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Poll projections… February 20, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Don’t know if people checked out Adrian Kavanagh’s projections on the second most recent poll – and the most recent one released at the weekend underlines many of the trends apparent. It makes for interesting reading.

The 12th February Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll estimated party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 32% (up 3% relative to the previous Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll), Fine Gael 21% (down 2%), Independents and Others 21% (down 7%) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3%, Social Democrats 2%, Green Party 2%, Renua <1%, Independent Alliance 5%, Other Independents 8% – Sinn Fein 19% (up 2%), Labour Party 6% (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 64, Fine Gael 38, Sinn Fein 31, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 2, Labour Party 2, Social Democrats 2, Independents 19.

Two thoughts. A strengthening FF, one that is reaching into the 30s presents a very significant problem to many others. Look at how smaller parties and groups begin to lose out as transfers stream in different direction. Of course, and Kavanagh himself always says this, his projections are broad brush stroke, not to be considered definitive. But the dynamics behind them are sound enough. Bigger blocs which gain more votes take votes away from smaller entities.

Secondly FF’s chances of governing as head of a longer lasting administration and not at the gift of Fine Gael go up in this sort of scenario. That is if SF can do the numbers. As it stands – and granted this is just a projection (and I think SF support could well be overstated in the poll in any event, that seems to have been a pattern in ST/B&A polls) FF could comfortably take power with SF. But who would offer it an alternative to SF?

How it plays matters from here on out will be interesting. Will it attempt to suppress SF support as low as possible in the hope some of that will return to FF. Or is it the case that a lot of LP support has fled that party and gone to SF? In which case it may not be in play for FF> Anyhow, interesting to see how matters may go.


1. Aengus Millen - February 20, 2017

I agree with your point that a perspective next government led by FF would probably be more durable then the current one. However I do have to say that I still think the prospect of coalition with SF is unlikely. People read to much into Mary Lou’s comments. Having met (and been) Sinn Fein activists it seems to me that in the short term they wouldn’t stand for it and its not clear FF would do it either. I frankly hope (though it may be blasphemous for a left-winger to say) that FF and FG form a coalition. It would allow the left to dominate the opposition and would show the similarities between the two parties. Your question about where SF’s support comes from is interesting whether it flows from FF or from the labour party. Some must have come from both but what seems clear is that the FF support that went to SF is more durable then the support that went to FG or independents I can’t see it going back very easily.


ivorthorne - February 20, 2017

A FF/FG government would serve the left well I guess. SF know this but SF are in an interesting position.

If SF say yes to coalition with FF (or even FG), they may emerge as the successor to Labour as the third party in a (sort of) three party system but will likely alienate left voters. They’d take a hit at the following election. If they say “no”, they will be portrayed as a party of protest who have no interest in governing. Those who refuse to transfer to SF will continue to do so.

The ideal situation for SF is not to be asked to be part of the next government (assuming they don’t get enough votes to be the largest party in a coalition) and to lead the opposition but it would not hurt if some FF and FG TDs started talking about seriously considering coalition with SF during government formation talks.

After another bout of right wing policy, SF has a chance of being the largest party in the next Dail at which point talk of them being unsuitable for government will go out the window. After that, assuming a relatively normal stint in office, they will have rid them of their stigma and they will become “normal” enough for those who refuse to transfer to them. to consider changing their minds.


Dermot O Connor - February 20, 2017

FF/FG will pull another ‘supply & demand’ to forestall the dreaded ‘grand coalition’. Their nightmare scenario is to give SF the role of opposition.

Leo or Simon will then be sitting pretty, seeing how much Taoiseach Martin enjoys having his squishy nethers in a FG vice.

The only thing that’ll force FFG into a formal coalition is another crisis – one that needs the ‘smack of strong government’. A real BREXIT meltdown, or a Le Pen presidency yanking down the EU, or the next downward leg of the post-2008 crisis. It’d be increasingly hard to justify the current weak setup in that case, in the national interesting, going forward, etc etc etc


WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2017

I think you’re right DOC that another FF supporting FG or vice versa arrangement is what they’ll go for.

But SF must be hoping they’re not invited as IT suggests.

That’s an interesting point re the durability of SF’s support from ex FF voters AM. And I’d love to see where it is pooled, urban/rural/both, in which constituencies, etc.


Aengus Millen - February 20, 2017

I agree that another non-coalition coalition seems likely. Although John Mcguiness in FF does seem in favor of a coalition but it seems like he might be the acceptable face of FF sent out to the media to make it seem appealing to the persuadable voters. As to FF transfers to SF most of it does appear to be urban and of course especially dublin. If you look at the three constituencies of south central, central and north west each are constituencies where FF held two seats in 2007 lost all of them in 2011 SF gaining one in each and FF continues to be unrepresented in those constituencies after the 2016 election. This seems to be a durable transfer of support the most prominent example being central which was Bertie Ahern’s seat for 30 years.

Liked by 1 person

ivorthorne - February 21, 2017

I wonder though.

The media hates “new politics”. I imagine a considerable amount of pressure will be put on FF and FG to form a coalition. Brexit might provide the cover required to sell it to the respective memberships.


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