Archive for April 2012
As those of you following me on Twitter will know, I tweeted my seat projections of today’s RedC/SBP poll yesterday evening.
For those of you who missed it, they were as follows;
FG 32% – 61,
SF 19% – 30,
LP 14% – 27,
FF 17% -24,
ULA 3% – 4,
OTH 15% -20.
As you can see, this is within the margin of error of the most recent MRBI. However, contrary to suggestions elsewhere, it is not for RedC, as while it differs little from the previous SBP/RedC from 24th March (when SF were 18%) it is up from a more recent RedC effort (using the same methodology) commissioned by Paddy Power and published a week later, which had them on 14%. It may of course be that the SF is more volatile than most at the moment (perhaps reflecting a battle between them and ULA for voters over the Household Charge and the Fiscal Compact), but maybe it just a couple of polls testing the limits of the margin of error at the moment. Those last few RedC polls have seen them go from 18% to 14% to 19%, but the m.o.e. means that over that time they could quite easily have increased from about 15-16% to 18-19% without any downward movement at all in their underlying support. It’s also interesting that, after FG, SF/LP/FF/OTH are stubbornly close to one another in either votes and/or seat projections in practically every single poll, something I can’t see lasting forever.
Also interesting, given the flac I gave Behaviour & Attitudes over their initial poll ratings, is that – according to Sunday Times journalist John Burns – they amended their methodology in their last poll for that paper. While this, on a one-off basis, one presumes, had LP climbing and SF falling when all other polls showed the opposite trend, it does mean that they are now at least getting results very much in line with the companies that have a track record. I suspect that the difference concerns weighting on liklihood to vote, and if they are doing that right now, I may pay them a bit more attention in the future. I’ll still reserve judgement until they’ve a pre-GE poll that is close enough to compare with the others, though…
As I say, not much movement for the parties, so I’ll not dwell too long there, other than to note that the relatively small movement for FF (up) brings a significant bonus back in seats. Basically they need to get higher teens to reach a tipping point, particularly in a number of seats outside Dublin where it’s them against SF, who would still shade it into second seats in the next Dail on these figures, albeit with LP close enough to pull them in if they got better transfers than I am assuming here (good from FG but lousy from elsewhere, except vs FF and then decent-ish from ULA, and 40/60 from SF).
The same poll also measures support on the forthcoming Fiscal Compact vote, putting it 47(-2) to 35(+2), with 18% undecided. While there is a small movement to the NO side (with undecideds staying unchanged) it is within the margin of error and over a period of more than a month. Fieldwork was done in the period Monday-Wednesday last week, so most voters wouldn’t have heard of the furore over the SF leaflets’ selective quoting of economists (and whatever your view of this or the Treaty, there’s little doubt that this was a widely-reported own goal among the wider public). However, certain members of the Govt have also shown particular talent in messing things up PR wise over the last few months, and I suspect they’ll be locking Phil Hogan in a basement somewhere until 1st June.
Anyways, an interesting 5 weeks ahead, methinks….
As I’m sure you all know, the Irish Times published an MRBI State of the Parties poll yesterday, I’ve only been in a position to write this up this morning.
The poll is very good for SF, not great for FG, and bad for LP and FF. Frustratingly, ULA remain subsumed in the OTH column, and so I’ve been forced to continue assuming a pro-rata portion of the OTH vote for them based on the last GE. Figures (and the ‘magic spreadsheet’ projections) as follows;
SF will be delighted with their first 20%+ rating in an established company’s poll. On these figures, they would be extremely well placed to pick up seats across large swathes of the country, in the main from FF. As I went through the simulation, constituency after constituency, particularly outside Dublin and especially in Connaught & Munster, they pick up seats from FF. Of course, they would need to have their candidate strategy in order, but I suspect that by the time the next GE comes along, they will be in a position to do this.
The corollary of this is that FF would be stuffed, seats-wise. While this isn’t a long way south of recent polling, their position vis-a-vis SF would reach tipping point if there was a GE on these figures, and they would in fact be in danger of dropping into single figures in the next Dail. They are in a difficult position, and not really sure what part to play in opposition. Their biggest difficulty is that few people actually believe that the economy is in the mess it is because of anyone other than them, and anyone who also blames the current Govt for prolonging the situation, does so on the grounds that they have been insufficiently different to FF (not fertile ground for Mr Martin and the boys…). Looking at these figures, it’s hard to see a future for them, and if any of their TDs defect to SF, and on these figures some may be considering it, it could be the end of the road.
LP will be disappointed with these figures, particularly in the aftermath of a party conference, when parties generally have an upward bump. While they have averaged 15-17% in recent “big-3” polls and this is more or less within the margin of error of that, there is clearly space opening up between SF and them, and if these figures are more than a ‘blip’, they would be significantly behind SF on seats on these figures. They will, no doubt, be watching closely for the next RedC poll to see if it’s a one-off, or the start of a more significant trend.
FG may be quite dissapointed to be down 3%, but a majority of polls have had them in the 30-35% range, and they are still very much the largest party. In fact, they might relish an election where they are the largest party by a distance, and where SF are the largest alternative….
Our old friends the Greens re-appear, at 2%, compared to the 1.85% they recorded last year. Really they need to be in all polls to have an idea how they are doing, given they are within the margin of error – 10 polls over say 8 months where they are 2% in eight, 1% in one and 3% in another, now that would tell you they are at 2% or thereabouts, but really this once in a while stuff tells you very little (other than they haven’t climbed to 4-5%, which I doubt anyone thought anyway…).
OTH…..well, I won’t go on about it, you know my views. Separate ULA figures please….