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.