Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

Archive for May 2012

Stability Treaty I….

with 2 comments

Well, the polls are closing in about 10 minutes, so you’ve probably made your mind up by now.

I’ll not second guess what’s happened, turnout looks like it will be a factor, which would be expected to eat into the Yes poll-lead, and the NO side appear to have been working harder around town.  I’ll be surprised if it isn’t very close…

What I *do* have for you is a little exercise I did with tomorrow’s tally in mind.  Looking at the last 4 EU referenda, I calculated (estimated in some cases due to constituency revisions) what the average YES vote was in each constituency, and from that worked out the sort of figure I would expect there tomorrow *if it was a dead heat*.

Now, obviously this is just a guide, and there are people who were Yes for Lisbon & Nice who oppose this (and vice versa).  Indeed, there were individuals who both opposed and supported both of those treaties!  But is should give a decent guide as to whether the tallies coming in indicate a likely Yes or No, rather than represent a particular political strain in those constituencies.

The figures come out as follows;

Carlow Kilkenny 52.78%
Cavan Monaghan 48.87%
Clare 54.15%
Cork East 48.16%
Cork NC 42.03%
Cork NW 50.50%
Cork SC 49.42%
Cork SW 49.58%
Donegal NE 39.54%
Donegal SW 40.59%
Dublin C 45.54%
Dublin MW 45.44%
Dublin N 53.35%
Dublin NC 50.97%
Dublin NE 47.30%
Dublin NW 42.04%
Dublin S 60.34%
Dublin SC 43.88%
Dublin SE 57.75%
Dublin SW 42.45%
Dublin W 49.96%
Dun Laoghaire 60.94%
Galway E 51.00%
Galway W 48.22%
Kerry N 44.66%
Kerry S 48.13%
Kildare N 55.83%
Kildare S 52.06%
Laois-Offaly 54.65%
Limerick E 49.73%
Limerick County 50.81%
Westmeath 49.53%
Louth 46.90%
Mayo 45.50%
Meath E 54.44%
Meath W 48.46%
Roscommon-LS 49.60%
Sligo LN 48.44%
Tipperary N 53.22%
Tipperary S 51.44%
Waterford 50.75%
Wexford 49.43%
Wicklow 51.76%


As you can see, this suggests that a Yes vote in Dun Laoghaire of, say, 59% actually shows the Treaty in trouble, whereas a No vote in Donegal NE of no more than 60% would mean the Yes side likely to shade it.  Notably, Dublin West (home to Joe Higgins) is a weather-vane, with 49.97%  needed by the Yes side to be the more optimistic (although this could be lower as a result of Joe being one of the more prominent NO campaigners).  Similarly Cork NW and Limerick City are very close to an expected 50/50 were there a 50/50 split nationwide.

So as the results come in, you might compare them with these figures, and it could give you a clearer picture than the spin doctors and local journalists are providing you.

Till the next one….


Written by Dotski

May 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Poll-y Trinity #sorry…

with 7 comments

In addition to measuring support for the #euref, the polls form the 3 main companies over the weekend measured party support over the weekend.  Have been too busy to run all 3, but have done a ‘poll of polls’ for them, with the averages all within the margin of error for each party in each poll, although some more than others of course…

The findings were as follows;

mrbi redc l/mb
FG 32 30 36
LP 10 15 12
FF 17 18 17
SF 24 19 20

GP 2 1

As you can see, significant variance for FG and SF.  ULA were polled for by L/MB, and they will be very dissapointed to register 1% (comapred to 2.57% in #ge11, although the moe is big here for them, and you’d need a good few polls before you took this as read.  However, ominously for them, the OTH rating is generally down, and it does appear that a more nationalist position is gaining more traction in the face of #euref than the international socialist alternative, and that is something they will be nervy about.  Nevertheless, I’ve done my normal formula for them and OTH, assuming that they have a similar proportion to normal, and will do so until there are 3-4 polls that show were they are….Greens are measured in 2, so I’ve averaged them at the 1.5% their 1% & 2% would indicate, slightly below the 1.85% they got last year.

Anyways, the spreadsheet projects….

Projected result % seats
FG 32.66% 63
LP 12.33% 23
FF 17.33% 26
SF 21.00% 32
ULA 2.56% 5
GP 1.50% 0
OTH 12.60% 17

Very good for SF, but also for FF, who would stay ahead of LP on seats as well as votes on the average of these figures.  LP will be nervy on these figures.  Basically they’ve been pushing a referendum which isn’t popular with a significant proportion of their voters, and its perhaps unsurprising that they are down in 2 of the 3 findings (RedC having them up may just be a blip).  They will of course be watching this closely, and if they are in this territory come October, the Budgetary process could become quite strained…

Other than that, not much to add, so I’ll hit return and go back to the missus….



Written by Dotski

May 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Our cup runneth over….

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Well. final stretch of the stability/fiscal/austerity treaty, and a rake of polls to get through, all of them showing the YES side edging it, but not by enough to be sure.

First out of the blocks was MRBI, released on Friday evening and published in yesterday’s Irish Times.  As you’ll remember, the final MRBI was closest for both of the last two General Elections than all other companies, and this was also the most recently taken of the weekend polls (23-25 May), so a lot of people would be watching this closely.

The poll shows a decrease in the number of undecideds, with them breaking more or less pro-rata, Yes up 9 to 39%, No up 7 to 30%,  with “No Opinion” down to 22%. After DKs are excluded this came to 57-43.  The movement was from the previous MRBI which had been taken 5 weeks ago, and suggests that, despite a number of gaffes on the YES side, the voters are inching towards passing the treaty, albeit unenthusiastically.

Second to reach us was the RedC poll for the Sunday Business Post.  As with most RedCs, this was collected between Monday and Wednesday (21-23 May), and so was a slightly earlier poll, measuring opinion about half a week earlier than the MRBI offering.  This showed the Yes side down 4% from their previous poll to 49%, the No side up a corresponding amount to 35%, and DKs unchanged at 16%.  When the DKs are taken out, this comes to 58-42.

Third out was the Sunday Times  B&A.  This found that the Yes side had gained 3 points to 45%, and the No side was also up 3% to 30%, with DKs down to 24%.  DKs excluded this amounts to a 60-40 split.  The fieldwork was earlier still at 18-23 May.

Finally, the Sindo commissioned a real poll this week, with MB/Lansdowne offering arriving late to the party.  The reporting is awful sh!te and is trying to pump up interest in a poll with its thunder stolen, but the method I’m sure was excellent.  The figures were Yes 42% (+5), No 28% (+4), and with undecideds excluded it came out as 60-40, unchanged from the previous Lansdown offering.  I can’t find a reference to when the fieldwork was taken, but would guess around the time of the RedC or slightly earlier based on previous examples.

So what to make of it?  Well, the number of DKs varies, but we’d expect that, both through the various polling methods (RedC for example only count those who self describe as 70%+ likely to vote) and of course nearly a week in the difference in fieldwork, when voters might be likely to be making up their minds.  And yet, despite that, the variance in Yes/No is within the margin of error, with the yes chronologically moving 60-60(assuming MB/L 2nd taken)-58-57.  It might look like a slight trend to the NO side over the week involved, but 3% max.

Given the differing levels of DKs, this suggests that they are breaking very much pro-rata with perhaps a slight boost to the No side, but the DK numbers are getting too low to be enough to defeat the referendum if breaking in those proportions, or even a bit higher.  And remember, most DKs are non-voters who prefer to put it in those terms.

If there was indeed a 3% fall in the YES support over the last week, and it was repeated in the final week of the campaign (OK, big if), you’d expect it to be about 54-46 on the day.  The No side would then be hoping that turnout would help them, but it would still appear too much of an ask to me.  Say, for example the turnout among yes ‘voters’ was 50%, the ‘no’ side would need about 59% of their people to turn out.  That would mean a No voter was 18% more likely to vote than a Yes voter, and this seems unlikely to me given their respective demongraphics, and so if the referendum is rejected, I believe it will be a result of actual movement from the Yes to the No column.

Might that happen?  Yes, it may.  Certainly the Sindo are talking up the influence of their columnist $hane Ro$$ who comes out against the treaty today.  And it’s true that the financial journalist who backed Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Fingleton is not without his supporters among the wider electorate.  But a lot of that is already priced into these figures I think, I certainly reckoned he was voting No by now.  If anything, he may get a few more Yes voters out, as many referendum voters vote ‘against’ the politicians they despise rather than in favour of the ones they offer grudging support at election time.

So, all in all, still plenty to play for.  Advantage Yes, I think, but close enough for both sides to scrap for every vote…


Written by Dotski

May 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

On our way to Lansdowne….

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Yesterday saw the publication of a Millward Brown/Lansdowne poll in the Indo (details uploaded here on Thursday night on, the first in a while.

Lest you rush to dismiss Indo-publiched polls, Quantum Research is their vehicle for the dodgy stuff, MB/L are actually one of the best polling companies, and outperformed RedC in their final poll of #GE11, as you can see from this comparison of how the polling companies did.  Given this, it is probably worth taking note of what they found.  Rather daftly, IMO, they (or the Indo) have measured movement from GE figures, whereas the proper comparison would be with their final poll taken in the same week, but anyway, their percentage figures and IPR seat projections are as follows (NB rounding issues mean they are reporting 101%);

Projected result % seats
FG 34.00% 64
LP 15.00% 30
FF 17.00% 23
SF 17.00% 24
ULA 2.73% 5
GP 1.85% 0
OTH 13.42% 20

101.00% 166

As you can see, the figures are somewhat higher for FG and LP than RedC have been recording, not quite as good for FF, and a bit lower for SF.  The Govt parties will be hoping that, as in the GE, these figures as slightly closer to the mark than RedC’s, particularly LP who, while 2% behind both FF/SF, would reasonably comfortably pull ahead on seats.  Even FF would be close to taking SF on these figures which hasn’t been the case in most other polls, and again I suspect that reasonably strong performances by Martin in the #euref debate are behind this.  SF might be disappointed with the seat haul from this percentage vote, but as I pointed out when they moved into higher teens/low 20s, there is a tipping point in their lead over FF/LP where they get a bagful of seats, but this is somewhat below that threshold – they would however be the ‘best loser’ in a number of constituencies, so I’d still be happy enough with this …. “slow sustainable growth” as someone on has been known to say….

The same poll also measured intentions towards the referendum.  While this showed a similar proportion of decided voters in the Yes/No campaigns are other surveys (61-39%), there are many more undecideds in this poll (35%) than in other polls, and that doesn’t include 4% who say they won’t vote.  This contrasts sharply with the findings in other polls – for example, a RedC survey for Paddy Power this week was 62-38 excluding undecideds, but only 19% fell into that category.  The previous RedC had the undecideds at 16%, the one before that 18%.

What does this mean?  Well, different companies use different methods to try to coax out of voters their intentions, and it may be that RedC are more effective in eliciting a response from a wavering voter – although it may be legitimately wondered if this is always an accurate or truthful one.    Both the RedC and the M/LB appear to significantly overlap, and so it doesn’t appear to be an underlying movement, but a disagreement between the two companies.  No campaigners will be hoping that the M/LB is more reflective of the position on the ground, and that this, coupled with Richard Bruton’s gaffe-ridden Thursday will give them the boost they need to get to 50.1%+ on the day.

It’s still all to play for, IMO.  Certainly Bruton’s gaffe would be a help to the NO side, but I’m unsure to what degree.  Most voters appear to distrust both sides of the debate – certainly the “where will the money come from” argument is one I suspect the NO side will be looking to move away from. But does anyone actually want a succession of referenda on this Treaty?  I don’t think so, and suspect the main damage caused by Bruton’s intervention is that if a cabinet Minister doesn’t know the position  on something as straightforward as this, are his views on this to be taken seriously at all?

Anways, sin é,


Written by Dotski

May 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Doing Greek (or not, as the case may be….)

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Well, hot on the heels of the Greek (and French) elections, a RedC poll has come out assessing the state of our parties and, perhaps a little more pressing, the current level of support for the Irish Referendum on 31st May for the Stability Treaty/Fiscal Treaty/Austerity Treaty (delete as you wish, or you could just call it by its short and snappy official title which you’ll find here).

For the referendum, it is a significant swing towards acceptance.  The YES side has increased by 6%, to 53% (unprecedented a this stage of a European Referendum in Ireland), the NO vote has dropped 4 points to 31%, and the number of undecideds both sides will be chasing has diminished, by 2% to 16%.

This doesn’t of course mean that the Treaty is a done deal, of course, and there’s still plenty of time for things to change.  If, for example, Phil Hogan escapes from the cellar he’s been tied up in, it could change.  I also note that Chairman Ganley has decided to way in on the NO side.  But it does confirm my suspicions that the NO side have been very weak to date,  particularly when they are asked where we will find the money if we can’t enter another bailout.  A call to play chicken with the rest of the continent may play well to a SU debate, or in an argument on Twitter, but most people who have mortgages or whose income depends on the State being solvent need something a bit more specific in the matter of “Plan B”, and the NO side aren’t giving that, at least in their media performances.  Similarly accusing the Government of “scaremongering” isn’t a great tactic if most people listening don’t think you are proving them to be wrong.  Fail to convince on that, and you’re in fact telling people that the consequences are, in fact very scary….

Anyway, I expect the NO campaign to find a bit more polish in the coming weeks, particularly with Libertas Nua, and so it is still all to play for…

In terms of party standings, % figures and IPR projections are as follows;

Projected result % seats
FG 29.00% 57
LP 13.00% 26
FF 19.00% 27
SF 21.00% 34
ULA 2.73% 5
GP 1.85% 0
OTH 13.42% 17

100.00% 166

As per usual, no ULA figures, so calculated in line with % of OTH in #GE11.  A bad poll for the Govt, which may in part be reflective of the fact that the NO vote is higher than that of parties calling for it, although it is notable that it’s a very good poll for FF, perhaps reflecting good performances in the Referendum debate (among the better on the YES side).  A very good poll for SF, and if they maintain this into the Autumn, they will be thinking seriously of leading the next Government, whenever that election arises.

Anyways, heading off with the wains….Community Games trials today, a stronger call on my time than here, I’m afraid…

Till the next one,





Written by Dotski

May 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized