Constituency-level analysis of June 22nd Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll

Adrian Kavanagh, 22 June 2011

The latest edition of the Irish Independent-Millward Brown Lansdowne series of opinion polls almost mirrors last month’s Red C-Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll and offers very good news for Fine Gael whose support levels are seen to stand at 5-6% higher than the levels attained in February’s general election. Applying my constituency level analysis to these figures, seat estimates based on the simulated constituency support estimates suggest that Fine Gael would win a more than sufficient number of seats to form a majority single-party government if these figures were to be replicated in an election held today.

The opinion poll figures estimates the party support as follows: Fine Gael 42%, Labour 19%, Fianna Fail 16%, Sinn Fein 11%, Green Party 1% (not included in Red C poll), Others 13%. Based solely on assigning seats on the basis of the constituency support estimates (simply using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats), party seat levels would be estimated as follows:  Fine Gael 90, Labour 32, Fianna Fail 19, Sinn Fein 11, Green Party 0, Others 14. When the factors of vote transfers and vote splitting/management (based on vote transfer/management patterns oberved in the February 2011 election) are accounted for and constituency marginality levels at the February 2011 election taken account of, the party seat levels would more than likely be as follows: Fine Gael 85, Labour 36, Fianna Fail 16, Sinn Fein 16, Green Party 0, Others 13.

The constituency support estimates based on the Irish Independent-Millward Brown Lansdowne poll are as follows:

  FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 25.1% 44.5% 15.5% 1.5% 10.3% 3.1%
Cavan-Monaghan 17.5% 43.7% 5.2% 0.4% 27.2% 6.0%
Clare 20.3% 49.3% 14.5% 1.1% 0.0% 14.8%
Cork East 15.0% 41.0% 29.0% 0.6% 11.8% 2.6%
Cork North Central 13.9% 30.4% 25.8% 0.5% 16.8% 12.6%
Cork North West 21.7% 54.1% 13.1% 0.7% 7.8% 2.5%
Cork South Central 25.4% 40.0% 17.9% 1.4% 9.0% 6.2%
Cork South West 20.7% 53.9% 13.4% 0.9% 7.7% 3.4%
Donegal North East 15.6% 35.8% 10.3% 0.3% 26.4% 11.6%
Donegal South West 20.6% 23.0% 5.0% 0.7% 36.4% 14.4%
Dublin Central 14.0% 23.9% 28.4% 1.1% 14.9% 17.7%
Dublin Mid West 10.8% 35.7% 29.8% 1.9% 13.0% 8.8%
Dublin North 14.9% 38.2% 27.0% 4.8% 0.0% 15.1%
Dublin North Central 11.8% 43.8% 21.9% 0.7% 6.1% 15.7%
Dublin North East 10.4% 33.9% 33.2% 1.0% 13.2% 8.4%
Dublin North West 10.7% 19.2% 41.6% 0.5% 23.7% 4.4%
Dublin South 9.0% 43.9% 18.2% 3.8% 3.0% 22.0%
Dublin South Central 8.8% 27.5% 34.8% 1.1% 14.9% 12.9%
Dublin South East 10.5% 42.2% 25.3% 3.8% 4.1% 14.1%
Dublin South West 9.6% 31.5% 34.5% 0.5% 18.5% 5.4%
Dublin West 15.5% 32.2% 28.8% 0.8% 6.9% 15.8%
Dun Laoghaire 14.2% 40.8% 30.1% 2.1% 0.0% 12.8%
Galway East 16.3% 49.1% 12.7% 0.4% 6.7% 14.8%
Galway West 19.8% 36.9% 12.5% 1.0% 7.2% 22.6%
Kerry North-West Limerick 9.9% 44.9% 18.6% 0.3% 21.3% 5.1%
Kerry South 12.9% 40.1% 11.5% 0.5% 0.0% 35.0%
Kildare North 13.3% 38.7% 28.6% 1.0% 6.3% 12.2%
Kildare South 19.7% 38.4% 26.9% 0.7% 6.6% 7.6%
Laois-Offaly 24.6% 39.4% 7.7% 0.2% 12.0% 16.1%
Limerick City 18.9% 48.4% 19.0% 0.6% 9.1% 4.0%
Limerick 18.5% 55.0% 16.7% 0.4% 0.0% 9.3%
Longford-Westmeath 17.3% 43.0% 25.4% 0.3% 8.1% 5.9%
Louth 14.1% 35.9% 18.3% 2.5% 23.6% 5.6%
Mayo 13.6% 69.9% 4.4% 0.2% 6.6% 5.3%
Meath East 17.4% 46.1% 19.9% 0.6% 9.5% 6.5%
Meath West 15.7% 50.3% 12.4% 0.6% 18.1% 2.9%
Roscommon-South Leitrim 13.7% 44.8% 9.2% 0.3% 10.8% 21.2%
Sligo-North Leitrim 19.8% 42.3% 9.9% 0.5% 14.5% 13.0%
Tipperary North 15.9% 28.9% 20.3% 0.5% 7.3% 27.2%
Tipperary South 12.4% 41.6% 11.0% 0.5% 5.1% 29.3%
Waterford 12.6% 43.6% 18.3% 0.5% 10.9% 14.2%
Wexford 17.1% 40.2% 20.1% 0.3% 6.4% 16.0%
Wicklow 9.6% 45.6% 16.6% 0.8% 11.0% 16.5%

Seat guesstimates based solely on these figures (using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency) and also taking account of the fact that Sean Barrett as Ceann Comhairle would be automatically re-elected in Dun Laoighaire, guaranteeing a Fine Gael seat there:

  FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 1 3 1      
Cavan-Monaghan 1 3     1  
Clare 1 3        
Cork East 1 2 1      
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   2     1  
Donegal South West 1 1     1  
Dublin Central   1 1   1 1
Dublin Mid West   2 2      
Dublin North   2 1     1
Dublin North Central   2 1      
Dublin North East   2 1      
Dublin North West     2   1  
Dublin South   3 1     1
Dublin South Central   2 2   1  
Dublin South East   2 1     1
Dublin South West   1 2   1  
Dublin West   2 1     1
Dun Laoghaire   3 1      
Galway East 1 3        
Galway West 1 2 1     1
Kerry North-West Limerick   2     1  
Kerry South   2       1
Kildare North   2 2      
Kildare South 1 1 1      
Laois-Offaly 1 3       1
Limerick City 1 2 1      
Limerick 1 2        
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1      
Louth 1 2 1   1  
Mayo 1 4        
Meath East   2 1      
Meath West   2     1  
Roscommon-South Leitrim   2       1
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 2        
Tipperary North   1 1     1
Tipperary South   2       1
Waterford   2 1     1
Wexford 1 2 1     1
Wicklow   3 1     1
STATE 19 90 32 0 11 14

The main driver of change here is the significant gain in Fine Gael support (up by over five-six percent relative to the general election). Even though support levels for Labour, Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein are seen to remain static, some of their more marginal seats are seen to fall into Fine Gael’s hands by dint of that party’s gain in popularity. The other significant trend in the poll relates to the drop in support for the Others grouping.

When a more subjective element is drawn in to account for seats that may be won 0r lost on the basis of number of candidates (e.g. Others being allocated a seat in Laois-Offaly mainly due to the large number of independent candidates who contested this constituency), vote transfers and vote management (e.g. discrepancies between votes won by party front runners and their running mates which would see potential seat wins fall out of a party’s hands), the seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

  FF FG LB GP SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 1 3 1      
Cavan-Monaghan 1 3     1  
Clare 1 2 1      
Cork East   2 1   1  
Cork North Central   2 1   1  
Cork North West 1 2        
Cork South Central 1 3 1      
Cork South West   2 1      
Donegal North East 1 1     1  
Donegal South West   1     1 1
Dublin Central   1 1   1 1
Dublin Mid West   2 2      
Dublin North   2 1     1
Dublin North Central   1 1     1
Dublin North East   1 2      
Dublin North West     2   1  
Dublin South   3 1     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   3 1      
Galway East 1 3        
Galway West 1 3 1      
Kerry North-West Limerick   1 1   1  
Kerry South   2       1
Kildare North   2 1     1
Kildare South 1 1 1      
Laois-Offaly 2 2 *   1  
Limerick City 1 2 1      
Limerick 1 2 *      
Longford-Westmeath   3 1      
Louth 1 2 1   1  
Mayo 1 4        
Meath East   2 1      
Meath West   2     1  
Roscommon-South Leitrim   2       1
Sligo-North Leitrim   2     1  
Tipperary North   1 1     1
Tipperary South   2       1
Waterford   2 1   1  
Wexford   3 1     1
Wicklow   3 1   1  
STATE 16 85 36 0 16 13

Fine Gael’s 42% support level is similar t0 the support levels that Fianna Fail almost won overall majorities with in the 2002 and 2007 elections, but Fine Gael in 2011 do have an advantage of facing a decidedly more fractured opposition which opens up the possibility, as this analysis shows, of getting a significantly larger seat bonus than that which Fianna Fail received in the elections of the 2000s. Once the factors of vote transfers and vote splitting between multiple candidates are factored, Fine Gael’s likelihood of an overall majority would decline and the final result would boil down to some close contests in marginal constituencies – however the party would have just enough to edge the overall majority based on this analysis. If a more stringent vote management was factored in for some constituencies (such as Dublin West and Kerry North-West Limerick), the extent of the Fine Gael victory could prove to be even more significant.

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