Irish Times Ispos-MRBI poll (September): Seat estimates

Adrian Kavanagh, 29 September 2010

Irish Times Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll September 30:

FF 24 (+3).

FG 24 (-3),

Lab 33 (+4),

Greens 2 (-2),

SF 8 (-2),

Others 9 (nc)

Core vote (before undecided voters are excluded): Fianna Fáil 19  (+3); Fine Gael 20 (-1); Labour 27 (+5); Sinn Féin 6 (-2); Green Party 2 (-1); Independents/Others 8 (+1); Undecided voters 18 per cent (+5).

Brian Cowen, FF: 19 (+1), Enda Kenny, FG 25 (+1), Eamon Gilmore, Lab 49 (+3), John Gormley, GP 18 (-3),  Gerry Adams, SF 29 (-2).

On those poll figures, my analysis based on calculating constituency estimates of party support estimates the following number of seats for the different parties : Fianna Fail 49, Fine Gael 42, Labour 61, Green Party 0, Sinn Fein 6, Indepedents and Other Small Parties 8 Continue reading

Should ministers be indictable for bad decisions?

By Eoin O’Malley (29 September, 2010)

The news that Geir Haarde, the former prime minister of Iceland is to be charged with criminal negligence for his role in the Icelandic banking collapse will, no doubt, be greeted with popular acclaim. Haarde faces a fine and up to two years in prison if the charges are upheld in the Constitutional Court. It is unusual that a politician faces criminal charges for poor policy decisions or economic management, as opposed to say corruption. Is it something that is desirable? Continue reading

What’s the point of political reform?

By Michael Gallagher

This rather provocative title is intended to raise the issue of just what end it’s hoped will be served by political reform.

Possible ends could be classed as process-oriented or outcome-oriented. Regarding the former, having a political system that is more transparent and participatory is worth trying to achieve in its own right, regardless of whether anything actually changes ‘on the ground’. The fact there was very little talk of political reform while the economy was (or seemed to be) booming might suggest that, while process considerations no doubt play some part in the minds of reformers, for most these are a secondary consideration, and they are either seen as not important or as important primarily because it is hoped they will lead to better outcomes. Continue reading

So What do TDs do?

Leo Varadkar’s audit of his time

Would a different electoral system change anything or would the expectations by the electorate stay the same?

Meetings (22%)

Correspondence (16%)

Media (10%)

Paperwork (10%)

Dail Chamber and Committee (8%)

Travelling (7%)

Conferences (7%)

Events (7.5%)

Phone Calls (5.5%)

Canvass (3%)

Office (2.5%)

Miscellaneous (2%)

Clinics and Funerals (0 hours)

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here: should we consider term limits in the Dáil?

By Matthew Wall

In this post, I would like to open a discussion around the idea of imposing term limits on our TDs. This is not an idea that has heretofore received much attention in Ireland. As such, the post is primarily concerned with ‘crowd-sourcing’ peoples’ opinions  on how term limits would play out in Ireland, and whether we should consider adopting them. Continue reading

Sunday Business Post-Red C produces radically different Dail seat estimates

Adrian Kavanagh, 25 September 2010

The poll figures to be published in tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post are radically different to those in Thursday’s Lansdowne Millward TV3 poll and, as such, produce very different estimates of Dail seats for parties using the method of producing constituency estimates as in previous such analyses. On these poll figures, the analysis estimates that Fine Gael would be in a clear position as the strongest party in Dail Eireann with 60 seats. Fianna Fail, although just one per cent ahead of Labour in the poll, would in seat terms be eight seats clear as the second strongest party in the Dail with 49 seats as against 41 for Labour. This is a much more positive poll for Sinn Fein and on these figures the party would gain two seats in the next election – with three gains in Ulster and one possible loss in Dublin – to leave the party on 6, although with further seat gains in Dublin possible. This is a slightly more positive poll for the Greens, but on these figures the party would still fail to win a seat at the next general election. Fianlly, independents and the other smaller parties could expect to win 10 seats in the Dail based on these poll figures. Continue reading

Millward-Browne Lansdowne TV3 poll – what it might mean in constituency terms

Adrian Kavanagh, 23 September 2010

Today’s Millward-Browne Lansdowne TV3 poll offers a sobering analysis for the government parties, with Fianna Fail support estimated to stand at 22% and Green Party support at 2%. But it perhaps also offers disappointing results for two of the opposition parties; Fine Gael (30%) whose poll position as most popular party is yet again eclipsed by Labour, while Sinn Fein support is seen to drop to 4%. Labour are the big winners, with support levels at 35% – nearly three and a half times their national support level in 2007.  Despite being 5% ahead of Fine Gael in popular support terms, my consituency level analysis suggests that Labour may not win the most Dail seats nonetheless – indeed it suggests both Labour and Fine Gael would almost finish practically in a dead heat, with a few close results in some constituencies probably determining which party would end up with the most seats in Dail Eireann.

UPDATE: MillwardBrown TV3 poll in detail

Continue reading

Why can’t our emigrants vote?

David Farrell (September 22 2010)

With so many of our citizens fleeing the country — many of them against their will — and so many of them ending up disenfranchised residents in foreign lands, why should we add insult to injury be denying them a say over affairs at home?

The scourge of mass emigration — that age old pressure valve so beloved of Irish policy-makers — has returned. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in the period from 2006-10 emigration mushroomed by a massive 81%; bringing net outward migration from Ireland to its highest level since the late 1980s.   Continue reading

Will opinion polls really sink Cowen?

Some of the political correspondents writing over the last week are reading a great deal into every government minister’s’ utterance. Micheál Martin made an extremely banal comment when asked on Newstalk about the Cowen incident;

“I think we all have to reflect in terms of how the conference was organised, in terms of communications issues and so on like that. Clearly we have lessons to learn and we will work on that particular agenda in terms of future events and future communications strategies.” Continue reading

Do we need geographical constituencies?

Michael Gallagher (6th September, 2010)

Concerns are raised from time to time, not just in this country, that geographical representation in parliament creates behaviour among legislators that is not consistent with the national interest. Legislators elected, under whatever electoral system, from geographical constituencies have an obvious incentive to put the interests of their constituents first even when a “rational” decision-making process might require acknowledging that not every local interest should be defended to the death. They might indeed argue that this is not merely a matter of responding to electoral incentives but that protecting and advancing the interests of their constituents is part of their job. Continue reading