Poll of polls: weighted average of party support

Eoin O’Malley (17 February, 2011) Updated with seat projections

We have a tendency to see new polls and take them as indicating some real change in the fortunes of the parties since the last comparable poll was taken, when possibly much of the variation is caused by differences in samples – the luck of the draw. One way to alleviate the tendency to overstate the importance of the most recent poll is to take a poll of polls. Michael Marsh has produced one for RTÉ of all the national election polls taken so far. In doing so he weights each of the polls equally. However all polls are not equal, some polls are more useful than others. We can tell whether polls are any good when they publish their methodology, question ordering etc. Also as the campaign goes on some polls are more up to date. Is it appropriate to count a poll taken two weeks ago with the same weight as one taken two days ago? The results of my weighted poll of polls are

The weighted average estimates presented here are possibly more valid than any single poll because it should average out errors (assuming the errors in the polls are not all systematically in one direction). It means that the results of one poll won’t have a major impact on our overall assessment of the state of the parties. We will expect that some polls will have error above and beyond the margin of error. Even with the best will in the world some samples produced by polling companies are ‘rogue samples’ and produce results that are not good estimates. About one in twenty will be like this.

On these figures, using Michael Gallagher’s method of projecting polls to seats we would expect to see Fianna Fáil return 25-29 TDs (incl. Seamus Kirk); Fine Gael would win 65-69 seats, lower than the estimates currently being touted; Labour would win 35-39 seats and Sinn Féin 16-20 seats. It’s difficult to say much about the smaller parties because local considerations and the geographical concentration of the vote matter most, but we can assume Others will win between 15 and 19 seats.

Even if everything went Fine Gael’s way and it got a much bigger seat bonus than already factored in, it would still be up to ten seats shy of a workable majority. The speculation about single party government then seems irrelevant except that Labour is possibly going to benefit from the concerns some voters might have about such an eventuality, and might hinder Fine Gael as Labour supporters might shy away from giving it transfers.

In weighting the polls I take into account a number of issues.

Time decay People’s opinions change in the course of campaign. So a poll carried out three weeks ago should not carry the same weight as one carried out last week. The one carried out last week probably reflects the mood of the voters better. Therefore I take .05 off the weight given each poll for each day since the fieldwork was completed. so if the fieldwork was finished 6 days ago I take .25 from the weighting.

Weightings Because getting a truly random sample is very expensive and to some extent out of their control (non-responses tend to bias the data) opinion polling companies will weight their raw data for demographics. This is not controversial. However only RedC (as far as I am aware) weights the data for political factors. At the moment Fianna Fáil supporters may not be willing to admit that they support Fianna Fáil. Therefore they weight by respondents’ recall of their vote in 2007 and how this compares to the actual result. Additionally much of the electorate will not vote, so RedC (again uniquely in Ireland) asks the respondent how likely it is that they will vote (probability to vote -PTV). For those who give a less than .4 probability, they are excluded from the analysis. Given that we know that people are indeed less likely to vote as they go down the scale, it might make more sense for Red-C to weight their responses by PTV rather than create this binary of voters and non-voters. Anyway, Red-C, because it does this weighting gets a .2 bonus. Also I don’t use RedC’s headline figures, but what it calls its spiral of silence figures, which I consider to be better because it includes the political weighting. This will mean that the Fianna  Fáil figure tends to be higher than in other polls. RedC polls get an extra .2 on their weighting.

Transparency Some polling companies publish their methodology. Although not as detailed as one would like, at least one gets a sense of the methodology they use.  It would be nice if they published the actual questions used and the order in which they are asked. For instance if you ask a question about party leaders just before what party they would vote for, you prime respondents to evaluate the parties through their leader. This could bias against parties with unpopular leaders. Red C, OI, Millward Brown and IpsosMRBI (eventually) publish the main details  – again RedC is best and most timely. For those that don’t publish at all or are not traceable (none of the polling companies used here), I take .2 off their weighting.

Polls by the same company Some polling companies because of their methods tend to bias in favour of certain parties. If one polling company is used more than any other, then it could skew the poll of polls. To prevent this I take .2 off a poll’s weight if it is the second poll by that company, and .4 off for the third etc.

Sample size sample size has a big impact on a poll’s accuracy. Marsh’s analysis aggregates all the samples and thus takes it into account. Because there are only small differences in sample size – anything used here has over 1000 respondents, I ignore this.

There is an element of arbitrariness in the weighting, but in general it should give a better indication of the state of the parties.

Below are the data and weightings used.

Poll FG Lab FF SF Green IndOth weight fieldwork
MBLSIndo 34 24 16 10 1 15 0 27-Jan-11
RedCSBP 31 20 19 13 2 15 0 27-Jan-11
MBIndo 30 24 16 13 1 15 0 30-Jan-11
RedCPP 35 19 20 11 3 12 0.2 01-Feb-11
IpsosIT 33 24 15 12 1 15 0.2 01-Feb-11
RedCSBP 34 21 20 12 2 11 0.25 02-Feb-11
RedCSBP 37 20 16 10 3 14 0.85 10-Feb-11
MBL Indo 38 23 12 10 3 16 0.8 13-Feb-11
OI-Star 39 18 17 10 2 14 0.8 14-Feb-11
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14 thoughts on “Poll of polls: weighted average of party support

    • No – the polling companies don’t give out that data, mainly because the sample sizes for each region are so small. Michael Marsh can do it because he has the raw data – but these aren’t weighted so three week old polls count the same as ones done this week.

  1. If you want a really scientific way of aggregating polls and producing composite trend-lines, go to Pollster.com – e.g. at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/05/fav-obama_n_726774.html or to Nate Silver’s methodologies for evaluating pollster bias at http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/. Obviously he has a lot more data to work with as there are so many polls in the US.

    Nate recently outed a rogue pollster for making up their figures (paid for by DKOS) purely based on a statistical analysis of biases in the results and towards some numbers rather than others. Some of the constituencies polls published by the Indo – with samples of only 200 were very dodgy and produced by an unknown firm. They very much appeared to be an attempt to influence voter behaviour but the data isn’t available to prove this.

    • Really scientific or really pretty? These aren’t weighted for quality and are doing something different to the exercise here.
      I suspect the Sunday Independent/ Quantum polls are not designed to influence voters as much as to fill the pages cheaply.

      • A lot more scientific than the purely arbitrary weightings you have applied. Have you actually read Nate Silver’s analyses of pollster bias – or “house effects” as he calls them? Also, if you actually read the Sunday Independent commentary on their dodgy polls you can be sure they are an attempt to influence voter perceptions rather than just to fill newspaper space.

  2. @Eoin,

    Many thanks. This is useful. Would it be possible to take this s step further and give an indication of the seat number range by faction? With a favourable transfer pattern this suggests FG might not be far off a majority.

  3. Congratulations Eoin – this research looks very convincing. Keeping in mind that it is impossible to predict with 100 per cent accuracy the overall result – never mind individual constituency scores – let’s look forward to comparing the real February 25 outcome with this statistical analysis.

    Perhaps polls of individual constituencies have become better – but I will not be surprised to see today’s Irish Times Dún Laoghaire poll

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2011/0218/1224290141248.html

    vary from the real result. The stated margin of error is 4.5 per cent – lots of room for differing forecasts! You could say one definite seat each for Fine Gael and the Labour Party – but after that?

    Similarly with the South Tipperary Constituency Poll – you could say that Séamus Healy (ULA) and Tom Hayes (Fine Gael) will be elected, but the third seat?

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2011/0216/1224289930282.html

    What do other corespondents think?

    • Dun Laoire result will be, on the basis of that poll you indicate, Tomas :

      1. Sean Barrett FG
      2 Eamon Gilmore Labour
      3. Mary Hanfin FF
      4. Ivana Bacik Labour .

      A blind man could see this outcome on examination of that poll !
      Granted you love RBB and I can’t stand him , but he can’t possinly get a look-in on 10 % within that environment with Eamon Gilmore bringing Ivana home hand -in-hand .
      This election is too serious with people no longer feeling themselves able to vote for lightweight frivolous celebrity candidates in the crisis we all find ourselves in – and you’ll see that this will be a national trend underlying the people’s vote on Friday.

  4. BTW if Bobby rises from the dead over the next week – and well he could if he takes present advice – Labour , tipped for a possible two here, might not even take a seat here !
    That’s because Fine Gael’s third candidate Cllr Pat Deering of Carlow Town is reportedly mopping up all around him throughout his native Carlow , including just-retired Finna Fail TD M.J. Nolan’s vote !

    FG National Director of Elections Phil Hogan of Kilkenny is also backing up Pat Deering with every personal number two he can give Deering as Phil has never been in love with the idea of fellow Kilkennyman Senator John Paul Phelan taking a second FG seat in Kilkenny !!! (though John Paul will take that second seat for Fine Gael ) .
    So now, at this stage it’s shaping up :

    Phil Hogan TD , FG , to head the poll.
    John McGuinness FF
    John Paul Phelan TD FG
    Cllr. Pat Deering FG
    Anne Phelan , Labour OR Lazarus Aylward for the final seat .

    And there it is , Fine Gael have taken the third seat in Carlow-Kilkenny with Labour and FF battling it out for the final seat, with John McGuinness FF already elected . Labour’s Anne Phelan Or Lazarus Aylward?

    Should be Anne Phelan according to the books , but Aylward can give a mighty roar throughout his Kingdom of South Kilkenny from the outskirts of Waterford City heard all the way to Kilkenny City , his voters are mountainy men and women that no pollster has ever found and never will , right on up there into the Castlecomer plateau of North Kilkenny , Aylward is like a stag , he has more welcoming safehouses than the IRA in the War of Independence , the Aylwards are steeped in the tradition of Kilkenny hurling more than any other candidate that ever lived, he will get every Sinn Fein transfer available as he is a notorious Republican too , he probably always has more Shinners voting for him (when there hasn’t been a Sinn Fein candidate around) he’s as wiily as Jackie Healy-Rae, and Bobbie is genuinely the nicest fellow you could ever meet !

    Even more ominous , Big Brother East MEP Liam Aylward is silent so far throughout the entire Aylward Campaign that he is directing , that’s when Liam is at his most dangerous !
    John McGuinness TD , the other FF , has felt the ground shaking from that Tribe of Aylwards who take a town out as fast as any Flying Column ever did – the most lethal led by their famous cousin of the times, Ned Aylward – John will tell you all about that

    Forecast , therefore , Carlow Kilkenny , Lazarus Bobbie Aylward to arise from the dead at 2.00 a.m. on the Sunday morning of the count .
    That’s why we’re all afraid to bury him now, his vengeance could be mighty !

    Labour , despite all the poll hype about getting two candidates elected in Carlow Kilkenny , will count themselves damned lucky if they get the one ! The only fellas ever to be elected for Labour in Carlow-Kilkenny are Seamus Pattison and his father Jimmy elected back in 1932 , that’s an act nobody has ever been able to follow, and Anne Phelan is an ordinary Labour councillor unknown throughout the entire Kilkenny City urban area, and even less known in Carlow, a brave forecast under the shadows of the polls but I am going to declare here and now – no Labour candidate elected for Carlow Kilkenny , 3 FG , 2 FF .

    ( The one place the Black and Tans were terrified of having to drive through was the Aylward bailiewick of South Kilkenny , rebel territory still , devoted to the Aylwards , Liam and Bobby, who ever happens to be the Appointed and Anointed Head of the Tribe . And that’s Liam MEP , not Bobbie , right now

    For all the world it’s like an American Dallas with Liam as JR and Bobbie as -. well, Bobbie , who else!
    No reward for guessing who I’ll be voting for next Friday , though I’ve denied it to anybody who even looked suspiciously like a pollster , Liam’s orders

    Thread: IT Dun Laoghaire poll Reply to Thread
    Logged in as MichealMcGrath Title:

    Message:

    [quote=MichealMcGrath;3580208]The ‘Group of Death’ is much easier to call than Carlow-Kilkenny here , I have Bobby Aylward FF dead, but I’m afraid to bury him yet .[/quote]
    BTW if Bobby rises from the dead over the next week – and well he could if he takes present advice – Labour , tipped for a possible two here, might not even take a seat here !
    That’s because Fine Gael’s third candidate Cllr Pat Deering of Carlow Town is reportedly mopping up all around him throughout his native Carlow , including just-retired Finna Fail TD M.J. Nolan’s vote !

    FG National Director of Elections Phil Hogan of Kilkenny is also backing up Pat Deering with every personal number two he can give Deering as Phil has never been in love with the idea of fellow Kilkennyman Senator John Paul Phelan taking a second FG seat in Kilkenny !!! (though John Paul will take that second seat for Fine Gael ) .
    So now, at this stage it’s shaping up :

    Phil Hogan TD , FG , to head the poll.
    John McGuinness FF
    John Paul Phelan TD FG
    Cllr. Pat Deering FG
    Anne Phelan , Labour OR Lazarus Aylward for the final seat .

    And there it is , Fine Gael have taken the third seat in Carlow-Kilkenny with Labour and FF battling it out for the final seat, with John McGuinness FF already elected . Labour’s Anne Phelan Or Lazarus Aylward?

    Should be Anne Phelan according to the books , but Aylward can give a mighty roar throughout his Kingdom of South Kilkenny from the outskirts of Waterford City heard all the way to Kilkenny City , his voters are mountainy men and women that no pollster has ever found and never will , right on up there into the Castlecomer plateau of North Kilkenny , Aylward is like a stag , he has more welcoming safehouses than the IRA in the War of Independence , the Aylwards are steeped in the tradition of Kilkenny hurling more than any other candidate that ever lived, he will get every Sinn Fein transfer available as he is a notorious Republican too , he probably always has more Shinners voting for him (when there hasn’t been a Sinn Fein candidate around) he’s as wiily as Jackie Healy-Rae, and Bobbie is genuinely the nicest fellow you could ever meet !

    Even more ominous , Big Brother East MEP Liam Aylward is silent so far throughout the entire Aylward Campaign that he is directing , that’s when Liam is at his most dangerous !
    John McGuinness TD , the other FF , has felt the ground shaking from that Tribe of Aylwards who take a town out as fast as any Flying Column ever did – the most lethal led by their famous cousin of the times, Ned Aylward – John will tell you all about that 🙂

    Forecast , therefore , Carlow Kilkenny , Lazarus Bobbie Aylward to arise from the dead at 2.00 a.m. on the Sunday morning of the count .
    That’s why we’re all afraid to bury him now, his vengeance could be mighty !

    Labour , despite all the poll hype about getting two candidates elected in Carlow Kilkenny , will count themselves damned lucky if they get the one ! The only fellas ever to be elected for Labour in Carlow-Kilkenny are Seamus Pattison and his father Jimmy elected back in 1932 , that’s an act nobody has ever been able to follow, and Anne Phelan is an ordinary Labour councillor unknown throughout the entire Kilkenny City urban area, and even less known in Carlow, a brave forecast under the shadows of the polls but I am going to declare here and now – no Labour candidate elected for Carlow Kilkenny , 3 FG , 2 FF .

    ( The one place the Black and Tans were terrified of having to drive through was the Aylward bailiewick of South Kilkenny , rebel territory still , devoted to the Aylwards , Liam and Bobby, who ever happens to be the Appointed and Anointed Head of the Tribe . And that’s Liam MEP , not Bobbie , right now 🙂

    For all the world it’s like an American Dallas with Liam as JR and Bobbie as -. well, Bobbie , who else!
    No reward for guessing who I’ll be voting for next Friday , though I’ve denied it to anybody who even looked suspiciously like a pollster , Liam’s orders 🙂 Smilies

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    BTW if Bobby rises from the dead over the next week – and well he could if he takes present advice – Labour , tipped for a possible two here, might not even take a seat here !
    That’s because Fine Gael’s third candidate Cllr Pat Deering of Carlow Town is reportedly mopping up all around him throughout his native Carlow , including just-retired Finna Fail TD M.J. Nolan’s vote !

    FG National Director of Elections Phil Hogan of Kilkenny is also backing up Pat Deering with every personal number two he can give Deering as Phil has never been in love with the idea of fellow Kilkennyman Senator John Paul Phelan taking a second FG seat in Kilkenny !!! (though John Paul will take that second seat for Fine Gael ) .
    So now, at this stage it’s shaping up :

    Phil Hogan TD , FG , to head the poll.
    John McGuinness FF
    John Paul Phelan TD FG
    Cllr. Pat Deering FG
    Anne Phelan , Labour OR Lazarus Aylward for the final seat .

    And there it is , Fine Gael have taken the third seat in Carlow-Kilkenny with Labour and FF battling it out for the final seat, with John McGuinness FF already elected . Labour’s Anne Phelan Or Lazarus Aylward?

    Should be Anne Phelan according to the books , but Aylward can give a mighty roar throughout his Kingdom of South Kilkenny from the outskirts of Waterford City heard all the way to Kilkenny City , his voters are mountainy men and women that no pollster has ever found and never will , right on up there into the Castlecomer plateau of North Kilkenny , Aylward is like a stag , he has more welcoming safehouses than the IRA in the War of Independence , the Aylwards are steeped in the tradition of Kilkenny hurling more than any other candidate that ever lived, he will get every Sinn Fein transfer available as he is a notorious Republican too , he probably always has more Shinners voting for him (when there hasn’t been a Sinn Fein candidate around) he’s as wiily as Jackie Healy-Rae, and Bobbie is genuinely the nicest fellow you could ever meet !

    Even more ominous , Big Brother East MEP Liam Aylward is silent so far throughout the entire Aylward Campaign that he is directing , that’s when Liam is at his most dangerous !
    John McGuinness TD , the other FF , has felt the ground shaking from that Tribe of Aylwards who take a town out as fast as any Flying Column ever did – the most lethal led by their famous cousin of the times, Ned Aylward – John will tell you all about that

    Forecast , therefore , Carlow Kilkenny , Lazarus Bobbie Aylward to arise from the dead at 2.00 a.m. on the Sunday morning of the count .
    That’s why we’re all afraid to bury him now, his vengeance could be mighty !

    Labour , despite all the poll hype about getting two candidates elected in Carlow Kilkenny , will count themselves damned lucky if they get the one ! The only fellas ever to be elected for Labour in Carlow-Kilkenny are Seamus Pattison and his father Jimmy elected back in 1932 , that’s an act nobody has ever been able to follow, and Anne Phelan is an ordinary Labour councillor unknown throughout the entire Kilkenny City urban area, and even less known in Carlow, a brave forecast under the shadows of the polls but I am going to declare here and now – no Labour candidate elected for Carlow Kilkenny , 3 FG , 2 FF .

    ( The one place the Black and Tans were terrified of having to drive through was the Aylward bailiewick of South Kilkenny , rebel territory still , devoted to the Aylwards , Liam and Bobby, who ever happens to be the Appointed and Anointed Head of the Tribe . And that’s Liam MEP , not Bobbie , right now

    For all the world it’s like an American Dallas with Liam as JR and Bobbie as -. well, Bobbie , who else!
    No reward for guessing who I’ll be voting for next Friday , though I’ve denied it to anybody who even looked suspiciously like a pollster , Liam’s orders

    Thread: IT Dun Laoghaire poll Reply to Thread
    Logged in as MichealMcGrath Title:

    Message:

    [quote=MichealMcGrath;3580208]The ‘Group of Death’ is much easier to call than Carlow-Kilkenny here , I have Bobby Aylward FF dead, but I’m afraid to bury him yet .[/quote]
    BTW if Bobby rises from the dead over the next week – and well he could if he takes present advice – Labour , tipped for a possible two here, might not even take a seat here !
    That’s because Fine Gael’s third candidate Cllr Pat Deering of Carlow Town is reportedly mopping up all around him throughout his native Carlow , including just-retired Finna Fail TD M.J. Nolan’s vote !

    FG National Director of Elections Phil Hogan of Kilkenny is also backing up Pat Deering with every personal number two he can give Deering as Phil has never been in love with the idea of fellow Kilkennyman Senator John Paul Phelan taking a second FG seat in Kilkenny !!! (though John Paul will take that second seat for Fine Gael ) .
    So now, at this stage it’s shaping up :

    Phil Hogan TD , FG , to head the poll.
    John McGuinness FF
    John Paul Phelan TD FG
    Cllr. Pat Deering FG
    Anne Phelan , Labour OR Lazarus Aylward for the final seat .

    And there it is , Fine Gael have taken the third seat in Carlow-Kilkenny with Labour and FF battling it out for the final seat, with John McGuinness FF already elected . Labour’s Anne Phelan Or Lazarus Aylward?

    Should be Anne Phelan according to the books , but Aylward can give a mighty roar throughout his Kingdom of South Kilkenny from the outskirts of Waterford City heard all the way to Kilkenny City , his voters are mountainy men and women that no pollster has ever found and never will , right on up there into the Castlecomer plateau of North Kilkenny , Aylward is like a stag , he has more welcoming safehouses than the IRA in the War of Independence , the Aylwards are steeped in the tradition of Kilkenny hurling more than any other candidate that ever lived, he will get every Sinn Fein transfer available as he is a notorious Republican too , he probably always has more Shinners voting for him (when there hasn’t been a Sinn Fein candidate around) he’s as wiily as Jackie Healy-Rae, and Bobbie is genuinely the nicest fellow you could ever meet !

    Even more ominous , Big Brother East MEP Liam Aylward is silent so far throughout the entire Aylward Campaign that he is directing , that’s when Liam is at his most dangerous !
    John McGuinness TD , the other FF , has felt the ground shaking from that Tribe of Aylwards who take a town out as fast as any Flying Column ever did – the most lethal led by their famous cousin of the times, Ned Aylward – John will tell you all about that 🙂

    Forecast , therefore , Carlow Kilkenny , Lazarus Bobbie Aylward to arise from the dead at 2.00 a.m. on the Sunday morning of the count .
    That’s why we’re all afraid to bury him now, his vengeance could be mighty !

    Labour , despite all the poll hype about getting two candidates elected in Carlow Kilkenny , will count themselves damned lucky if they get the one ! The only fellas ever to be elected for Labour in Carlow-Kilkenny are Seamus Pattison and his father Jimmy elected back in 1932 , that’s an act nobody has ever been able to follow, and Anne Phelan is an ordinary Labour councillor unknown throughout the entire Kilkenny City urban area, and even less known in Carlow, a brave forecast under the shadows of the polls but I am going to declare here and now – no Labour candidate elected for Carlow Kilkenny , 3 FG , 2 FF .

    ( The one place the Black and Tans were terrified of having to drive through was the Aylward bailiewick of South Kilkenny , rebel territory still , devoted to the Aylwards , Liam and Bobby, who ever happens to be the Appointed and Anointed Head of the Tribe . And that’s Liam MEP , not Bobbie , right now 🙂

    For all the world it’s like an American Dallas with Liam as JR and Bobbie as -. well, Bobbie , who else!
    No reward for guessing who I’ll be voting for next Friday , though I’ve denied it to anybody who even looked suspiciously like a pollster , Liam’s orders 🙂

  5. Hi,

    In relation to the method employed by pollster.com; they use Kalman Filtering and Backwards Smoothing. I did this to the existing polls and submitted to here. I apply a loess smoother to the results. The result is not explicitly intended to be pretty. However, the results are quite clear. the results from the Millward Browne poll with FF at 12% look spurious.

    (here is a link of the graph: http://www.kevcunningham.com/?page_id=2)

    It yields:
    Fianna Fáil:15.8%
    Fine Gael: 36.6
    Labour: 19.7
    Green: 1.9
    Sinn Féin: 11.3
    Ind. /Other : 14.4

    KR,
    Kevin

      • Note that my data relates to the actual dates when the data was collected and includes the oones released today and the two yesterday.

        I do believe that the FG surge has has levelled off in the last week. The surge occurred mid last week and appears so in the graph.

      • Note that my data relates to the actual dates when the data was collected and includes the poll released today and the two yesterday. at least 11 as far as I can remember.

        It appears that the FG surge of the previous week has now levelled off. The surge occurred mid the week before (the dates when the polling data was collected) and appears so in the graph.

        The points in the graph relate to the actual polling data and the curve is separately constructed from the estimates from Kalman Filtering etc.

  6. Right!
    As a smokefilled backroom pundit in elections here since 1969 I am going to forecast the result of Carlow-Kilkenny constituency based on all the factors I know , all the voters , all the people , all the candidates and all the elections I have ever known here:
    1. Phil Hogan FG to head the poll for the first time ever.
    2. John McGuinness because he is identified here and elsewhere as being opposed to Coughlan, Cowan – and then Lenihan – ius a Micheal martin manover the past tthree years or more, and is one of the hardest working TDs in Ireland. Also he has most of Kilkenny City sewn up and locked in tight.
    3. Senatopr John Paul Phelan who came close enough last time with a massive female vote, I have seen women go weak at the knees in his presence, they talk of no other politician ( except John McGuinness) .
    4. Councillor Pat Deering FG , Carlow Town – I believe that though Fine Gael he will mop up the MJ Nolan Carlow vote in Carlow’s usual bid and campaign to have a TD of their own.
    5. Battle to the Death , to be one of the greatest battles of this entire election – Bobby Aylward FF versus Cllr. Anne Phelan of the Labour Party , only God can know which way that will go!
    But it is possible now that Labour may not even win a seat in Carlow-Kilkenny if Bobby comes out fighting to the bitter end , which he will.

    Result : FG 3 , FF 2 .
    Another I’m sure of is that Mary Hanafin will be re-elected in Dun Laoghaire ,( Sean Barrett, Eamon Gilmore, Mary Hanafin and MM O’ Connor, Ivana Bacik and RBB both gone! ) giving FF 1 , FG 2 Lab 1 there.

    Like anybody who knows the people of Cork I am going to give 2 FF , Michael Martin and Michael McGrath for Cork South Central.
    And with things like this happening it may not be a Waterloo day for Fianna Fail.

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