March in like a lion but not out like a lamb for the larger parties: Analyses of March and April opinions polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 1st March 2014

The latest polls, published on Easter Sunday, brought further bad news for the government parties, while offering very positive messages for the Independents and Others grouping and for Sinn Fein in the lead up to the May 23rd local and European elections.  The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (20th April 2014) estimated party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such poll): Fine Gael 29% (up 2%), Sinn Fein 20% (down 2%), Fianna Fail 22% (up 1%), Labour Party 6% (down 2%), Green Party 2% (NC), Independents and Others 21% (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 37, Fine Gael 56, Sinn Fein 30, Labour 0, Green Party 1, Independents and Others 33.  The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll (20th April 2014) estimated party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such poll): Fine Gael 21% (down 9%), Sinn Fein 20% (up 2%), Fianna Fail 20% (up 1%), Labour Party 9% (NC), Green Party 4% (up 1%), Independents and Others 26% (up 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 35, Fine Gael 40, Sinn Fein 32, Labour 8, Green Party 3, Independents and Others 40Continue reading

Mixed results for the different parties in the January/February polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 9th/25th January/22nd February 2014

The trends of varying results across two polls published on the same date, as evidenced with the 26th January polls, is evident again with those to be published on 23rd February. The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (23rd February) estimated party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such poll): Fine Gael 29% (up 2%), Fianna Fail 22% (down 1%), Sinn Fein 16% (NC), Labour Party 11% (up 2%), Green Party 2%/Independents and Others 20% (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: Fianna Fail 37, Fine Gael 57, Sinn Fein 20, Labour 15, Green Party 1, Independents and Others 28. The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll (23rd February) estimated party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such poll): Fine Gael 30% (NC), Fianna Fail 19% (down 2%), Sinn Fein 18% (up 3%), Labour Party 9% (down 2%), Green Party 3%/Independents 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: Fianna Fail 33, Fine Gael 63, Sinn Fein 24, Labour 7, Green Party 2, Independents and Others 29. Continue reading

Constituency-level analyses of national opinion polls carried out during 2013: A review.

Adrian Kavanagh, 1st January 2014

During the past year (2013), I carried out constituency-level analyses of thirty four different national opinion polls in order to produce Dail-seat estimates based on those support levels. These analyses involved thirteen Red C (Sunday Business Post-Red C and Paddy Power-Red C) polls, twelve Sunday Independent-Millward Browne polls, four Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI polls and five Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes polls. Averaging the different Dail seat-level estimates for the different political parties and political groupings across these polls produces the following estimate: Fianna Fail 46, Fine Gael 52, Labour Party 11, Sinn Fein 25, Independents and Others 24. But notably different seat-estimates were produced depending on the time of year that these polls were held in, but especially depending on what polling companies were involved in the carrying out of these different polls, as will be illustrated below.  Continue reading

Après la guerre: Constituency level analyses of post-Budget opinion polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 26th October 2013 (with updates)

The opinion polls taken place in the wake of the recent Budget have brought mixed news for the government parties, with some polls seeing these parties leaking support to the opposition parties but especially to the Independents and Others grouping. However the more recent Sunday Times/Behaviour & AttitudesIrish Times-Ipsos MRBI and Sunday Business Post-Red C have seen the government parties reclaiming some of their lost support.  The Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes poll of 22nd December 2013 estimates party support as follows (compared to the last Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes poll):  Fine Gael 30% (up 5%), Fianna Fail 21% (NC), Sinn Fein 15% (down 3%), Labour 9% (NC), Green Party 3% (NC), Independents and Others 21% (down 2%). 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 39, Fine Gael 59, Sinn Fein 20, Labour 15, Green Party 1, Independents and Others 24. The Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI  poll of 24th November 2013 estimates party support as follows (compared to the last  Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll):  Fine Gael 30% (up 4%), Fianna Fail 22% (NC), Sinn Fein 21% (down 2%), Labour 9% (up 3%), Independents, Green Party and Others 18% (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 38, Fine Gael 58, Sinn Fein 32, Labour 8, Independents, Green Party and Others 22.

Continue reading

Explaining media coverage of the 2011 election

Papers82There is an assumption in the literature on the media coverage of elections that it is being Americanised or ‘dumbed down’. Election coverage can be thought to vary on whether substantive policy issues are discussed or if the coverage centres on the likely result and/ or the parties’ electoral strategies. For instance in the last few days of the 2012 US Presidential election 20 Continue reading

How did the polls get it so wrong in the Seanad referendum?

Post by Kevin Cunningham
PhD Candidate in Political Science at Trinity College Dublin

pollingThe Millward Brown/Independent poll conducted between the 13th and 25th of September suggested a 64 per cent to 36 per cent margin in favour of abolition. The Red C/Sunday Business Post poll conducted between the 9th and 11th of September indicated a 59% to 41% margin. The night before the election, Paddy Power offered 1/10 on a Yes vote compared to a 5 to 1 for a No vote.

The error in these polls was a consequence of insufficiently accounting for the likelihood of an individual to turn out. Continue reading

Autumnal Shifts? A constituency-level analysis of the early Autumn opinion polls

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Adrian Kavanagh, 14th September 2013

The most recent Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (13th October) brought some relatively disappointing news for the government parties, with both losing a percentage point relatively to the previous such poll of 29th September, with the most significant trend being a three percentage points gain by the Independents and Others political grouping. The latest Millward Brown poll estimates party support levels as: Fine Gael 27% (down 1%), Fianna Fail 27% (NC), Sinn Fein 19% (NC), Labour 9% (down 1%), Green Party 1% (NC), Independents and Others 17% (up 3%).  My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, if these national support trends were replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 51, Fine Gael 50, Sinn Fein 25, Labour 8, Green Party 0, Independents and Others 24Continue reading

So what for Silly Season politics? Looking at the August opinion polls

The month of August saw the latest poll from the Red C series of opinion polls as well as two new Sunday Independent-Millward Brown polls, with these continuing the trends observed in polls during 2013, in which Fianna Fail and Fine Gael support hovers around the mid 20s mark (with Fianna Fail faring decidedly better in the Millward Brown polls), Sinn Fein support hovers around the mid-to-high teens (and occasionally into the low twenties) and Labour support hovers just above or just below the ten percent mark (with Labour support tending to be higher in the Red C polls). The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (1st September 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties and groupings at (and relative to the  previous Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll), as follows: Fine Gael 27% (down 2%), Fianna Fail 25% (down 3%), Sinn Fein 21% (up 3%), Labour 8% (NC), Green Party, Independents and Others 18% (up 2%). 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 45, Fine Gael 56, Sinn Fein 34, Labour 3, Green Party, Independents and Others 20. Continue reading

Mixed news for government parties in late June/early July opinion polls

The general trend in opinion polls over the last few months has been one that strongly indicated an improvement in Fianna Fail support levels and fortunes, mainly at the expense of the government parties. The latest poll from the Sunday Business Post-Red C series of opinion polls went against this trend however, pointing towards improved support levels for the two government parties as against a drop in support levels for Fianna Fail, but the latest Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll, by contrast, pointed to a continuation of this trend of improved Fianna Fail fortunes and declining support for the government parties, but especially Labour. The Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (7th July 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties and groupings at (and relative to the  previous Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll), as follows: Fine Gael 26% (down 1%), Fianna Fail 29% (up 2%), Sinn Fein 19% (up 2%), Labour 8% (down 3%), Green Party, Independents and Others 19% (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 55, Fine Gael 48, Sinn Fein 27, Labour 4, Green Party, Independents and Others 24. The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll (30th June 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties and groupings at (and relative to the  previous Sunday Business-Red C poll), as follows: Fine Gael 27% (down 3%), Fianna Fail 24% (up 1%), Sinn Fein 16% (up 1%), Labour 7% (NC), Green Party 3% (up 1%), Independents and Others 23% (down 2%). 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 57, Fianna Fail 47, Sinn Fein 23, Labour 2, Green Party 3, Independents and Others 26.  The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (30th June 2013) puts national support levels for the main political parties and groupings at (and relative to the  previous Sunday Business-Red C poll), as follows: Fine Gael 28% (up 2%), Fianna Fail 22% (down 4%), Sinn Fein 17% (up 1%), Labour 12% (up 1%), Green Party, Independents 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, Fianna Fail 39, Sinn Fein 24, Labour 15, Green Party, Independents and Others 24. Continue reading

Some good news for Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein in latest Ispos-MRBI and Red C opinion polls, but not for Labour

pollAdrian Kavanagh, 13th June 2013

Opinion polls in the first part of 2013 all pointed towards significant gains in Fianna Fail support levels, leaving the party at its highest support level in opinion polls since the IMF-EU bailout in November 2010, with some of the polls rating Fianna Fail as the most popular party in the state ahead of Fine Gael.  While Fianna Fail and Fine Gael support levels have been seen to be relatively similar in recent polls, the latest poll, the Paddy Power-Red C poll (13th June) points to notable gains for Fine Gael, with this polls leaving Fine Gael Continue reading