road as Dev Og appears to think, it may be bad news for FG also.

Otherwise, Gallagher is sinking fast (below the threshold required to get his deposit back), and Dana looks like she won’t register outside a few heartlands.  Their transfers will be courted however, with McGuinness hoping that geography will see them push him into a last count showdown with Michael D.

And Michael D …. It’s probably the first time in his life he could consider himself a favourite.  Certainly as President & Director of Galway Utd he has had his taste of defeat in his life (not to mention from a lifetime of social campaigning).  But with even ideological foes like Shane Ross coming out in support for him, its looking good for him.  That’s not to say that he can’t lose it, but at this stage it’d be him losing, rather than someone else winning.  In particular, he needs a decent Mitchell transfer to stay comfortably ahead of either Norris of MMG, and that suggests that Dublin will be an important region to perform well.   If he manages that, he should get sufficient transfers to be too far ahead of Davis to lose.  His biggest threat may be that Mitchell would make significant inroads to his support in Dublin, and if that happened, he could conceivably outpoll him.  Mitchell would still lose, as he’d not do as well on McGuiness and Norris transfers, but that would be of no substantive benefit to anyone but Davis.  Even considering this scenario, it appears odds-on that Michael D will win.

Yeah yeah, famous last words ….


Written by Dotski

September 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Phoning home…

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I won’t bore you with the details, but technical problems mean that this is my first blogpost from my phone. And hopefully my last from it…..

You will all be aware of the RedC poll in today’s SBP. This is the first to show a notable drop for both govt parties. I’ve run the figures through the laptop, and came up with the following seat projections.

FG  33%-68
LP  16%-34
SF  15%-23
FF  15%-16
ULA  3%*-5
GP  2%*-1
OTH  16%-19

*It’s unfortunate that the polls continue to lump ULA with Shame Ross et al. I raised this with RedC and was informed that it was what SBP requested.

I’ll not spend too long typing on this yoke just to tell you what you already know, but it is again striking how, in this territory, a few % points make a world of difference to FF.

Hopefully have access to desktop later to comment on the pres poll.


Written by Dotski

September 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Govt in “popular polling figures” shock

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I have to admit, but at this stage, even I’m surprised….

Until very recently, the new Govt were polling exceedingly well, to an extent that probably had  Minsters pinching themselves.  Then along came a poll from “Behaviours & Attitudes” that suggested that, while FG were climbing, LP were suddenly plummeting to 12%.  I didn’t run them through my spreadsheet as they have no track record compared to other polling companies (no party polls on record) and running a simulation based on that poll would give it some credibility (like Quantum Research), but still ppl questioned this, and quoted the poll as if it was more reliable than that of previous polls from tried and tested companies.

Well, there’s been a poll from a real company since then, and it actually shows LP up and FG down, so it would appear that B&A was, to be charitable, a bit out of line…

The Sindo tomorrow have commissioned a real (i.e. non-Quantum Research) poll.  In it, the state of the parties is as follows with changes since the last Millward Brown/Lansdown poll in brackets;

FG 40% (- 2%)

Lab 20% (+1%)

SF 11% (NC)

FF 10% (-6%)

Greens 2%

Inds (incl ULA)  17%

The biggest story here is the collapse of FF (and the polling period, of Aug 30-Sep 14 missed the Presidential policy meltdown), and when I run the simulation, this is particularly stark.  It comes out at;

FG 80 seats

LP 41 seats

SF 16 seats

FF 6 seats (yes, yes, I know…)

ULA 4 seats

GP 0 seats

OTH 19 seats

Just a poll, I know, but very troubling for Martin, particularly with rumours of Dev Og wielding a dagger…. I’ve not got time to analyse further (missus has a TV show paused on Skyplus and is waiting…), but will post again tomorrow.

The same poll, by the way has figures for the Presidential election, however it doesn’t poll for SF and so is a little overtaken by events, missing out on the “My Goodness, McGuiness” factor.  However, for your info, it comes out at;

Higgins – 32%
Norris – 18%
Davis – 18%, up 5%
Mitchell – 17%, down 4%
Gallagher – 14%

On those figures, Gay Mitchell is sinking fast, and the Norris vote is likely to largely find itself in the Galwayman’s column come polling day.  Davis is making ground, but still a long way behind MDH, and a fair bit of that Indo vote is probably SFers who are reluctant to support another party.  Of course, Marty will take a fair bit from from Michael D,and Mitchell will be hoping that voters will react against the Derryman by swinging to him,  but its hard on those figures to see anything but the LP and SF candidates fighting it out on transfers, and I suspect MDH will do somewhat better in that department.

Anyways, am off. Have fun and stay safe….


Written by Dotski

September 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized