Back to the Future?: Good news for Fianna Fail and bad news for government parties in the Spring 2013 opinion polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 27th January/8th February/16 February/23 February/2 March/16 March 2013

A series of recent Irish-Ipsos MRBI, and Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes polls, in addition to two Sunday Business Post-Red C polls (polls on 27th January and 24th February) and three Sunday Independent-Millward Brown polls (17th February, 3rd March and 17th March) have offered grim reading for the two government parties and very good news for the opposition parties and groupings, but  especially Fianna Fail who ironically found themselves leading in a national opinion poll (in the two of the Millward-Brown polld and in the Ipsos-MRBI poll) for the first time since the bank bailout in 2008. The latest of these polls detects a notable swing from the larger parties (including Fianna Fail) towards the independents and small parties, however.

The latest poll, the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (17th March 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties/groupings as follows: Fine Gael 25% (up 1%), Labour 9% (down 2%), Fianna Fail 29% (up 6%), Sinn Fein 20% (down 1%), Independents, Socialist Party, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 17% (down 5%). 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 56, Fine Gael 44, Sinn Fein 28, Independents, Green Party, Socialist Party, United Left Alliance and Others 20, Labour 10.

The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (3rd March 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties/groupings as follows: Fine Gael 24% (down 1%), Labour 11% (down 2%), Fianna Fail 23% (down 4%), Sinn Fein 21% (up 1%), Independents, Socialist Party, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 22% (up 6%). 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: Fine Gael 45, Fianna Fail 43,  Sinn Fein 31, Independents, Green Party, Socialist Party, United Left Alliance and Others 24, Labour 14. The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (24th February 2013), puts national support levels for the main political parties/groupings (relative to the most recent Sunday Business Post-Red C poll) as follows: Fine Gael 28% (NC), Labour 12% (up 1%), Fianna Fail 26% (up 5%), Sinn Fein 16% (down 3%), Independents, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 18% (down 3%). 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: Fine Gael 55, Labour 14, Fianna Fail 46, Sinn Fein 21, Independents, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 22. The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (17th February 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties/groupings as follows: Fine Gael 25%, Labour 13%, Fianna Fail 27%, Sinn Fein 20%, Independents, Socialist Party, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 16%. 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: Fine Gael 45, Labour 16, Fianna Fail 53, Sinn Fein 26, Independents, Green Party, Socialist Party, United Left Alliance and Others 18. The Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll (9th February 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties/groupings (relative to the most recent Irish Time-Ipsos MRBI poll) as follows: Fine Gael 25% (down 6%), Labour 10% (down 2%), Fianna Fail 26% (up 5%), Sinn Fein 18% (down 2%), Green Party 1% (down 1%), Independents, Socialist Party, United Left Alliance and Others 20% (up 6%). 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: Fine Gael 45, Labour 13, Fianna Fail 54, Sinn Fein 24, Green Party 0, Independents, Socialist Party, United Left Alliance and Others 22. The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (27th January 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties/groupings (relative to the most recent Sunday Business Post-Red C poll) as follows: Fine Gael 28% (NC), Labour 11% (down 3%), Fianna Fail 21% (up 1%), Sinn Fein 19% (up 2%), Independents, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 21% (NC). 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: Fine Gael 56, Labour 16, Fianna Fail 38, Sinn Fein 25, Independents, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 23.  The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll (27th January 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties/groupings (relative to the most recent Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll) as follows: Fine Gael 26% (down 4%), Labour 11% (down 1%), Fianna Fail 24% (up 2%), Sinn Fein 19% (up 5%), Independents, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 21% (down 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: Fine Gael 51, Labour 15, Fianna Fail 42, Sinn Fein 26, Independents, Green Party, United Left Alliance and Others 24.

The analyses used here are similar to previous posts which have applied a constituency level analysis (although with these using the constituency units used for the 2011 General Election) based on assigning seats on the basis of constituency support estimates and simply using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats, while also taking account of the factors of vote transfers and vote splitting/management (based on vote transfer/management patterns observed in the February 2011 election). Based on such an analysis and using the new constituency units (as defined in the 2012 Constituency Commission report) – the new constituencies which will be used for the next general election (assuming an election is not called in the following months before the Electoral Act putting the new constituency configuration into effect) – these analyses estimates what party seat levels would be, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election. These analysis suggests that Fianna Fail would seem to be the party most likely to be positively effected by the redrawing of the constituency boundaries and suggests that the party, in this context, would be gaining as a result of the boundary changes, in addition to the party’s improvement in its opinion poll levels relative to its 2011 General Election figures, irrespective of the impact of a reduction in Dail seat numbers from 166 to 158.

Due to unusually high/low support levels for some parties or political groupings in the previous election, the model may throw up occasional constituency predictions that are unlikely to pan out in a “real election”, for instance a number of the models below predicting three seats for Sinn Fein in Louth. The estimates here cannot be seen as highly accurate estimates of support levels at the constituency level, as in a “real election” party support changes will vary significantly across constituency given uneven geographical shifts in support levels. But the ultimate aim of the models are to get an overall, national-level, estimate of seat numbers and these are based on the proviso that an over-prediction in one constituency may be offset by an under-prediction in another constituency, e.g. Sinn Fein not winning three seats in Louth but picking up an extra seat in a constituency that the models are not (currently) predicting a Sinn Fein seat (e.g. Galway West).

I have made some further corrections to the base support figures for the different parties for this analysis to take better account of the impacts on support of the 2012 Constituency Commission report boundary changes with especial reference to the Dublin constituencies. For instance, these figures better reflect the weaker positions of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in Dublin Central after the moving out of the Ashtown area to Dublin West and the Botanic/Drumcondra area to Dublin North West, but also their stronger positions in Dublin West and Dublin North West.  An over-estimate of the independent support figure in the new Dublin Bay South constituency has also been factored in here.

Fine Gael are assigned an extra seat in Dun Laoghaire on the basis that the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett, will be automatically returned at the next general election.

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The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (17th March) figures, when using the new constituency units (as used for the next general election), are as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 44% 25% 7% 17% 6%
Cavan-Monaghan 26% 22% 2% 43% 7%
Clare 37% 29% 7% 7% 21%
Cork East 30% 27% 15% 23% 5%
Cork North Central 25% 18% 12% 28% 16%
Cork North West 41% 33% 7% 14% 5%
Cork South Central 45% 22% 8% 15% 10%
Cork South West 39% 34% 7% 14% 6%
Donegal 26% 14% 3% 44% 14%
Dublin Central 20% 11% 13% 30% 27%
Dublin Mid West 21% 23% 15% 25% 16%
Dublin Fingal 28% 25% 13% 6% 28%
Dublin Bay North 22% 25% 15% 20% 19%
Dublin North West 22% 13% 19% 38% 8%
Dublin Rathdown 18% 29% 9% 6% 39%
Dublin South Central 17% 16% 18% 30% 20%
Dublin Bay South 22% 29% 14% 9% 26%
Dublin South West 19% 22% 16% 26% 17%
Dublin West 31% 20% 14% 13% 22%
Dun Laoghaire 28% 28% 15% 5% 24%
Galway East 31% 32% 7% 10% 21%
Galway West 32% 24% 5% 12% 27%
Kerry County 20% 24% 8% 22% 27%
Kildare North 27% 26% 15% 12% 20%
Kildare South 37% 25% 13% 13% 12%
Laois 41% 23% 5% 24% 6%
Offaly 37% 18% 2% 12% 31%
Limerick City 38% 31% 10% 16% 6%
Limerick 34% 38% 8% 8% 13%
Longford-Westmeath 34% 28% 13% 16% 9%
Louth 23% 20% 8% 38% 11%
Mayo 29% 46% 2% 14% 9%
Meath East 33% 29% 10% 18% 10%
Meath West 28% 30% 6% 32% 5%
Roscommon-Galway 24% 29% 5% 12% 30%
Sligo-Leitrim 34% 22% 3% 30% 11%
Tipperary 25% 20% 7% 11% 36%
Waterford 24% 27% 9% 20% 19%
Wexford 32% 25% 10% 12% 22%
Wicklow 19% 29% 8% 21% 24%

Based on these constituency estimates and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 3 1 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 2 1 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 1
Cork North West 2 1 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0
Cork South West 2 1 0 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 1
Dublin Central 1 0 0 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 0 1 1
Dublin Fingal 2 1 0 0 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 0 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 1 0 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 2 0 0 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin West 2 1 0 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 2 1 0 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 0 1
Kildare South 2 1 0 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 1 0 0 1
Limerick City 2 1 0 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 0 1 0
Louth 1 1 0 3 0
Mayo 1 3 0 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 0 0 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 0 1 0
Tipperary 2 1 0 0 2
Waterford 1 1 0 1 1
Wexford 2 2 0 0 1
Wicklow 1 2 0 1 1
STATE 54 43 6 27 28

Others being allocated two seats in Dublin Rathdown and one seat in Dublin South-West, but largely on the basis of a larger personal vote for one candidate, Shane Ross, in Dublin South in 2011), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 3 1 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 2 1 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 2 0
Cork North West 2 1 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0
Cork South West 2 1 0 0 0
Donegal 1 1 0 2 1
Dublin Central 1 0 0 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 2 1 1 0 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 0 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 1 1 0 0 1
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Bay South 1 2 1 0 0
Dublin South West 1 1 1 2 0
Dublin West 2 1 0 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1 0 0
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 2 1 0 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 0 1
Kildare South 2 1 0 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 1 0 0 1
Limerick City 2 1 0 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 0 1 0
Louth 1 1 0 3 0
Mayo 2 2 0 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 0 0 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 0 1 0
Tipperary 2 1 0 0 2
Waterford 1 1 0 1 1
Wexford 2 2 0 0 1
Wicklow 1 2 0 1 1
STATE 56 44 10 28 20
% seats 35.4 27.8 6.3 17.7 12.7

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (17th March) figures pan out after the next general election however, the government parties would not come anyway close to a sufficient combined number of seats to have a majority in Dail Eireann (54 seats), while a potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance would fare significantly better with a combined total of 84 seats, leaving this alliance with an overall majority of ten seats in the 158-seat Dail Eireann. The other viable two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, which would enjoy a relatively comfortable Dail majority of 42 seats with a combined seat number of 100 seats.

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The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (3rd March) figures, when using the new constituency units (as used for the next general election), are as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 37% 26% 9% 19% 9%
Cavan-Monaghan 21% 21% 3% 46% 9%
Clare 29% 28% 8% 7% 27%
Cork East 24% 26% 19% 24% 6%
Cork North Central 20% 17% 14% 28% 21%
Cork North West 35% 34% 9% 16% 7%
Cork South Central 37% 22% 10% 17% 13%
Cork South West 33% 34% 9% 16% 8%
Donegal 21% 13% 3% 46% 18%
Dublin Central 14% 9% 15% 29% 32%
Dublin Mid West 16% 21% 18% 25% 20%
Dublin Fingal 21% 23% 15% 6% 34%
Dublin Bay North 16% 23% 17% 20% 23%
Dublin North West 17% 12% 23% 39% 10%
Dublin Rathdown 13% 25% 10% 6% 46%
Dublin South Central 12% 14% 20% 29% 24%
Dublin Bay South 16% 27% 16% 9% 32%
Dublin South West 14% 20% 19% 26% 21%
Dublin West 24% 19% 16% 13% 28%
Dun Laoghaire 22% 26% 18% 5% 30%
Galway East 24% 30% 8% 11% 27%
Galway West 25% 22% 6% 12% 34%
Kerry County 15% 22% 9% 22% 33%
Kildare North 20% 24% 18% 12% 25%
Kildare South 30% 24% 17% 13% 16%
Laois 35% 23% 7% 27% 8%
Offaly 29% 17% 2% 12% 40%
Limerick City 31% 31% 13% 17% 8%
Limerick 28% 37% 9% 8% 17%
Longford-Westmeath 28% 27% 16% 17% 12%
Louth 18% 19% 10% 40% 14%
Mayo 24% 46% 3% 15% 12%
Meath East 27% 28% 12% 19% 13%
Meath West 23% 29% 7% 34% 6%
Roscommon-Galway 19% 27% 6% 12% 37%
Sligo-Leitrim 27% 22% 4% 33% 14%
Tipperary 19% 18% 9% 11% 44%
Waterford 19% 26% 11% 20% 25%
Wexford 25% 24% 12% 12% 27%
Wicklow 14% 26% 10% 21% 29%

Based on these constituency estimates and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 2 1 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 1
Cork North West 2 1 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0
Cork South West 1 2 0 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 1
Dublin Central 0 0 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 0 1 1 1 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 1 0 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 0 0 1 2 0
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 0 1 2 1
Dublin Bay South 1 1 1 0 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin West 1 1 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 2 1 0 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 0 0 0 2
Limerick City 2 1 0 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 0 1 0
Louth 1 1 0 2 1
Mayo 1 3 0 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 0 0 1
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 2 0
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 2
Waterford 1 1 0 1 1
Wexford 2 1 0 0 2
Wicklow 0 2 0 1 2
STATE 42 42 12 29 33

These estimates also need to take account of the candidate and competition trends unique to the different constituency. Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of a large/small number of candidates contesting the election (e.g. Others being allocated two seats in Dublin Rathdown and one seat in Dublin South-West, but largely on the basis of a larger personal vote for one candidate, Shane Ross, in Dublin South in 2011), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 2 1 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North West 2 1 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0
Cork South West 1 2 0 0 0
Donegal 1 1 0 2 1
Dublin Central 0 0 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 1 2 1 0 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 0 0 1 2 0
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 1 1 0 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 2 0
Dublin West 1 1 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1 0 0
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 2 1 0 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 1 0 0 1
Limerick City 1 2 0 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 0 1 0
Louth 1 1 0 3 0
Mayo 1 2 0 1 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 0 0 1
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 2 0
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 3
Waterford 1 1 0 1 1
Wexford 2 1 0 1 1
Wicklow 1 1 0 1 1
STATE 43 45 14 31 24
% seats 27.2 28.5 8.9 19.6 15.2

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (3rd March) figures pan out after the next general election however, the government parties would not come anyway close to a sufficient combined number of seats to have a majority in Dail Eireann (59 seats), while a potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance would fare significantly better with a combined total of 74 seats, leaving this alliance five seats short of an overall majority in the 158-seat Dail Eireann. A potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance could muster a sufficient number of seats to command a (bare) majority if Dail Eireann if they could win the support of at least five (Fianna Fail gene pool?) independents and also convince another TD (from outside these two parties) to take on the Ceann Comhairle role. The other viable two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, which would enjoy a relatively comfortable Dail majority of 18 seats with a combined seat number of 88 seats.

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The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (24th February 2013) figures, when using the new constituency units (as used for the next general election), are as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 40% 29% 10% 14% 7%
Cavan-Monaghan 25% 27% 3% 37% 8%
Clare 32% 32% 9% 5% 21%
Cork East 27% 30% 20% 18% 5%
Cork North Central 23% 21% 16% 23% 18%
Cork North West 37% 37% 9% 12% 5%
Cork South Central 41% 25% 11% 12% 11%
Cork South West 35% 38% 9% 11% 7%
Donegal 25% 17% 4% 38% 16%
Dublin Central 18% 12% 18% 24% 28%
Dublin Mid West 19% 25% 20% 19% 16%
Dublin Fingal 24% 26% 17% 5% 28%
Dublin Bay North 19% 27% 19% 15% 19%
Dublin North West 20% 15% 26% 31% 9%
Dublin Rathdown 15% 30% 11% 5% 39%
Dublin South Central 15% 17% 23% 24% 21%
Dublin Bay South 18% 31% 18% 7% 26%
Dublin South West 16% 24% 21% 21% 18%
Dublin West 27% 22% 18% 10% 23%
Dun Laoghaire 24% 30% 19% 4% 24%
Galway East 27% 35% 9% 8% 21%
Galway West 29% 26% 7% 9% 29%
Kerry County 18% 26% 10% 18% 28%
Kildare North 23% 28% 20% 9% 20%
Kildare South 33% 27% 18% 10% 13%
Laois 39% 27% 7% 20% 7%
Offaly 34% 20% 3% 9% 34%
Limerick City 34% 34% 13% 13% 6%
Limerick 30% 41% 10% 6% 13%
Longford-Westmeath 30% 31% 17% 12% 9%
Louth 22% 23% 11% 32% 12%
Mayo 26% 51% 3% 11% 9%
Meath East 30% 32% 13% 14% 10%
Meath West 26% 34% 8% 26% 5%
Roscommon-Galway 21% 32% 6% 9% 31%
Sligo-Leitrim 32% 26% 5% 26% 12%
Tipperary 22% 22% 10% 8% 37%
Waterford 21% 30% 12% 16% 20%
Wexford 28% 27% 13% 9% 22%
Wicklow 16% 32% 11% 16% 25%

Based on these constituency estimates and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 2 1 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 1
Cork North West 1 2 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 2 0 0 0
Cork South West 1 2 0 0 0
Donegal 1 1 0 2 1
Dublin Central 1 0 0 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 1 1 1 0 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 0 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 1 1 0 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin West 1 1 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 2 1 0 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 1 0 0 1
Limerick City 2 2 0 0 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1 0 0
Louth 1 1 0 2 1
Mayo 1 3 0 0 0
Meath East 1 2 0 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 0 0 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 0 1 0
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 2
Waterford 1 1 0 1 1
Wexford 2 2 0 0 1
Wicklow 1 2 0 1 1
STATE 45 51 12 21 29

Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of a large/small number of candidates contesting the election (e.g. Others being allocated two seats in Dublin Rathdown and one seat in Dublin South-West, but largely on the basis of a larger personal vote for one candidate, Shane Ross, in Dublin South in 2011), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 2 1 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North West 1 2 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 2 0 0 0
Cork South West 1 2 0 0 0
Donegal 1 1 0 2 1
Dublin Central 1 0 0 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 1 2 1 0 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 0 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 1 1 0 0 1
Dublin South Central 0 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 2 1 0 0
Dublin South West 1 2 1 1 0
Dublin West 1 1 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1 0 0
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 2 1 0 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 1 0 0 1
Limerick City 2 2 0 0 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1 0 0
Louth 1 2 0 2 0
Mayo 1 3 0 0 0
Meath East 1 2 0 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 0 0 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 0 1 0
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 3
Waterford 1 1 0 1 1
Wexford 2 2 0 0 1
Wicklow 1 2 0 1 1
STATE 46 55 14 21 22
% Seats 29.1 34.8 8.9 13.3 13.9

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (24th February 2013) figures pan out after the next general election however, the government parties would not come close to a sufficient combined number of seats to have a majority in Dail Eireann (69 seats), while a potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance would have 67 seats. The only viable two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, which would enjoy a very comfortable Dail majority of 44 seats with a combined seat number of 101 seats.

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The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (17th February) figures, when using the new constituency units (as used for the next general election), are as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 41% 26% 10% 17% 6%
Cavan-Monaghan 25% 22% 3% 43% 7%
Clare 34% 29% 10% 7% 19%
Cork East 27% 26% 21% 22% 4%
Cork North Central 23% 18% 16% 27% 15%
Cork North West 38% 33% 10% 14% 5%
Cork South Central 42% 22% 12% 15% 9%
Cork South West 37% 34% 10% 14% 6%
Donegal 25% 14% 4% 44% 13%
Dublin Central 18% 10% 18% 29% 24%
Dublin Mid West 19% 22% 21% 24% 14%
Dublin Fingal 26% 24% 19% 6% 26%
Dublin Bay North 19% 24% 21% 19% 17%
Dublin North West 19% 12% 26% 36% 7%
Dublin Rathdown 16% 29% 13% 6% 36%
Dublin South Central 15% 15% 24% 28% 18%
Dublin Bay South 19% 28% 20% 9% 24%
Dublin South West 16% 21% 22% 25% 15%
Dublin West 28% 20% 19% 13% 20%
Dun Laoghaire 25% 27% 21% 5% 22%
Galway East 29% 32% 10% 10% 19%
Galway West 31% 24% 8% 12% 26%
Kerry County 18% 24% 11% 22% 25%
Kildare North 24% 25% 21% 12% 18%
Kildare South 34% 24% 19% 12% 11%
Laois 39% 23% 8% 25% 6%
Offaly 36% 19% 3% 12% 30%
Limerick City 35% 30% 14% 15% 6%
Limerick 32% 38% 11% 8% 12%
Longford-Westmeath 31% 27% 18% 15% 8%
Louth 22% 19% 11% 38% 10%
Mayo 27% 47% 4% 14% 8%
Meath East 31% 29% 14% 17% 9%
Meath West 26% 30% 8% 31% 4%
Roscommon-Galway 23% 30% 7% 12% 28%
Sligo-Leitrim 32% 22% 5% 31% 10%
Tipperary 24% 20% 11% 11% 34%
Waterford 22% 27% 13% 20% 18%
Wexford 30% 25% 14% 12% 20%
Wicklow 17% 29% 12% 20% 22%

Based on these constituency estimates and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 3 1 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2 0
Clare 2 1 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North West 2 1 0
Cork South Central 2 1 1 0
Cork South West 2 1 0
Donegal 1 1 3 0
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 2 1 1 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 1 2
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 1 1 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1 0
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 2 1 2
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0
Laois 1 1 1 0
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 2 1 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 1 0
Louth 1 1 3 0
Mayo 1 3 0
Meath East 1 1 1 0
Meath West 1 1 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 1 0
Tipperary 2 1 2
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 2 1 1 1
Wicklow 1 2 1 1
STATE 50 43 16 26 23

Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of a large/small number of candidates contesting the election (e.g. Others being allocated two seats in Dublin Rathdown and one seat in Dublin South-West, but largely on the basis of a larger personal vote for one candidate, Shane Ross, in Dublin South in 2011), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2 0
Clare 2 1 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North West 2 1 0
Cork South Central 2 1 1 0
Cork South West 2 1 0
Donegal 1 1 3 0
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 2 1 1 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 1 1 1
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Bay South 1 2 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 2 0
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1 0
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 2 2 1
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0
Laois 1 1 1 0
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 2 1 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 1 0
Louth 2 1 2 0
Mayo 2 2 0
Meath East 1 1 1 0
Meath West 1 1 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 1 0
Tipperary 2 1 2
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 2 1 1 1
Wicklow 1 2 1 1
STATE 53 45 16 26 18
 % seats 33.5 28.5 10.1 16.5 11.4

The constituency support estimates based on the Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll figures, when using the new constituency units (as used for the next general election), are as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH GP
Carlow-Kilkenny 41% 27% 8% 17% 7% 2%
Cavan-Monaghan 25% 23% 2% 41% 9% 0%
Clare 32% 29% 7% 6% 25% 1%
Cork East 28% 28% 17% 21% 6% 1%
Cork North Central 23% 18% 13% 25% 21% 1%
Cork North West 38% 35% 8% 14% 6% 1%
Cork South Central 42% 23% 9% 14% 12% 1%
Cork South West 37% 35% 8% 13% 7% 1%
Donegal 24% 14% 3% 41% 18% 0%
Dublin Central 17% 10% 14% 26% 33% 1%
Dublin Mid West 19% 23% 17% 22% 18% 2%
Dublin Fingal 25% 25% 15% 5% 30% 5%
Dublin Bay North 19% 24% 16% 17% 23% 1%
Dublin North West 20% 13% 22% 35% 10% 1%
Dublin Rathdown 15% 27% 9% 5% 43% 4%
Dublin South Central 15% 15% 19% 26% 25% 1%
Dublin Bay South 19% 29% 15% 8% 29% 4%
Dublin South West 17% 22% 18% 24% 20% 2%
Dublin West 27% 20% 15% 11% 27% 1%
Dun Laoghaire 25% 27% 17% 4% 27% 2%
Galway East 27% 31% 7% 9% 26% 0%
Galway West 28% 23% 6% 10% 33% 1%
Kerry County 17% 23% 8% 19% 33% 0%
Kildare North 23% 25% 17% 11% 24% 1%
Kildare South 34% 25% 15% 11% 15% 1%
Laois 39% 24% 6% 23% 8% 0%
Offaly 32% 17% 2% 10% 39% 0%
Limerick City 35% 32% 11% 15% 7% 1%
Limerick 30% 38% 8% 7% 16% 0%
Longford-Westmeath 31% 28% 15% 14% 11% 0%
Louth 22% 21% 9% 36% 12% 2%
Mayo 27% 47% 3% 12% 11% 0%
Meath East 31% 30% 11% 16% 12% 1%
Meath West 27% 31% 7% 30% 6% 1%
Roscommon-Galway 21% 28% 5% 10% 37% 0%
Sligo-Leitrim 31% 23% 4% 28% 14% 0%
Tipperary 21% 19% 8% 9% 43% 0%
Waterford 21% 27% 10% 18% 25% 0%
Wexford 28% 24% 11% 10% 27% 0%
Wicklow 16% 28% 9% 18% 29% 1%

Based on these constituency estimates and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH GP
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2 0
Clare 2 1 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1
Cork North West 2 1 0
Cork South Central 2 1 1 0
Cork South West 2 1 0
Donegal 1 1 2 1
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 2 1 1 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 1 2
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 1 1 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 2 1 2
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 2 1 0
Laois 1 1 1 0
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 2 1 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 1 0
Louth 1 1 3 0
Mayo 1 3 0
Meath East 1 1 1 0
Meath West 1 1 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 1 0
Tipperary 1 1 3
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 2 2 1
Wicklow 1 1 1 2
STATE 50 44 11 25 28 0

Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of a large/small number of candidates contesting the election (e.g. Others being allocated two seats in Dublin Rathdown and one seat in Dublin South-West, but largely on the basis of a larger personal vote for one candidate, Shane Ross, in Dublin South in 2011), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

FF FG LB SF OTH GP
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2 0
Clare 2 1 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North West 2 1 0
Cork South Central 2 1 1 0
Cork South West 2 1 0
Donegal 1 1 2 1
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 2 1 1 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 1 1 0
Dublin Rathdown 1 1 1
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 2 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 2 0
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1 0
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 2 1 2
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 2 1 0
Laois 1 1 1 0
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 2 1 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0
Longford-Westmeath 2 1 1 0
Louth 2 1 2 0
Mayo 2 2 0
Meath East 2 1 0
Meath West 1 1 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 1 0
Tipperary 1 1 3
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 2 2 1
Wicklow 1 2 1 1
STATE 54 45 13 24 22 0
             
  34.2 28.5 8.2 15.2 13.9 0.0

*******************************************************************

The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll figures, when using the new constituency units (as used for the next general election), are as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 34% 30% 9% 18% 9%
Cavan-Monaghan 20% 26% 3% 43% 9%
Clare 27% 33% 8% 7% 25%
Cork East 22% 31% 19% 22% 6%
Cork North Central 18% 21% 14% 26% 20%
Cork North West 31% 39% 8% 14% 7%
Cork South Central 34% 26% 11% 15% 14%
Cork South West 30% 39% 8% 14% 8%
Donegal 20% 16% 4% 44% 17%
Dublin Central 14% 11% 15% 28% 32%
Dublin Mid West 15% 25% 18% 23% 20%
Dublin Fingal 19% 26% 15% 5% 35%
Dublin Bay North 15% 27% 17% 18% 22%
Dublin North West 16% 15% 23% 36% 10%
Dublin Rathdown 12% 29% 10% 5% 45%
Dublin South Central 12% 17% 21% 27% 24%
Dublin Bay South 14% 30% 16% 8% 32%
Dublin South West 13% 24% 19% 24% 20%
Dublin West 22% 23% 17% 12% 26%
Dun Laoghaire 19% 30% 18% 4% 29%
Galway East 22% 35% 8% 10% 25%
Galway West 23% 26% 6% 11% 33%
Kerry County 14% 26% 9% 20% 31%
Kildare North 19% 28% 18% 11% 24%
Kildare South 28% 28% 17% 12% 15%
Laois 32% 28% 7% 25% 8%
Offaly 28% 21% 3% 11% 38%
Limerick City 28% 36% 13% 15% 8%
Limerick 25% 43% 9% 7% 16%
Longford-Westmeath 25% 32% 16% 15% 11%
Louth 17% 22% 10% 36% 15%
Mayo 21% 52% 3% 13% 10%
Meath East 25% 33% 12% 17% 12%
Meath West 21% 34% 7% 31% 6%
Roscommon-Galway 17% 32% 6% 11% 34%
Sligo-Leitrim 26% 26% 4% 30% 13%
Tipperary 18% 22% 9% 10% 42%
Waterford 17% 30% 11% 19% 23%
Wexford 23% 28% 12% 11% 26%
Wicklow 13% 31% 10% 19% 28%

Based on these constituency estimates and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2
Clare 1 2 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1
Cork North West 1 2
Cork South Central 2 1 1
Cork South West 1 2
Donegal 1 1 2 1
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 1 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 2
Dublin Rathdown 1 2
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 2 1 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 2
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 1 2 2
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1
Laois 1 1 1
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 1 2 1
Limerick 1 2
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1
Louth 1 1 3
Mayo 1 3
Meath East 1 1 1
Meath West 1 1 1
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 2
Tipperary 1 1 3
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 1 2 1 1
Wicklow 2 1 2
STATE 36 52 16 28 26

Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of a large/small number of candidates contesting the election (e.g. Others being allocated two seats in Dublin Rathdown, but largely on the basis of a larger personal vote for one candidate, Shane Ross), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2
Clare 1 2 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1
Cork North West 1 2
Cork South Central 2 1 1
Cork South West 1 2
Donegal 1 1 2 1
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 1 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 2
Dublin Rathdown 2 1
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 2 1
Dublin South West 1 2 1 1
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 1 2 2
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1
Laois 1 1 1
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 1 2 1
Limerick 1 2
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1
Louth 1 2 2
Mayo 1 3
Meath East 1 2
Meath West 1 1 1
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 2
Tipperary 1 1 3
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 1 2 1 1
Wicklow 1 2 1 1
STATE 38 56 16 25 23
           
 % Seats 24.1 35.4 10.1 15.8 14.6

The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll figures, when using the new constituency units (as used for the next general election), are as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 37% 27% 9% 17% 9%
Cavan-Monaghan 22% 24% 3% 42% 9%
Clare 30% 30% 8% 6% 25%
Cork East 25% 28% 19% 22% 6%
Cork North Central 21% 19% 14% 26% 20%
Cork North West 35% 36% 8% 14% 7%
Cork South Central 38% 24% 10% 15% 13%
Cork South West 33% 36% 8% 14% 8%
Donegal 22% 14% 3% 43% 17%
Dublin Central 20% 14% 15% 23% 28%
Dublin Mid West 17% 23% 18% 23% 20%
Dublin Fingal 21% 23% 15% 5% 36%
Dublin Bay North 18% 26% 17% 17% 22%
Dublin North West 16% 12% 24% 40% 8%
Dublin Rathdown 13% 27% 10% 5% 45%
Dublin South Central 13% 16% 21% 27% 24%
Dublin Bay South 15% 26% 15% 7% 37%
Dublin South West 15% 22% 19% 24% 20%
Dublin West 24% 20% 17% 12% 27%
Dun Laoghaire 22% 28% 17% 4% 29%
Galway East 25% 32% 8% 10% 25%
Galway West 26% 24% 6% 11% 32%
Kerry County 16% 24% 9% 20% 31%
Kildare North 21% 26% 18% 11% 23%
Kildare South 31% 26% 16% 12% 15%
Laois 36% 25% 7% 24% 8%
Offaly 31% 19% 2% 11% 37%
Limerick City 32% 33% 12% 15% 8%
Limerick 28% 40% 9% 7% 16%
Longford-Westmeath 29% 29% 16% 15% 11%
Louth 19% 20% 10% 36% 15%
Mayo 24% 49% 3% 13% 11%
Meath East 28% 30% 12% 17% 12%
Meath West 24% 32% 7% 31% 6%
Roscommon-Galway 19% 30% 6% 11% 34%
Sligo-Leitrim 29% 24% 4% 30% 13%
Tipperary 20% 20% 9% 10% 41%
Waterford 20% 28% 11% 19% 23%
Wexford 26% 25% 12% 11% 25%
Wicklow 15% 29% 10% 19% 28%

Based on these constituency estimates and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2 0
Clare 1 2 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1
Cork North West 1 2 0
Cork South Central 2 1 1 0
Cork South West 1 2 0
Donegal 1 1 2 1
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 1 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 2 0
Dublin Rathdown 1 2
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 1 1 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 2 1 2
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0
Laois 1 1 1 0
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 1 2 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1 0
Louth 1 1 2 1
Mayo 1 3 0
Meath East 1 1 1 0
Meath West 1 1 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 2 0
Tipperary 1 1 3
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 2 1 1 1
Wicklow 1 2 1 1
STATE 41 49 12 26 30

Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of a large/small number of candidates contesting the election (e.g. Others being allocated two seats in Dublin Rathdown, but largely on the basis of a larger personal vote for one candidate, Shane Ross), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 2 0
Clare 1 2 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1 0
Cork North West 1 2 0
Cork South Central 2 1 1 0
Cork South West 1 2 0
Donegal 1 1 2 1
Dublin Central 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1 0
Dublin Fingal 1 1 1 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 2 0
Dublin Rathdown 2 1
Dublin South Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Bay South 1 1 1 1
Dublin South West 1 1 1 2 0
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1 0
Galway East 1 1 1
Galway West 2 1 2
Kerry County 1 1 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1 0
Laois 1 1 1 0
Offaly 1 1 1
Limerick City 1 2 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1 0
Louth 1 1 3 0
Mayo 1 3 0
Meath East 1 2 0
Meath West 1 1 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 1 1 1
Sligo-Leitrim 2 1 1 0
Tipperary 1 1 3
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 2 1 1 1
Wicklow 1 2 1 1
STATE 42 51 15 26 24
           
 % seats 26.6 32.3 9.5 16.5 15.2

************************

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (17th February) figures pan out after the next general election however, the government parties would not come anyway close to a sufficient combined number of seats to have a majority in Dail Eireann (61 seats), while a potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance would fare significantly better with a combined total of 79 seats, with just enough seats to command an overall majority in the 158-seat Dail Eireann. The other viable two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, which would enjoy a very comfortable Dail majority of 39 seats with a combined seat number of 98 seats.

Should the seat estimates based on The Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll figures pan out after the next general election however, the government parties would not come anyway close to a sufficient combined number of seats to have a majority in Dail Eireann (58 seats), while a potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance would fare significantly better with a combined total of 78 seats, leaving this combination just one seat short of the numbers needed to command an overall majority in the 158-seat Dail Eireann. The other viable two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, which would enjoy a very comfortable Dail majority of 40 seats with a combined seat number of 99 seats.

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll figures pan out after the next general election however, the government parties would not come close to a sufficient combined number of seats to have a majority in Dail Eireann (72 seats), while a potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance would have 63 seats. The only viable two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, which would enjoy a comfortable Dail majority of 30 seats with a combined seat number of 94 seats.

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll figures pan out after the next general election however, the government parties would not come close to a sufficient combined number of seats to have a majority in Dail Eireann (66 seats), while a potential Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein alliance would have 68 seats. The only viable two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, which would enjoy a comfortable Dail majority of 28 seats with a combined seat number of 93 seats.

*******************************

Support levels for Fianna Fail in a number of these recent polls have been relatively similar to the levels won by Sean Gallagher in the 2011 Presidential election. Seat estimates for Fianna Fail have continued on their upward trajectory as has been the case based on the polls analyses of the past few months, while these polls mark a return to the strong seat number estimates for Sinn Fein that were registered based on the polls of some months ago (even though the Ipsos MRBI poll had pointed to a decline in Sinn Fein support relative to the last such poll). Fianna Fail higher support levels in recent polls now means that their seat estimates are now picking up on a significant seat-bonus ( in that it is estimated that the party’s share of the seats would be higher than its vote share) akin to the level enjoyed by the party prior to its decline in support levels in the 2008-11 period. Indeed, it may well be the case that these Fianna Fail seat estimates may be on the conservative side if it transpires that the party’s improved support levels also translate into higher vote transfers towards that party (especially from Sinn Fein). The positive impact of the 2012 Constituency Commission boundary changes is evident especially in the Ipsos MRBI constituency analysis which estimate a significant lead for Fianna Fail in terms of seat estimates ahead of Fine Gael despite only one percentage point separating the two parties in this poll. As (just about) still the largest party in terms of poll support levels in the Red C and Behaviour & Attitudes polls, Fine Gael are in a position to also benefit from the disproportionality in the Irish electoral system and are in a position to benefit from a very significant seat bonus, especially in cases where the party’s support levels (in percentage terms) can edge into the high 20s or 30s.

Labour’s declining support levels (down roughly six to nine percentage points on the party’s support levels in the 2011 election) translate in a further significant drop in the seat estimates allocated to the party in these latest poll analyses. The party’s support levels are now on a par with the levels earned by the party in the 2002 and 2007 general elections though its seat estimates here are lower than the seats won by that party in those contests due to (i) the increase competition levels offer by Sinn Fein and other left-of-centre political groupings and (ii) the impact of the boundary changes associated with the 2012 Constituency Commission report which are seen to more adversely effect Labour than another of the other parties or political groupings. It is interesting to note also that, with the exception of Galway East, most of the rebel Labour TDs would appear to be based in constituencies that this analysis suggests the party would hold seats in at an election based on national figures akin to these poll support levels. If these deputies were to remain outside the party fold to the point of running as independents the actual Labour seat numbers could well be lower than the numbers predicted here. It is worth remembering of course that the first three of these polls, including the Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll, were held before the recent significant political developments including the deal on the promissory notes which might have been expected to ward a significant bounce in the polls to one (Fine Gael) or both of the government parties, but the later Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll, continued the trend observed in the three earlier polls of a outlining a significant towards Fianna Fail (and also Sinn Fein) and away from the government parties. The most recent Sunday Business Post-Red C and Sunday Independent-Millward Brown polls did see Fine Gael once again re-establish its position as the most popular party in the state, albeit by just one or two percentage points, but these also underpinned the underlying trend of a significant swing towards Fianna Fail in the first months of 2013.

The latest poll, the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll of 3rd March underpinned a significant swing towards the Independents and Others grouping at the expense of the main parties (excluding Sinn Fein). This is a grouping that is a difficult one to accommodate in models such as this given that this grouping covers such a wide church in terms of the ideological leanings of the parties and individuals involved, ranging from right-of-centre independents to Fianna Fail/Fine Gael gene pool independents to left-of-centre/community independents and also involving a host of smaller parties, including the Green Party, the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit alliance and the Workers and Unemployed Action Group. The number of candidates likely to be associated with this wide grouping tend to be significantly larger than those for the individual parties (this grouping accounted for 278 candidates in the 2011 election as opposed to 104 for Fine Gael, 75 for Fianna Fail, 68 for Labour an 41 for Sinn Fein), meaning that a similar level of support is less likely to translate into seats/seat gains than would be the case for the individual political parties given that this level of support is being shared out across a significantly larger number of candidates in the Independents and Others grouping.

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14 thoughts on “Back to the Future?: Good news for Fianna Fail and bad news for government parties in the Spring 2013 opinion polls

  1. Labour collapse may be greater!

    The table below contains the percentages achieved by the parties in 3 Red C polls and the figures from the last general election.
    Oct 2010 Gen EL 2011 Jan 10 2013 Jan 26 2013
    FG 32 36 29 28
    FF 18 17.4 21 21
    SF 9 9.9 16 19
    Lab27 19.4 13 11
    GR 4 1 .8 3 3
    Oth 10 15.4 18 18
    Based on my experience of tallying votes in several local and general election counts, I wish to make a few comments. Firstly, it is extremely difficult to predict the outcome of a general election if held next week based on the most recent opinion poll on a systematic or mathematical basis. This is because all such predictions rely on models derived from the outcomes of previous elections. However when an earthquake takes place as exemplified by the collapse of the FF vote from circa 40% to 17% as in the 2011 general election and the Labour Party decline from c 20% in the 2011 election to 11% in the current Red C (Sunday Business Post) and Behaviour and Attitudes poll (Sunday Times) the relevance of existing models is highly dubious. The situation is further confused by the proportional representation system.
    When the Labour party vote declined to 10.4% in the 1997 GE following the Spring/Bruton/De Rossa government , it retained 17 of 33 seats. I believe that if Labour were to poll 11% in a general election to-day that it would retain far less seats. Traditionally, many Labour candidates were elected on transfers from independents and minor parties (in addition to benefiting from the surplus of coalition partner Fine Gael). The current poll indicates that Sinn Fein will be above the Labour Party on first counts in a large number of constituencies. Sinn Fein transfers will be unavailable in far more constituencies than was the case in the 2011 General Election. The decline in the Fine Gael vote will ensure that surpluses transferring to the Labour Party will also be reduced.
    The size of the vote for “others” in recent polls is remarkable. Comparison with the vote for “others” in the 2011 general election could mislead. The 15.4% gained by others (excluding the Greens) in the 2011 general election is inflated by the presence of local and single issue candidates whose votes scatter widely on transfer. The vote for “others” in opinion polls outside of election time is based on support for known councillors, TDs and personalities. In my view the appropriate comparison is with the October 2010 Red C poll which showed others excluding the Greens at 10%. It should be noted that the Fianna Fail vote in that poll had already declined to 18%. The figure of 18% for others in the current poll is a very large increase on the October 2010 figure. This means that transfers from minor parties and independents to the Labour Party will be far fewer than heretofore because many more of these will be ahead of the Labour Party candidate on the first count. This means that many more independents will be elected in the next election. In many cases Labour Party transfers will help elect the independent candidate in place of the reverse process which was the norm in previous elections.
    It should also be noted that the current Red C poll was taken up to last Wednesday . A significant fraction of the electorate may have yet to experience the effects of the budget in pay packets, electricity bills, prescription charges etc.
    I will be very surprised if the Labour Party wins much more than 10 seats in the next general election as against the 15 allocted by Adrian. That would mean a loss of two thirds of existing Labour seats.
    I also expect others to win significantly in excess of 24 seats.
    Paddy Healy

    • There will be a number of high profile Labour TDs hanging up their boots at the next general election – well there should be, on age grounds at the very least – and that may contribute to losses in constituencies where Labour has had a long-standing presence and in which ‘reserve’ candidates are simply not strong enough to retain the personal vote of the retiree. What makes the tracking polls of interest is the extent to which we can see how Labour’s traditional base of support is being eroded and the floating votes it ‘borrowed’ from the 18-35 year old cohort is drifting away.

      The impact of big ticket items like the property tax, and disappointment on any meaningful debt relief deal from the EU might be added to your list of factors affecting the public mood in the months ahead.

      Add to that the increasing disaffection within Labour with the current leadership,and the future for the party – and by extension for the government – looks very uncertain.

      Adrian’s speculative seat allocations are useful in that they illustrate the possible shape of things to come if a range of conditions were met. But I think we all know that you cannot predict what will happen in any election campaign or its final outcome until you’re at least a week or two into it.

      • Adrian’s systematic approach is indeed very useful.
        Veronica is correct to say that big ticket items such as the property tax (and associated rent increases for council tenants) will probably further erode Labour support.
        The probable retirement of senior ministers will also be a factor.
        Another question also arises: Will Roisín Shortall, Patrick Nulty and Tommy Bruen stand as Labour candidates? If Labour has become by then a pariah like FF in the last election, they would be very foolish to do so! All three represent strongly working class Dublin constituencies where Sinn Fein is now comfortably ahead of Labour in the recent poll. Labour had already dropped below 10% in Munster in the Jan 10 Red C Poll. This is the location of 10 current Labour seats

  2. The Labour party stand for nothing,the only satisfaction the people will get will be to kick them out.Bring on the election.

  3. Great Analysis as ever. As a Donegal man, I feel that the polls don’t entirely reflect whats the opinion of this County is. I respect that your only working with certain data and that you have to contribute others support to independents.
    But their is no way that sitting T.D Thomas Pringle will be re-elected in Donegal. There are several outcomes that FF could play to win second seat, one of these being running a cllr. in Letterkenny as a third sweeper. It is more likely that B O Domhnaill will take first seat for FF next time out.

    Keep up the great work. Maith thu

  4. Why oh why is FF still the first on the list when it is no longer the largest party at any level in Ireland?

    There are so many variables between now and the next election that can change that it’s impossible to have any idea how people will vote.

  5. It’s silly to take this polling seriously. None of the current government near to 60 will be standing again. Noonan, Bruton, Hogan, Shatter, Quinn, Rabittee, Howlin, O’Reilly and a few others will take their pensions and go. Plenty of long standing TDs will go too.

  6. Arising from the seat allocations made by Adrian, it is clear that if these results were replicated in a general Labour might hold no seat in Munster. The probability of this outcome is increased by the fact that Labour was down to 7% outside Dublin in the poll. Remarkably, the seat held by Eamonn Gilmore in Dun Laoire is under threat in the context of the automatic re-election of the Ceann Comhhairle in that constituency.
    Labour has always had difficulty retaining seats when the incumbent passes on. The retirement of some Labour ministers could increase the electoral damage to the Labour Party.
    It might be useful to put faces on the probable Labour casualties if the poll were replicated in a general election
    IN Danger of Defeat :Eamonn Gilmore, Sean Sherlock, Kathleen Lynch
    Very Unlikely to be re-elected:Brendan Howlin, Ciaran Lynch,Jan O’Sullivan, Alan Kelly, Joe Costelloe, Alex White ,Arthur Spring(Kerry), Ciara Conway(Waterford), M McNamara(Clare), McCarthy(Cork SW), Nolan (Galway West), Nash(Louth), Ferris (Wicklow), Hannigan (Meath East),Wall(Kildare South), Ann Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny), Burton or Nulty (Dublin West), Dowds or Tuffy (Dublin Mid-West), Kenny or Broughan (Dublin bay North), Lyons or Shorthall (Dublin North West), Quinn or Humphreys (Dublin Bay South),Michael Conaghan or Eric Byrne (Dublin South Central), Keaveney (Galway East)
    I understand that the share of the vote for “others” in the poll was 32% in Dublin.
    After the Spring/Bruton government the Labour Party was able to retain 17 of the 33 seats in the 1997 GE. On that occasion it was helped by transfers from the Fine Gael excess and from the elimination of Sinn Fein and others. The decline of the Fine Gael vote and the strong showing of SF and “others” in the recent poll is very bad news for the Labour Party.

    • Paddy,
      I think your line-up of vulnerable seats for Labour is probably accurate. I anticipate that Eamon Gilmore may not run in the next election. Certainly, if there was a crisis election over the coming months local predictions are that he would have difficulty retaining his seat. Joe Costello is expected to retire also; though most likely his wife, Emer Costello MEP, will contest the seat for Labour. Rabbitte and Quinn may also be expected to resign. If Labour’s support continues to slide, it may indeed end up with no more than 3 or 4 seats outside of Dublin; but is also likely to be decimated in the capital. Having two seats within a constituency is no guarantee of having any after the next election. Labour’s vote in the Meath by-election will be of interest; and following that how it fares in the local and European elections. The question then is how long those TDs who fear losing their seats in the next GE, or those Senators who see any prospect of their election to the Dail evaporating before their eyes, can hold their nerve?

      The problem for Labour with the PN deal is that whilst it reduces the cost of servicing the debt burden that was implicit in the PNs over the short term, and also eases the task of closing the fiscal deficit, that’s all it does. Short of a burst in economic growth well beyond current projections, It makes no difference to the 3.1bn adjustment required in Budget 2014. Certainly, the deal sets Ireland ‘along the right path’ for ultimate economic recovery. But I believe its significance is underestimated by a public who are understandably suspicious of any ‘we’ve turned the corner’ narrative from government. Further, FG core supporters have less difficulty with the strategy being followed by the current Government to close the deficit than those inclined to tick the box for Labour. For habitual Labour voters, and for that ever-growing cadre of floating voters, what matters most is how government policies of tax and cut hit their already near-empty wallets; not high finance deals, however important these are in terms of longer term benefit to the Irish state.

  7. i have attempted to get sbpost to publish the core figures from the polls. the trend is in the core figures.
    also the adjustment formula used by the pollsters may not be appropriate for FF’s lower figures.
    the distrbution of the dont knows should be posted openly,,,as does the irish times table.
    There are a lot of disillusioned FF supporters ib the dont knows. If the figure was around 50%, the FF seats might be closer to 65″

    65. plus 20…. FF plus SINN FEIN… what a decision !!!!!!

    prof noel mulcahy

  8. Without doubting the veracity of Adrian’s model, some of the predictions for SF seem decidely optimistic – considering last time the party failed to double up in what seemed a nail-on transfer bonus in Cavan-Monaghan, and the party has only ever expanded through single seats in new constituencies, winning two seats in Dublin NW and Sligo-Leitrim seems rather improbable – Donegal seems most realistic given the strong calibre of SF TDs in the border county.

    • While respecting the methodology I find it hard to accept that FF would get an 8 or 9 seat lead over FG with a 1 or 2% lead in share of the vote. While Ff will hardly be as transfer unfriendly next time out as in 2011, FG are still likely to do a bit better in this regard so a rough euality of seats seems to me more likely.

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