Archive for January 2016
Speculation rife that the election will be announced on Monday, allowing the Labour conference to be held in advance of the campaign, and a new RedC is out which will give hope to the smaller coalition partner. The poll is in tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post, and is reported to be accompanied by an 8-page pull out election special, so I suspect it will boost circulation, not just in Mullingar.
Up to 10%, a steady, rather than spectacular, increase is evidenced by the polls, and there will be hopes among delegates this weekend that this trend for Labour will continue. Values can go up as well as down, however, and anyone who gets carried away by these results may yet be disappointed. But clearly it is succour to candidates who, 3 months ago, would have seen their chances as between slim and none. On these figures, there are over 20 seats where they are in with a shout, and local factors will push more into contention (of course, other local factors will push others out…sings and roundabouts and all that..)
FF, continue to flop, and one wonders how they will manage this, given their ‘brand’ is one of a party interested in Govt, but only if the biggest party. SF and AAAPBP at least can sell themselves as an opposition who will shout loudest, Greens SocDems & Renua as smaller ‘watchdogs’ in a broader Govt, but what are FF for if they don’t contemplate Govt, with these figures?
FG will be unhappy to be down 1%, given the poll follows a conference, a factor Laour might bear in mind if they assume a further bounce is ‘in the bag’. Other than that, Greens at 3% will be happy, AAAPBP at 3% and SocDems at 2% will continue to be frustrated, and Renua at 1% will shift nervously.
Anyway, dinner cooking so figures/IPR seat projections as follows;
Outgoing Govt still well short of a majority, of course, but no other offering coming closer.
Am at work so not much time to mull over it, but a local poll in Galway West (sample of 240, taken by a local newspaper in conjunction with, er, a motor dealer…) has SF taking a seat (likely), but also Labour’s Derek Nolan hanging on, at the expense of FG, apparently through transfers (those polled handed a mock ballot paper).
Always hard to decide how dismissive of these to be..in fairness its not wildly out of line with my figures, but even so, hard to see Nolan hang on with 7.5% (1-2% ahead of what I’d expect on current polls) although I’m sure this will help motivate the team…presumably it does show potential LP has to get decent transfers (or at least no worse than anyone else).
Anyways, sin é…
Another poll out in today’s Sunday Times from B&A, which, to date, have shown greater volatility than the other polling companies, although in this poll that’s largely reserved for one party. Given their lack of track record compared to the ‘big 3’, your guess may be as good as mine as to whether that reflects the electorate or the method, but no doubt we’ll see next month when, it seems, we’ll be able to compare their final prediction with a General Election.
The poll was taken 4th-13th Janaury, which (I understand) means it was largely taken before the RedC. A total of 27% are undecided, which is very high for this stage of the electoral cycle (remember, many those plumping for a party when asked are also likely to change their vote).
Also, interestingly, the Greens had two figures for ‘post adjusted’ total when you looked at the table and the bar graph (2% and 3%, which as you might imagine would impact greatly on their relative performance)…neither are mentioned in the commentary of the report as they are considered part of OTH by that. It seems, however, that the extra 1% was hidden amongst ‘others’ and came home when parties names were prompted. Which is interesting in itself…(although somewhat confusing for someone trawling through the report…)
I continue to bundle the Independents Alliance under OTHs, as many of the votes they attract are (I suspect) unbothered as to whether their candidate is in an alliance of other Indos or not… no-one really sees them as a party with policies/whips and I’m assuming the low rating they get here isn’t reflective of anything else. WP turn up at the top end of their 0-2% cycle, but they are still kept in the OTH column as would be unlikely to take a seat with that distributed in a normal way (given lack of incumbents and a negligible vote in the last few elections)…this is different to SocDems and Renua who have outgoing TDs around whom most of a 2% vote share might be expected to cluster. If (reliable) constituency polling shows one of their candidates with a chance of a seat I may revisit that. Personally I suspect many saying WP are either Halligan voters or ex-ULA voters who confuse them with the SWP, but again, we’ll see before too long if that is the case.
As before, AAAPBP and Socialist Party collected separately and added to the total.
Anyways, IPR projections based on this poll are as follows;
First off, this poll is suggesting the Labour revival found elsewhere is an error (or has dissipated and the RedC poll taken since this one is 3% out – right at the limits of the margin of error). Reproduced in an election, it would produce an even worse result than 1987, when Labour got 6.4% of the vote and 12 seats, their worst result in most voters living memory. While they would, even with these figures, in with a shout in 12-13 seats, 7 would appear to be the likeliest figure, and even then quite dependent upon transfers from 2nd FG candidates…and they could go as low as 5. The only realistic Govt on offer would be FG/FF, with the alternative being a 2nd election. Given these figures would give FF a clear 2nd place, it would be difficult choice for them…
Otherwise, figures aren’t enormously different from the big 3…FF a little higher but otherwise all within a percentage point or 2 of what you might expect.
All party leaders show a dip of 2-5% in popularity, save Martin who is up 1 to 41%, well ahead of the others who are all 31-34%, which is in keeping with this being a relatively good poll for FF.
Of some interest, given current narratives, is the poll on preferred coalition. Figures were;
|Would not vote||6%|
This shows no single option being the first preference of more than 17% who want ‘as you were’, and if it remains unchanged, will mean any Govt coming in would have great difficulty in justifying itself (making a 2nd election more likely?). Interestingly, only 42% are recorded to want a Govt with FG, but it’s even less for Labour (34%), FF (24%), SF (20%) and OTH (17%). Admittedly there’s another 9% choosing other (un-named) options (speculating but single-party FG, FG/Renua, and SF/FF/LP would appear to be the likeliest options to feature), and 31% in the DK/DV columns, but that’s very much a ‘plague on all your houses’ response, and we are, most likely, about 6 weeks away from post election horse trading…
Some in FF might think this contradicts his having the highest leader popularity, but that’s a measure of satisfaction with someone in their current job…being satisfied with what he does as leader of FF isn’t the same thing as wanting him to be Taoiseach.
Any how, that’s all I’ve got time for. No doubt they’ll start coming in thick and fast over the next month.
A new RedC out in tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post, which is largely as you were …. headline figures show net movements of 2% from FG to FF, and 1% from SocDems to Inds. Both would be in margin of error.
IPR seat projections as follows;
Given the small movement there’s not much to say – other than perhaps notice the lack of movement (Govt may have hoped Budget measures reaching people’s pockets might have pushed them up a bit. Soc Dems may be worried that the lift off hasn’t materialised just yet, but when you’re a small party in the margin of error, there’s only so much you can take from a single poll anyway. They do appear consistently at 1-2% however, and it seems they have yet to establish themselves out there (their 3 leaders got over 1% in the last General Election between them), and will be hoping to do so in the next month or so. Renua alternatively may take some hope from this, although they very much scrape 3 seats on this simulation, with only 1 seat comfortable…they will need to increase substantially on this if they want to get at least 1 bum at the cabinet table.
We are also told;
“The poll also gauged voters’ attitudes to the recovery and the general direction of the country. While over two thirds of voters (68 per cent) of voters say the country is “generally on the right track”, some 60 per cent say that “we need a change of government in order to deliver a fairer society”
Again, hard to say what this means in practice. Most partisans (the ones in opposition, anyway) will claim this means people want their party in Govt…however, every party think they are the party of ‘fairness’, it’s just a matter of who they think its currently unfair too…Renua would argue that their policies would be ‘fairer’ to the taxpayers, the hard left that they are ‘fairer’ to the disadvantaged….also supporting a change of Government pre-supposes a change of Govt in waiting, which, on current figures, would appear to be FG/FF or FG/SF. The likelihood of either (‘In The National Interest’) is something we will all have our views on, but few could claim, at this stage, that they are likely. A decent swing could make FF/SF/Inds mathematically possible, but would such a Govt last?
Anyways, gotta go!
Hope you all are having a great 2016, and all that….
I’m off Twitter for January (on the phone, anyway), but for those interested, this is an excellent article from UK Polling Report (no relation) on what polling is and why it is important.