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That weekend Sunday Independent poll… increasing support for SF, no evidence of a boost from the budget and what of government formation? November 4, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

I’ve already noted some oddities in regard to the SI poll and other matters here…

But really, there’s no question it is a most curious poll.

Sinn Fein 26% (up 4%), Fine Gael 22% (down 3%), Fianna Fail 20% (down 1%), Labour Party 7% (down 2%), Independents, Green Party and Others 24% (NC). 

And Adrian Kavanagh does his usual sterling work by providing a projection.

Fianna Fail 34, Fine Gael 43, Sinn Fein 44, Labour Party 2, Independents and Others 35. 

I’ve noted in the post linked to above some of the issues pertaining to SF’s increase and how the media has tried to deflect from the reality of that. I’ve also offered some reasons why the Cahill controversy may not have impinged on that party. We will see if that support is sustained in other polls, I tend to the view that it will remain solid – if for no other reason than the current establishment parties are in a remarkably weak position to contest SF on matters socio-political or economic (which is not to say that SF should not be subject to critique, it should as should all).

But what of the poll more broadly?

The basic structures remain there or thereabouts. The LP having no bounce from either Burton or the Budget. Fine Gael likewise not seeing any reward from the latter. Fianna Fáil still locked into a fairly constrained area of support and Others/Independents constituting a solid 1 in 4 of voters or thereabouts.

One thought I kept hearing over the years as the Ind/Other category solidified its vote was that as the election came closer there would be a stark attrition of support in evidence. That, as of yet, has not come to pass. Anything but. And I’d hazard that if the government can’t reap the rewards of the last budget (however marginally) and FF can’t boost its position then it is highly likely that they won’t do much damage to that vote in the months ahead. Not, that is, that there won’t be any softening of it.

That said, note one very curious dynamic. SF may be gaining support but it’s not at the expense of Ind/Other (or not overtly). Instead it is the governing parties and FF who are shedding support. Granted a lot of this is margin of error, but… it is suggestive.

So, where does this go? In terms of government formation it opens up some remarkable vista’s. SF and FF and a.n.other might just do it. On Kavanagh’s projections they’re 78, just shy of a majority. FG and FF would have a slightly tougher time trying to build a coalition, but it would be far from impossible. Labour aren’t even at the races – 2 seats? And in that Ind/Other churn there would be no doubt a fair few willing to do the deals to assist government formation.

Is this likely to be sustained? I’m not entirely convinced. I’d tend to a cautious projection that FG will still be out ahead of SF, with the latter and FF vying for second position and perhaps SF a bit ahead.

But there’s another point to be made… and that is in relation to the much vaunted new right party. More on that later…


1. workers republicu - November 4, 2014

The about turn by SF on payment of water charges could have been a factor in the increase in their vote. Not only were the people who were opposed to the charges disgusted by Mary Lou saying that she would pay, but more importantly, SF members were , including TD and Councillors. I know that from speaking to Councillors and rank and file members. Local Councillors and TD stated that they wwould not pay,before it became official policy. Fair play to those SF members who stood on
principle where water charges are concerned by increased PRSI Vat and VRC and motor tax

concerned. We already pay for them

through increased P


workers republicu - November 4, 2014

Typo: (words missing) We already pay by increased PRSI, VRT,VAT and motor tax.


2. CL - November 4, 2014

Tommy McKearney in his Socialist Voice piece makes a good point about Sinn Fein’s rise.
” the apparent rise and success of Sinn Féin may leave a lasting impression that challenging the state does not inevitably bring defeat, isolation, and rejection. However compliant or conformist Sinn Féin may be or may become, its electoral rehabilitation risks setting a bad example as far as the forces of right-wing conservatism are concerned.”


workers republicu - November 4, 2014

Just after reading Tommy ‘s article in Socialist Voice on the Maria Cahill situation, on the net.
It’s balanced and very well written. I concur with every thing he said on the Maria Cahill situation, though I do not agree that all criticism of the IRA from every organization that claimed to be of the Left,was well meaning. The obstructiive actions of the WP and particularly their British organization Clann na hEireann to support for the Hunger Strikers was disgraceful.. Not all WP members and supporters took this attitude though. I know friends who walked out, when they were told that
destructive policy and I remember
Kevin Mallon proudly saying that
Coalisland ‘Sticks’ supported the ’75 Hunger Strikers in Portlaoise .
All the points Tommy made re. Maria Cahill is sympathic, supportive and balanced. As he said this goes beyond a witchhunt of Adams and SF.
I recommend it be read.I look forward to more articles from Tommy.


3. EamonnCork - November 4, 2014

I believe Sinn Fein backed off on opposing the water charges because they believed they were adopting a ‘responsible’ centrist position. The problem is that the centre on this issue has shifted and it’s pretty much impossible to caricature the opponents of the charge as extremists any more. So they’ve been opportunist about it. But better that I suppose than sticking with an indefensible position out of sheer stubbornness. SIPTU’s arguments in favour of the charge are the worst kind of sophistry.


4. Liberius - November 4, 2014


Millward Brown’s press report there. Not exactly that much more informative that what has already come out, though of interest might be the fact that support for the Sindo’s cause of a new party is quite strong amongst SF supporters, something those in SF might want to ponder when they crow about their enhanced position in the polls.

Also, for anyone who was wondering, the greens are scaling the heady heights of 1%.


CMK - November 4, 2014

‘Also, for anyone who was wondering, the greens are scaling the heady heights of 1%.’

The Others.


WorldbyStorm - November 4, 2014

Would they get a seat on that anywhere?


Jolly Red Giant - November 4, 2014

Very unlikely – their best prospect is Ryan – but he has major competition.


Liberius - November 4, 2014

Doubtful, if they did it would have to be fluke on transfers. Though I doubt that they’re really on only 1%, looking at my records Millward Brown tend to be the most pessimistic about the greens.


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