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Post elections poll June 7, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

I missed this this morning, so many thanks to Paddy Healy for noting it. The Millward Brown/Independent poll has the following figures.

The party support levels sees Fine Gael on 20pc, down from the 36pc received in the last general election; and the Labour Party on 5pc, down from 19pc in the 2011 vote. Fianna Fail is on 20pc, up from the 17pc it achieved in the 2011 General Election meltdown.

Sinn Fein is up to 26pc from the 10pc the party achieved in the last general election, and Independents, on 27pc, have risen from the 15pc support levels in 2011.

The figure for the Independents includes the People Before Profit Alliance on 1pc and the Socialist Party on 1pc.

Caveats abound. Given the popularity of SF at the election (and let’s see how the events on Councils impact on that – if at all) there’s some likelihood of people recording increased support in a bandwagon effect. Paddy notes that we don’t know the figure for ‘Don’t Knows’. And there’s going to be no election tomorrow.

Still, and all, SF will be pleased. Inds should likewise be delighted. SF and PBP will no doubt be feeling good , not least because their vote tends to be localised to specific constituencies. And FF/FG and the LP? You can guess.


1. shea - June 7, 2014

real politic what does a new labour leader think when he/she sees 5%, give out about the wall paper and leave or watch that slip to 3% and maybe 1%?


WorldbyStorm - June 7, 2014

In any other circumstance I’d have thought they’d walk… but with the current crew. Maybe White would see the writing on the wall, though I don’t know. But Burton?


shea - June 7, 2014

there is a thesis in this stuff. i remember with cowen one of the things that interested me and i get why he didn’t, government subservient to capital and all that, but that a dyed in the wool FF would make decisions that go against the interest of the party, the state i can understand but the party. Its brushed off as incompetence but think it tells us more.


CMK - June 7, 2014

Well, reading the pitches both of them make in the IT today it’s safe to say that both are completely detached from any recognisable political reality. White was talking about ‘Social Democracy’ as if he really believed he was a member of an actually existing social Democratic Party. It’s safe to say that whoever wins the Labour leadership, that party is toast. Labour’s wipeout in the 80’s, and subsequent recovery in the early 90’s, is absolutely no guide to what will happen to Labour post local elections 2014. Neither White nor Burton, on the evidence of the pieces in the IT, seem even remotely conscious of just how deep the hole they are in, is. A decent person would ask them to dust off a copy of the Labour Party 2011 manifesto and map it against their policies from March 2011. Even then I don’t think they’d realise just how how enormous their problems are.


WorldbyStorm - June 7, 2014

+1 CMK


2. ivorthorne - June 8, 2014

I’ve said it before, but figures like this just remind me why the Left parties need to start organising outside of their traditional constituencies.

Support for the policies favourted by the parties of the Left are even higher than those observed above. SF have properly organised themselves across all counties and constituencies and see the results. You have to wonder

If the likes of the SP and SWP actually existed in more constituencies, their national polling figures would be higher. With polls likes these, you are questions like “Who would you vote for in the next election” and voters in constituencies that have no Left candidates have no choice but to say “Sinn Fein” or “Labour”.

Look at the likes of Sligo where Declan Bree and Seamus O’Boyle were elected. Hell, look at the Euro elections where the likes of Ming was voted in. The Midlands and NW are not places that are completely wedded to FG and FF.

A “proper” and credible Left candidate in every constituency should be a target for the Left over the next 2 years.


WorldbyStorm - June 8, 2014

Very true Ivorthorne. Building a ‘footprint’ for the left is a big part of the process and it’s clearly something that as you say SF went for early on – I’ve said it before but I still was amazed at just how many seats SF was suddenly in contention for in 2011, but that was built on years of having even small branches on the ground, etc, etc. And there’s a pull aspect to that as a party gets more popular nationally so that even places that don’t seem to be in contention at one point a few years later are doing really well.


3. Paddy Healy - June 8, 2014

Political Earthquake Rumbles On!
Analysis wp.me/pKzXa-kQ

Millward BrownPoll and Election Results Are Compared Below

It is to be expected that parties such as Sinn Féin which surged forward during the actual election would surge further forward in polls for a period thereafter. Nevertheless, the Sinn Féin increase to 26% up over 10% on the local election performance in the poll is truly remarkable. Equally expected is a continued downward trend for parties such as Fine Gael and Labour who did badly in the election. Though the Labour drop is within the margin of error, the actual figure is at the boundary of complete marginalisation. The local election outcome has damaged the credibility of the Labour party and credibility is a huge factor in politics. As I pointed out earlier, the Labour Party in Local government is not only over 100 seats behind Sinn Féin, but has a seat less than the combined labour movement left on local authorities. (Lab 51 seats, Combined Left 52 seats)

The drop in FF, FG, Lab could also be partially explained by traditional party supporters voting for individuals(neighbours etc) despite their party banner in the local elections. The European election results, where the vast majority were not voting for local figures, are much nearer the poll figures. But the increase for SF in the Poll (6.5%) is still remarkable in comparison to its higher the European election figure (19.5%).

Sinn Fein voters were explicitly voting for the Sinn Fein PARTY in both elections and are assumed to be continuing to do so in poll. Transfers rates between Sinn féin candidates in the same local authority electoral area were much higher than transfers between candidates of the same traditional party .
Local elections% May 23 Actual

FF 25.3 Fg 24 SF 15.2 Lab 7.2 Others 28.3

Millward Brown Poll% June 7

FF 20 FG 20 SF 26 Lab 5 Others 29

European Election % May 23

Ff 22.3 FG 22.3 SF 19.5 Lab 5.3 Others 30.6
“Dont Knows” have not yet become available in THE MILLWARD BROWN POLL


WorldbyStorm - June 8, 2014

Thanks Paddy.


4. Paddy Healy - June 8, 2014

The reality is that political room for socisl democracy has been removed in “programme countries” .Classical social democracy is almost extinct in Greece.
I rarely agree with John Bruton but he is correct in predicting (at least) 10 years more of austerity. The EU has quantified what is necessary to remove “the structural deficit” under the fiscal treaty- a change from -4.8% of GDP in 2014 to +4.9% in 2018. Then the requirement to PAY DOWN (not roll-over) the state debt from 120% of GDP to 60% of GDP over 20 years kicks in. No wonder, John Bruton is concerned about the government parties “raising expectations”.
Unless there is decisive intervention from the left, the following is likely to happen: Some combination of Sinn Fein and the traditional parties will come into government in the next general election. The government will “discover” that the economy is not “recovering” after all and that the outgoing government has concealed the extent of the problems. Blaming the outgoing government(It was ever thus), they will then launch a new round of austerity in line with the Fiscal Treaty.
Meanwhile extreme right wing forces will gather as the left and the trade union movement fail to show a way forward for the people
There will be a heavy price to be paid if the left cannot create a credible and principled alternative–
A pretend alternative, involving forces which are not opposed to coalition with FG and/or FF in principle, would create a worse scenario with a fraction of the “left alternative” joining the government (“a national government”), thereby further disorienting any left alternative which may have existed before the election ——


CL - June 8, 2014

“Some combination of Sinn Fein and the traditional parties will come into government in the next general election.”-Looks like the same old same old,-despite the ‘seismic shift’.


CL - June 8, 2014

“History leaves its mark. And our history has been one of deference. To the British Empire. To the Bishops. To our European masters. To the bankers and their handmaidens. – See more at: http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/gene-kerrigan/merely-human-waste-to-be-disposed-of-30337391.html#sthash.AcLxqzs3.dpuf

Will Sinn Fein in power defer to the dictates of international capital?


Paddy Healy - June 8, 2014

The “seismic shift” is away from political allegiance to the traditional parties. That alone could not be expected to provide a way forward. But the circumstance in which the southern state can no longer depend solely on the traditional FF, FG, Lab parties is not a “same old, same old” situation.
The last big political crisis was “solved” for capitalism by MacBride entering government AND by the expansionist Keynesian policies of westen governments(including Marshall Aid) which created a relatively favourable international environment.
There are many differences to-day. Sinn Fein already has more seats than Clann Na Poblahta achieved and is about to gain far more. Sinn Fein is organised on a 32 county basis. It will be far more difficult for Sinn Fein to deliver its southern supporters to support austerity than it was to enter an administration with Unionism. Northern nationalists feel threatened by sectarian discrimination and many see SF participation in the Stormont administration as a protection.
How many southern workers would forgive SF for supporting austerity?
I would opine that the real movers and shakers of the southern state (eg. John Bruton) are very worried. Clearly they believe that the EU is determined to continue implementing austerity under the Fiscal Treaty. What would “expectations” be like if Sinn féin entered government having promised to end austerity?
There are similarities with the past but there are also important and crucial differences.
There are serious opportunities for the left and the trade unions if they are grasped.


CL - June 8, 2014

Well then Sinn Fein cannot enter government with one or more of the traditional parties unless these parties resile from austerity and the Fiscal Treaty, which is unlikely.


Paddy Healy - June 8, 2014

I cannot understand why you draw this conclusion. I am assuming that Sinn Féin will enter a government with one or more of the traditional parties and that Sinn Féin will resile from its ant-austerity programme and risk a large loss of support in the process. Sinn Féin has already made it clear that it has no difficulty entering coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael in principle. Sinn féin is well aware that the EU will insist on adherence to the fiscal treaty and that FF and/or Fine Gael will veto any serious inroads into the assets or incomes of the very rich. Reformist parties never have any difficulty convincing themselves that they are acting in the interest of the people when entering capitalist coalition governments (they are protecting us from worse etc-“same old, same old”!!!!!).
One of the major matters which has not been touched upon in post election discussions is the problems called for collaborationist union leaders by the election outcome. There are already indications that union members, encouraged by the blows delivered to government in the elections, are growing increasingly resistant to the collaborationist policies of union leaders. I will return to this topic.


CL - June 8, 2014

I agree that if Sinn Fein coalesces with F.F or F.G it would have to be on a pro-austerity basis. How is that different from what is happening now?


shea - June 8, 2014

how do you think these opportunities by the left and trade union movement can be grasped?

for me, i accept Venezuela is a bit of a cliche here but from my observation they did something very humble but worth while and still through their strategy with its limitations, they explained the nature of power, the permanent civil service those who control wealth etc and brought them centre stage as opponents,that is not done here, we have faceless terms like bankers and developers but kenny or cowen before him are the face of ‘all our woes’ its theatrical. Regardless of how big the shinners and the wider left get i don’t think they are ready for that battle yet if they present it as a game of white knights v black knights.


Paddy Healy - June 8, 2014

I agree with you that Kenny, Cowan, Gilmore, Martin are merely front of houses salespeople-hence my reference to “the real movers and shakers(eg. John Bruton with his extensive international contacts))” I believe that senior civil servants and senior businees people and senior trade union leaders are also among the real movers and shakers and that they have confidential links with senior international “movers and shakers”.
You are right to ask how the opportunities can be grasped. I will attempt to answer this question soon.


Paddy Healy - June 10, 2014

The political earthquake in voting allegiance in recent elections presents huge problems for union leaders. The combined non-Labour Party Left (excluding Sinn Féin) is now bigger than the Labour Party in local government! Big unions affiliated to the Labour Party were unable to deliver votes to Labour. A large banner on the SIPTU building in central Dublin urged votes for Emer Costelloe (Labour Party). There are 11 other trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party including TSSA, UCATT, Municipal Employees Division of IMPACT and UNITE which has suspended it’s affiliation!
In addition to Sinn Féin heading the European election poll in the Dublin Constituency with over 88,000 votes we see the following in details of the first count:

Socialist Party Murphy, Paul 29953
Labour Party Costello, Emer 25961
People before Profit (SWP) Smith, Bríd 23875

The leaders of SIPTU, the giant general union, were totally ignored by their members. It is clear that union leaders are totally out of step with the popular mood.
Nevertheless, since the election, SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor has said:” Labour should remain in Government. It is vital there is a voice in Cabinet to challenge austerity” (Cork Echo June 5) UNBELIEVABLE!!!! The question of mobilisation of members against austerity couldn’t even be mentioned!!!

Full DOC http://wp.me/pKzXa-ls


workers republic - June 8, 2014

A scary vista Paddy , Friday evening’s 1st meeting of Cork City Council , does not bode well for the future. Sinn Fein plus AAA (SP dominated) plus WP plus independents, elected 16. FF+FG had 16 also; Sinn Fein voted for Mary Shields, Fianna Fail for Mayor, elected. Liz O Donnel AAA (not SP member, a community activist only got 4 votes (AAA SP+1WP). SF also voted for a FF for Deputy Mayor. (unwittingly I left out the word ” Lord”) :-elected . Ted Tynan (WP) got 5 votes. I don’t know where the extra vote came from. Independent Kieran Mc Carthy ,UCC historian abstained.
FF’s leader in the Council O Leary,said this, the Le Hundt system is the most democratic and all parties, even those who voted agains it could get the Mayoralty depending on the number of members elected over a 5 year period.
Many people believe what Sinn Fein wanted was to get to have the Lord Mayoralty in 2016, and if we can go by last Friday evening’s meeting, they’ll get to get the Deputy Mayor as well .
If the left Councillors plus Sinn Fein had formed a bloc, could they have got
to a better position.
Ultimately it is the City Manager,employed by the Government who calls the shots
A left bloc could at least register opposition by voting against the austerity policies of the City Manag
We need left parties to work together, but it’s not happening.

The one hopeful sign is “ordinary people”, like those opposing the installation of water meters, organising in their own communities


Tawdy - June 8, 2014

I don’t for the life of me get how Sinn Fein is classed as left wing, they are Fianna Fáil lite. It is so glaringly obvious a blind man would pick up on it immediately !

When the general election dust settles, just like labour before them, their true colours will shine through, god ( not a believers here ) help us all!


fergal - June 8, 2014

Can the shinners be that dumb? People obviously voted for them against austerity. If they just want to get into govt. for 2016 to continue to implement austerity, they will be wiped out in the election after next. Surely, they know that their vote has gone up because of the economic context, that people are fed up with the big three, that voters weren’t voting on an armed struggle platform let alone a united Ireland. Let’s see what will happen come budget time in various councils.
Amazing how the shinners forget that some strands of the hard left supported the provos through thick and thin and all they want now in the way of social transformation is ministers in place north and south for 2016.


Jack Jameson - June 8, 2014

Amazing how the shinners forget that some strands of the hard left supported the provos through thick and thin.”
Eh? Who, how, when and where?
And was that the SWP/PBPA or SP/AAA? I don’t think so.

The Shinners are obviously not as clever as “the hard Left” because look at where their respective formations are, North and South.

Roll on the day when the pure-hearted Trotskyist revolutionists sweep to power through Dáil elections or storm the Winter Palace in Merrion Street.


WorldbyStorm - June 8, 2014

Tawdy, I’m as cynical as the next person re SF or indeed any formation or non-formation. But, they do at this moment in time fulfil a useful function (which many of those involved in SF who I know are sincere believers of) as an anti-austerity force which is bringing in significant numbers of people to that position. Their broader party platform is by any reasonable criteria well well to the left of FF if a far cry from that which would construct a socialist republic.

And of course both of those aspects may well be found wanting in the near future. But… as long as they remain outside of government with the right and they continue to hold those positions and preach that message then I’m not going to complain.

Re your question fergal, I think that’s a good one, that participation in a government isn’t something that can be explained away here as participation in the North could be.

I’d agree entirely with Jack Jameson, the strands of the hard left that supported SF and PIRA are few and far to find in any real sense in the South. That was much more a characteristic of the UK further left (and not even all of that either, Militant weren’t fans). SWP sort of kind of supported them, but read the stuff in the Archive and it was very limited.

There’s also a bit of lack of proportion in some of what’s being expressed re SF. It’s a vastly bigger formation than (I’d suspect) the entirety of the further left in this state. It’s not really beholden to any, how could it be with its history and its own identity.


5. Jim Monaghan - June 8, 2014

You have to compare SF top something else before you can describe it as left or right. Compared to Labour it is left. If it enters coalition next time or the time after, then it is the same.


6. Ceannaire - June 8, 2014

The poll was apparently taken in February, so there would have been no bandwagon effect from the locals.


WorldbyStorm - June 8, 2014

Are we talking about the same thing?

“Should the Government collapse, Sinn Fein (at 26 per cent) is firm favourite to lead a new coalition – with a range of potential partners. The nationwide survey, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday last, shows that voters’ attitudes have, if anything, hardened further since the recent elections to such an extent that it is now conceivable that a Sinn Fein-led hard Left Government may be elected for the first time”



7. fergal - June 8, 2014

Jack- WbS kind of answered my question regarding support from the far left for the armed struggle, and he’s fairly right there it tended to be more across the water-red action, rev. comm. grouping, parts of swp.
People like Bernie devlin did huge anti- h block work as did people like paddy healy, mattie merrigan. People like harrington and gilligan in limerick were perhaps sympathetic to the struggle as was gregory(perry?) to a certain extent in dublin.
Further afield the french communist party provided support, didn’t danny morrison run as proxy candidate for democraztia proletarriian(?) in a euro election in italy? Most recently Tsirpas of syriza was quick out of the traps to defend adams follwing his recent arrest- compare and contrast this with ff and fg’s attitude over same.
My point, and I mentioned this before, is sf can be a magnet for change if it hooks up with lab., greens, indo left and far left uniquely on the basis of policy and fighting austerity.
On a related point, i’m indifferent to mayors etc but sincerely hope that shinners have wherewithal to know theri enemies further down the road(ie ff and fg).
Were the aaa and pbp calling for transfers to sf before the election? why not?
Let’s see what happens later on.


WorldbyStorm - June 8, 2014

“On a related point, i’m indifferent to mayors etc but sincerely hope that shinners have wherewithal to know theri enemies further down the road(ie ff and fg).”

That’s the key point.


8. ivorthorne - June 8, 2014

Sinn Fein – for all its flaws – tends to think a bit more about the long term impact of their actions when compared to the likes of the Greens or Labour. SF will participate in government with any party if it feels that this will further the cause of Irish unity.

The question they’ll be asking is if going into coalition with FF/FG as a minority partner will have the same impact on them as it had with Labour and the Greens, I suspect SF would have no problems entering government with anybody if they were the largest coalition partner.


9. Paddy Healy - June 9, 2014

I received this message from my colleague in TUI, Sean Edwards:
Thanks, Paddy for that thoughtful comment.

The reality is that the objective conditions for social democracy no longer exist, at least in Europe and the United States. This why the Social Democratic parties of Europe have abandoned social democracy. They have played an essential role in implementing the Thatcher – Blair or Kohl-Schroeder economic programme, with their ability to demobilise the trade union movement. This is what the trade union leadership is doing now, their loyalty to the Labour Party is greater than their loyalty to the working class.

However, the subjective social democratic space still exists, in that it remains the ideology of the majority of the working class. This means that “left” political forces rush in to this space, notably Syriza in Greece and the Front de Gauche in France, which includes the communist party. Sinn Féin obviously wants to mop up the Labour vote by substituting for the Labour Party, just as it successfully went after the SDLP vote. As Paddy points out , this is peddling an illusion. Alas, some of the left might also be tempted to enter this space, as their recent election campaigns might suggest.

The European Union treaties have closed off not only social democratic but even Keynesian policies. When the left fails to oppose the EU project it leaves the way open for the right to exploit the people’s frustration, not only in France.


10. roddy - June 10, 2014

Throughout the northern conflict,I never attended a SF led protest demonstration of any significance that wasn’t attended by the SWP.In fact the establishment media often referred to the SWP and similar groups as “the smaller left wing groups that tag on behind SF.Also no matter what he says today ,Eamon McCann would have been much closer to the SF position and totally opposed to the WP position.Harris would have called him “a provo trot”.


11. Paddy Healy - June 10, 2014

Roddy,you are right of course!
Harris also referred to Alex White as a “provo-trot” because he opposed the support of Harris for section 31 in RTE!!!


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