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A three larger party system? October 17, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Adrian Kavanagh has been number crunching on foot of the second last poll and the results are intriguing. He notes that:

The 6th October Irish Times/Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 26% (down 7% relative to the previous Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll), Independents and Others 24% (up 2%) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3%, Social Democrats 2%, Green Party 3%, Renua <1%, Independents 15% – Fine Gael 26% (up 2%), Sinn Fein 19% (up 3%), Labour Party 5% (NC). M

His projections are:

Fianna Fail 48, Fine Gael 48, Sinn Fein 31, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3, Green Party 3, Labour Party 2, Social Democrats 2, Independents 22.

And he notes that for IPSOS/MRBI polls the summer was something of a watershed with FG and FF achieving near parity. Now the latest ST/B&A poll has seen that somewhat reversed but if the IPSOS/MRBI trend continues that will be indicative. And he considers a point:

Sinn Fein support levels are notably closer to those of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail that was the case with Labour for most of the state’s history, if these support trends were to pan out in future elections it could well be the case that a new “three party system” could well be replacing the old “two-and-a-half party system”. This is not, of course, to downplay the significant level of support that is still commanded by the Independents and Others grouping, but this grouping – as discussed in detail above – does face greater challenges in terms of translating support levels into seat gains than would be the case for the larger political parties.

I think that that is highly persuasive as an analysis. SF does seem, with remarkable ease, to have leap-frogged the Labour Party and moved into a position closer to FF and FG. I’ve spoken before of a ceiling on FF’s ambition – partly this may be due to the legacy of the crisis, partly due to the difficulties of clawing back percentages from other rival groupings, but if accurate and FF cannot really bounce much higher than 30% or so that will put a significant dampener on its ambitions.


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