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A former Minister writes about the SBP poll. September 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Michael McDowell, for it is he, is in thoughtful mood about the latest RedC poll.

What the poll tell us is that nobody sees a coherent option for the next government. Worse still, it seems that the polls are predicting an incoherent option – or options – for the next government. The “new politics” are in fact the politics of paralysis.


Assuming that FF maintains its position of “no coalition with FG” up to and including the next election, we seem set to be governed by a centre party (FF or FG ) having the support of a quarter of the voters,  in coalition with an entourage of left-wing splinter groups chosen from among “the Left, the Hard Left and the Left-Overs”. And such a government will face its mirror image on the opposition benches. God help us!

Ignore the jibes about the ‘Left…’ and he has a point in relation to how matters will proceed.

Funnily enough Adrian Kavanagh’s latest projections bear this out:

Fianna Fail 27% (down 2% relative to the previous Red C opinion poll), Independents and Others 26% (NC) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 6%, Social Democrats 4%, Green Party 2%, Renua <1%, Independent Alliance 4%, Other Independents 10% – Fine Gael 25% (down 1%), Sinn Fein 15% (up 2%), Labour Party 7% (up 1%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows:  Fianna Fail 52, Fine Gael 44, Sinn Fein 23, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 8, Labour Party 7, Social Democrats 4, Independents 20.  

I think we have to be careful about the churn at the lower percentages but what is apparent is that FF bests FG by really not that much – this is no great breakthrough. SF retains the same number of seats there or thereabouts. AAAPBP might see some extra, possibly the SDs likewise, and… painful as this must be to the larger parties… Independents and Others retain a cohesiveness that blocks further movement by FF or FG. Oh, and the demise of the LP is perhaps overrated – though… though, presumably some will be retiring, etc.

McDowell hopes that matters will resume a more… traditional course, but I wonder. One has to ask why should they? Where do voters go? Why do they go there? Granted over time we may suspect that FF will gain a few more percentage points. But it is not an inevitability. And then where will be? 🙂


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