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Conflicting ROI polls July 5, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.


Well now. What to make of the two most recent polls. In all the excitement I missed the one from the weekend of Brexit. But it was intriguing in itself. As Adrian Kavanagh noted:

The 26th June Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll estimated party support levels as follows: Independents and Others 27% (up 1%) – including Social Democrats 1%, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 4%, Renua 1%, Green Party 3%, Workers Party 2%, Independent Alliance 4%, Other Independents 9% – Fine Gael 26% (NC), Fianna Fail 25% (down 2%), Sinn Fein 17% (up 1%), Labour Party 5% (NC).


And then there’s the one from this weekend from the Sunday Independent which suggests a massive shift – but one to the status quo. Coming close on the heels of Brexit (though note that ‘The survey of 1,000 face-to-face interviews was taken between 18th and 29th June.’) who is benefitting? Is it the anti-EU further left? Is it the Social Democrats, the Independents, is it feck? It’s Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and perhaps a swing from independents to Sinn Féin (who took a Remain position).

The results:

Compared to the General Election result, the poll found that when you exclude undecided voters, support for Independents has dropped by 10 percentage points to 8%.

…a substantial rise in support for Sinn Féin – up six points to 20% since the February election.

The other big mover is Fine Gael, the party’s support was gauged at 30%. That is up four points since the election.

Fianna Fáil support has also risen by two points to 26%.

Elsewhere, Labour is unchanged on 7%, the AAA-PBP are also static on 4% and the Green Party is on 3% once more.

The Social Democrats have dropped one point and stand at 2% support in the poll.

That would make the entire Independents and Others vote equal to about 17%. That’s a full 10% less than the ST/B&A poll. Does this signify real movements? I don’t know. But it is extremely striking. Not least because the Other component of the vote seems to be static. Practically identical polling figures for AAA, GP, SD.

So what to make of it? The Independent is arguing that this indicates a shift to ‘stability’ after Brexit. I think that’s just about plausible. Brexit is, after all, a massive change to not just the UK, but this island in particular and to the EU more broadly. Further the solidity of polling in favour of the EU suggests that it would take a lot more than Brexit to detach Irish voters from adherence to membership.

But has sufficient changed in the week or so since the previous vote to deliver that striking change? 10% peeled away from Ind? Or is the period in which the poll was conducting, straddling the referendum result make this all problematic?

What do people think?


1. Tawdy - July 5, 2016

I think that we give to much credence to these polls and these polling companies. We are no longer fooled by them.


2. Dermot O Connor - July 5, 2016

Having followed http://ukpollingreport.co.uk during the Scottish and BREXIT refs., and read his analyses and rules of thumb on polls, it’s clear that the Irish journalistic class doesn’t do likewise.

QUOTE (paraphrase) “The more interesting a poll is, the more likely it is to be wrong. You need to see a series of different polls in a given direction before becoming excited about it”. UNQUOTE

Maybe Ireland (unlike the UK) doesn’t do enough polls for people to become accustomed to reading them as one should (as part of a whole, with signal/noise).

QUOTE (paraphrase) “Only compare polls within a single company, don’t compare them across companies”. (UNQUOTE)

The Irish media do the opposite. You’ll often see them give ups and downs by comparing a MB poll with SBP!

They spin huge narratives out of polls, sometimes on the back of data that are within the margin of error! “X support surges” (drill down and find a 1.5% move up with a 2 or 3% margin of error. This disgraceful ‘reporting’ is the norm, not the exception, in Dublin.

Then again, staring at that white screen, having to fill it up with pixels, that’s a daunting task. And if you’re paid by the word, well…. (not everyone can vomit the contents of their id on the screen like Ian O Doherty, and get paid for it).

Liked by 1 person

3. Gerryboy - July 5, 2016

Whether or not opinion polls are ‘scientific’ and the tabulations are within ‘margins of error’ there are too many human emotional unknowns and chimeras to make them accurate. I don’t know if it is good or bad for a thinking democratic society to be bombarded by frequent opinion poll ‘findings’. Some voters decide at a late stage how to vote according to published findings i.e. not according to any intense thinking about the issues. (It’s like gamblers deciding to back the favourite or second favourite in horse racing.) French election law prohibits the publication of opinion poll findings within so many days after public campaigning has officially begun.French law also prohibits door-to-door canvassing – this focuses on television debates and public meetings.


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