Has Sinn Fein’s day come? Sunday Business Post-Red C (4th March) and Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll (26th February 2012)

The Sunday Business Post-Red C (4th March) and Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes (26th February) polls both point to a significant gain in Sinn Fein support relative to that party’s support levels in the previous such poll, with the party having achieved record high levels in the history of both polls. Most of this increased Sinn Fein support appeared to come at the expense of Fianna Fail in The Sunday Times poll – in this poll, the combined support levels for the government parties increased by one percentage point relative to the last such poll on December 12 2011. In the case of The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll, the increased Sinn Fein support seems to be at the expense of both Fianna Fail and Independents/Others, with the combined support levels for the government parties increasing by two percentage points relative to the previous Red C poll. A striking difference between both polls relates to the radically different support estimates for Sinn Fein and Labour in these – with The Sunday Times poll estimating Sinn Fein support at seven percentage points higher, and Labour Party support at six percentage points lower, than the figures for these parties in The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll.  On the basis of these figures, Sinn Fein could expect a significant increase in Dail seat numbers at the next general election (albeit with a much more dramatic seat estimate for The Sunday Times poll), with the Labour Party seats predicted to fall to that party’s lowest levels in decades in The Sunday Times poll but falling by a less significant number of seats based on The Sunday Business Post-Red C figures.  On the basis of this constituency level analysis, party seat levels would be estimated as follows for The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll: Fine Gael 63, Labour 11, Fianna Fail 24, Sinn Fein 44, Green Party 0, Others 24 and as follows for The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll: Fine Gael 62, Labour 27, Fianna Fail 24, Sinn Fein 30, Others 23.

The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll puts national support levels for the main political parties and groupings as follows: Fine Gael 30% (NC), Labour 16% (up 2%), Fianna Fail 17% (down 1%), Sinn Fein 18% (up 1%), Green Party, Independents and Others 19% (down 2%). 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),  On the basis of this constituency level analysis, party seat levels would be estimated as follows: Fine Gael 62, Labour 27, Fianna Fail 24, Sinn Fein 30, Others 23..

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

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 28% 33% 14% 18% 8%
Cavan-Monaghan 17% 29% 4% 41% 9%
Clare 23% 38% 13% 0% 25%
Cork East 17% 31% 26% 21% 5%
Cork North Central 14% 21% 21% 26% 18%
Cork North West 25% 43% 12% 14% 6%
Cork South Central 28% 29% 16% 15% 12%
Cork South West 24% 42% 12% 14% 7%
Donegal North East 15% 23% 8% 39% 15%
Donegal South West 18% 13% 3% 48% 18%
Dublin Central 14% 16% 22% 23% 25%
Dublin Mid West 11% 26% 25% 21% 16%
Dublin North 16% 28% 23% 0% 32%
Dublin North Central 13% 33% 19% 10% 25%
Dublin North East 11% 25% 28% 22% 14%
Dublin North West 11% 13% 33% 37% 7%
Dublin South 10% 31% 15% 5% 39%
Dublin South Central 9% 19% 28% 24% 20%
Dublin South East 12% 31% 22% 7% 28%
Dublin South West 10% 22% 29% 30% 9%
Dublin West 17% 23% 25% 11% 24%
Dun Laoghaire 16% 32% 28% 0% 24%
Galway East 18% 37% 11% 11% 23%
Galway West 20% 25% 10% 11% 33%
Kerry North-West Limerick 10% 32% 15% 35% 8%
Kerry South 13% 28% 9% 0% 49%
Kildare North 15% 29% 25% 11% 20%
Kildare South 22% 29% 24% 11% 13%
Laois-Offaly 25% 27% 6% 19% 22%
Limerick City 22% 37% 17% 16% 7%
Limerick 23% 45% 16% 0% 16%
Longford-Westmeath 20% 33% 23% 14% 10%
Louth 14% 24% 14% 36% 12%
Mayo 17% 58% 4% 12% 9%
Meath East 20% 35% 18% 17% 11%
Meath West 17% 37% 11% 30% 5%
Roscommon-South Leitrim 14% 31% 8% 17% 30%
Sligo-North Leitrim 20% 29% 8% 23% 19%
Tipperary North 16% 19% 16% 11% 37%
Tipperary South 13% 29% 9% 8% 41%
Waterford 14% 32% 16% 18% 21%
Wexford 19% 29% 17% 11% 24%
Wicklow 10% 33% 14% 18% 25%

Based on these constituency estimates, and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 1 2 1 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 1 2 1 1
Cork South West 1 2
Donegal North East 1 2
Donegal South West 1 2
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 2
Dublin South 2 1 2
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 1 1 2
Kerry North-West Limerick 1 2
Kerry South 1 2
Kildare North 2 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1
Laois-Offaly 1 2 1 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 1 1
Meath West 2 1
Roscommon-South Leitrim 1 1 1
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 1 1
Tipperary North 1 2
Tipperary South 1 2
Waterford 2 1 1
Wexford 1 2 1 1
Wicklow 2 1 1 1
STATE 22 63 25 29 27

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 OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 1 2  1 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 1 2 1 1
Cork South West 1 2
Donegal North East 1 2
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 2
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 1 1 2
Kerry North-West Limerick 1 2
Kerry South 1 2
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 1 2 1
Louth 1 1 1 2
Mayo 1 3 1
Meath East 1 1 1
Meath West 2 1
Roscommon-South Leitrim 1 1 1
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 1 1
Tipperary North 1 1 1
Tipperary South 1 2
Waterford 1 1 1 1
Wexford 1 2 1 1
Wicklow 2 1 1 1
STATE 24 62 27 30 23

The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll puts national support levels for the main political parties and groupings as follows: Fine Gael 32% (up 2%), Labour 10% (down 1%), Fianna Fail 16% (down 4%), Sinn Fein 25% (up 4%), Green Party 2% (down 1%), Independents and Others 15% (NC). 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),  On the basis of this constituency level analysis, party seat levels would be estimated as follows: Fine Gael 63, Labour 11, Fianna Fail 24, Sinn Fein 44, Green Party 0, Others 24.

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

FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 26% 35% 8% 24% 3% 4%
Cavan-Monaghan 14% 27% 2% 50% 1% 6%
Clare 24% 44% 9% 0% 3% 21%
Cork East 16% 34% 16% 29% 1% 4%
Cork North Central 13% 22% 13% 36% 1% 15%
Cork North West 24% 45% 7% 19% 2% 3%
Cork South Central 26% 32% 10% 21% 3% 8%
Cork South West 22% 44% 8% 19% 2% 5%
Donegal North East 13% 22% 4% 49% 0% 12%
Donegal South West 14% 12% 2% 58% 1% 13%
Dublin Central 13% 17% 14% 32% 2% 21%
Dublin Mid West 11% 28% 16% 30% 4% 11%
Dublin North 17% 34% 16% 0% 11% 22%
Dublin North Central 13% 36% 13% 15% 2% 21%
Dublin North East 11% 27% 18% 31% 2% 11%
Dublin North West 10% 14% 20% 50% 1% 5%
Dublin South 10% 36% 10% 7% 8% 29%
Dublin South Central 9% 21% 18% 34% 2% 16%
Dublin South East 12% 36% 15% 10% 8% 19%
Dublin South West 9% 24% 18% 41% 1% 7%
Dublin West 17% 27% 16% 17% 2% 21%
Dun Laoghaire 17% 38% 19% 0% 5% 20%
Galway East 17% 39% 7% 16% 1% 20%
Galway West 20% 28% 6% 16% 2% 28%
Kerry North-West Limerick 9% 31% 9% 44% 0% 6%
Kerry South 14% 32% 6% 0% 1% 46%
Kildare North 15% 33% 17% 16% 2% 17%
Kildare South 22% 33% 16% 17% 2% 11%
Laois-Offaly 23% 28% 4% 26% 0% 19%
Limerick City 20% 40% 11% 22% 1% 5%
Limerick 23% 51% 11% 0% 1% 14%
Longford-Westmeath 19% 36% 15% 21% 1% 8%
Louth 12% 23% 8% 46% 4% 6%
Mayo 15% 58% 3% 17% 0% 7%
Meath East 19% 37% 11% 23% 1% 9%
Meath West 15% 36% 6% 39% 1% 3%
Roscommon-South Leitrim 13% 33% 5% 24% 0% 25%
Sligo-North Leitrim 18% 30% 5% 31% 1% 15%
Tipperary North 16% 22% 11% 17% 1% 34%
Tipperary South 13% 32% 6% 12% 1% 37%
Waterford 13% 34% 10% 25% 1% 18%
Wexford 18% 33% 11% 16% 1% 21%
Wicklow 10% 35% 9% 25% 2% 21%

Based on these constituency estimates, and using a d’Hondt method to determine which party wins the seats in a constituency, the party seat levels are estimated as follows:

FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 1
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 3
Clare 1 2 1
Cork East 2 1 1
Cork North Central 1 2 1
Cork North West 1 2
Cork South Central 2 2 1
Cork South West 1 2
Donegal North East 1 2
Donegal South West 3
Dublin Central 1 2 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 2
Dublin North 1 2 1
Dublin North Central 2 1
Dublin North East 1 1 1
Dublin North West 1 2
Dublin South 3 2
Dublin South Central 1 1 2 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 1 1 2
Kerry North-West Limerick 1 2
Kerry South 1 2
Kildare North 2 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 1
Laois-Offaly 1 2 1 1
Limerick City 1 2 1
Limerick 1 2
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 1
Louth 1 1 3
Mayo 1 3 1
Meath East 2 1
Meath West 1 2
Roscommon-South Leitrim 1 1 1
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 1 1
Tipperary North 1 2
Tipperary South 1 2
Waterford 2 1 1
Wexford 1 2 1 1
Wicklow 2 1 2
STATE 21 65 9 44 0 27

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 0 1 0 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 3 0 0
Clare 1 2 0 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 1 1 0 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 2 0 0
Cork North West 1 2 0 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 2 0 1 0 0
Cork South West 1 2 0 0 0 0
Donegal North East 0 1 0 2 0 0
Donegal South West 0 0 0 3 0 0
Dublin Central 0 1 1 1 0 1
Dublin Mid West 0 1 1 2 0 0
Dublin North 1 1 1 0 0 1
Dublin North Central 0 2 0 0 0 1
Dublin North East 0 1 1 1 0 0
Dublin North West 0 0 1 2 0 0
Dublin South 0 3 0 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 1 2 0 1
Dublin South East 0 2 1 0 0 1
Dublin South West 0 1 1 2 0 0
Dublin West 1 1 0 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 0 2 1 0 0 1
Galway East 1 2 0 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 1 0 2
Kerry North-West Limerick 0 1 0 2 0 0
Kerry South 0 1 0 0 0 2
Kildare North 0 2 1 0 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 0 1 0 0
Laois-Offaly 2 2 0 1 0 0
Limerick City 1 2 0 1 0 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 2 0 1 0 0
Louth 1 1 0 3 0 0
Mayo 1 3 0 1 0 0
Meath East 0 2 0 1 0 0
Meath West 0 1 0 2 0 0
Roscommon-South Leitrim 0 1 0 1 0 1
Sligo-North Leitrim 1 1 0 1 0 0
Tipperary North 0 1 0 1 0 1
Tipperary South 0 1 0 0 0 2
Waterford 0 2 0 1 0 1
Wexford 1 2 0 1 0 1
Wicklow 0 2 0 1 0 2
STATE 24 63 11 44 0 24

*********************************************************************

The main trend evident based on these figures is the estimation of a highly dramatic increase in Sinn Fein seat numbers just one year after the 2011 General Election, with the party seat numbers up by thirty relative to last year’s election in the case of The Sunday Times poll seat estimates and up by sixteen based on the seat estimates associated less dramatic Red C poll figures. Most of the Sinn Fein seat gains would be predicted to come at the expense of the Labour Party whose seat levels are predicted to fall by twenty six (Sunday Times) or ten (Red C) relative to the number won by the party last year. This trend of growing Sinn Fein support levels can be traced back to the aftermath of the Pearse Doherty win in the Donegal-South West by-election of November 2010, with the general trend in the party’s support levels in polls held since then being a general upwards one. In some ways an increase in Sinn Fein support levels is to be expected, given the economic climate in which the government parties are operating in and given the level of toxicity still associated with Fianna Fail a year after that party left power. But the party has also been making an impact in terms of the performances in the Dail and the media by party members such as Pearse Doherty, Mary Lou McDonald and Peadar Tóibín.

In addition to the 44 seats predicted based on The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll results for Sinn Fein, there would be a number of other constituencies where further Sinn Fein gains would be possible on the basis of a further small swing to the party, including constitiuencies such as Cork North West, Cork South West, Dublin North-Central and Galway East, while on the basis of these estimations they would be in line to win two seats in constituencies within their stronger regions and even three seat in some of the Border constituencies. There is a limit to the extent of further gains suggested on the basis of the party’s weak support base amongst the urban middle class consittuency, with the party not estimated to be in contention in constituencies such as Dublin South and Dublin South-East with this model even on the basis of a national poll figure of 25% for the party. Until Sinn Fein can attain a foothold within middle class areas they are unlikely to be in a position to win the same level of seats won by Fianna Fail or Fine Gael in those parties’ heydays. That said, should the party support levels increase further and Fianna Fail support levels rebound back up into the low 20s then the prospect of a Sinn Fein-lead coalition government (with Pearse Doherty or Mary-Lou McDonald as Taoiseach) involving Fianna Fail as junior coalition partners could become a live prospect.

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll figures pan out after the next general election, the the government parties could still hope to hold a majority (albeit a very much reduced one) in Dail Eirean with seat numbers for a Fine Gael-Labour coalition estimated at 89 seats – giving a potential coalition involving these parties a relatively comfortable majority of 12 seats in the Dail – and a Sinn Fein-Fianna Fail coalition estimated at 54 seats. Given the fact that a Fine Gael-Sinn Fein coalition would be highly improbable, the only other likely two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, with these parties combined seat levels based on these figures estimated at 86 seats, giving a potential coalition involving these parties a narrow majority of 6 seats in the Dail.

Should the seat estimates based on The Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudespoll figures pan out after the next general election, then none of the coalition options would be in a position to attain an overall majority in the Dail, with seat levels for a Fine Gael-Labour coalition estimated at 74 seats and a Sinn Fein-Fianna Fail coalition estimated at 68 seats. Both these coalition options would be somewhat off the level of seats required to attain a majority in the Dail (83 seats) and, given the fact that a Fine Gael-Sinn Fein coalition would be highly improbable, the only likely two-party coalition option would involve Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, with these parties combined seat levels based on these figures estimated at 87 seats, giving a potential coalition involving these parties a narrow majority of 8 seats in the Dail.

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6 thoughts on “Has Sinn Fein’s day come? Sunday Business Post-Red C (4th March) and Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll (26th February 2012)

  1. Glowing ember perhaps? Lets see how the right-wing ILP reacts. Fright, Fight or Flight? Next Red C is the one to watch.

    Brian

  2. One could always read the recent success of SF as another political private members’ club moving towards the centre which in the end is all that there is to fight over.
    .
    The process is inevitable and is following a Eorpe-wide drift.
    Official SF > SFWP> Democratic Left > Labour Party

    If Stephen Donnelly started a politcal party as central as FF this could upset the applecart and he would easily take a big chunk of the centre away from FF/FG/Labour.

  3. Oh the sweet irony of SF coming a cropper and being revealed as being as venal as all other parties by printer toner – which is not dissimilar to the ink they use for finger printing. Something SF will have much experience of.

    So no more santimonious hypocrisy about being ‘for the people’ from that lot of chancers.

  4. Please remind me. These cartridges (inkjet or laserjet?) do not grow on the shrubbery in the garden of Leinster House – or perhaps they do, but I missed it! They cost – like money.

    So, our grubby little money addicts in Leinster House who plunder the taxpayer’s wallets and purses, to fund their habit, are exposed again.

    Anyone speak Sicilian? Translate Sinn Fein into Sicilian. Now you know!

  5. The Wolfetoner incident follows the ancient tradition of robbing from the State; including this present Free Statelet which (regardless of how Irish people voted in the 1920s) was established by the Sassenachs via Lloyd George and a few sidekicks.
    SF (despite the Wolfetoner gaff) will continue to appeal to the unrepresented in the South in the way that FF did to factory workers and small farmers in its early days. Prior to elections SF have gone and continue to go into areas the others wouldn’t waste shoe leather on.
    Mind you as regards those living in the North why would anyone in their right mind want to join us in this benighted banana republic when all they can be sure of is financial misery, open political corruption and jobs for the boys?

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