Country gone mad changing party preferences? Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (29th January 2012)

The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (29th January 2012) shows a further dip in support (albeit not a dramatic one) for the government parties, with Sinn Fein’s continued run of good showings in recent polls culminating in the party earning its higghest ever rating in a Red C poll, leaving it at 17%, ahead of Labour and just one percent behind Fianna Fail, whose ratings remain static following a increase in support levels in the December poll. The poll puts national support levels for the main political parties and groupings as follows: Fine Gael 30%, Labour 14%, Fianna Fail 18%, Sinn Fein 17%, Independents and Others (including Green Party at 3% and Socialist Party at 1%) 20%. Based on assigning seats on the basis of constituency support estimates (simply using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats), while also taking account of the factors of vote transfers and vote splitting/management (based on vote transfer/management patterns oberved in the February 2011 election), party seat levels would be estimated as follows: Fine Gael 67, Labour 21, Fianna Fail 28, Sinn Fein 26, Green Party 2, Others 24 (including five United Left Alliance seats).

The constituency support estimates based on the poll figures are as follows:

  FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 29% 33% 12% 16% 5% 5%
Cavan-Monaghan 18% 29% 4% 39% 1% 8%
Clare 24% 37% 11% 0% 3% 24%
Cork East 18% 32% 23% 20% 2% 4%
Cork North Central 15% 21% 19% 25% 2% 18%
Cork North West 27% 43% 11% 13% 2% 4%
Cork South Central 29% 29% 14% 14% 4% 10%
Cork South West 25% 42% 11% 13% 3% 6%
Donegal North East 16% 23% 7% 37% 1% 16%
Donegal South West 19% 13% 3% 46% 2% 18%
Dublin Central 15% 16% 20% 22% 3% 25%
Dublin Mid West 12% 26% 22% 20% 6% 13%
Dublin North 17% 27% 20% 0% 14% 22%
Dublin North Central 14% 33% 17% 10% 2% 25%
Dublin North East 12% 25% 25% 21% 3% 13%
Dublin North West 12% 14% 30% 36% 2% 6%
Dublin South 10% 30% 13% 5% 11% 32%
Dublin South Central 10% 19% 25% 23% 3% 19%
Dublin South East 12% 30% 19% 6% 11% 21%
Dublin South West 11% 23% 26% 29% 2% 8%
Dublin West 18% 23% 22% 11% 2% 24%
Dun Laoghaire 17% 31% 24% 0% 7% 21%
Galway East 19% 36% 10% 11% 1% 23%
Galway West 21% 25% 9% 10% 3% 32%
Kerry North-West Limerick 11% 33% 14% 34% 1% 8%
Kerry South 14% 27% 8% 0% 1% 50%
Kildare North 16% 29% 22% 10% 3% 19%
Kildare South 24% 29% 21% 11% 2% 12%
Laois-Offaly 26% 27% 5% 18% 1% 23%
Limerick City 23% 38% 15% 15% 2% 7%
Limerick 24% 45% 14% 0% 1% 16%
Longford-Westmeath 21% 34% 20% 14% 1% 10%
Louth 15% 24% 13% 34% 7% 8%
Mayo 18% 57% 4% 12% 1% 9%
Meath East 21% 35% 16% 16% 2% 10%
Meath West 18% 37% 9% 29% 2% 4%
Roscommon-South Leitrim 15% 31% 7% 16% 1% 31%
Sligo-North Leitrim 22% 29% 7% 22% 2% 19%
Tipperary North 17% 19% 14% 11% 1% 38%
Tipperary South 13% 28% 8% 8% 1% 42%
Waterford 14% 32% 14% 17% 1% 22%
Wexford 20% 29% 15% 10% 1% 25%
Wicklow 11% 33% 12% 17% 2% 25%

Based on these constituency estimates, followed by amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of a large/small number of candidates contesting the election (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 SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2   1    
Cavan-Monaghan 1 2   2    
Clare 1 2       1
Cork East 1 1 1 1    
Cork North Central 1 1 1 1    
Cork North West 1 2        
Cork South Central 2 2   1    
Cork South West 1 2        
Donegal North East 1 1   1    
Donegal South West 1     2    
Dublin Central   1 1 1   1
Dublin Mid West   2 1 1    
Dublin North   1 1   1 1
Dublin North Central   1 1     1
Dublin North East   1 1 1    
Dublin North West     1 2    
Dublin South   2 1   1 1
Dublin South Central   1 2 1   1
Dublin South East   2 1     1
Dublin South West   1 1 2    
Dublin West 1 1 1     1
Dun Laoghaire   2 1     1
Galway East 1 2       1
Galway West 1 2       2
Kerry North-West Limerick   2   1    
Kerry South   1       2
Kildare North 1 1 1     1
Kildare South 1 1 1      
Laois-Offaly 2 2   1    
Limerick City 1 2   1    
Limerick 1 2        
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1      
Louth 1 1 1 2    
Mayo 1 4        
Meath East 1 2        
Meath West   2   1    
Roscommon-South Leitrim   2       1
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 1   1    
Tipperary North 1 1       1
Tipperary South   1       2
Waterford   2   1   1
Wexford 1 2 1     1
Wicklow   2 1 1   1
STATE 28 67 21 26 2 22

The combined number of estimated seats for the government parties would leave them at 88, still sufficient for a comfortable Dail majority but significantly down on the Dail majority currently enjoyed by these parties at present. The combined number of estimated seats for the most likely alternative government alliance, Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein, would be 55, still well behind the combined tally for Fine Gael and Labour but significantly narrowing the gap that would have been between these different alternative alliances based on seats earned in the February 2011 General Election.

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5 thoughts on “Country gone mad changing party preferences? Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (29th January 2012)

  1. Why is Fianna Fáil still placed first in the ranking – it should be third placed and on these figures it would show that it will be 15 years at least before Fianna Fáil gets a whiff of office again.

  2. The more interesting battle is for when (if) Sinn Fein can replace Fianna Fáil and whether there’s the start of a proper right left alignment – with Fine Gael, Labour & the Greens on the right (ranging from very right to sort of right) and Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, the others on the left (ranging from very left to sort of left).

  3. I agree with Desmond Fitzgerald’s comment on the order of presentation -it’s time to change the rankings -you should put them in % order for clarity.

  4. Adrian,
    Could I suggest that you analyse the vote for “others/independents/small parties” excluding Greens furher. The aggregate vote for these in a general election is inflated by votes for no hopers, local favourite sons/daughters etc. The vote for others in the current poll should be compared with the vote for others in previous opinion polls. It appears to me that the vote for others at 18% in the current poll is unprecedented in OPINION POLLS.

  5. In view of the fact that the recently appointed Constituency Review Committee terms of reference explicitly mention reducing the number of TDs by at least 6 and perhaps by as many as 13, how useful is it to carry this kind of exercise now when we do not know
    1) how many TDs there will be in the next election;
    2) how these will be distributed in constituencies?
    see here http://www.constituency-commission.ie/docs/Press2011open.pdf

    In my submission, I proposed that the upper limit of 1 TD/30,000 of the population be used to set the size of the Dáil at 153 TDs, on the following grounds

    “Adopting the 1:30,000 criteria would
    • be a very strong statement of how seriously the political class take the current social, economic and fiscal situation in our Republic;
    • reduce the number of TDs by 13 ie. nearly 8 per cent of the current 166 TDs;
    • increase the population per TD by 2,402 from the current average of 27, 598 (based on 166 TDs for our population of 4,581,269, according to the preliminary results of the 2011 Census) ie. an increase of nearly 9 per cent.

    We in the Republic of Ireland have more TDs per head of population than the average of 21 smaller EU member states, as shown in Figure 1. This average is just over 35,000 people per Member of the lower house of Parliament. Changing our ratio of TDs to population to 1 per 30,000 would still result in having a higher ratio of TDs/population than the average for these 21 EU Member states……

    ……For comparison sake, I set out the position of three other smaller non-EU members states
    • New Zealand 1 Member of unicameral Parliament per 34,779 people
    • Norway 1 Member of unicameral Parliament per 28,031 people
    • Switzerland 1 member of the bi-cameral Federal Parliament per 37,500 people.

    A reduction of 13 TDs would lead to savings of about €3m per year, according to the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (An Bord Snip Nua), chaired by Colm McCarthy. (See pg. 149 here http://www.djei.ie/publications/corporate/2009/volume2.pdf)”

    http://www.constituency-commission.ie/docs/11.377%20-%20Donal%20O%20Brolcain%20-%20General.pdf

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