Red C-Paddy Power poll, 2nd February 2011: Kenny Krusading towards overall majority?


Adrian Kavanagh, 2nd February 2011

Today’s Red C-Paddy Power opinion poll  estimates party support as follows: FF 18%, FG 37%, LAB 19%, GP 3%, SF 12%, OTH 11%. Based solely on these poll figures, my constituency level analysis estimates party seat levels as follows: Fianna Fail 32, Fine Gael 75, Labour 31,  Green Party 0, Sinn Fein 13, Others 15.

Seat levels for different coalition options would stand as follows: Fine Gael/Labour 106 seats (majority of 46 seats), Fine Gael/”Right-leaning” Independents-Others 81 seats, Fine Gael/Fianna Fail 107 (majority of 48 seats), Fianna Fail/Labour 63 seats, Fianna Fail/Labour/Sinn Fein 76 seats, “Left Coalition” 53 seats, Fine Gael/Green Party 75 seats, Fine Gael/”Right-leaning” Independents-Others/Green Party 81 seats.

The approach taken to estimate these seat levels has been explained in some detail in the previous post covering today’s Irish Independent-Millward Brown poll and it estimates levels of party support in the different constituencies as follows:

FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 23% 45% 20% 6% 7% 0%
Cavan-Monaghan 15% 39% 2% 2% 32% 9%
Clare 20% 51% 3% 3% 6% 16%
Cork East 15% 37% 35% 2% 11% 1%
Cork North Central 14% 33% 20% 2% 12% 19%
Cork North West 27% 60% 11% 3% 0% 0%
Cork South Central 21% 42% 19% 6% 10% 3%
Cork South West 19% 50% 18% 4% 9% 0%
Donegal North East 22% 31% 10% 1% 31% 5%
Donegal South West 22% 32% 5% 1% 38% 2%
Dublin Central 18% 12% 22% 4% 15% 28%
Dublin Mid West 16% 29% 23% 8% 18% 8%
Dublin North 20% 21% 20% 12% 5% 23%
Dublin North Central 19% 34% 14% 3% 6% 23%
Dublin North East 17% 30% 27% 4% 22% 0%
Dublin North West 20% 13% 36% 2% 26% 4%
Dublin South 21% 42% 22% 8% 6% 1%
Dublin South Central 12% 17% 34% 3% 15% 19%
Dublin South East 13% 27% 34% 10% 9% 8%
Dublin South West 15% 24% 33% 2% 19% 7%
Dublin West 15% 25% 29% 2% 7% 22%
Dun Laoghaire 15% 32% 30% 5% 4% 15%
Galway East 18% 56% 6% 1% 6% 12%
Galway West 16% 27% 20% 3% 5% 28%
Kerry North-West Limerick 11% 37% 17% 1% 30% 4%
Kerry South 16% 31% 23% 1% 6% 23%
Kildare North 16% 27% 31% 3% 4% 19%
Kildare South 24% 26% 43% 4% 0% 2%
Laois-Offaly 31% 47% 6% 1% 11% 4%
Limerick City 24% 40% 22% 2% 8% 3%
Limerick 24% 62% 12% 2% 0% 0%
Longford-Westmeath 18% 41% 33% 1% 7% 1%
Louth 18% 40% 9% 5% 26% 1%
Mayo 14% 67% 10% 0% 8% 0%
Meath East 19% 35% 22% 2% 7% 15%
Meath West 24% 42% 8% 2% 21% 3%
Roscommon-South Leitrim 16% 49% 20% 1% 14% 0%
Sligo-North Leitrim 17% 52% 7% 2% 20% 2%
Tipperary North 13% 18% 16% 1% 6% 47%
Tipperary South 9% 23% 13% 1% 4% 50%
Waterford 20% 37% 21% 1% 11% 10%
Wexford 18% 42% 25% 1% 13% 1%
Wicklow 8% 25% 25% 4% 7% 31%

Based on these constituency support estimates, I would guesstimate seat levels per party in each constituency to fall as follows:

FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 1 3 1
Cavan-Monaghan 1 2 2
Clare 1 3
Cork East 2 2
Cork North Central 2 1 1
Cork North West 1 2
Cork South Central 1 3 1
Cork South West 1 2
Donegal North East 1 1 1
Donegal South West 1 1 1
Dublin Central 1 1 1 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 1 1
Dublin North 1 1 1 1
Dublin North Central 1 1 1
Dublin North East 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 1 1
Dublin South 1 3 1
Dublin South Central 1 2 1 1
Dublin South East 2 2
Dublin South West 1 2 1
Dublin West 1 1 1 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 1
Galway East 1 3
Galway West 1 1 1 2
Kerry North-West Limerick 2 1
Kerry South 1 1 1
Kildare North 1 1 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1
Laois-Offaly 2 3
Limerick City 1 2 1
Limerick 1 2
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1
Louth 2 2 1
Mayo 1 4
Meath East 1 1 1
Meath West 1 2
Roscommon-South Leitrim 2 1
Sligo-North Leitrim 2 1
Tipperary North 1 1 1
Tipperary South 1 2
Waterford 1 2 1
Wexford 1 3 1
Wicklow 2 1 2
STATE 32 75 31 0 13 15

This poll is striking mainly in terms of the levels of Fine Gael and Labour support and, relative to the general trends observed in polls over December and January, shows a distinctly different pattern to today’s Millward-Brown poll in the Irish Independent. This poll shows Fine Gael significantly extending its lead over Labour and the rest of the field, whereas the Millward-Brown poll showed the gap between Fine Gael and Labour to be narrowing. If we take into account the margin of error associated with these polls (usually plus or minus 3 per cent) it may well be argued that, despite these quite varying poll results, we are effectively in the same territory we have been in for the past two months – Fine Gael in the low to mid 30s, Labour in the low 20s, Fianna Fail in the mid to high teens and Sinn Fein in the mid teens.

This analysis also shows the relative impact of political competition; although Fianna Fail have not gained much ground relative to previous polls, the drop in support by Labour and Others means that Fianna Fail can ‘reclaim’ some of the seats lost to Labour and Others in the previous polls analyses and push their predicted seat level back up into the 30s. Of course this model does not take account of the number of candidates being run, so in some constituencies where a Fianna Fail seat is being predicted by this model a splitting of this vote between two or more candidates could put this seat at risk – on the other hand by running fewer candidates in a quasi-burnt earth or salted earth strategy (party effectively gives up a seat) or high-noon strategy (party, in one last stand, tries to hold what is has and goes out all guns blazing), it could be argued that such an approach is deflating the potential Fianna Fail vote (given that each Fianna Fail candidate will bring with them a certain amount of personal/local votes). This is probably more evident in the rural constituencies and especially in cases where disaffected party members, who have failed to get a party nomination as a result of the burnt earth or high-noon approaches, have decided to “go it alone” as with former Fianna Fail election candidate, Cllr. John Foley, in Laois-Offaly. In this case the non-selection of Foley means that Fianna Fail will not win the very strong vote they won in his Edenderry bailiwick in 2007 (despite him narrowly missing out on the final seat to party colleague, John Moloney) and Foley’s departure to the independent ranks means that a significant chunk the local Fianna Fail vote in north Offaly will go with him, possibly putting a Fianna Fail seat at risk.

(To see current status as regards canddate selections, please visit my own Election statistics site!)

On the level of these figures an overall majority seems to lie within Fine Gael’s grasp as a “Kenny Krusade” gathers momentum, or at least the prospect of going into power as a minority administration supported by “like-minded” independents. Given that Pascal Donohoe’s chances of winning a seat in Dublin Central are better than this model would predict, the Fine Gael level is probably even slightly closer to the magic 83 seat number. But what are their prospects of winning more seats and gaining the overall majority? Looking at the constituency support estimates anew, this may ultimately depend on Fine Gael’s ability to win a third seat in Cyavan-Monaghan, and win a second seat in Dublin Mid West, Dublin North Central, Galway West and Meath East, in addition to a Donohoe win in Dublin Central. But it is hard to see further Fine Gael wins over and above these, based on these constituency estimates, and the best case scenario for Fine Gael would see them falling just short of an overall majority at 81 seats.

Advertisements

29 thoughts on “Red C-Paddy Power poll, 2nd February 2011: Kenny Krusading towards overall majority?

  1. There’s a bit of a Catch-22 here. If the prospect of a FG overall majority starts to look realistic – and some in FG have been talking this up even before this morning’s poll – then that majority becomes less likely. Likewise the prospect of FG being large enough to form a single-party minority government, supported by Independents (or even by FF). The reason it becomes less likely is that supporters of Labour in particular will become less willing to give lower preferences to their putative ally FG, because there will be the risk that this will help FG to attain a Dáil strength at which it doesn’t need Labour to form a government. Labour transfers could help FG over the stile and enable FG to bid farewell to Labour. So for Labour voters to give lower preferences to FG would then have the effect of denying their own party a place in government.

    Indeed, supporters of both FG and Labour might be in two minds as to whether to give their next preferences to the other party. If the next government is a FG–Labour coalition – still the most likely outcome – then the influence of each party will depend on its share of their combined seats. So the fewer seats FG wins, the greater Labour’s influence will be, and vice versa. Thus the inclination to give lower preferences to their likely post-election partner will be negated by the fear that this could reduce the weight of their own party in that partnership. The likely beneficiaries of that ambivalence will be Independents, whom some party supporters will see as the least unattractive destination for their lower preferences.

    • Where’s the catch 22? Surely FG should try to play down the likelihood of an overall majority and then hope that it gets it.

      Unless FG is losing potential support because it might be seen as a way for Labour to take power. But I’m not sure that’s the case.

      • But if commentators interpret poll findings as bringing a FG overall majority within the realms of feasibility (see, for example, the title of this post), then that will affect the way voters will perceive the possible effect of their transfers. Maybe FG should indeed play down any prospect that they’ll win a majority (“you’re quite safe giving us your lower preferences, we have absolutely no chance of being able to form a single-party government, and even if it was possible we’d much prefer to go into coalition with Labour”) but that’s not at all what I’m hearing from FG spokespersons.

    • Agreed. But you’re leaving dissaffected Fianna Fail voters out of your analysis. If I recall what happened in 2002 when a significant FG vote shifted away from that party temporarily, a lot of it went to FF and did not transfer onto Labour who ultimately made neither gains nor losses of any significance in the election. It’s possible that many former FF voters will switch their allegiance to FG in this election. If they don’t transfer on to Labour – and my instinct is that they will not – then it’s Labour that will suffer from lack of FG transfers whereas FG will get a major boost in first preferences, cancelling out the effect of any fall off in Labour transfers to their candidates.

  2. There was a significant occurrence at the end of the Cowan reign.
    Those FF TDs who supported Cowan to remain as leader IGNORED many of their constituents who wanted them to oppose Cowan!
    And many of those FF supporters thus ignored will not now vote for those TDs that ignored them , but transfer their votes to either the other constituency FF TD or to FG or Sinn Fein , less so to Labour, and this move would be mostly permanent.

    A classic case is Carlow-Kilkenny where Bobby Aylward TD stayed with Cowan to the bitter end(and then transferred his support to Brian Lenihan) despite actual calls on him from his own supporters to stop supporting Cowan, he ignored those constituents and now those constituents have either transferred to arch rival John McGuinness TD in his own party or gone to Phil Hogan TD in Fine Gael.
    Speculation locally is that Bobby was instructed by his elder brother and benefactor Liam the MEP not to rock the family European nomination from Fianna Fail:-)
    Thus Bobby Aylward has an even tougher road to being re-elected now than he had in the days prior to the Martin heave against Cowan.

    He may still scrape back against the third Fine Gael candidate , newbie Cllr. Deering in Carlow, but the third seat in Carlow-Kilkenny is now up for grabs by Fine Gael who could also now win the third seat in Laois-Offaly.

    This should bring Fine Gael up a bit more . It is situations like this that justifies Fine Gael’s obvious drive for a single party Fine Gael government ( which admittedly to my mind, as a former FF supporter, would be better for the country).

    Also nobody seems to have noticed( no commentator has pointed it out) voter opposition to FF on account of Fianna Fail having virtually sponsored Eastern European immigration into Ireland.

    Here again Fine Gael seems to have adopted a more negative view of immigration, though Labour has not, this again helps Fine Gael amongst the unemployed voters.

    However Eastern European immigration should stop, and even be partially reversed , with the opening of the German and Austrian borders to immigration from Eastern Europe after May 1st this year – especially in the case of Austria which now has full employment as defined ( under 5 % unemployed)

    Whatever new government will benefit from this after May 1st with the availabilty of several thousand jobs here in early summer this year mainly at minimum wage level , but it will be a start .

    Also there should as a result be a marked decrease on the live register. minimum wage.

    You read this good news on politicalreform.ie first!

  3. Has anyone a view or information as to why the two opinion polls published this morning have quite divergent results? If one was asked to strategise on the basis of these two polls one could be pulled in separate directions methinks.

  4. That * Return* may have already commenced! Just announced on RTE 1 Radio news, unemployment fell by 6,900 in January .
    Obviously a result of Eastern Europeans returned home to their countries for Xmas and not returning to Ireland – obviously now securing jobs in Austria and Germany in advance of the May 1st deadline.

  5. To my mind there is an interesting question about how voters will react to FG and Labour kicking lumps out of each other to maximise seats over the next three weeks with a general expectation that they will sit down afterwards to form a government. Whatever programme of government might be cobbled together certainly won’t reflect what either FG or Labour supporters voted for. In the current circumstances there might be some justification for a broad-based left-of-centre/right-of-centre combination in government, but surely the programme of government should be hammered out first and put to the people?

    And surely this flies in the face of a fundamental cornerstone of democracy where voters are given clear choices on by whom and in what way they wish to be governed? The two pigs on offer mighn’t be in a poke, but they’ll be expected to mate away from the eyes of voters after the election.

    Once again the tyranny of faction trumps the public interest.

  6. It seems everyone wants to keep commenting on polls and making predictions on the strength of them but no one seems willing to explain how two polls, published at the same time can tell two very different stories.
    If they were conducted at the same time, with similar methodologies how can this be??

    • Vincent – the two polls were cnducted by two different polling companies and may have used slightly different question wordings and methodologies for structuring their random samples – i.e. samples are usually “adjusted” to be representative of constituencies, regions, urban/rural, male/female, age groups and perhaps income categories.

      Polls only claim a margin of error of +/- 3% even when conducted properly, and thus only the result for Fine Gael – 30 in MRBI and 37 in RedC falls outside this margin of error range.

      If you want greater accuracy you have to agreegate a number of polls – see pollster.com for polls in the USA for an agreegation of hundreds of polls to reveal trends – e.g. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/05/fav-obama_n_726774.html – or my graphical trend analysis of Irish polls at http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2011/1/31/14164/0394.

      The best discussions of “house effect” biases introduced by differnent polling companies are by Nate Silver at http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/ but you’ll have to dig around there a bit to find them. He used statistical techniques to “out” polling agencies who were fraudulently “making up” polling numbers or who were systematically biased in favour of their preferred Republican or Democratic party candidates.

      I’m not suggesting that either RED C or MRBI are biased or unprofessional in their methodologies, but they don’t publish much detail around their methodologies for this to be verifiable. Also the “analysis” of their results – even in the papers paying for the polls – is often terrible with polcors assigning significance to changes within the margin of error of the polls concerned and highlighting minor trends of little signifiance.

      For instance, the Indo gave top story front page treatment a couple of Sunday’s ago to a poll with only 200 respondents and no methodological details. Such polls should be treated with derision because the margin of error (which wasn’t mentioned in the “analysis”) is so high and I’m surprised politicalreform.ie bothered to devote a blog to it at https://politicalreform.ie/2011/01/23/sunday-independent-poll-cowen-is-the-one-and-only/.

      The moral of the story is that all polls have to be taken with a grain of salt and you should be looking at trends over a number of polls rather than getting too excited about any individual result.

      • thanks for this. Just felt there was too much been made of individual polls that were inconsistent.

  7. The two polls do not have similar methodologies. One is by phone and one face to face. Even if they did have the same methodology they could differ due to sampling variation. they are sales of a 1000 from a population of over 3 million.

    Returning to Michael gallagher’s first point, the evidence suggest most people do not use their vote to indicate a coalition preference, even though they could do so.

  8. Whatever the polls may throw up it is likely we will face a Fine Gael led coalition with Labour.
    Politicians would want to take serious note of worker’s frustration that the Croke Park Agreement promised a pay freeze but recent tax increases have effectively cut people’s salaries.
    So is this agreement just another way of introducing another agenda which has nothing to do with balancing the nation’s finances?

  9. Adrian,
    Looks like you have Longford Westmeath right, you were very diplomatic on radio tonight(02/02/11). Athlone will have a TD and in government. Some great analysis above, much food for thought at this early stage in the campaign. 35% more likely outcome for FG. You are quite right Longford Westmeath will be one of the constituencies to watch, a changing of the guard. Lots of twists and turns. The Leningrad seige will soon have hope of being raised.

  10. The Red C poll seems to be more consistent. But while quite a lot have made their minds up, there is a sizeable number of voters who haven’t. It will the preferences which will decide the numbers. How will those who feel let down vote and will all candidates promise more than they can deliver. Can Mara coming out of retirement in Kinvara sway it ?

  11. We’ll have to wait and see how the chips fall in the only poll that counts, but any thoughts on this offering from a political participant and political scientist:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0203/1224288890250.html

    Is it a futile attempt to rejuvenate the ‘all things to all men’ political stance that has served FF so well over the years? Or does it strike a chord In Ireland that resonates very weakly in other mature, developed democracies?

    • Paul,

      I find that article dreadfully poor.
      No recognition of the depth of the crisis in our economy, politics and organisational culture.
      We’ll mutter an act of contrition and sure aren’t the rest of them just as bad?

      • @Vincent,

        We shouldn’t be excessively harsh on our politicians – their behaviour is not hugely different from that of politicians in every other democratic polity. (Btw, Sarah Carey has a good piece in today’s IT on those who get stuck in and gives a well-earned bitchslap to the hurlers on the ditch who contemplated getting on to the pitch, but bottled it.)

        The problem is that, once it’s set, they can’t bring themselves to reform the system of governance – too many swings and roundabouts and winners and losers. Major changes usually occur only at times of great upheaval – e.g., after WWII in Europe, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the departures of Salazar, Franco and the Colonels in Portugal, Spain and Greece, resp. Strong players, e.g. Dev (1937) and de Gaulle (1958), occasionally can do it, but they’re the exceptions that prove the rule.

        All we can do is hope the new crop in the 31st Dail will show a bit of guts and gumption – but I’m not holding my breath.

  12. As per my post of 9 December, I think there is a case for doing the votes –> seats conversion at national level rather than on a constituency-by-constituency basis and then adding up the results. Doing it that way, the Paddy Power poll suggests to me an outcome more like FG 65, Labour 35, FF 31 and SF 21, while today’s Irish Times poll points to FG 58, Labour 44, FF 26, SF 21.

    Buried away on page 10 of the Paddy Power poll report was an interesting question about people’s openness to voting for specific parties. It’s striking that about half of respondents say they definitely will not vote for FF or SF, whereas only around a quarter say they definitely will not vote for FG or Labour. That may suggest that a good proportion of those voters who describe themselves as ‘undecided’ are in fact undecided only as between FG and Labour (and probably Independents), and are not open to capture by FF or SF.

  13. Irish citizen-serfs are voting for slavery to Vichy_Banks, and gifting a generation of savvy human capital to other economies and societies. Fools?

    Essentially, there is NO CHANGE.

    @Adrian

    Good work – keep it up.

  14. A local poll in the two Kerry constituencies suggests that FF may lose both seats in the county (http://www.irishelection.com/2011/02/local-polling-kerry-south-kerry-north-west-limerick/), but that Labour will pick up one in Kerry North, while Kerry South is wide open. In the Sligo Champion Fine Gael is predicted to take two seats in Sligo North Leitrim, while Susan O’Keefe and the two FF candidates fight out for the third seats.

    At this stage with the arrival of so many independents, new candidates and retirements, I suspect if you want constituency predictions it’s safer to make specific predictions on the basis of these imperfect polls than extrapolation from national polls on 2007 results.

  15. Fine Gael has vowed to save 15 billion Euros yearly by benchmarking irish public service employees against their northern Ireland counterparts.Yesterday Mr Kenny announced,”we are the only party that has the courage to take on the public sector and close quangos.When elected we will re benchmarking civil servants pay downwards and bring it into line with UK wages for public servants”
    “Social welfare rates and Civil Service pay levels are far higher inthe Republic than in North” said Enda Kenny.
    “PUBLIC SECTOR pay rates are significantly higher in the Republic than in Northern Ireland, while there is also a comparable substantial difference in social welfare payments between the South and the North.” he continued.
    “Civil servants, politicians, hospital consultants, teachers and nurses are all better paid than their Northern Ireland counterparts on most rungs of the promotional ladder, while the exception to this rule are police services, with gardaí and PSNI officers broadly on similar rates. As politicians, commentators and the public debate the cost of public sector pay and social welfare in the current financial crisis, we in Fine Gael have examined public sector pay scales and social welfare entitlements on both sides of the Border .Our survey illustrates sizeable differences.”He continued.
    “The Department of Finance’s estimated public sector pay bill for 2010 is €16 billion, more than a quarter of the estimated Government budget of €61 billion. Estimated social welfare payments for 2010 are €22 billion, more than a third of the total Government budget. Combined public sector pay and social welfare payments amount to €38 billion, more than 60 per cent of the total budget.”
    Mr Kenny continued ,” Figures provided by the Department of Finance show the two best-paid civil servants in the South are Dermot McCarthy, secretary general to the Government and the Department of the Taoiseach, and Kevin Cardiff, secretary general at the Department of Finance. They each earn €228,466. As figures from the Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel illustrate, the top rate of pay is potentially higher for Northern civil servants, the scale for permanent secretaries running from £98,059 to £205,000 (€115,050-€240,387).
    But no one in the North is near the highest rate. Bruce Robinson, head of the North’s Civil Service, receives between £150,000 and £155,000 (€176,542-€182,410). Most other Northern permanent secretaries earn between £100,000 and £120,000.
    Southern deputy secretaries earn €168,000 and while the scale for the Northern equivalent is £81,600 to £160,000 (€95,702- €187,638) no Northern civil servant has reached the higher levels of that scale. The difference in pay is also considerable further down the ranks.
    Southern politicians also pay themselves substantially more than their Northern counterparts. The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, earns €228,466 compared to €134,436 for First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Government Ministers earn €191,417 compared to €94,959 for their Stormont counterparts. TDs earn €92,672 compared to €50,595 for Assembly members.
    Northern Ireland hospital consultants earn between €87,460 and €117,923, according to the North’s Department of Health – less than half of pay for consultants south of the Border. Rates for consultants in the South who do public hospital work only range from €184,455 as entrants to €241,539 at professor level.
    Northern consultants can also earn bonus-type payments for public work, but even taking this into account there is still a huge gap in consultants’ pay between practitioners on both sides of the Border. Moreover, most Southern consultants earn substantial figures from private work – much more than their Northern counterparts, according to Northern consultants.
    Southern staff nurses earn between €30,234 and €42,469, compared to a pay scale of between €24,856 and €32,521 for Northern nurses, according to the two health departments and nursing union representatives.
    The Department of Education in Northern Ireland was able to provide a clear statement of average payments for school principals (€65,867), vice-principals (€57,469) and teachers (€44,056), but the picture was less clear for the South.”

    Based on information provided by the Department of Education and teachers’ unions, the pay of teachers, on average, ranges between €55,000 and €60,000. Principals of 500-plus pupil secondary schools average between €95,000 and €105,000, while primary principals, who run smaller schools, on average earn about €67,000.
    The PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott bucks the trend by earning more than his Garda Commissioner counterpart, Fachtna Murphy – €227,290 against €197,625.
    On the welfare side, Southern pensioners receive €230.30 per week compared to €114.65 for Northern counterparts.
    Jobseekers over 25 in the South receive €196 per week compared to €76.82 for jobseekers over 25 years in the North.
    Child benefit for the first child in the South is €150 per month compared to a Northern figure of €103.29 per month.

  16. Fine Gael has vowed to save fifteen billion Euros yearly by benchmarking irish public service employees against their northern Ireland counterparts.Yesterday Mr Kenny announced,”we are the only party that has the courage to take on the public sector and close quangos.When elected we will re benchmarking civil servants pay downwards and bring it into line with UK wages for public servants”
    “Social welfare rates and Civil Service pay levels are far higher inthe Republic than in North” said Enda Kenny.
    “PUBLIC SECTOR pay rates are significantly higher in the Republic than in Northern Ireland, while there is also a comparable substantial difference in social welfare payments between the South and the North.” he continued.
    “Civil servants, politicians, hospital consultants, teachers and nurses are all better paid than their Northern Ireland counterparts on most rungs of the promotional ladder, while the exception to this rule are police services, with gardaí and PSNI officers broadly on similar rates. As politicians, commentators and the public debate the cost of public sector pay and social welfare in the current financial crisis, we in Fine Gael have examined public sector pay scales and social welfare entitlements on both sides of the Border .Our survey illustrates sizeable differences.”He continued.
    “The Department of Finance’s estimated public sector pay bill for 2010 is €16 billion, more than a quarter of the estimated Government budget of €61 billion. Estimated social welfare payments for 2010 are €22 billion, more than a third of the total Government budget. Combined public sector pay and social welfare payments amount to €38 billion, more than 60 per cent of the total budget.”
    Mr Kenny continued ,” Figures provided by the Department of Finance show the two best-paid civil servants in the South are Dermot McCarthy, secretary general to the Government and the Department of the Taoiseach, and Kevin Cardiff, secretary general at the Department of Finance. They each earn €228,466. As figures from the Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel illustrate, the top rate of pay is potentially higher for Northern civil servants, the scale for permanent secretaries running from £98,059 to £205,000 (€115,050-€240,387).
    But no one in the North is near the highest rate. Bruce Robinson, head of the North’s Civil Service, receives between £150,000 and £155,000 (€176,542-€182,410). Most other Northern permanent secretaries earn between £100,000 and £120,000.
    Southern deputy secretaries earn €168,000 and while the scale for the Northern equivalent is £81,600 to £160,000 (€95,702- €187,638) no Northern civil servant has reached the higher levels of that scale. The difference in pay is also considerable further down the ranks.
    Southern politicians also pay themselves substantially more than their Northern counterparts. The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, earns €228,466 compared to €134,436 for First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Government Ministers earn €191,417 compared to €94,959 for their Stormont counterparts. TDs earn €92,672 compared to €50,595 for Assembly members.
    Northern Ireland hospital consultants earn between €87,460 and €117,923, according to the North’s Department of Health – less than half of pay for consultants south of the Border. Rates for consultants in the South who do public hospital work only range from €184,455 as entrants to €241,539 at professor level.
    Northern consultants can also earn bonus-type payments for public work, but even taking this into account there is still a huge gap in consultants’ pay between practitioners on both sides of the Border. Moreover, most Southern consultants earn substantial figures from private work – much more than their Northern counterparts, according to Northern consultants.
    Southern staff nurses earn between €30,234 and €42,469, compared to a pay scale of between €24,856 and €32,521 for Northern nurses, according to the two health departments and nursing union representatives.
    The Department of Education in Northern Ireland was able to provide a clear statement of average payments for school principals (€65,867), vice-principals (€57,469) and teachers (€44,056), but the picture was less clear for the South.”

    Based on information provided by the Department of Education and teachers’ unions, the pay of teachers, on average, ranges between €55,000 and €60,000. Principals of 500-plus pupil secondary schools average between €95,000 and €105,000, while primary principals, who run smaller schools, on average earn about €67,000.
    The PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott bucks the trend by earning more than his Garda Commissioner counterpart, Fachtna Murphy – €227,290 against €197,625.
    On the welfare side, Southern pensioners receive €230.30 per week compared to €114.65 for Northern counterparts.
    Jobseekers over 25 in the South receive €196 per week compared to €76.82 for jobseekers over 25 years in the North.
    Child benefit for the first child in the South is €150 per month compared to a Northern figure of €103.29 per month.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s