That Sunday Business Post poll… October 28, 2010Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
Many thanks to AK from the IELB (and in way this parish too) for the following analysis of the most recent Sunday Business Post poll.
Looking at the poll initially it’s Fianna Fáil’s 18 per cent that catches the eye. 23 or 24 per cent was assumed to be their bottom line as despite everything they had been solid at that level in Red C Polls since April.
As a sample Fianna Fáil polled just over 18% (74,302) of the vote in the 2009 European Elections in Dublin. On the last count Eoin Ryan had 76,956 votes. Fianna Fail are now at 14% in Dublin and even less transfer friendly.
Look at 3 seaters such as the two Tipperary’s. Fianna Fáil have 3 TDS, on 18% they could possibly lose all three seats. That’s how bad it is. Six months ago they would have easily held on to two. At that level few if any FF seats are safe. Not alone that but it’s going to be almost impossible to implement any kind of vote management in lots of constituencies where there are two incumbents. Fianna Fáil’s predicament in Dublin is exacerbated by the demise of the PDs, one of their major sources of transfers.
Again Fine Gael are solid with a gain of 1% to 32%. So Kenny’s leadership is safe for another while at least. They are 5 points up from their 2007 election performance. Given the perception that they are more supportive of the Governments policies than Labour, Its hard to see them going much higher.
Labour at 27% is an increase back to where they were in June. The cost of the bank bailout must surely have been part of this gain. Whilst Labour have committed themselves to the €3bn in cuts, it is worth asking did they commit themselves to the €5bn to €7bn being talked about at the minute? I suspect too that Labour would do well to take a leaf out of Sinn Féins recent proposals “…for TDs salaries to be cut by 20 per cent and Ministers salaries by 40 per cent.”
Sinn Féin are down 1%, they have come up with some decent policies (an example above) but still appear to have an issue in terms of the 10% support barrier. It’s a pity we don’t have a decent breakdown of Independents/others as they have gone from 6% in June to 10% now. Some of it must be a shift to some of the Parties on the Left but it would be interesting if they could separate Independents and small parties.
Back then to Fianna Fáil’s prospects…
Pat Leahy in his analysis made an excellent point regarding the drop in Fianna Fáil’s vote.
Why this change and why now?
One of the most important messages of the long and regular series of Red C polls is that a lot of the political flim-flam that preoccupies the political classes and political media goes over the head of ordinary voters. They simply don’t notice or care what politicians are saying most of the time. However, some events do break through and register as profound and lasting movement on the political matrix. This is the first Sunday Business Post poll since the announcement of the full cost of the banking rescue (Black Thursday).
He’s right too. The cost of the Bank Bailout led many to question if Saint Brian was all he was cracked up to be and if Fianna Fáil even knew what they were doing.
It’s also a case that a lot of the disgust over the whole crisis has previously been aired towards the political classes rather than Fianna Fáil, “They’re all the same … only in it for themselves…” and other staples. Fianna Fáil now talk about ‘peoples faith in politics’ in what is an attempt to associate the opposition to themselves.
The problem now for Fianna Fáil is that we have another “event” in the Budget coming up. Last year we had Lenihan’s Levies and some other cuts that were direct to the pocket of workers. One factor that stopped a total collapse in FF support was the anti-Public sector cheerleaders who were only too delighted to see Public Servants pay being cut, ‘living in the real world’ and so on.
Now though everyone will be hit both in their pocket and through services. (as an aside I was talking to someone who works in a hospice. As patients pass away, their beds are no longer being filled. So preparations are well underway.) As we know ‘everything is on the table’ (bar of course judges pay and pensions).
The poll also asked if voters would prefer the government to make cuts in public services rather than raise taxes? 45% agreed, 33% disagreed. So we have a split over cuts and taxes and that is without even asking about the time-frame all this should be done in.
The budget cannot be done with just cuts alone. They will have to raise taxes too. There will be some of the usual ‘tough but fair’ statements about the budget. So if they are cutting, they will have to cut all payments. Child benefit looks as if it will be cut, payments for each child to be the same.
To please some of the papers they might put a limit on the number of children that can be claimed for. They will also put limits on the amount of dole money someone can get. This to hit the stereotypical family with 42 children living in a council house minting it in welfare where it wouldn’t be worth their while getting a job.
Services will be cut and I’m wondering, even with the Croke Park Deal in place can there be new Public Service Levies on the public sector. That is if that deal survives.
As for tax increases, I think they can get away with an increase in the levy. A Property Tax though is something that will kill them. How do you value a property at the minute? Then for many at the minute having a property is a liability rather than an asset. What about landlords, do they pay? What about NAMAed apartment blocks that are rented out as they can’t sell them? Then we’ll have Mr and Mrs Angry all over Ireland who are “paying a property Tax to pay public servants massive pensions”
This of course is only a small sample.
So the budget is going to hurt almost everyone. Some more so than others. Some are prepared to accept pain, others not. No matter what it wont be ‘fair’.
A few examples… On Monday I listened to Dermot Ahern defend salaries of up to 200k a year for those developers in NAMA. Then there is the simple things such as a minister using the car or jet in a manner they shouldn’t have. Even the recent corruption charges councillors, they are small fry, yet they are being charged whilst nobody has yet to face any charges as regards the effective economic collapse of our country.
So I think the budget will make people even more aware of the failings of ‘the system’ allied to them being hit in their pockets. Fianna Fáil on 14% next time?
The one question asked by those that only take in ‘events’ will be asked again… “I don’t understand why they can’t go after the bankers?”.