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The latest Red C Poll… December 1, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

It’s not as if we don’t have enough else to be going on with, but as noted in comments, here’s the latest Red C poll figures. Make of them what you will, but hard not to feel that the Reilly issue and the X legislation is causing FG problems, and may – just maybe – be good for the Independents on foot of Clare Daly, Joan Collins and Mick Wallaces work earlier in the year and this last week.

Party polling:

Fine Gael: 28% (-6)
Labour: 14% (+1)
Fianna Fáil: 20% (+1)
Sinn Fein: 17% (no change)
Independents/others: 21% (+4)

And attitude to X case…

Summary of the poll’s findings on each possible option for abortion law:
“Legislate for the X case, which means allowing abortion where the mother’s life is threatened, including by suicide.” Support: 85%
“A constitutional amendment to limit the X case, by excluding a threat of suicide as a grounds for abortion, but still allowing abortion, where the mother’s life is threatened outside of suicide.” Support: 63%
“A constitutional amendment to extend the right to abortion to all cases where the health of the mother is seriously threatened and also in cases of rape.” Support: 82%
“A constitutional amendment to allow for legal abortion in any case where a woman requests it.” Support: 36%

Something has changed in the past two weeks.

More thoughts on this during the week.

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1. doctorfive - December 1, 2012

If we were to take Friday’s Irish Times poll into the mix


Am I right in thinking at least three quarters of the country would have no problem with married women priests who could have an abortion if their health was a risk?

2. Mark P - December 1, 2012

“A constitutional amendment to limit the X case, by excluding a threat of suicide as a grounds for abortion, but still allowing abortion, where the mother’s life is threatened outside of suicide.” Support: 63%

This one is obviously incongruous, and doesn’t fit with the other answers at all. That incongruity is pretty obviously a result of a garbled and confusing question, but I’m assuming we’ll see the lifers try to seize on it.

smiffy - December 1, 2012

Ah, but the devil’s in the detail.

In theory that looks fine, from an anti-choice point of view. But if such an amendment was ever to be put (for a third time) it would get bogged down in the usual Jesuitical arguments about how it’s not abortion if the mother’s life is threatened, and the YD/headbanger crowd would oppose it because they’re opposed to any concession that an abortion would ever be necessary regardless of whether a woman’s life was at risk or not. And it would fail.

Mark P - December 1, 2012

I don’t think it really does look fine. The 63% figure directly contradicts the 85% figure for the question above, which is phrased more clearly. But you are right that such an amendment would be impossible to pass, even if they did start out with 63% support.

smiffy - December 1, 2012

Also, the fact that 63% support a constitutional amendment to limit the X case, by excluding a threat of suicide as a grounds for abortion, but still allowing abortion, where the mother’s life is threatened outside of suicide, while 82% support a constitutional amendment to extend the right to abortion to all cases where the health of the mother is seriously threatened and also in cases of rape suggests that there are some very stupid/confused people out there, in the overlap between the two.

Or possibly people who are just really into constitutional amendments, for the craic.

dmfod - December 1, 2012

Another interpretation is that people are not stupid but in favour of the government doing something – i.e. any of a range of things – to bring clarity to the situation over the dangerous status quo. All the options listed would enable women to definitely access abortion in at least some circumstances where their life is at risk, so they could all appear to be improvements on the current situation, especially to people probably being asked one after the other not knowing what option is coming next and being told they can opt for more than one choice.

Then you would also have anti-choicers who said no to everything except the ‘limit the x case’ option or if they’re a real YD loony, no to everything.

The poll would have been more informative if it also asked people if they favoured keeping the status quo, or having another referendum to overturn the x case, as then you would have gotten a more accurate picture of public sentiment. But all polls are always slanted and it’s just unusual to see one slanted in a progressive direction rather than the usual ‘do you favour cuts or tax increases?’ chestnut designed to make everyone appear right-wing.

3. sonofstan - December 1, 2012

A quick thought: the Clinton mantra – ‘it’s the economy, stupid!’ – will get trotted out by FGers attempting to steady nerves, and suggest that this unexpected (though they should have expected it some time) storm is ‘media generated’. But since most of the electorate has swallowed nearly 4 years of TINA, they must therefore accept that the government is merely the local office of the Troika – which means that, conversely, things they actually can do, as a sovereign power is what they’ll be judged on. I assume the IMF have no opinion one way or the other on our abortion laws.

shea - December 1, 2012

say that going down 4% before the budget would make them nervous. they might have expected it after. another drop and FF are with in touching distance then that becomes the story.

Mark P - December 1, 2012

6% isn’t it? Which is a long way outside the margin of error and quite a substantial shift, particularly as its before rather than after the budget.

Is there a reasonable explanation other than them copping the blame for the X Case debacle?

shea - December 1, 2012

6% your right. x case would be the main thing though wouldn’t it. makes them look out of date, bit of an anchor, disorganized etc. less decorations seem to be as up as well this year. maybe people are in a bad mood. pulling at straws with the last one. red c for SBP don’t give as detailed a break down as that sunday times one or redC for paddy power. shame, instead of this guessing would be handy to see who they are down with, women, people in dublin, people of a certin age etc.

doctorfive - December 1, 2012

Seeing most of the rise around prochoice independents would point to it. Could say Reilly though the weekly scandals since September made little impact.

4. Captain Moonlight - December 1, 2012

A womans right to choose should not be decided by the state it is for the woman to decide no matter what the circumstances are
and irishwomen have a fight on their hands to achieve this..

5. doctorfive - December 1, 2012
6. Julian Assandwich - December 1, 2012

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are together less than 50%. Has that ever happened before?

sonofstan - December 1, 2012

I think so yes, back in that brief period when Labour were in the lead in some polls – quoting from memory, but I think there might have been one where FG were on 30 odd, and FF on 14 so together < 50%

sonofstan - December 1, 2012

I agree though, it’s a figure well worth keeping an eye on.

Julian Assandwich - December 2, 2012

Also, FF-FG-Labour

1982 – 93.8%
1987 – 77.8%
1989 – 82.9%
1992 – 82.9%
1997 – 77.6%
2002 – 80.1%
2007 – 74.8%
2011 – 72.9%
2012 – 62%

doctorfive - December 2, 2012

first preferences is it?

Julian Assandwich - December 2, 2012

Yessir. And 2012′s figure is today’s poll. With most years a respectable PD and Green vote would supplement those figures, but not now when FF-FG-Labour are at their lowest ever.

I’d wager that the undecided are at an all-time high too, in a further sign that the establishment is starting to lose its grip.


Ed - December 2, 2012

Mumbles +1.

RosencrantzisDead - December 2, 2012

+ further 1 on the mumbles

Those figures you give, JA, are fascinating.

sonofstan - December 2, 2012

+3 on those mumbles, but, a point that I’m sure has been made before, it’s worth noting that Syriza were in existence, first as a forum, then as an alliance, for the best part of a decade before making any electoral advances significantly beyond what the ULA have done here. And they had their share of MPs leaving, associated parties disassociating etc.

Julian Assandwich - December 2, 2012

Of course it doesn’t guarantee good polling figures(not that that’s the aim), but what better time to start at the beginning of the process?

And what’s that quote about there being years when nothing happens and then weeks where decades happen? ;-)

tomasoflatharta - December 2, 2012

Mumbles + 1000 – the old firm of FF or FG leading a right wing government with Labour providing a fifth wheel after wrestling with its conscience – Labour always wins that wrestling match – those foundations of the 26 County political party system are decaying + fabulous. The ULA electoral campaign of 2011 was built on a rock-solid promise: Never Again to coalition government with the right. Developing and moving forward that dynamic has to be the clear focus. Clare Daly’s initiative on The X Case Legislation must be the shape of things to come.

7. sonofstan - December 2, 2012

A lot of the fluctuation in your figures are due to the binge and purge character of the LP vote – their worst performance is less than half their best, something which didn’t happen to either of the other two until FF in 2011. The figures for FG/ FF only show a more consistent pattern of slow decline, and the temporary slight upswings are generally attributable to the inverse fortunes of the PDs.

1987 71%
1989 73%
1992 64%
1997 68%
2002 64%
2007 67%
2011 53%

8. Di - December 2, 2012

I was confused by the 63% versus 85% & 82% figures on abortion until I read it as “fewer people are in favour of putting restrictions on X than are in favour of abortion when life, health of women at risk & where pregnancy caused by rape”. Some of the 63% might have said yes as saying no implied they weren’t in favour of abortion legislation at all. It’s the only logical explanation afaics when compared to the overwhelming majority in favour of abortion available in more circumstances than under X.

9. Tawdy - December 2, 2012

Oh the times………..they are a changing! Thank you Bob.

10. Rot Peter der Affe - December 2, 2012

I wouldn’t mind betting that the percentage in favour of a woman’s right to choose among the so-called ‘diaspora’, would be well over 50%.

Forced emmigration selects powerfully for social conservatism.

FergusD - December 3, 2012

“Forced emmigration selects powerfully for social conservatism”, don’t you mean “against social conservatism”? I always found the Irish diaspora + descendants in the UK to be Labour voting (it was a relief to see an Irish surname on the canvass card, just tick ‘em off!). Maybe different now though? More class dependent?
The Irish in the UK were socially a bit more conservative than the English, but the Catholic position on contraception (Humanae Vitae?) was, I think, ignored by many Irish in the UK (my parents thought it bonkers). Less liberal on abortion, but heck, most in the UK accept the woman’s choice position, including the Irish I think, and very little is heard about it. I think other recent immigrants may have taken over from the Irish as the stalwarts of Catholic churches and social conservatism (Nigerians, Poles).

11. irishelectionliterature - December 3, 2012

Full poll details etc here
Note on page 8 we see support for the Socialist Party listed……. at 0

doctorfive - December 3, 2012

Just 1 in 10 (10%) do not support the legislation of the X case, with 5% undecided. I compiled this list of media contributors over the past few weeks to show just how over represented that view is https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A9JWDAECYAE9BQC.png:large

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