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The Polls… Volatile… too volatile. December 2, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, Sinn Féin, The Left.
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Just to add to the thoughts in the comments here…

The Red C poll is very intriguing:

The Red C Poll for the Irish Sun shows Fianna Fáil on 13%, a drop of 3% on the last poll almost two weeks ago.

Fine Gael are on 32% per cent, down one, while Labour are also down three to 24%.

The Greens remain unchanged, while support for Sinn Féin has jumped by five points to 16%, putting them in third position.

Independents and others have also seen a rise in support of three points.

Assuming this poll was conducted property, and what reason do we have to believe it was not, Red C being a reputable polling company, the result is interesting on three counts.

Firstly this is the poll subsequent to the EU/IMF intervention. Now we know, at least to some extent, what that intervention has meant in terms of the Irish polity. Because…

…secondly there goes FF, dipping yet lower. 13 per cent, much more of this and we’re into single figures territory. Of course those of a more cynical bent amongst us will wonder why we’re not there already. But in fourth place – that’s remarkable.

Thirdly the rise of Sinn Féin and the apparent stalling of Labour. Let’s not make too much of the latter. I and others have argued for a long time now that the LP figures appeared overstated. Mid 20s seemed a more likely level for that party, and what do we see? Mid-20s. Perhaps disappointing for them. Perhaps not.

But the former dynamic is what is of particular interest. Clearly some of that FF vote has gone to SF. Not a huge amount, but sufficient when added to that some of the LP vote.

What does this represent? Perhaps a certain fatigue with the LP, although that too shouldn’t be overstated. Perhaps evidence that far from the arrival of one G. Adams in the Southern polity being a negative that in fact it has given extra emphasis to SF particularly and more importantly in tandem with Pearse Doherty in the news.

So SF is in the news, SF has a much more pointedly critical profile in regard to the orthodoxy on the financial and economic crisis than the LP and SF can look to recent success both legally and…

Of course all this remains volatile. But volatile within limits and constraints. It really does look as if there is an FF vote that has decamped leftwards but is not entirely sold on the LP and will not go to FG (that has implications for transfers at the election- not huge implications, but some nonetheless). The chances of FF grabbing them back seem slim to none, not least because next up – the Budget.

A perfect storm for SF, a perfect nightmare for Fianna Fáil.

Keep in mind though the Independents figure which remains on the high side. I’d still think there’s some FF support hiding out there. But… all in all a further bit of good news for SF.

At this rate they’ll start winning seats… what, what’s that you’re saying?

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Comments»

1. Jim Monaghan - December 2, 2010

FF could practically disappear. The Canadian Tories suffered a wipe out a few years ago. Alas, they revived.

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CL - December 2, 2010

The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (PC) was a Canadian political party. Historically a powerful force in Canadian federal politics, following a decade-long decline the party ceased to exist on December 8, 2003 when it merged with the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance (Alliance) to form the Conservative Party of Canada

http://www.fact-index.com/p/pr/progressive_conservative_party_of_canada.html

With what will the rump of F.F merge with?

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sonofstan - December 2, 2010

The Canadian Tories were helped towards oblivion by a first past the post electoral system, though.

As to whom FF could merge with, the sad thing is they could plausibly merge with any one of the three parties ahead of them in the current poll.

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Budapestkick - December 2, 2010

A SF merger would probably raise more than a few eyebrows

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2. CL - December 2, 2010

So long as Labour,-especially Pat Rabitte,-continue to claim that the proposed IMF/EU sell-out pact will put the next government in a strait jacket, and so presumably Labour will have no choice but to implement these right-wing extremest, neo-liberal policies, then a natural response is for people to seek a real alternative; hence the rise of Sinn Fein. Especially when its clear that an incoming government is under no political, legal, or moral obligation to intensify under the IMF the regressive failed, Thatcherite policies of the walking dead F.F/Green govt.

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3. irishelectionliterature - December 2, 2010

I wonder will part of the poll be about the IMF deal and the four year plan?

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4. Paddy Healy - December 2, 2010

Clearly, my earlier prediction that Labour +Sinn Fein +lefts could have a numerical majority is being borne out. And this is before the budget! After Jan 1, there will be reductions in the pay cheque, the welfare cheque and the occupational pension cheque. We have’nt seen the bottom of the Fianna Fail collapse yet.

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CL - December 3, 2010

Are you suggesting that Labour could coalesce with S.F and the lefts to form a govt?

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RepublicanSocialist1798 - December 3, 2010

We havn’t seen the defections either. Once I see them I’ll know FF are in trouble.

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sonofstan - December 3, 2010

Does anyone think that 74 FF TDs, faced with the prospect of -at least – two-thirds of them losing their seats at the GE, can all be trusted not to make a break for it on budget day? Which I guess is why FG are being reeled in ‘in the national interest’

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5. RosencrantzisDead - December 3, 2010

Vin Browne is saying that FF will get no seats in the GE on these numbers – he is estimating that they could hit the 10% mark.

While I think this is impossible (Seamas Kirk is reelected automatically, right?), I would be interested in predictions on how many seats 13% would translate into. Could it be that FF are suffering from that particular ailmet of the Tories: that noone will admit to supporting them, but will mark Fianna Fail once in the privacy of the booth?

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irishelectionliterature - December 3, 2010

The last Sunday Business Post poll had a calculation for this “Spiral of Silence” but it only added 2% to the FF first preference.

They are at a stage now where a candidates votes will be as much personal as party. So not alone will they be getting few transfers from elsewhere, they’ll have a poor internal transfer rate too.

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6. Tomboktu - December 3, 2010

I chuckled at Dotski’s name for a possible coalition consisting of Labour and SF: Guns and Roses.

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ejh - December 3, 2010

Har har very good

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7. Jim Monaghan - December 3, 2010

Paddy healy is right. A reformist left gov. of Lab and Sf is a strong possibility.Bliss bothe FF and Fg out of power. . Given that it would be slanted a bit towards SFs economic program which many years ago would have been unexceptional for Labour
this would be better for us all.
We need a strong left bloc to keep manners on them

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8. Tomboktu - December 3, 2010

A reformist left gov. of Lab and Sf is a strong possibility. Bliss both FF and FG out of power.

Possibly not. Unless they can secure a quick recovery, then at the election after next they will be blamed for the pain.

(By ‘recovery’ I don’t mean GDP or GNP, with dollops of whichever one of those it is going to Bermuda and the Netherlands. I mean 425,002 people moving off the dole and into paying jobs, and the 36,438 mortgage holders in arrears able to get back to paying.)

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9. irishelectionliterature - December 3, 2010

From RTEs morning Ireland this morning…
Nick Coffey, political analyst, and RTÉ’s Micheál Lehane assess the lay of the land in the Dublin constituencies ahead of next year’s General Election

http://www.rte.ie/news/morningireland/player.html?20101203,2865257,2865257,flash,257

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10. shea - December 3, 2010

after the intital wow of FF down to 13% think the movement from labour to SF is most interesting, what 40% of SF’s increasse. why, is a run (new word ha) happening on labour, maybe the original post is right to not read to much into it but not all of SF new support is coming from FF.

for a left wing coalition would labour and SF have to hold and all the independents be left allience and not be taking votes of each other. red c are going to start haveing to go into more detail on the make up of independents. would a FF FG coalition be just if not a little bit more likely at the momment?

and then we have independent newspapers. sure there not happy with this. expect to read a story of shinners going into schools around the country telling kids theres no santa or something like that. would be a hard one for SF to hold. interesting times anyway.

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11. Jim Monaghan - December 3, 2010

With PR taking votes is not a problem. My guess is that a growing segmentvoters are voting left and not distinguishing between Lab. Sf and lefties (including ULA) who they think have a chance.
I know this will upset some. But I think a bottom line is no vote or transfer to FF and FG and their clones

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LeftAtTheCross - December 3, 2010

That’s a valid point that is overlooked by Left anoraks, many people neither see nor care about the differences between LP/SF/ULA, and may well have a negative reaction to the constituent parts of this “broad Left bloc” if they cast votes in this direction against the orthodox of FF/FG, and then end up disappointed with a right wing government because of ideological dispute amongst the Left.

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neilcaff - December 3, 2010

” many people neither see nor care about the differences between LP/SF/ULA”

Perhaps, for now. Those divisions can become clear quite rapidly in times of crisis and sudden changes in the situation.

“may well have a negative reaction to the constituent parts of this “broad Left bloc” if they cast votes in this direction against the orthodox of FF/FG, and then end up disappointed with a right wing government because of ideological dispute amongst the Left.”

It would not be over an ideological difference, it would be over the issue of whether to impose IMF/ECB cuts or not. Unless Labour has a complete change of policy then all this talk of an LP/SF/ULA mash up is pure speculation.

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LeftAtTheCross - December 3, 2010

“It would not be over an ideological difference, it would be over the issue of whether to impose IMF/ECB cuts or not. Unless Labour has a complete change of policy then all this talk of an LP/SF/ULA mash up is pure speculation.”

Gilmore said as much this morning apparently:

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/farewell-a-generation-of-fianna-fail-tds/#comment-85284

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neilcaff - December 3, 2010

Pre-election rhetoric, the negotiations for a Program for Government will soon sort the wheat from the chafe.

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12. Tomboktu - December 3, 2010

13.10 the day after the poll and I haven’t heard a peep from a FF TD. Has slipping to fourth really stunned all of them into awed silence? Not one, even a Sean Power or Tom Kitt, has said anything about a need to replace the leader or change the message or anything.

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Crocodile - December 3, 2010

Mary O’Rourke came close to saying goodbye to Cowen on Pat Kenny this am.

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sonofstan - December 3, 2010

Mary O’Rourke came close to saying goodbye to Cowen on Pat Kenny this am.

Sounds touching…..

Did she say ‘we’ll always have Paris’?

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13. pmitchell - December 3, 2010

LookLeft MagazineTime to launch a “Vote Left, Stay Left” campaign for the upcoming election – asking all Labour, Sinn Fein, ULA, Workers’ Party and Left independent voters to only transfer among the wider Left?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/LookLeft-Magazine/113777231983918

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LeftAtTheCross - December 3, 2010

Is that the official position of the WP?

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pmitchell - December 3, 2010

Not official WP position just a possible initiative among LL readers, who if the facebook fans are anything to go by span a fairly mixed bunch – although thankfully the ones with the FF Donegal election poster and NF profile pics have purged themselves

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LeftAtTheCross - December 3, 2010

Thanks for clarifying.

It suggested that LookLeft, and by extension the WP, were endorsing this position.

It is after all a WP publication isn’t it?

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Garibaldy - December 4, 2010

My understanding was that voting for other left candidates after the WP ones or first where there is no WP candidate has been the recommendation for a while.

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Jolly Red Giant - December 3, 2010

Voting for the LP is a definite no no – why would any socialist vote for a party intent on implementing €15billion in cuts?

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Jack Jameson - December 4, 2010

‘Vote Left, Stay Left’ is an excellent initiative.
It’s up to voters if they consider Labour Left enough or not but it would help to get people thinking that way for the future even if they don’t act on it in this election.
Fair play to Look Left readers. Not the sort of open thinking one would have expected from the WP direction in the past but very welcome.
Maybe the Left is getting its act together after all these years.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2010

There are a few LP candidates I probably could bring myself to vote for. Probably more I couldn’t. It would depend on them individually. In terms of voting for formations the choice is much easier.

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14. Jim Monaghan - December 3, 2010

I heard Burton hopping all over the place avoiding answering the question of a coalition with SF.

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15. dmfod - December 3, 2010

Anyone have a look at Labour’s budget submission?

– a few highlights among the 4.5bn in cuts to bail out the banks which show how Labour define ‘protecting the vulnerable’

80% of the proposed Education cuts are to adult education for travellers (p28)

Abolition of rent relief (people living in rented accommodation map pretty closely onto the poorest in Irish society)

Abolition of tax relief on union subs – it’s not like trade unions would be important at a time like this, now is it?

Slave labour scheme for unemployed graduates

Cuts in local authority funding to be replaced by unspecified new means of raising local funds i.e. water tax & increased bin tax

http://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/inirelandsinterests.pdf

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Mark P - December 3, 2010

Slashing adult education for travellers. That really is breathtaking in its nasty cynicism.

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16. sonofstan - December 3, 2010

(a)Abolition of rent relief (b)(people living in rented accommodation map pretty closely onto the poorest in Irish society)

Fair enough, but (a) won’t really affect (b) since only those living in rented accommodation AND paying income tax will be affected. So it won’t actually affect the poorest.

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Mark P - December 3, 2010

Slashing adult education for travellers isn’t enough of an attack on the very poorest for you?

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sonofstan - December 4, 2010

Not at all – much too selective: it’s all about sharing the pain, remember?

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17. dmfod - December 3, 2010

It depends how you define ‘the poorest’. Anyone earning over around 18k was entitled to it and there are plenty of working poor at that income level. ASFAIK the total amount was capped at around 300 euros so it was one relief that disproportionately benefited the poor, as richer people are hardly likely to miss that amount. I’ve personally been very glad of it to avail of it while earning 20k a year. If they wanted to make it equitable they could limit entitlement to those earning under 35k or something.

By contrast there is no proposal to reduce mortgage interest relief, which would hit a wealthier section of society. I think it just shows where their priorities lie.

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sonofstan - December 3, 2010

I thought they were cutting mortgage relief? Both should go.

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dmfod - December 3, 2010

Nothing in the budget submission about it.

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18. Mark P - December 3, 2010

According to Eoin O’Broin on twitter, Roisin Shortall just stated on Drivetime that Labour would cut 30,000 public sector jobs over 5 years.

So Labour are indeed standing out from the IMF/EU/FF consensus: By demanding 5,000 more job cuts than the government.

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LeftAtTheCross - December 3, 2010

Mark P,

This genuinely isn’t a sarky rhetorical question but do yourself and your fellow ULA internet propagandists are putting as much effort into attacking FF / FG in the various blogs and forums as you are on pointing out the deficiencies in the SF / LP positions?

Not saying you shouldn’t do the latter aswell of course.

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Mark P - December 3, 2010

LATC:

I’m not posting on behalf of the ULA. Any more than you are posting here on behalf of the Workers Party (I presume) or operating some kind of division of labour with other WP members to ensure that all of the right wing parties are criticised equally.

Due to the nature of the crowd here the subjects of Labour and SF come up more often in the comments section than FF or FG. A post from WbS which slates Fianna Fail for instance, isn’t particularly controversial and isn’t likely to attract prolonged disagreement. Does anyone here really need to be told that FF are a right wing party? Does it really add to the coversation if a dozen people in a row all agree with each other and say that yes FF are a shower of bastards?

When I used to post on politics.ie (a hive of scum and villainy if ever there was one), I spent much more time being critical of FF and FG than I would bother with here.

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LeftAtTheCross - December 3, 2010

Mark P,

Of course, I meant beyond CLR.

No, I was genuinely wondering did yourself and your SP comrades (apologies on the ULA tag!) have an actual plan of action for how you propagandise your party position on the internet, or was it just as you have described which is just a casual thing.

You’re right, I’m certainly not aware of any concerted WP effort either to focus on certain blogs / forums with any specific agenda.

Thanks for the answer.

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19. Jim Monaghan - December 3, 2010

I always though the rent relief was basically self financing. The landlords were effectively forced to declare income.
While the LP program is bad it is not as bad as FG, the preferred partner.I would suggest that we ask all LP people to make the better parts as non negotiable in any coalition talks.

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20. Irish Left Review · ULA! “No one would have believed….” - December 13, 2010

[...] [34] http://paddyhealy.wordpress.com/ and  Paddy says on The Cedar Lounge (2nd December): “Clearly, my earlier prediction that Labour +Sinn Fein +lefts could have a numerical majority is being borne out. And this is before the budget! After Jan 1, there will be reductions in the pay cheque, the welfare cheque and the occupational pension cheque. We haven’t seen the bottom of the Fianna Fail collapse yet.” http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/the-polls-volatile%E2%80%A6-too-volatile/#comments [...]

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