“When the hurly-burly’s done…”: Constituency-level analyses of the post-election polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 12th June 2014 (with subsequent updates)

The local and European elections brought a (probably quite welcome!) respite to the spate of opinion polls that had appeared in the run up to the May 23rd electoral contests, but June 12th saw the publication of one of the first post-elections opinion polls – the Paddy Power-Red C poll of June 12th 2014, which estimates party support levels as follows: Fine Gael 22%, Sinn Fein 22%, Fianna Fail 18%, Labour Party 4%, Green Party 2%, Independents and Others 32%. My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 32, Fine Gael 40, Sinn Fein 37, Labour 0, Green Party 1, Independents and Others 48. This was preceded by the Irish Independent-Millward Brown poll of June 7th 2014, which estimates party support levels as follows: Sinn Fein 26%, Fine Gael 20%, Fianna Fail 20%, Labour Party 5%, Green Party 2%, Independents and Others 27%. My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 36, Fine Gael 38, Sinn Fein 43, Labour 0, Green Party 1, Independents and Others 40. The latest in the series of Red C polls, the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll of June 29th 2014, estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Sunday Business Post-Red C poll): Fine Gael 25% (NC), Sinn Fein 22% (up 4%), Fianna Fail 18% (down 3%), Labour Party 7% (down 4%), Independents, Green Party and Others 28% (up 3%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 33, Fine Gael 46, Sinn Fein 34, Labour 1, Independents, Green Party and Others 44.  The latest in the series of Millward-Brown polls, the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll of August 3rd 2014, estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Sunday Business Post-Red C poll): Fine Gael 25%, Sinn Fein 25%, Fianna Fail 20%, Labour Party 7%, Green Party 1%, Independents and Others 23%. My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 35, Fine Gael 47, Sinn Fein 42, Labour 2, Green Party 0, Independents and Others 28

 

These polls obviously add another chapter to the litany of bad news stories for the Labour Party, with this analysis suggesting that the party would struggle to retain Dail representation after the next general election should support levels at that contest exactly match the party/grouping support levels measured by this poll. These figures would also offer grim tidings for Fine Gael, a party that would be at a similar level of decline, as Labour, relative to the 2011 General Election figures based on this opinion poll. But, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Fianna Fail too would be rather disenchanted with these poll figures, with these leaving the party on a share of the national vote that would not be dramatically higher than that which the party won in 2011. However, the fractured political landscape (in particular relating to the likely level of Fine Gael and Labour seat losses) and the favourable impact of the boundary changes associated with the 2012 Constituency Commission report means that Fianna Fail would achieve more success in translating these support levels into Dail seat numbers than they had at the 2011 contest. This poll marks some more good news, or rather very good news, for Sinn Fein after that party’s electoral successes on May 23rd, and would leave them well placed to make massive seat gains at the next general election, if these party support levels were replicated at that. But the most significant political grouping here (in terms of support levels) would be the Independents and Others; a grouping that too would be well poised to make massive seat gains should these support levels be replicated at the next general election. However, this grouping is a rather broad one, as will be noted in more detail below, and hence would not be as successful in translating support levels into a similar proportion of seat numbers as would be the case for one of the larger political parties. In turn, this could allow Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail win higher proportions of seats than their support levels would suggest, as indeed happened on May 23rd with Fianna Fail in the local elections and Fine Gael in the European elections.

Constituency support estimates for different parties and groupings form the basis of the general approach taken with this analysis, which seeks to ask the following question in relation to different opinion poll results – what do these poll figures mean in terms of the likely number of Dail seats won by the different parties and groupings? Although the Irish electoral system is classified as a proportional electoral system, the proportion of seats won by parties will not measure up exactly to their actual share of the first preference votes, mainly because geography has an impact here – these first preference votes need to be filtered through the system of Irish electoral constituencies (and the different numbers of seats that are apportioned to these). In order to address this question, I estimate what the party first preference votes would be in the different constituencies, assuming similar (proportional) changes in party vote shares in all constituencies to those that are being suggested by a particular opinion poll. This of course is a very rough model and it  cannot take appropriate account of the fact that changing support levels between elections tend to vary geographically, while it also fails to take account of the local particularities of the different regions in cases where no regional figures are produced in association with different national opinion polls meaning that there is no scope to carry out separate regional analyses based on these poll figures. Thus constituency support estimates for different parties/groupings will be over-estimated in some constituencies and under-estimated in others, but the expectation would be that the overall national seat figures figures estimated will be relatively close to the true level, given that over-estimates in certain constituencies will be offset by under-estimates in others. Based on these estimated constituency support figures, I proceed to estimate the destination of seats in the different constituencies. The constituency level analysis involves the assigning seat levels to different parties and political groupings on the basis of constituency support estimates and 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 observed in the February 2011 election). Due to unusually high/low support levels for some parties or political groupings in certain constituencies in the previous election, the model may throw up occasional constituency predictions that are unlikely to pan out in a “real election”, but of course the estimates here cannot be seen as highly accurate estimates of support levels at the constituency level as in a “real election” party support changes will vary significantly across constituency given uneven geographical shifts in support levels. But the point to remember here is that the ultimate aim of this model is to get an overall, national-level, estimate of seat numbers and these are based, as noted earlier, on the proviso that an over-prediction in one constituency may be offset by an under-prediction in another constituency.  

Based on such an analysis and using the new constituency units (as defined in the 2012 Constituency Commission report), these analyses estimates what party seat levels would be, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election. For a variety of reasons (including the impact of high levels of undecided voters in a specific poll), the actual result of an election may vary from the figures suggested by an opinion poll, even if the poll is carried out relatively close to election day, or on election day itself as in the case of exit polls, but the likelihood of such variation is not something that can be factored into this model. I have made some further corrections to the base support figures for the different parties for this analysis to take better account of the impacts on support of the 2012 Constituency Commission report boundary changes with especial reference to the Dublin constituencies. For instance, these figures better reflect the weaker positions of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in Dublin Central after the moving out of the Ashtown area to Dublin West and the Botanic/Drumcondra area to Dublin North West, but also their stronger positions in Dublin West and Dublin North West. Fine Gael are assigned an extra seat in Dun Laoghaire on the basis that the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett, will be automatically returned at the next general election (unless he decides to retire from politics before this) and this constituency will effectively be rendered a three-seat contest at the next general election. (Changes in constituency boundaries as outlined in the 2012 Constituency Commisison report have been factored in to this analysis. An overview of the political impacts of these changes on the adriankavanaghelections.org elections commentary site suggests that Fianna Fail would seem to be the party most likely to be positively effected by the redrawing of the constituency boundaries, with the Labour Party being the party likely to be the most adversely effected by these changes.)

Note that the approach used in this analysis is different to those of the constituency level analyses of the 2011-13 in that it now takes account of defections/changing party affiliations for people who were candidates in the 2011 General Election, as will be outlined in greater detail later in this post (and as such the seat estimates for this, and later posts, cannot be directly compared with those for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 analyses of post-General Election 2011 opinion polls). In cases where a General Election 2011 candidate has definitely left a party (or the independents ranks) to join another party or to become an independent, a portion of their 2011 will be taken away from the constituency base figures for their former party/grouping and added to those of their new party/grouping. The approach taken in the run up to the 2011 General Election was to assign all of the votes won by that candidate to their new grouping, but the actual 2011 results showed that this was an over-estimation of the likely impact  of such changes. For instance the Labour Party constituency estimates for Mayo and Roscommon-South Leitrim following the moves of Jerry Cowley and John Kelly into the Labour Party ranks were well in excess of the actual votes won by that party in those constituencies. In this approach, half of the votes won by a candidate in the 2011 contest will be assigned to their new party/grouping while the rest of the votes will remain assigned to their old party/grouping. Where a constituency boundary change is involved, meaning that part(s) of a candidate’s old constituency is now moved into another constituency/other constituencies, the base figures for all these constituencies will be recalculated to take account of this. For instance, the impact of Peter Mathews leaving the Fine Gael ranks means that the Fine Gael and Non Party base figures are altered in Dublin Rathdown, but also in the Dublin South-West and Dun Laoghaire constituencies. Note that this approach will not take account of candidates who have lost the party whip but who may ultimately return to the party at a later date or who have been temporarily suspended from their party, as in the cases of Brain Walsh (Fine Gael, Galway West) or Peadar Toibin (Sinn Fein, Meath West). This approach also takes account of those candidates who did not win Dail seats at the 2011 contest, including people like Fidelma Healy-Eames (Galway West), Eddie Fitzpatrick (Offaly), Jenny McHugh (Meath West) and Tom Fortune (Wicklow). In the wake of Patrick Nulty’s resignation, the correction made in Dublin West to the Labour and Independent/Non Party bases figures has now been reversed there.

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The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (3rd August 2014), when using the new constituency units (as to be used at the next general election), are as follows:

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

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:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0 0
Clare 1 2 0 0 0 1
Cork East 1 1 0 2 0 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 0 1
Cork North West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 0 1
Dublin Central 1 0 0 1 0 1
Dublin Mid West 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Fingal 1 2 0 0 0 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 0 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin South West 0 1 1 2 0 1
Dublin West 1 1 0 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 1 0 2
Kerry County 0 1 0 2 0 2
Kildare North 1 1 0 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 0 0 0 1
Laois 1 1 0 1 0 0
Offaly 1 1 0 0 0 1
Limerick City 1 2 0 1 0 0
Limerick 1 1 0 0 0 1
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 0 1
Louth 1 1 0 3 0 0
Mayo 1 2 0 1 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 1 0 0 0 2
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 2 0 0
Tipperary 1 1 0 1 0 2
Waterford 1 1 0 1 0 1
Wexford 1 1 0 1 0 2
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 0 3
STATE 33 43 1 43 0 38

These estimates also need to take account of the candidate and competition trends unique to the different constituency. Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of estimates here being based on support levels derived due to a large/small number of candidates contesting the election in 2011 (as in the large number of independent candidates competing in constituencies such as Wicklow or Laois-Offaly in 2011) or one candidate polling especially well in that election (e.g. the Shane Ross vote in Dublin South/Mick Wallace vote in Wexford) in a manner that would not amount to an extra seat for another member of the same party/grouping. Vote transfer patterns and vote management issues (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) also need to be accounted for. Taking these concerns into account, the amended seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0 0
Clare 1 2 0 0 0 1
Cork East 1 2 0 1 0 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 2 0 0
Cork North West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Donegal 1 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Central 1 0 0 1 0 1
Dublin Mid West 1 1 0 2 0 0
Dublin Fingal 1 2 1 0 0 1
Dublin Bay North 1 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 0 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin South West 0 1 1 2 0 1
Dublin West 1 1 0 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 1 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 0 2
Kildare North 1 1 0 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 0 1 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0 0
Offaly 1 1 0 0 0 1
Limerick City 1 2 0 1 0 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 0 1
Louth 1 1 0 3 0 0
Mayo 1 2 0 1 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 1 0 0 0 2
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 2 0 0
Tipperary 1 1 0 1 0 2
Waterford 1 1 0 1 0 1
Wexford 1 2 0 1 0 1
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 0 3
STATE 35 47 2 42 0 32
% Seats 22.2 29.7 1.3 26.6 0.0 20.3

Based on these seat estimates, a Fine Gael-Labour (combined seat level of 49 seats) would fall well short of the number of seats required to form a government (79 seats) but a potential Sinn Fein-Fianna Fail alliance (combined seat level of 77 seats) would come much closer to this 79 seat target.  To have a sufficient number of seats required to command a majority in Dail Eireann (79 seats in a 158 seat Dail, assuming a deputy from another party/grouping takes on the Ceann Comhairle role), a Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein (or Fine Gael-lead) alliance would need the support of at least two (thirty) or more, TDs from the independent ranks, or from another political grouping, to be able to form a government. A Fine Gael and Sinn Fein pairing would have more than a sufficient number of seats (combined seat level of 89 seats) to command a majority in Dail Eireann, but such an alliance looks to be unlikely in the present political climate in any course. Based on these numbers, a potential Fianna Fail-Fine Gael coalition government would be capable of mustering enough seats to form a two-party coalition without needing the support of a number of other Dail deputiess (with a combined seat level of 82 seats). The reason why such two-party coalitions would appear to be difficult prospects could of course be attributed to yet another very strong showing (in support and seat estimates terms) for the different groupings associated with the Independent and Others grouping. Thus, in such a political contest, no government would be possible without the support of a significant number of deputies from the Independents and Others grouping.

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The constituency support estimates based on the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (29th June 2014), when using the new constituency units (as to be used at the next general election), are as follows:

Constituency FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 31% 30% 7% 22% 11%
Cavan-Monaghan 16% 23% 2% 48% 11%
Clare 23% 31% 6% 8% 32%
Cork East 20% 31% 14% 27% 8%
Cork North Central 16% 19% 10% 31% 25%
Cork North West 29% 39% 6% 18% 8%
Cork South Central 31% 26% 8% 19% 17%
Cork South West 27% 39% 6% 17% 10%
Donegal 16% 14% 2% 48% 20%
Dublin Central 15% 14% 10% 27% 34%
Dublin Mid West 13% 24% 12% 27% 24%
Dublin Fingal 17% 22% 10% 6% 45%
Dublin Bay North 12% 19% 8% 18% 42%
Dublin North West 11% 11% 10% 41% 28%
Dublin Rathdown 9% 20% 6% 6% 59%
Dublin South Central 10% 16% 14% 32% 29%
Dublin Bay South 6% 18% 9% 17% 50%
Dublin South West 11% 21% 13% 28% 27%
Dublin West 18% 21% 12% 14% 34%
Dun Laoghaire 17% 28% 12% 5% 37%
Galway East 23% 32% 4% 11% 30%
Galway West 19% 21% 4% 12% 44%
Kerry County 11% 23% 6% 23% 37%
Kildare North 17% 27% 13% 14% 30%
Kildare South 25% 28% 12% 15% 20%
Laois 30% 27% 5% 30% 9%
Offaly 24% 18% 2% 12% 43%
Limerick City 25% 34% 9% 18% 14%
Limerick 23% 44% 7% 9% 17%
Longford-Westmeath 22% 31% 10% 18% 19%
Louth 15% 21% 7% 42% 16%
Mayo 19% 50% 2% 16% 13%
Meath East 22% 32% 9% 21% 16%
Meath West 24% 31% 2% 35% 7%
Roscommon-Galway 13% 20% 4% 11% 52%
Sligo-Leitrim 21% 23% 3% 33% 21%
Tipperary 15% 19% 6% 11% 49%
Waterford 14% 27% 7% 21% 30%
Wexford 20% 26% 8% 13% 33%
Wicklow 10% 22% 5% 20% 43%
STATE 18.0% 25.0% 7.0% 22.0% 28.0%

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:

Constituency FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 1 1 0 0 2
Cork East 1 2 0 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 1
Cork North West 1 2 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0
Cork South West 1 2 0 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 1
Dublin Central 0 0 0 1 2
Dublin Mid West 0 1 0 2 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 0 0 3
Dublin Bay North 0 1 0 1 3
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 2
Dublin South West 0 1 0 2 2
Dublin West 1 1 0 0 2
Dun Laoghaire 0 2 0 0 2
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 0 3
Kerry County 0 1 0 1 3
Kildare North 1 1 0 0 2
Kildare South 1 1 0 0 1
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 0 0 0 2
Limerick City 1 2 0 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 1
Louth 1 1 0 2 1
Mayo 1 3 0 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 1 0 0 2
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 1 1
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 3
Waterford 0 1 0 1 2
Wexford 1 2 0 0 2
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 3
STATE 29 46 0 31 52

These estimates also need to take account of the candidate and competition trends unique to the different constituency. Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of estimates here being based on support levels derived due to a large/small number of candidates contesting the election in 2011 (as in the large number of independent candidates competing in constituencies such as Wicklow or Laois-Offaly in 2011) or one candidate polling especially well in that election (e.g. the Shane Ross vote in Dublin South/Mick Wallace vote in Wexford) in a manner that would not amount to an extra seat for another member of the same party/grouping. Vote transfer patterns and vote management issues (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) also need to be accounted for. Taking these concerns into account, the amended seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

Constituency FF FG LB SF OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0
Clare 1 2 0 0 1
Cork East 1 2 0 1 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 1
Cork North West 1 2 0 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0
Cork South West 1 2 0 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 1
Dublin Central 0 0 0 1 2
Dublin Mid West 0 1 0 2 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 0 0 3
Dublin Bay North 1 1 0 1 2
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 2
Dublin South West 0 1 1 2 1
Dublin West 1 1 0 0 2
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 1 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 2
Kildare North 1 1 0 1 1
Kildare South 1 1 0 0 1
Laois 1 1 0 1 0
Offaly 1 0 0 0 2
Limerick City 1 2 0 1 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 1
Louth 1 1 0 2 1
Mayo 1 3 0 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 1 0 0 2
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 1 1
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 3
Waterford 1 1 0 1 1
Wexford 1 1 0 1 2
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 3
STATE 33 46 1 34 44
% Seats 20.9 29.1 0.6 21.5 27.8

On these seat estimates, the next Dail could look something like this:

Carlow-Kilkenny: John McGuinness FF, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor FF, Phil Hogan FG, John Paul Phelan FG, Kathleen Funchion SF

Cavan-Monaghan: Brendan Smith FF, Heather Humphries FG, Caoimghin O Caolan SF, Kathryn Reilly SF

Clare: Timmy Dooley FF, Pat Breen FG, Joe Carey FG,  James Breen IND

Cork East: Kevin O’Keefe FF, David Stanton FG, Tom Barry FG, Sandra McLellan SF

Cork North Central: Billy Kelleher FF, Dara Murphy FG, Jonathan O’Brien SF, Mick Barry SP

Cork North West: Michael Moynihan FF, Michael Creed FG, Aine Collins FG

Cork South Central: Micheal Martin FF, Michael McGrath FF, Simon Coveney FG, Chris O’Leary SF

Cork South West: Joe Carroll FF, Jim Daly FG, Noel Harrington FG

Donegal: Charlie McConalogue FF, Pearse Doherty SF, Padraig MacLochlainn SF, Gary Doherty SF, Thomas Pringle IND

Dublin Central: Mary Lou McDonald SF, Maureen O’Sullivan IND, Cieran Perry IND

Dublin Mid West: Frances Fitzgerald FG, Eoin O’Broin SF, Danny O’Brien SF, Gino Kenny PBP

Dublin Fingal: Darragh O’Brien FF, James Reilly FG, David Healy GP, Clare Daly UL, Cian O’Callaghan IND

Dublin Bay North: Averil Power FF, Richard Bruton FG, Larry O’Toole SF, Finian McGrath IND, Tommy Broughan IND

Dublin North West: Dessie Ellis SF, Emma Murphy SF, Roisin Shortall IND

Dublin Rathdown: Olivia Mitchell FG, Shane Ross IND, Deirdre Donnelly IND

Dublin South Central: Catherine Byrne FG, Aengus O Snodaigh SF, Criona Ni Dhalaigh SF, Brid Smith PBP

Dublin Bay South: Eoghan Murphy FG, Chris Andrews SF, Lucinda Creighton IND, Mannix Flynn IND

Dublin South West: Cait Keane FG, Pat Rabbitte LAB, Sean Crowe SF, Cathal King SF, Dermot Looney IND

Dublin West: David McGuinness FF, Leo Varadkar FG, Ruth Coppinger SP, Sandra Kavanagh SP

Dun Laoghaire: Jennifer Cuffe FF, Sean Barrett FG, Mary Mitchell O’Connor FG, Richard Boyd Barrett PBP

Galway East: Michael Kitt FF, Paul Connaughton FG, Sean Canney IND

Galway West: Eamonn O Cuiv FF, Brian Walsh FG, Mairead Farrell SF, Noel Grealish IND, Catherine Connolly IND

Kerry: John Joe Culloty FF, Jimmy Deenihan FG, Toireasa Ferris SF, Michael Healy Rae IND, Tom Fleming IND

Kildare North: James Lawless FF, Bernard Durkin FG, Reada Cronin SF, Catherine Murphy IND

Kildare South: Sean O Fearghaill FF, Martin Heydon FG, Joanne Pender IND

Laois: Sean Fleming FF, Charlie Flanagan FG, Brian Stanley SF

Offaly: Barry Cowen FF, John Leahy IND, John Foley IND

Limerick City: Willie O’Dea FF, Michael Noonan FG, Kieran O’Donnell FG, Maurice Quinlivan SF

Limerick: Niall Collins FF, Dan Neville FG, Emmet O’Brien IND

Longford-Westmeath: Robert Troy FF, James Bannon FG, Paul Hogan SF, Kevin “Boxer” Moran IND

Louth: Declan Breathnach FF, Fergus O’Dowd FG, Gerry Adams SF, Imelda Munster SF, Maeve Yore IND

Mayo: Dara Calleary FF, Enda Kenny FG, Michael Ring FG, Rose Conway-Walsh SF

Meath East: Thomas Byrne FF, Regina Doherty FG, Darren O’Rourke SF

Meath West: Shane Cassells FF, Damien English FG, Peadar Toibin SF

Roscommon-Galway: Frank Feighan FG, Denis Naughten IND, Valerie Byrne IND

Sligo-Leitrim: Eamon Scanlon FF, John Perry FG, Michael Colreavy SF, Margaret Gormley IND

Tipperary: Michael Smith FF, Tom Hayes FG, Michael Lowry IND, Mattie McGrath IND, Seamus Healy WUAG

Waterford: Adam Wyse FF, John Deasy FG, David Cullinane SF, John Halligan IND

Wexford: John Browne FF, Liam Twomey FG, Anthony Kelly SF, Mick Wallace IND, Mary Farrell IND

Wicklow: Andrew Doyle FG, John Brady SF, Stephen Donnelly IND, Billy Timmins IND, Tommy Cullen IND

Based on these seat estimates, a Fine Gael-Labour (combined seat level of 47 seats) would fall well short of the number of seats required to form a government (79 seats) but a potential Sinn Fein-Fianna Fail alliance (combined seat level of 67 seats) would come somewhat closer to this 79 seat target.  To have a sufficient number of seats required to command a majority in Dail Eireann (79 seats in a 158 seat Dail, assuming a deputy from another party/grouping takes on the Ceann Comhairle role), a Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein (or Fine Gael-lead) alliance would need the support of at least twelve (thirty two) or more, TDs from the independent ranks, or from another political grouping, to be able to form a government. A Fine Gael and Sinn Fein pairing would have a sufficient number of seats (combined seat level of 80 seats) to command a narrow majority in Dail Eireann, but such an alliance looks to be unlikely in the present political climate in any course. Based on these numbers, a potential Fianna Fail-Fine Gael coalition government would be just about capable of mustering enough seats to form a two-party coalition without needing the support of a number of other Dail deputiess (with a combined seat level of 79 seats). The reason why such two-party coalitions would appear to be difficult prospects could of course be attributed to yet another very strong showing (in support and seat estimates terms) for the different groupings associated with the Independent and Others grouping. Thus, in such a political contest, no government would be possible without the support of a significant number of deputies from the Independents and Others grouping.

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

The constituency support estimates based on the Paddy Power-Red C poll (12th June 2014), when using the new constituency units (as to be used at the next general election), are as follows:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 32% 28% 4% 23% 5% 8%
Cavan-Monaghan 17% 21% 1% 49% 1% 12%
Clare 23% 27% 3% 8% 3% 35%
Cork East 22% 29% 8% 30% 2% 8%
Cork North Central 16% 17% 6% 31% 2% 29%
Cork North West 31% 37% 4% 19% 2% 8%
Cork South Central 32% 24% 4% 19% 4% 16%
Cork South West 29% 36% 4% 18% 3% 10%
Donegal 16% 12% 1% 47% 1% 23%
Dublin Central 15% 12% 6% 27% 3% 38%
Dublin Mid West 14% 22% 7% 28% 6% 23%
Dublin Fingal 17% 19% 6% 6% 13% 40%
Dublin Bay North 12% 16% 5% 18% 2% 47%
Dublin North West 11% 9% 6% 41% 1% 32%
Dublin Rathdown 9% 17% 3% 5% 10% 57%
Dublin South Central 10% 14% 8% 32% 3% 33%
Dublin Bay South 6% 16% 5% 16% 8% 49%
Dublin South West 11% 19% 7% 29% 4% 29%
Dublin West 19% 19% 7% 14% 2% 40%
Dun Laoghaire 17% 25% 7% 5% 7% 38%
Galway East 22% 28% 2% 11% 1% 36%
Galway West 18% 17% 2% 11% 2% 49%
Kerry County 11% 20% 3% 22% 1% 43%
Kildare North 17% 25% 7% 14% 3% 34%
Kildare South 26% 26% 7% 16% 0% 25%
Laois 31% 24% 3% 31% 0% 11%
Offaly 23% 15% 1% 12% 0% 50%
Limerick City 26% 31% 5% 19% 0% 18%
Limerick 24% 40% 4% 10% 0% 22%
Longford-Westmeath 23% 28% 6% 19% 0% 25%
Louth 15% 18% 4% 43% 0% 20%
Mayo 20% 46% 1% 16% 0% 17%
Meath East 23% 30% 5% 22% 0% 20%
Meath West 25% 28% 1% 36% 0% 9%
Roscommon-Galway 12% 17% 2% 10% 0% 59%
Sligo-Leitrim 21% 20% 2% 33% 0% 25%
Tipperary 14% 16% 3% 10% 0% 57%
Waterford 14% 24% 4% 21% 0% 36%
Wexford 20% 23% 5% 13% 0% 40%
Wicklow 9% 18% 3% 19% 0% 51%

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:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0 0
Clare 1 1 0 0 0 2
Cork East 1 1 0 2 0 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 0 1
Cork North West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South Central 1 1 0 1 0 1
Cork South West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 0 1
Dublin Central 0 0 0 1 0 2
Dublin Mid West 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 0 0 1 2
Dublin Bay North 0 1 0 1 0 3
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 0 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin South West 1 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin West 1 1 0 0 0 2
Dun Laoghaire 0 2 0 0 0 2
Galway East 1 1 0 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 0 0 3
Kerry County 0 1 0 1 0 3
Kildare North 1 1 0 0 0 2
Kildare South 1 1 0 0 0 1
Laois 1 1 0 1 0 0
Offaly 1 0 0 0 0 2
Limerick City 1 1 0 1 0 1
Limerick 1 1 0 0 0 1
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 0 1
Louth 1 1 0 2 0 1
Mayo 1 2 0 1 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 0 0 0 0 3
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 1 0 1
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 0 3
Waterford 0 1 0 1 0 2
Wexford 1 1 0 1 0 2
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 0 3
STATE 29 38 0 36 1 54

These estimates also need to take account of the candidate and competition trends unique to the different constituency. Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of estimates here being based on support levels derived due to a large/small number of candidates contesting the election in 2011 (as in the large number of independent candidates competing in constituencies such as Wicklow or Laois-Offaly in 2011) or one candidate polling especially well in that election (e.g. the Shane Ross vote in Dublin South/Mick Wallace vote in Wexford) in a manner that would not amount to an extra seat for another member of the same party/grouping. Vote transfer patterns and vote management issues (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) also need to be accounted for. Taking these concerns into account, the amended seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 2 0 1 0 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0 0
Clare 1 1 0 0 0 2
Cork East 1 1 0 2 0 0
Cork North Central 1 1 0 1 0 1
Cork North West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 0 1
Dublin Central 0 0 0 1 0 2
Dublin Mid West 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 0 0 1 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 0 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin South West 1 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin West 1 1 0 0 0 2
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 0 0 3
Kerry County 0 1 0 1 0 3
Kildare North 1 1 0 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 0 0 0 1
Laois 1 1 0 1 0 0
Offaly 1 0 0 0 0 2
Limerick City 1 2 0 1 0 0
Limerick 1 1 0 0 0 1
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 0 1
Louth 1 1 0 2 0 1
Mayo 1 2 0 1 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 1 0 0 0 2
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 1 0 1
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 0 3
Waterford 0 1 0 1 0 2
Wexford 1 1 0 1 0 2
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 0 3
STATE 32 40 0 37 1 48
% Seats 20.3 25.3 0.0 23.4 0.6 30.4

On these seat estimates, the next Dail could look something like this:

Carlow-Kilkenny: John McGuinness FF, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor FF, Phil Hogan FG, John Paul Phelan FG, Kathleen Funchion SF

Cavan-Monaghan: Brendan Smith FF, Heather Humphries FG, Caoimghin O Caolan SF, Kathryn Reilly SF

Clare: Timmy Dooley FF, Pat Breen FG, James Breen IND, Christy Curtin IND

Cork East: Kevin O’Keefe FF, David Stanton FG, Sandra McLellan SF, June Murphy SF

Cork North Central: Billy Kelleher FF, Dara Murphy FG, Jonathan O’Brien SF, Mick Barry SP

Cork North West: Michael Moynihan FF, Michael Creed FG, Melissa Mullane SF

Cork South Central: Micheal Martin FF, Michael McGrath FF, Simon Coveney FG, Chris O’Leary SF

Cork South West: Joe Carroll FF, Jim Daly FG, Rachel McCarthy SF

Donegal: Charlie McConalogue FF, Pearse Doherty SF, Padraig MacLochlainn SF, Gary Doherty SF, Thomas Pringle IND

Dublin Central: Mary Lou McDonald SF, Maureen O’Sullivan IND, Cieran Perry IND

Dublin Mid West: Frances Fitzgerald FG, Eoin O’Broin SF, Danny O’Brien SF, Gino Kenny PBP

Dublin Fingal: Darragh O’Brien FF, James Reilly FG, David Healy GP, Clare Daly UL, Cian O’Callaghan IND

Dublin Bay North: Averil Power FF, Richard Bruton FG, Larry O’Toole SF, Finian McGrath IND, Tommy Broughan IND

Dublin North West: Dessie Ellis SF, Emma Murphy SF, Roisin Shortall IND

Dublin Rathdown: Olivia Mitchell FG, Shane Ross IND, Deirdre Donnelly IND

Dublin South Central: Catherine Byrne FG, Aengus O Snodaigh SF, Criona Ni Dhalaigh SF, Brid Smith PBP

Dublin Bay South: Eoghan Murphy FG, Chris Andrews SF, Lucinda Creighton IND, Mannix Flynn IND

Dublin South West: Charlie O’Connor FF, Cait Keane FG, Sean Crowe SF, Cathal King SF, Dermot Looney IND

Dublin West: David McGuinness FF, Leo Varadkar FG, Ruth Coppinger SP, Sandra Kavanagh SP

Dun Laoghaire: Jennifer Cuffe FF, Sean Barrett FG, Mary Mitchell O’Connor FG, Richard Boyd Barrett PBP

Galway East: Michael Kitt FF, Paul Connaughton FG, Sean Canney IND

Galway West: Eamonn O Cuiv FF, Brian Walsh FG, Noel Grealish IND, Catherine Connolly IND, Thomas Welby IND

Kerry: Jimmy Deenihan FG, Toireasa Ferris SF, Michael Healy Rae IND, Tom Fleming IND, Michael Gleeson SKIA

Kildare North: James Lawless FF, Bernard Durkin FG, Reada Cronin SF, Catherine Murphy IND

Kildare South: Sean O Fearghaill FF, Martin Heydon FG, Joanne Pender IND

Laois: Sean Fleming FF, Charlie Flanagan FG, Brian Stanley SF

Offaly: Barry Cowen FF, John Leahy IND, John Foley IND

Limerick City: Willie O’Dea FF, Michael Noonan FG, Kieran O’Donnell FG, Maurice Quinlivan SF

Limerick: Niall Collins FF, Dan Neville FG, Emmet O’Brien IND

Longford-Westmeath: Robert Troy FF, James Bannon FG, Paul Hogan SF, Kevin “Boxer” Moran IND

Louth: Declan Breathnach FF, Fergus O’Dowd FG, Gerry Adams SF, Imelda Munster SF, Maeve Yore IND

Mayo: Dara Calleary FF, Enda Kenny FG, Michael Ring FG, Rose Conway-Walsh SF

Meath East: Claire O’Driscoll FF, Helen McEntee FG, Darren O’Rourke SF

Meath West: Shane Cassells FF, Damien English FG, Peadar Toibin SF

Roscommon-Galway: Frank Feighan FG, Denis Naughten IND, Valerie Byrne IND

Sligo-Leitrim: Eamon Scanlon FF, John Perry FG, Michael Colreavy SF, Margaret Gormley IND

Tipperary: Michael Smith FF, Tom Hayes FG, Michael Lowry IND, Mattie McGrath IND, Seamus Healy WUAG

Waterford: John Deasy FG, David Cullinane SF, John Halligan IND, Davy Daniels IND

Wexford: John Browne FF, Liam Twomey FG, Anthony Kelly SF, Mick Wallace IND, Mary Farrell IND

Wicklow: Andrew Doyle FG, John Brady SF, Stephen Donnelly IND, Billy Timmins IND, Tommy Cullen IND

Based on these seat estimates, a Fine Gael-Labour (combined seat level of 40 seats) would fall well short of the number of seats required to form a government (79 seats) – and of course, based on these figures, Labour would not be in a position to be in government – but a potential Sinn Fein-Fianna Fail alliance (combined seat level of 69 seats) would come somewhat closer to this 79 seat target.  To have a sufficient number of seats required to command a majority in Dail Eireann (79 seats in a 158 seat Dail, assuming a deputy from another party/grouping takes on the Ceann Comhairle role), a Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein (or Fine Gael-lead) alliance would need the support of at least ten (thirty nine) or more, TDs from the independent ranks, or from another political grouping, to be able to form a government. A Fine Gael and Sinn Fein pairing would also fail (albeit by a very narrow margin) to have a sufficient number of seats (combined seat level of 77 seats) to command a majority in Dail Eireann, but such an alliance looks to be unlikely in the present political climate in any course. Based on these numbers, a potential Fianna Fail-Fine Gael coalition government would also prove incapable of mustering enough seats to form a two-party coalition without needing the support of a number of other Dail deputies (with a combined seat level of 72 seats). The reason why such two-party coalitions would appear to be difficult prospects could of course be attributed to yet another very strong showing (in support and seat estimates terms) for the different groupings associated with the Independent and Others grouping. Thus, in such a political contest, no government would be possible without the support of a significant number of deputies from the Independents and Others grouping.

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The constituency support estimates based on the Irish Independent-Millward Brown poll (7th June 2014), when using the new constituency units (as to be used at the next general election), are as follows:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 34% 24% 5% 26% 4% 7%
Cavan-Monaghan 17% 18% 1% 54% 1% 9%
Clare 27% 26% 4% 9% 3% 31%
Cork East 23% 25% 10% 33% 2% 6%
Cork North Central 17% 15% 7% 36% 2% 24%
Cork North West 33% 32% 4% 22% 2% 6%
Cork South Central 35% 21% 5% 22% 4% 13%
Cork South West 31% 32% 4% 21% 3% 8%
Donegal 16% 10% 1% 52% 1% 19%
Dublin Central 16% 11% 7% 31% 3% 32%
Dublin Mid West 15% 19% 9% 32% 5% 19%
Dublin Fingal 19% 18% 8% 7% 13% 35%
Dublin Bay North 14% 15% 6% 22% 2% 41%
Dublin North West 11% 8% 7% 46% 1% 26%
Dublin Rathdown 10% 16% 4% 7% 10% 52%
Dublin South Central 11% 13% 10% 37% 3% 27%
Dublin Bay South 7% 15% 6% 20% 8% 43%
Dublin South West 12% 17% 9% 33% 4% 24%
Dublin West 21% 17% 9% 17% 2% 34%
Dun Laoghaire 20% 24% 9% 6% 7% 33%
Galway East 26% 26% 3% 13% 1% 31%
Galway West 21% 16% 3% 14% 2% 43%
Kerry County 13% 18% 4% 27% 1% 38%
Kildare North 19% 23% 9% 17% 3% 29%
Kildare South 29% 23% 9% 18% 0% 21%
Laois 33% 21% 3% 35% 0% 9%
Offaly 26% 14% 1% 14% 0% 44%
Limerick City 28% 28% 6% 22% 0% 15%
Limerick 27% 37% 5% 12% 0% 19%
Longford-Westmeath 25% 25% 7% 22% 0% 21%
Louth 16% 16% 5% 48% 0% 16%
Mayo 22% 43% 2% 20% 0% 14%
Meath East 25% 26% 6% 25% 0% 17%
Meath West 26% 24% 2% 40% 0% 7%
Roscommon-Galway 15% 16% 2% 13% 0% 54%
Sligo-Leitrim 22% 18% 2% 38% 0% 21%
Tipperary 16% 16% 4% 13% 0% 51%
Waterford 16% 22% 5% 25% 0% 31%
Wexford 23% 21% 6% 16% 0% 35%
Wicklow 11% 17% 4% 23% 0% 45%

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:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 1 0 2 0 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0 0
Clare 1 1 0 0 0 2
Cork East 1 1 0 2 0 0
Cork North Central 1 0 0 2 0 1
Cork North West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 0 1
Dublin Central 0 0 0 1 0 2
Dublin Mid West 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 0 0 1 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 0 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin South West 1 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin West 1 1 0 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 0 0 3
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 0 2
Kildare North 1 1 0 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 0 0 0 1
Laois 1 1 0 1 0 0
Offaly 1 0 0 0 0 2
Limerick City 1 1 0 1 0 1
Limerick 1 1 0 0 0 1
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 0 1
Louth 0 1 0 3 0 1
Mayo 1 2 0 1 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 0 0 0 0 3
Sligo-Leitrim 1 0 0 2 0 1
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 0 3
Waterford 1 1 0 1 0 1
Wexford 1 1 0 1 0 2
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 0 3
STATE 33 35 0 42 1 47

These estimates also need to take account of the candidate and competition trends unique to the different constituency. Amending the model to account for seats that may be won or lost on the basis of estimates here being based on support levels derived due to a large/small number of candidates contesting the election in 2011 (as in the large number of independent candidates competing in constituencies such as Wicklow or Laois-Offaly in 2011) or one candidate polling especially well in that election (e.g. the Shane Ross vote in Dublin South/Mick Wallace vote in Wexford) in a manner that would not amount to an extra seat for another member of the same party/grouping. Vote transfer patterns and vote management issues (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) also need to be accounted for. Taking these concerns into account, the amended seat allocations across the constituencies would look more like this:

Constituency FF FG LB SF GP OTH
Carlow-Kilkenny 2 1 0 2 0 0
Cavan-Monaghan 1 1 0 2 0 0
Clare 1 1 0 0 0 2
Cork East 1 1 0 2 0 0
Cork North Central 1 0 0 2 0 1
Cork North West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South Central 2 1 0 1 0 0
Cork South West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Donegal 1 0 0 3 0 1
Dublin Central 1 0 0 1 0 1
Dublin Mid West 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Fingal 1 1 0 0 1 2
Dublin Bay North 1 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin North West 0 0 0 2 0 1
Dublin Rathdown 0 1 0 0 0 2
Dublin South Central 0 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin Bay South 0 1 0 1 0 2
Dublin South West 1 1 0 2 0 1
Dublin West 1 1 0 1 0 1
Dun Laoghaire 1 2 0 0 0 1
Galway East 1 1 0 0 0 1
Galway West 1 1 0 1 0 2
Kerry County 1 1 0 1 0 2
Kildare North 1 1 0 1 0 1
Kildare South 1 1 0 1 0 0
Laois 1 1 0 1 0 0
Offaly 1 0 0 0 0 2
Limerick City 2 1 0 1 0 0
Limerick 1 2 0 0 0 0
Longford-Westmeath 1 1 0 1 0 1
Louth 1 1 0 3 0 0
Mayo 1 2 0 1 0 0
Meath East 1 1 0 1 0 0
Meath West 1 1 0 1 0 0
Roscommon-Galway 0 1 0 0 0 2
Sligo-Leitrim 1 1 0 1 0 1
Tipperary 1 1 0 0 0 3
Waterford 1 1 0 1 0 1
Wexford 1 1 0 1 0 2
Wicklow 0 1 0 1 0 3
STATE 36 38 0 43 1 40
% Seats 22.8 24.1 0.0 27.2 0.6 25.3

On these seat estimates, the next Dail could look something like this:

Carlow-Kilkenny: John McGuinness FF, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor FF, Phil Hogan FG, Kathleen Funchion SF, John Cassin SF

Cavan-Monaghan: Brendan Smith FF, Heather Humphries FG, Caoimghin O Caolan SF, Kathryn Reilly SF

Clare: Timmy Dooley FF, Pat Breen FG, James Breen IND, Christy Curtin IND

Cork East: Kevin O’Keefe FF, David Stanton FG, Sandra McLellan SF, June Murphy SF

Cork North Central: Billy Kelleher FF, Jonathan O’Brien SF, Donnchadh O Laoghaire SF, Mick Barry SP

Cork North West: Michael Moynihan FF, Michael Creed FG, Melissa Mullane SF

Cork South Central: Micheal Martin FF, Michael McGrath FF, Simon Coveney FG, Chris O’Leary SF

Cork South West: Joe Carroll FF, Jim Daly FG, Rachel McCarthy SF

Donegal: Charlie McConalogue FF, Pearse Doherty SF, Padraig MacLochlainn SF, Gary Doherty SF, Thomas Pringle IND

Dublin Central: David Costello FF, Mary Lou McDonald SF, Maureen O’Sullivan IND, Cieran Perry IND

Dublin Mid West: Frances Fitzgerald FG, Eoin O’Broin SF, Danny O’Brien SF, Gino Kenny PBP

Dublin Fingal: Darragh O’Brien FF, James Reilly FG, David Healy GP, Clare Daly UL, Cian O’Callaghan IND

Dublin Bay North: Averil Power FF, Richard Bruton FG, Larry O’Toole SF, Finian McGrath IND, Tommy Broughan IND

Dublin North West: Dessie Ellis SF, Emma Murphy SF, Roisin Shortall IND

Dublin Rathdown: Olivia Mitchell FG, Shane Ross IND, Deirdre Donnelly IND

Dublin South Central: Catherine Byrne FG, Aengus O Snodaigh SF, Criona Ni Dhalaigh SF, Brid Smith PBP

Dublin Bay South: Eoghan Murphy FG, Chris Andrews SF, Lucinda Creighton IND, Mannix Flynn IND

Dublin South West: Charlie O’Connor FF, Cait Keane FG, Sean Crowe SF, Cathal King SF, Dermot Looney IND

Dublin West: David McGuinness FF, Leo Varadkar FG, Paul Donnelly SF, Ruth Coppinger SP

Dun Laoghaire: Jennifer Cuffe FF, Sean Barrett FG, Mary Mitchell O’Connor FG, Richard Boyd Barrett PBP

Galway East: Michael Kitt FF, Paul Connaughton FG, Sean Canney IND

Galway West: Eamonn O Cuiv FF, Brian Walsh FG, Mairead Farrell SF, Noel Grealish IND, Catherine Connolly IND

Kerry: Norma Foley FF, Jimmy Deenihan FG, Toireasa Ferris SF, Michael Healy Rae IND, Tom Fleming IND

Kildare North: James Lawless FF, Bernard Durkin FG, Reada Cronin SF, Catherine Murphy IND

Kildare South: Sean O Fearghaill FF, Martin Heydon FG, Mark Lynch SF

Laois: Sean Fleming FF, Charlie Flanagan FG, Brian Stanley SF

Offaly: Barry Cowen FF, John Leahy IND, John Foley IND

Limerick City: Willie O’Dea FF, Shane Clifford FF, Michael Noonan FG, Maurice Quinlivan SF

Limerick: Niall Collins FF, Dan Neville FG, Patrick O’Donovan FG

Longford-Westmeath: Robert Troy FF, James Bannon FG, Paul Hogan SF, Kevin “Boxer” Moran IND

Louth: Declan Breathnach FF, Fergus O’Dowd FG, Gerry Adams SF, Imelda Munster SF, Tomas Sharkey SF

Mayo: Lisa Chambers FF, Enda Kenny FG, Michael Ring FG, Rose Conway-Walsh SF

Meath East: Thomas Byrne FF, Regina Doherty FG, Darren O’Rourke SF

Meath West: Shane Cassells FF, Damien English FG, Peadar Toibin SF

Roscommon-Galway: Frank Feighan FG, Denis Naughten IND, Valerie Byrne IND

Sligo-Leitrim: Eamon Scanlon FF, John Perry FG, Michael Colreavy SF, Margaret Gormley IND

Tipperary: Michael Smith FF, Tom Hayes FG, Michael Lowry IND, Mattie McGrath IND, Seamus Healy WUAG

Waterford: Adam Gary Wyse FF, John Deasy FG, David Cullinane SF, John Halligan IND

Wexford: John Browne FF, Liam Twomey FG, Anthony Kelly SF, Mick Wallace IND, Mary Farrell IND

Wicklow: Andrew Doyle FG, John Brady SF, Stephen Donnelly IND, Billy Timmins IND, Tommy Cullen IND

Based on these seat estimates, a Fine Gael-Labour (combined seat level of 38 seats) would fall well short of the number of seats required to form a government (79 seats) – and of course, based on these figures, Labour would not be in a position to be in government – but a potential Sinn Fein-Fianna Fail alliance (combined seat level of 79 seats) would have just enough of a number of Dail seats to reach the 79 seat target. A Fine Gael and Sinn Fein pairing would also (albeit by a very narrow margin) have a sufficient number of seats (combined seat level of 81 seats) to command a majority in Dail Eireann, but such an alliance looks to be unlikely in the present political climate in any course. Based on these numbers, a potential Fianna Fail-Fine Gael coalition government would not be capable of mustering enough seats to form a two-party coalition without needing the support of a number of other Dail deputies (with a combined seat level of 74 seats). The reason why such two-party coalitions would appear to be difficult prospects could of course be attributed to the strong showing (in support and seat estimates terms) for the different groupings associated with the Independent and Others grouping. Thus, in such a political contest, no government would be possible without the support of a significant number of deputies from the Independents and Others grouping.

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

Given the improved support levels for Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein relative to the 2011 General Election, the seat estimates based on these constituency-level analyses suggest a significant improvement in Fianna Fail and especially Sinn Fein seat levels relative to those won by these parties and groupings in the 2011 contest (especially given that the fact that the eight fewer seats in the next Dail has been factored into this analysis), effectively pointing to significant gains on the part of the main Dail opposition parties since 2011. The same very applies very much to the Independents and Others grouping, but it is worth noting that, as opposed to the parties, the Independents and Others grouping is a very broad church and includes a range of parties, groups and individuals with very different ideological perspectives, including the Socialist Party and the People Before Profit alliance as well as left-leaning independents, but also politicians located in the centre-right of the political spectrum, including a significant number of Fianna Fail/Fine Gael-gene pool independents and people such as Shane Ross and Stephen Donnelly. Looking at the constituencies where this grouping is predicted to win seats in this model, it can be seen that left-leaning parties and independents would take at least 22 of the 48 seats being assigned to this grouping with the Paddy Power-Red C poll, at least 20 of the 40 seats being assigned to this grouping with the Irish Independent-Millward Brown poll and at least 15 of the 32 seats being assigned to this grouping with the Irish Independent-Millward Brown poll.

The seat level estimates in all of these analyses for the Labour Party are stark (highlighting the fact that the PR-STV system is proportional, but only to a limited extent), but most notably in the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll. Previous analyses have, moreover, suggested that, especially given the increased competition on the Left from Sinn Fein, other smaller left of centre parties and left-leaning independents, that it will be a struggle for Labour to win seats in most, if not all, constituencies if the party’s national support levels fall below the ten percent level, as has been shown in similar analyses of recent Sunday Independent-Millward Brown and Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI polls. Based on the analysis of this latest Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll and other polls covered in this post, Labour would be in serious trouble if their national support levels fall below ten percent as the party is also facing a “perfect storm” from electoral geography and changed competition levels. These factors include the reduction in Dail seat numbers (from 166 to 158) and other changes made to general election boundaries by the 2012 Constituency Commission (which militated against Labour while seeming to advantage other parties, but notably Fianna Fail) as well as the increased competition the party now faces on the Left from Sinn Fein, other smaller left-wing parties and left-of-centre independents, as well as from Fianna Fail. When Labour support levels fell to similarly low levels in the late 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s, the party was in a position to be helped (as in the 1997, 2002 and 2007 General Elections) by transfers from lower placed candidates from the smaller left-wing parties. But on these constituency-estimate figures outlined in these analyses Labour Party candidates would find themselves polling below candidates from Sinn Fein, the Socialist Party, the Workers and Unemployed Action Group or the People Before Profit Alliance, or left-leaning independents, in a number of constituencies. Instead of being in a position to possibly benefit from vote transfers (which themselves would be likely to dry up in any case), the Labour candidates would now in a number of cases be eliminated before the final count and would be providing the transfers to see candidates from other left-of-centre political groupings over the line. (If we look at the 1987 case study – we see Labour won 6.5% of the vote in the 1987 General Election and won 12 seats, but it is also worth noting that they did not contest nine constituencies in that election, whereas their 7% national vote is being distributed across all forty constituencies in this analysis, as with the most recent general elections in which Labour has contested all constituencies. In two of the twelve constituencies in 1987 where Labour won seats – Dublin South-Central, Dublin South-West, Galway West and Wexford – vote transfers were crucial in ensuring Labour won these these seats – i.e. Labour candidates were outside the seat positions on the first count but overtook candidates with higher first preference votes as counts progressed due to transfers from other candidates.

Constituency FPV Total Poll Quota % FPV Lab/quota
Carlow-Kilkenny          7,358          57,485          9,581 12.80 0.77
Cork South-Central          4,862          56,259          9,377 8.64 0.52
Dublin South-Central          4,701          51,692          8,616 9.09 0.55
Dublin South-East          3,480          38,270          7,655 9.09 0.45
Dublin South-West          5,065          41,454          8,291 12.22 0.61
Dun Laoghaire          6,484          55,702          9,284 11.64 0.70
Galway West          3,878          52,762          8,794 7.35 0.44
Kerry North          6,739          34,764          8,692 19.38 0.78
Kildare          7,567          53,705          8,951 14.09 0.85
Louth          6,205          46,809          9,362 13.26 0.66
Wexford          5,086          52,922          8,821 9.61 0.58
Wicklow          7,754          46,003          9,201 16.86 0.84

Voting statistics for constituencies in which Labour won seats at the 1987 General Election. The table above shows that there was no constituency in 1987 in which a Labour candidate exceeded the quota and indeed successful Labour candidates, Ruairi Quinn and Michael D. Higgins won seats in their constituencies despite winning less than half of the quota in their first preference votes. In addition, Dick Spring came within a handful of votes of losing his seat in Kerry North.)

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3 thoughts on ““When the hurly-burly’s done…”: Constituency-level analyses of the post-election polls

  1. LABOUR SINKS FURTHER TO 4% BUT SUPPORT EXAGGERATED IN PROCESSING???
    More wp.me/pKzXa-kQ

    RED C Poll June 12

    FG 22% Sinn Féin 22% FF 18% Lab 4% Others 34%

    Remember all agree (including Adrian Kavanagh) that Red C exaggerates Labour Support

    If RED C has processed the raw data in the normal way, I believe that the actual number of respondents to the poll who said they would vote Labour in a general election could be as low a 20 respondents or 2%

    Remember that the 12% “don’t Knows” mentioned in media does not include those who say they are unlikely to vote, normally 10% approx

    As Labour got almost 20% in the last General election, typically 20% of the 10% who won’t vote are added to the raw Labour vote if RED C is using the Last General Election!

    This is hardly realistic in current circumstances.

    Labour could have got as much from this as it got positive votes! !

    The Public should be given the “raw” data not what RED C regards as the “core vote”

  2. Looking at the Tipperary prediction, I find it hard to believe that you are still predicting that Seamus Healy will win a seat, based on the high level of “independent” vote in the locals. Healy’s “party” i.e. WUAG, lost a huge number of votes from the 2009 locals to the 2014 locals, and now have only 1 local councillor in the county. Contrast this with Sinn Fein, who secured 4 times the number of votes that WUAG secured, and now have 5 county councillors, 1 in each electoral area, and the likelihood is that SF will beat Healy for that “anti-austerity, anti-government” vote

  3. Thanks Adrian, great work. Historically, how stable are opinion polls a year out from election? This would allow us to see how enduring these predictions are.

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