Those up last night will have (very briefly) seen the report of a B&A poll conducted for tomorrow’s Sunday Times. While it was taken down very quickly and B&A have yet to comment on the matter, the Times (Saturday edition) have referred to the result and so we can assume that the figures are as contained in the leaked document.
A lot of conspiracy theories bouncing around the web on this, but having covered the reliability of B&A a while ago and talking to people who’ve used them before, I’d be more of the “cock-up” theory brigade – there is no benefit in B&A doing this as reliability is the most important thing in that business, and if a customer, in this case a Sunday newspaper, sells no papers as a result of spending a lot of money (a decent national poll will cost €5,000-€10,000), that hammers attractiveness. Even if the poll is accurate, that’s a big minus for potential customers, and I do wonder if they expect the Sunday Times to pay them for a poll that everyone else will have read on Friday night or Saturday morning.
Anyway, the poll itself is most notable for seeing Labour support halve to 4%. What you think of that is probably in part based on where your sympathies lie… while I’ve questioned B&A before (and the manner of the poll’s release doesn’t increase one’s faith in their competence..) it also seems unlikely to me that they could be the 4-5% out that this might be, compared with other recent polls. So while it may be an outlier, there is a limit to how much of an outlier it could be, and I’d be surprised, therefore, not to see some downward movement in RedC later today (and I believe Millward Brown). If there wasn’t, this would probably be the last time you see B&A polling commissioned (save in event of the General Election coming into line with it).
Its of course also possible that it’s not an outlier, and the polls later today will be in line with it. This would surprise me, but if I had to guess now I’d be thinking LP 8% in RedC and 6-7% in MB. Lower and B&A will be relieved. We’ll see I guess.
Other news and its also a bad poll for SF at 15% (their worst for a while, which is hard to credit in a poll that LP is down so much also and SocDems down also). Good for FG, FF and Renua, along with AAAPBP who would surge past LP in a lot of places with this showing of 5%. If it came to pass, we’d have a result which was similar to pre-crash Ireland, but with FG taking place of FF and SF swapping with LP (and AAAPBP taking role previously held by the WP, including the impending name-change and bitter split…), Renua playing role of the ‘rump’ PDs before they called it a day. Govt would be almost certainly FG on their own with ‘Tallaght Strategy’ agreed with FF who would look to consolidate as 2nd party again, no way they’d play 2nd fiddle if they had over a quarter of the Dail.
Anyways, projections as follows, read ’em and weep…