The last election was seen at the time as an electoral earthquake. In the midst of the worst economic crisis in our history it was to be expected that the voters would be gunning for the government of the day. The devastation of Fianna Fáil (losing three-quarters of their seats) and the disappearance of the Greens (losing all of theirs) certainly seemed of earthquake proportions, as were the historically high levels of electoral volatility – one of the highest ever recorded in any democracy (see here). It was said at the time that politics would never be the same again: moulds had been broken; party allegiances had been blown away; Fianna Fáil were judged to be in their death throes never to return again. Continue reading
In this newly published work in Electoral Studies, I (along with two colleagues: Dr. Maria Laura Sudulich of EUI Florence and Professor David Farrell of University College Dublin) asked whether candidates who spent more money were more likely to succeed at European Parliament (EP) elections.
Posted by Eoin O’Malley (15 May)
A new Seanad reform bill was introduced in the Seanad today by Senators Katherine Zappone and Fergal Quinn. It is available here. The main point of the bill are that it should move to a reformed house with new powers, but without requiring constitutional change. It proposed elections by universal suffrage, to close the democratic deficit, with non-geographic constituencies (on these see an interesting post by Michael Gallagher here). The other reforms are to allow the Seanad conduct public inquiries, to monitor secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments), Continue reading
So I recently learned that The Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill 2011 will soon be passed as law. Looks like some really progressive stuff, especially when you look at the ongoing hyper monetization of politics that is taking place in the usa. I can’t wait to see the parties publish comprehensive accounts, which should let the media, academia, and general public keep a closer eye on how we fund our politics.
Eoin O’Malley (26 October 2011)
We might be interested in betting markets as a rival to polling for measuring shifts in support, particularly in Ireland where polling is comparatively infrequent and irregular. The idea is that people putting real money on a result may know something, and that those who do have information will see value in odds, and the market will be efficient because bad offers will be exploited by those with information. I’ve tracked the Paddy Power election odds for over a month, and graphed what the market thinks the result will be, over time – it is a representation of the odds for ‘who will be the next Irish President?’. Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 25th October 2011
The final series of opinion polls at the weekend saw Sean Gallagher maintain, and even widen somewhat, the lead he established over Michael D. Higgins and the other candidates in the previous weekend’s Sunday Business Post-Red C poll, although the sheer momentum he had built up over the previous few weeks has abated somewhat. Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 17th October 2011
The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll shows momentum for Sean Gallagher continuing and now pushing him well ahead of Michael D. Higgins and other contenders and on these figures he could expect to enjoy a comfortable victory on the final count by more than 200,000 votes. Just as interesting is the degree to which this campaign is opening up, or rather intensifying, questions to do with politicial class divisions that exist within Irish society (rural, urban middle class, urban working class) and impact on parties, voters and various elements of the political commentariat. Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 6th-9th October 2011
The two presidential election polls and the Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI and Sunday Times-Behaviour and Attitudes polls on party support intentions offers interesting trends. Sean Gallagher has emerged as the surprise package in the presidential election polls and poses a more serious threat to Michael D. Higgins than that which Martin McGuinness and David Norris were posing in last week’s Red C poll. While the gamble of the McGuinness candidature may not be translating into a likely win for Sinn Fein, it could be argued that the gamble is paying off in terms of the huge increase in support registered for the party in the Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI and Sunday Times-Behaviour and Attitudes poll, propelling the party past Labour and Fianna Fail into second place. Based on the Ipsos MRBI figures the party will need to take further support off Labour if Sinn Fein is to overtake Labour as the party with the second largest number of seats in Dail Eireann, but the poll figures in the Sunday Times-Behaviour and Attitudes poll suggests that Sinn Fein would exactly do that. Continue reading
It seems hard to believe that, back in 2004, we didn’t even bother to hold an election for Ireland’s president. There was no campaign and no election that year because our elected politicians prevented ANY opposition candidates from being nominated (not providing their support to Dana, who looks set to be frozen out again in 2011). This meant we faced an ‘ incumbent-only’ ticket – and hence held no election. We are happy to criticise such travesties when they take place in, say, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Sepp Blatter’s FIFA – but, as I recall, there wasn’t much of an uproar in Ireland at the time.
Adrian Kavanagh, Sunday 25th September 2011
The main message coming from the two Red C-Sunday Business Post opinion polls, published on 25th September, is that vote transfers would see Michael D Higgins win the presidency despite trailing David Norris in terms of first preference votes. In all, the polls offer mixed messages for the government parties, some cold comfort for Fianna Fáil in the wake of the previous week’s disastrous Millward Brown Lansdowne poll figures for that party, and very good news for Sinn Féin and the Others grouping. Transfer figures provided with the presidential election poll suggest that, in order to go on to win the contest, Davis Norris would need to almost ten percent ahead of Michael D Higgins on the first count, while Martin McGuinness would need to be eight percent ahead. Continue reading