Irish Polling Report

A place to discuss Irish opinion polls

On our way to Lansdowne….

with 3 comments

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

3 Responses

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  1. Just out of interest. In GE11 FG won 76 seats on 36% with the next highest party on 19.4%. Why do you give FG “only” 64 seats here when their vote in only 2% and the next largest party is now 17%?


    May 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    • Sorry, their vote is only 2% lower I mean


      May 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    • Garret Fitzgerald remarked at the time on RTE radio coverage that they had been extremely lucky in the vote:seats bonus in that election, there were a considerable number of constituencies that just went their way. This projection doesn’t try to calculate a bonus, it just projects a uniform swing into local constituencies. A particular distribution that gives an unusually good bonus will generally be close to the wind in a number of cases, and is more vulnerable to producing a bigger proportionate drop in seats than you’d think, looking at a national level (as Jimmy Tully discovered to his cost with the Tullymander combined with a drop in LP support….). The ratio can also depend on the mix of the rest of the vote, and how many of the last seats you are fighting for with particular parties, and how well they are doing (I recall LP once bettering 24.5% in a 3-seater in Tipperary, but getting no seat as FF was over 50% and FG over 25%).

      Another way of looking at this projection is that with 6.7% more of the vote than in 2007, they would get 7.8% more seats (i.e. a bigger ‘bonus’ of ‘extra’ seats), or they got 1.86 seats per percentage point of the FPV in 2007, compared to 1.88 from this projection.

      It’s also 11.% more than 2002, but they get an additional 19.9% of the seats. Going back, most elections they got a smaller ‘bonus’ (if you want to look at it that way) than they do with this projection, so it’s still coming out as a generous bonus, but just not as high as the last time out, but higher than in most others.


      May 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

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