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

Applying the same methodology as in previous posts (such as previous politicalreform.ie posts on the Spring 2010 Ispos MRBi poll and Red C poll), if the national swings in support suggested by this poll were to apply similarly across all constituencies, then constituency support levels would stand as follows.

FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 26.4% 34.0% 33.8% 3.5% 2.3% 0.0%
Cavan-Monaghan 25.3% 43.4% 5.3% 2.0% 14.6% 9.5%
Clare 28.2% 46.7% 6.6% 2.6% 2.4% 13.5%
Cork East 15.2% 25.7% 54.7% 0.9% 3.0% 0.5%
Cork North Central 16.7% 26.7% 37.6% 1.3% 4.2% 13.5%
Cork North West 31.6% 47.5% 19.1% 1.7% 0.0% 0.0%
Cork South Central 24.6% 32.7% 33.5% 3.7% 3.1% 2.4%
Cork South West 22.3% 39.1% 32.9% 2.8% 2.9% 0.0%
Donegal North East 34.9% 32.6% 8.3% 0.8% 13.2% 10.3%
Donegal South West 35.3% 33.4% 12.7% 0.8% 16.2% 1.6%
Dublin Central 22.0% 9.8% 40.7% 2.3% 5.0% 20.3%
Dublin Mid West 18.9% 14.3% 40.9% 5.0% 5.8% 15.1%
Dublin North 23.6% 16.3% 35.2% 7.5% 1.6% 15.8%
Dublin North Central 23.8% 28.6% 25.7% 2.3% 2.2% 17.5%
Dublin North East 19.3% 23.1% 48.0% 2.6% 7.0% 0.0%
Dublin North West 21.5% 9.1% 58.4% 1.0% 7.6% 2.4%
Dublin South 23.1% 31.6% 38.1% 5.0% 1.8% 0.4%
Dublin South Central 13.4% 12.1% 55.7% 1.9% 4.5% 12.5%
Dublin South East 14.2% 19.1% 53.8% 5.5% 2.5% 4.8%
Dublin South West 16.5% 17.4% 54.7% 1.3% 5.5% 4.6%
Dublin West 16.0% 18.1% 47.7% 1.3% 2.2% 14.6%
Dun Laoghaire 16.1% 22.5% 48.1% 2.9% 1.1% 9.4%
Galway East 24.4% 50.0% 12.6% 0.9% 2.2% 9.8%
Galway West 21.2% 24.2% 41.2% 2.5% 1.8% 9.0%
Kerry North-West Limerick 15.6% 33.4% 35.5% 0.8% 11.1% 3.6%
Kerry South 18.4% 23.5% 39.8% 0.7% 1.7% 15.8%
Kildare North 17.0% 19.0% 49.1% 1.7% 1.1% 12.1%
Kildare South 22.0% 15.6% 59.0% 2.2% 0.0% 1.2%
Laois-Offaly 40.5% 40.8% 11.2% 0.7% 4.0% 2.8%
Limerick City 27.1% 29.4% 37.5% 1.2% 2.5% 2.3%
Limerick 28.0% 49.1% 21.8% 1.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Longford-Westmeath 18.1% 28.3% 50.7% 0.6% 1.9% 0.4%
Louth 26.3% 38.1% 20.3% 3.8% 10.2% 1.3%
Mayo 13.4% 61.2% 4.2% 0.4% 3.0% 17.8%
Meath East 21.4% 26.4% 38.3% 1.2% 2.1% 10.5%
Meath West 33.1% 38.6% 16.9% 1.3% 7.9% 2.3%
Roscommon-South Leitrim 23.5% 49.1% 7.1% 0.9% 5.5% 13.8%
Sligo-North Leitrim 24.7% 49.2% 15.4% 1.5% 7.7% 1.5%
Tipperary North 16.0% 15.3% 31.2% 0.4% 1.9% 35.2%
Tipperary South 24.1% 22.8% 29.8% 0.6% 1.7% 20.9%
Waterford 23.3% 28.4% 37.0% 0.9% 3.7% 6.8%
Wexford 20.3% 31.4% 43.2% 0.5% 3.9% 0.8%
Wicklow 17.0% 21.4% 47.6% 2.7% 2.4% 8.9%
STATE 21.8% 29.7% 34.7% 2.0% 4.0% 7.9%

Note that the state figures here are not the same as the poll figures – the percentage figures quoted in the poll having added up to 101% (no doubt caused by the pollsters rounding up each party’s figures)…

Guesstimating seat levels based on these figures (and there are some very tight judgement calls on my part based on these figures!) produces the following (note: given that Seamus Kirk is the Ceann Comhairle, I allocate an extra seat to Fianna Fail in Louth and treat this constituency effectively as a four-seater):

FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 1 2 2
Cavan-Monaghan 1 3 1
Clare 1 3
Cork East 1 1 2
Cork North Central 1 1 2
Cork North West 1 2
Cork South Central 1 2 2
Cork South West 1 1 1
Donegal North East 2 1
Donegal South West 2 1
Dublin Central 1 2 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 2
Dublin North 1 1 2
Dublin North Central 1 1 1
Dublin North East 1 2
Dublin North West 1 2
Dublin South 1 2 2
Dublin South Central 1 1 3
Dublin South East 1 3
Dublin South West 1 1 2
Dublin West 1 1 2
Dun Laoghaire 1 1 2
Galway East 1 3
Galway West 1 2 2
Kerry North-West Limerick 1 1 1
Kerry South 1 1 1
Kildare North 1 1 2
Kildare South 1 2
Laois-Offaly 2 3
Limerick City 1 1 2
Limerick 1 2
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 2
Louth 2 2 1
Mayo 1 3 1
Meath East 1 1 1
Meath West 1 1 1
Roscommon-South Leitrim 1 2
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 2
Tipperary North 1 1 1
Tipperary South 1 1 1
Waterford 1 1 2
Wexford 1 2 2
Wicklow 1 2 2
STATE 45 60 57 0 1 3

If the Labour base figures for the Mayo and Roscommon-South Leitrim constituencies are adjusted to include the 2007 Cowley/Kelly figures, then Labour could also pick up seats in those constituencies based on this analysis (the seat currently assigned to “Others” in Mayo, the seat assigned to Fianna Fail in Roscommon-South Leitrim), which would then leave Labour almost level with Fine Gael in terms of their seats tally.

Just as the Spring Tide reached tidal levels in constituencies such as Dublin South, Dublin North and Dublin South Central and largely bypassed Longford-Roscommon and other constituencies, a similar pattern is likely to emerge should the Gilmore Gale blow to the extent suggested by these poll figures. Given that the reality is that some constituencies tend to be more volatile than others, I decided to redo this analysis while taking account of the changing patterns of support at a constituency level between the 1989 General Election and the 1992 “Spring Tide” General Election.  The analysis was rerun, this time with the base figures for parties being their 2007 consitutency level of support added to that party’s changed level of support between the 1989 and 1992 contests. While this analysis does tap into the particularities of the 1992 contest (e.g. the high “Others” vote in Wicklow, the relatively strong showings by Labour candidates in that election in Cavan-Monaghan, Clare and Donegal North East), it might give a more realistic estimate of where a Gilmore Gael might be most likely to gust most vehemently in the next general election.

The “1992-proofed” constituency estimates read as:

FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 28.2% 34.9% 28.5% 3.5% 2.1% 2.8%
Cavan-Monaghan 20.0% 41.2% 17.6% 1.7% 10.7% 8.8%
Clare 24.8% 33.0% 23.3% 2.3% 2.5% 14.2%
Cork East 18.3% 31.4% 45.7% 1.1% 3.5% 0.0%
Cork North Central 18.3% 31.2% 30.0% 2.3% 4.1% 14.1%
Cork North West 29.3% 36.2% 32.8% 1.6% 0.0% 0.0%
Cork South Central 25.7% 30.1% 29.3% 5.1% 3.6% 6.2%
Cork South West 22.8% 33.0% 35.4% 4.7% 3.2% 0.9%
Donegal North East 33.0% 22.3% 26.5% 1.7% 10.1% 6.4%
Donegal South West 32.5% 44.3% 6.0% 0.8% 16.4% 0.0%
Dublin Central 21.8% 13.3% 43.2% 1.9% 3.3% 16.4%
Dublin Mid West 25.6% 20.4% 24.6% 6.2% 6.5% 16.7%
Dublin North 19.3% 9.0% 44.9% 7.4% 2.0% 17.4%
Dublin North Central 17.2% 26.5% 34.7% 2.1% 2.6% 16.9%
Dublin North East 13.6% 20.1% 56.0% 2.8% 7.5% 0.0%
Dublin North West 26.1% 9.2% 57.0% 0.3% 7.4% 0.0%
Dublin South 17.4% 23.0% 52.4% 2.5% 2.0% 2.7%
Dublin South Central 12.4% 8.4% 65.2% 1.6% 4.3% 8.1%
Dublin South East 13.4% 17.9% 56.0% 4.7% 3.9% 4.2%
Dublin South West 19.3% 21.5% 50.9% 1.0% 5.8% 1.5%
Dublin West 14.8% 11.5% 53.0% 0.9% 2.2% 17.7%
Dun Laoghaire 20.1% 16.4% 47.8% 2.5% 1.0% 12.3%
Galway East 20.6% 50.1% 18.0% 1.0% 2.8% 7.5%
Galway West 29.4% 22.6% 27.1% 2.9% 2.4% 15.6%
Kerry North-West Limerick 13.6% 40.0% 26.1% 0.8% 12.2% 7.2%
Kerry South 17.7% 28.7% 26.7% 0.8% 2.2% 23.9%
Kildare North 21.6% 16.2% 46.4% 1.8% 2.1% 11.9%
Kildare South 32.4% 24.3% 38.8% 3.0% 0.0% 1.5%
Laois-Offaly 38.0% 31.8% 19.7% 0.6% 4.1% 5.9%
Limerick City 23.8% 25.6% 47.2% 1.0% 2.3% 0.0%
Limerick 18.4% 51.8% 25.8% 1.0% 0.5% 2.4%
Longford-Westmeath 16.6% 24.3% 56.2% 0.7% 2.3% 0.0%
Louth 25.7% 45.1% 14.5% 3.6% 7.8% 3.2%
Mayo 13.0% 69.0% 1.9% 0.3% 2.5% 13.3%
Meath East 21.2% 28.8% 34.5% 1.9% 1.7% 12.0%
Meath West 28.6% 36.3% 23.3% 1.8% 6.1% 3.9%
Roscommon-South Leitrim 37.3% 45.2% 6.4% 1.1% 5.5% 4.5%
Sligo-North Leitrim 21.5% 39.4% 32.5% 1.2% 5.4% 0.0%
Tipperary North 18.8% 23.4% 17.8% 0.5% 2.7% 36.8%
Tipperary South 24.9% 26.8% 20.2% 0.7% 1.9% 25.5%
Waterford 24.0% 30.3% 32.3% 0.9% 4.3% 8.2%
Wexford 23.2% 43.4% 27.1% 0.5% 4.4% 1.4%
Wicklow 14.1% 15.5% 30.9% 2.1% 3.0% 34.4%
STATE 21.8% 29.7% 34.7% 2.0% 4.0% 7.9%

Based on these figures, constituency seats are allocated as follows:

FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1
Cavan-Monaghan 1 2 1 1
Clare 1 2 1
Cork East 1 1 2
Cork North Central 1 2 1
Cork North West 1 1 1
Cork South Central 1 2 2
Cork South West 1 1 1
Donegal North East 1 1 1
Donegal South West 1 2
Dublin Central 1 2 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1
Dublin North 1 2 1
Dublin North Central 1 1 1
Dublin North East 1 2
Dublin North West 1 2
Dublin South 1 1 3
Dublin South Central 1 4
Dublin South East 1 3
Dublin South West 1 1 2
Dublin West 1 2 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 1 2
Galway East 1 2 1
Galway West 2 1 1 1
Kerry North-West Limerick 2 1
Kerry South 1 1 1
Kildare North 1 1 2
Kildare South 1 1 1
Laois-Offaly 2 2 1
Limerick City 1 1 2
Limerick 2 1
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 2
Louth 2 2 1
Mayo 1 3 1
Meath East 1 1 1
Meath West 1 1 1
Roscommon-South Leitrim 1 2
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 1 1
Tipperary North 1 1 1
Tipperary South 1 1 1
Waterford 1 1 2
Wexford 1 2 2
Wicklow 1 2 2
STATE 40 53 60 0 1 12

Interestingly, this model sees a surge in the “Others” seat figures (in part reflecting the strength of Democratic Left and independents in the 1992 contest) but also reflecting (mainly rural) constituencies where lower levels of constituency volatility would see strong independents hold off Labour Party challengers (e.g. Tipperary South). While the number of seats allocated to Labour are largely similar to those suggested in the model above, Labour are now seen to be winning seats in constituencies (e.g. Sligo-North Leitrim) that the first model did not suggest while they are now winning one seat in constituencies where the first model allocates (probably rather optimistically!!!)  two  seats (e.g. Kildare South) and missing out on seats in some constituencies (e.g. the Tipperary constituencies) that the first model had suggested as being Labour gains. Labour would also be clearly  the largest party by some distance based on these seat figures, especially if seats in Mayo and Roscommon-South Leitrim (as discussed above) cann be allocated to them.

It is worth noting that this analysis simply does “what is says on the tin” – these models are simple “what if” models that looks at what would happen at a constituency if the national swings in support between 2007 and this poll were replicated in an exactly similar pattern across all constituencies. The models takes the opinion poll figures as they are and does not try to second guess what might arise when voter turnout is taken account of (the “Labour” voters in the poll may be less likely to turn out to vote than Fianna Fail or Fine Gael “voters”) or what impact party organisation and candidate selection factors would have on the actual outcome of constituency contests. These simple models cannot take account of local particularities and constituency-specific/candidate specific factors that would of course produce significantly different constituency results should these poll figures transpire exactly as present as the levels of party support at the next election. These basic models cannot take account of political change within constituencies either – for instance, the initial analysis suggests a seat for “Others” in Mayo even thought that “Others” vote base would now effectively have moved towards Labour and Fianna Fail with Cowley and Flynn, respectively, joining or (re)joining these parties in the period since General Election 2007.  These models also does not take account of likely changes in vote transfer patterns – and given that a surge/decline in Labour/Fianna Fail support would also likely see a surge/decline in Labour/Fianna Fail transfers then it might be argued that the Labour seat allocations in these models are verging on the conservative side!

Labour’s inability to produce a clearer victory in this analysis is linked to the party’s weak base of support across much of the state (a limitation that acts to the benefit of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael), with their 2007 supports levels too low in a number of constituencies to suggest seats will be won, even with the national swings in support promised by this poll.  Fianna Fail’s strong support base nationally acts as a buffer against the decline in their support levels suggested by this poll – they are also helped by the fact that the poll suggests a decline in Sinn Fein support relative to 2007, which means they end up holding seats in Donegal, Louth and Kerry in this analysis that might otherwise have been lost to Sinn Fein incumbents/challengers. While the poll figures are disappointing for Fine Gael, the constituency analysis however suggests that they would have a realistic prospect of still emerging as the largest party in the Dail, even coming in some percentage points below Labour in terms of popular support levels.

These poll figures could prove to be a poison chalice for Labour. On these figures, Labour must position themselves to be in contention for 60+ seats in the next general election, thus calling for an ambitious candidate selection strategy with no previous parallel in the party’s history save for the 1969 campaign. Failing to do would risk the party losing winnable seats due to running too few candidates, as happened with constituencies such as Dublin South and Dublin North in the 1992 Spring Tide election. However, should support levels drop in the heat of an election battle then an ambitious candidate selection strategy would likely mean that Labour end up losing out on seats in consituencies where the party vote is split between too many candidates. How to play the candidate selection issue will prove to be a tough call for the Labour Party. In a similar vein, Fianna Fail’s dwindling support levels may lead them to consider whether they need to engage in a “slash and burn” election strategy to minimise losses wherein even incumbent TDs are deselected in order to prevent a declining party vote base being split too many ways.  Hard decisions will have to be made by all the party leaderships. Politics is tough.

Labour’s poll surge suggests a demand for “new politics” that is not playing well for the two larger parties and which has been probably exarcerbated by the recent “hoarse-gate” and “Sheehan-gate” episodes. This may also lead to the demand for “new” types of candidates – which may bode well for parties who run more female, younger, and first-time candidates. But will this Gilmore-gale shift towards a “new politics” see Eamonn Gilmore as Taoiseach, or at least a rotating Taoiseach, as part of a Labour-lead Labour-Fine Gael coalition? The one imponderable will be Fine Gael reactions to such a scenario. Would Fine Gael be happy to be junior partner in a Gilmore-lead government, or would they be happy to allow Fianna Fail make up the numbers to help see a Fine Gael Taoiseach take power? Ironically the better these poll figures for Labour, the greater the possibility of them possibly being shut out from power by a Fine Gael-Fianna Fail marriage of convenience – a scenario that would, in turn, ultimately bring about the end, once and for all, of “civil war” politics and finally see the creation of a distinctive left-right cleavage within Irish politics practially one hundred years after the rest of Europe!

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13 thoughts on “Millward-Browne Lansdowne TV3 poll – what it might mean in constituency terms

  1. I further predict that Labour will suffer as a result of their lack of experience managing such a large vote share. Transfer leakage is inevitable and Fine Gael will be the largest party by ten seats.

  2. Who are the people who still admit they would vote for Fianna Fáil?

    I don’t believe for a moment Labour will come close to Fine Gael but it does seem certain the election will be a game change and that can only be a good thing.

    Once the reality of an election sinks in people will focus on Labour much more, at the moment they have the luxury of saying they will vote for them, when it comes to actually doing so things will have changed.

    Is there such a thing as a political psychologist, sort of similar to a sports psychologist because after 80 years of being second best FG are bound to have self esteem issues. I wonder if they have anyone on board to give those prep talks about the FG mindset and the risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory again.

    FG need to learn how to strike the balance of not seeming to be arrogant or talking votes for granted but also setting out its stall properly and giving people some hope. For instance there are about 150,000 SMEs in Ireland and if they could all take on one full time new staff member, it would transfer the country, if FG can put together its plan to indicate how this can be done and where new demand can be harnessed, I’ll spare you my tome on how to do that, it would make a difference. FG need to start having a narrative and it needs to start leading by example eg, making its reps publish receipts, stopping its former office holders from taking pensions etc, the sight of Bruton and FitzGerald swanning around in Mercs paid for by the taxpayer while reaping huge private income on top of huge taxpayer funded pensions, makes a mockery of FG claims to be different or to offer an alternative or to offer reform, ditto a whole range of other issues.

    But, this election is set to be the most interesting in the entire history of the State as we know in advance that change is a coming, what form it takes, time will tell.

    • The fact that FF remain (as they have for quite a while now) in the low 20s in the polls despite the current political climate could suggest that this is where their support levels are bottoming out at. This suggests also that FF have scope to claw back some, but not most, of their lost support – at this stage it’s unlikely they will form the next government but I would suggest that they are not out of the game yet.
      The sense I have of FG over the past two years is that they are like a soccer team who are 2-0 up with a few minutes left in a match (but not knowing how long is to be played in injury time!!!) and playing keep ball in their half to wind down the clock. The problem is, as soccer fans know, that a 2-goal lead is the hardest to defend…

  3. There could be a few beads missing from your abacus, if you don’t mind me saying so. Your one size fits all analysis is naive as to the very parochial nature of Irish politics, where certain personalities local bases effect the figures.

    For instance, 45 FF, 59 each FG and Labour and 1 SF adds up to 164. Allowing for the ceann comhairle, that means that out of all the Independent TDs currently in the Dáil only one of them will get re-elected, and no others will rise.

    Only one out of Jackie Healy-Rae, Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry, Maureen O’Sullivan, that Behan fella and Finian McGrath? The most powerful messenger-boys in our democracy? McGrath might struggle but the rest will sweep home and maybe bring some more with them.

    Also, I will eat my hat and báinín gansey if four FG TDs are elected in Mayo. O’Mahony is goosed. The question then is his seat a FG seat or an East Mayo seat. I’m afraid it’s very hard to take these figures seriously.

    • Mr. Fanach,
      As I noted in the updates, this is only a rough model and can’t take account of the peculiar nature of each individual nor can it take acocunt of what’s happened in constituencies since 2007. As models do, it just simply uses what the party figures were in 2007 as a base and applies the national pattern of support change suggested by the poll equally across each constituency based on these figures. So in the model, Grealish and Behan’s figures would be subsumed within the 2007 Galway West PD and Wicklow FF figures and not included within the Others. The likelihood of course would be that both would be in contention for a seat in these constituencies as would a Healy Rae cadidate in Kerry South West (and I could have easily assigned the 3rd seat there to Others not FF; yet another of those toss up decisions I refer to in post)…
      Then again support for Independents is highly volatile and does reflect the national picture/politics to some degree; the surge of independents in 2002 reflected the weakness of FG/five year period up to this when independents had significant power over the government. The big drop in 2007 reflected the resurgence of FF and the weakedned influence (over government) of independents in the 2002-2007 period.

  4. Where have “others” gone? According to the poll, “others” polled more than twice the SF vote
    It seems that you have not allocated any seats to “others” but you have allocated 1 to Sinn Fein!
    The poor showing by Sinn Fein is at variance with constituency reports and may be related to the fact that this is a telephone poll.
    The forthcoming Irish Times face to face poll may tell a different story in regard to Sinn Fein
    In any event the next election will change the face of Irish politics in a manner comparable to the 1918 election!

    • The “Others” figures are there, but hidden in post at present – I need to amend table again with smaller font size and hopefully the Others column will appear then!!! (And I think I’ve now solved that problem…) Others on 2 according to my estimates…
      Actually on “mature recollection”, based on the actual constituency estimate figures I should have allocated another “Others” seat in Mayo (instead of allocating four to Fine Gael), so the post has now been amended and others now stand at 3!

      Re Sinn Fein, it is always a difficult party in terms of polling given that there is always a certain percentage level of error (rought plus or minus 3%) associated even with good polls – so the “real” SF could easily be 7% or even 1%. My hunch would be that SF real figure is probably not as low as 4% but could be slightly down on the 2007 6.9% level on the basis that the Gilmore Gale could well be “sucking up” some SF support in its wake…

  5. Thanks for the clarification, Adrian
    Your exercise is ,of course, useful but perhaps it needs modification for application to each constituency.
    Have you built in to the process the certain decline in transfers to Fianna Fail candidates? For example, in the two 3-seat Donegal constituencies you allocate 2 seats to Fianna Fail though on first count Fianna Fail has 1 quota + 10% of the votes. I suggest that in current circumstances there is no possibility of Fianna Fail gaining a further 15% of the votes on transfer to take a second seat.
    Your allocation of seats seems to take no account of the political colouration of independents. Well established Left wing independents and will probably also benefit from a swing to the left and share the “lift” with the Labour Party in those constituencies. As you say, yourself, the Labour surge shows a demand for “New Politics”. For example in Tipperary South(a constituency close to my heart), Cllr Seamus Healy has always benefitted from surges in Labour support. In Dublin South Central you predict 3 seats for Labour despite the presence of sitting Sinn Fein TD O’Snodaigh and People Before Profit Councillor Joan Collins.
    I expect Joe Higgins MEP(Dublin Mid- West),Cllr.Seamus Healy(Tipp South) and Cllr Richard Boyd-Barrett(Dun Laoire) to be elected. Other left wing candidates with a reasonable chance of election are Cllr Joan Collins(Dublin South Central),Cllr Mick Barry (Cork North Central), Cllr Clare Daly (Dublin North). In most cases these will probably take a seat you have allocated to the Labour Party

    • Yes, the model can’t really take account of the uniqueness of each constituency – it’s really meant to be a jumping-off point for people to think about their own constituencies and twhy the “real election result” will probably pan out differently to what the model throws up.
      Allocation of seats really a judgement call on my part and other people like yourself would probably come up with different seat numbers for the parties based on the constituency estimates – my awarding two seats to FF in the Donegal constituencies was based on the distance that the SF candidates were off the quota (and SF traditional weakness in attracting transfers)and the fact that the FG surpluses would probably help FF more than SF
      I note your point about the left wing candidates, but often times when there is a national swing a party like Labour can mop up much of the “political space” in constituencies that these candidates would otherwise look to occupy. This might be more a factor of the more urban constituencies – in a less volatile rural constituency such as Tipp South the Labour surge might not be enough to see Phil Prendergast edge ahead of Seamus Healy
      Dublin South Central would be one of my more ambitious estimates that I would be most confident of seeing replicated in reality! Labour’s inability to win two seats in DSC in previous elections was largely due to party weakness in Ballyfermot, which SF and FF, as well as Brid Smith PBP, were able to gain from. Running local man Conaghan this time would see Labour pick up thousands more votes in the Ballyfermot area, partly at the expense of SF and PBP as well as FF, and with Byrne to appeal to “old Labour voters” and the Crumlin area, and Rebecca Moynihan to appeal to “new Labour voters” and the South West Inner City, then I think Labour have a serious chance of taking three seats (at expense of FF and SF)in this constituency in Gilmore Gale conditions; even in a “normal” election Labour really should be winning two seats there based on their DSC support levels (as in the last local elections).

  6. I think we need to see more on the methodology that led Millward Brown to produce these national poll figures putting FF, FG, Lab at 22, 30, 35.
    From what I can see from the TV3 website http://content.tv3.ie/downloads/tv3_national_opinion_poll_23rd_feb2010_part_2x.pdf
    the above figures are a very rough estimate whereby the don’t knows are excluded. However, as anyone who has dealt with opinion polling knows, these cannot be excluded. It has been shown before that the don’t knows are different to the ‘knows’. Hence TNS MRBI have until recently used an adjusted figure. That said in such adjusted figures, FF usually fare worse than when the don’t knows are excluded. So perhaps FF are even lower and Labour even higher than this poll suggests?
    Did Millward Brown do any adjusting to cater for the don’t knows, aside from excluding them?

  7. Interesting piece. Just wanted to point out what may be an error, your 1992-proof projection for CN-MN, doesn’t seem to fit with your seat projection.
    FF 20.0% 1 seat
    FG 41.2% 3 seats
    L 17.6%
    G 1.7%
    SF 10.7% 1 seat
    O 8.8%

    • Well spotted Naive 1, I only spotted that mistake myself earlier today when I was actually in the RTE News at One studio. I’ve corrected those details now on the post to FF 1 FG 2 LB 1 SF 1 as they should be based on those figures. It was one of a few of the seat estimates that are undoubtedly off the mark of my part – I probably can put down to being a rush job this morning before preparing for News at One. I’ll have another look over my own seat estimates tonight to tidy up there figures, but I’m sure all other politicalreform.ie followers would probably come up with slightly different results to mine based on those same constituency estimates!
      Looking back to those Cavan-Monaghan figures, what the 1992 proof figures are capturing here is the Ann Gallagher effect in 1992; unless Labour can get an equally good candidate in Cavan Monaghan for the next election then I’d think they wouldn’t be near a seat in Cavan even if the party did end up with 35% of the national poll.

  8. One further thought…based on this poll, the combined Left vote would be probably around 43-44 per cent. Have Labout realistically got another coalition option especially if they can push up their support levels a few more per cent?

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