Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

Come on you bhoys in green?

with 7 comments

It’s half-time in a (turgid) Andorra-Ireland match, and so I’ll be brief….

This morning’s MRBI poll in the Irish Times has made some headlines, with SF recording the second highest rating of all the parties.  The following are the party shares, and the IPR projections (again, ULA are within the OTH column, and so I’ve estimated their share on the vote as being pro-rata that amount)

FG 35% (-3) – 69 seats

SF 18% (+8) – 29 seats

LP 17% (-1) – 32 seats

FF 16% (-2)  – 16 seats

ULA 2% – 4 seats

GP 2% (NC) – 1 seat

OTH 10% – 15 seats

SF will be unsurprised to see LP still getting a better ‘bonus’ than they do, but may be encouraged by how little it puts them ahead in terms of seats.  In 3 cases (the 2 Donegals and Louth) a seat depends on them running a second candidate they didn’t last time, but still they will be very happy with this.  Largely, their gains hit the other parties more or less across the board.

I’ll not go into enormous depths about the poll, but I’ll just make the following observations;

1.  Contesting the Presidential election has been, obviously a good move for SF, but I suspect the main reason it has been as successful as it has is the onslaught from Gay Mitchell and others on SF.  By making SF the focus of FG/Govt scorn (in a way that FF used to be) they have apparently consolidated opposition to the Govt around a single party.

2. The gender gap, as has been commented by others, is startling with their support at 28% amongst men, but only 11% among women.  Some might assume that this would always have been the case, but no, not at all.  Last January, RedC ran a poll for Paddy Power which showed a very different story.  On that occasion, SF were 14% nationally, so they are up 4% in the intervening months.  And how much higher were they among men?  They weren’t.  In that poll, they rated 12% amongst men, and 15% amongst women.  In other words, since January, SF have risen 16% among men, but dropped 4% among women.  Really.

Now, that level of variation in January is m.o.e. stuff, but the current variation isn’t, so there clearly has been a very significant shift in SF support between the GE and now.

There’s not enough evidence to say for certain what has happened, but at the time in January I believed that SF’s rise was, in part, a surge among public sector workers, who are quite predominantly female.  Since then, it appears that they have lost some of this support, but gained more among men, apparently especially lower income and younger men.

It may be that this is a slight rouge element of the poll, as the variation between women and men out-strips anything I can recall in other polls, and I am reluctant to make any judgments based on this.  But it’s something no doubt we’ll see detailed in future polls in some detail, now it has become a matter of public comment.

anyways, back to Andorra-Ireland…..


Written by Dotski

October 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. Just re-read on my phone. I of course meant “rogue” and not “rouge”!


    October 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm

  2. SF’s biggest challenge is actually candidates. They lack depth in their ranks (as we saw in both 2009 & 2011). McGuinness & Adams won’t be running in every constituency – something that probably cost them a seat or two last time, and would cost them even more at a higher national vote share.


    October 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm

  3. I agree with Keith that SF currently have a serious problem with good quality candidates. The importance of the next local elections to SF cannot be underestimated. For example none of their existing Dublin City councillors are prospective Dáil material and the position in the County isn’t much better.

    There are also further problems with some of their existing deputies. Gerry Adams will be 67 at the next election, Ellis, Ferris & Ó Caoláin are also getting on and with the exceptions of a few of their current Deputies, the standard is very poor. Many of them have failed to make the jump from local authorities to National issues. Indeed the standard of the opposition deputies in general is very poor. There is a complete lack of the knowledge & experience required to go through bills line by line, section by section.

    @ Dotski – Large variances between the preferences of women & men are normal in other countries, two come immediately to mind, Germany & the UK. Even here in the past, if I remember correctly, the Greens had far greater support among women than men.


    October 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

  4. Yes, there’s always variance to some degree, and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that German Greens did much better among women as they had a strong feminist bent (although I read recently that the CDU are doping well now among women, presumably in part as a result of Merkel’s appeal). But variances here have generally been small for significant parties (and at this level, that includes SF), and to see one party change so radically in such a short period of time looks a little odd to me, and I’ll reserve judgement until I see it repeated.

    Also, agree with both of you that SF lack candidates, but with no GE looming until the other side of the LEs, that’s probably no harm for them. Labour breakthroughs in 2011 and 1992 were both preceded by LEs that brought on a good candidate pool, and if SF can maintain this vote (and even if they dropped back to c.11-12%) they’d probably produce enough decent councillors to challenge in most constituencies by the following GE.

    One can never know the future, but if I had to place money now on the next GE, SF should be able to make significant inroads to LP and FF support. Their main advantage is the lack of an alternative, as I don’t see FF recovering too quickly, at least in their current form. Their biggest fear must be that someone like Sean Gallagher launches a FF nua, attracts ex-FF and Indo TDs, and is presented as the “real” opposition.

    But then, as I say, all a long time away.


    October 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

  5. What all the previous posters failed to mention or realise -is the amount of new people that might have joined SF since February. There will never be a problem with good credible candidates in my opinion.


    October 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    • True, although they will need to keep eyes out for careerists joining as tends to happen to smaller parties that experience electoral growth.


      October 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

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