Nothing To C Here



The results of a Red C poll in the Sunday Business Post at the weekend

On Sunday, the Sunday Business Post carried the results of a Red C poll, showing support for Fine Gael was up a point this month to 31%.

Other news outlets reported the results of the poll with RTÉ reporting, “At 31% it’s the highest level of support for the party since 2012.”

In his analysis, the Sunday Business Post’s deputy editor and political editor Pat Leahy wrote:

There is a saying about US presidential elections that it isn’t the guy with the answer to the question who wins; it’s the guy who gets to set the question who wins.

That is where the parties are now directing their efforts. The government parties want the question of the election to be about stability versus chaos. Sinn Féin, the hard left independents and small parties want the question to be about fairness versus austerity. Fianna Fáil is offering a bit of both – a bit of stability, a bit of fairness.

Every media interview, every piece of campaign literature stuffed through your letterbox, every speech, every canvass; politicians in all parties are supposed to follow the template decided by headquarters. “Message discipline” is one of the political buzzwords of the age. Roughly speaking it means that everyone in the party should say the same thing all the time.

For Fine Gael that means talking about the economy and the necessity for stability to sustain the recovery.

Sinn Féin is up two points today to 18 per cent and is set to make significant gains at the election, but like the independents, it has declined over the last 12 months.

As the economic recovery has gathered strength, and as austerity has ceased to be the central fact of Irish politics, those parties and independents which made opposition to austerity their central political message have seen their support eroded. When you think about it, that’s what you would have expected.”

In addition to Mr Leahy’s analysis, Richard Colwell, managing director of Red C, wrote:

For some time, Red C has championed the theory that a significant proportion of those currently claiming they will vote for Independent candidates, may simply be using this option to hold fire on where their final loyalties might lie. They are torn between anger at austerity and the broken promises they believe this government has made, and the reality that the parties they voted for at the last election are still probably the safest bet for not rocking the boat over the next five years.”

“Our prediction was that, as voters moved closer to the realities of an actual general election, they may well start to shift back to the government parties and away from their claimed support for Independent candidates.”

That shift certainly appears to be materialising to some extent for Fine Gael. The downward trend in support for Independent candidates and other parties, seen over the past four months, is very closely matched by the upward trend in support for Fine Gael.”

One man polled by Red C expressed concerns on Facebook late on Saturday night, as the poll’s results emerged in media outlets.

He wrote wrote on Facebook that he felt the phraseology used during the questioning was biased.

He wrote:

I was one of the people surveyed for this and I was shocked at how biased the phraseology used was. Questions like “given how much the economy has improved, would you risk voting for another party?” followed on from being asked to rate how much my financial situation has improved under the current Government. I stopped the questioner halfway through to ask who commissioned the survey but he wouldn’t tell. At the end I asked for a phone number for Red C to ask who commissioned the survey. So I called up and queried it and I was told they would call me back but they didn’t. At least now I know it’s the Sunday Business Post. Interesting.

Broadsheet posted this man’s comment in a post yesterday.

However, after this man contacted Red C yesterday, and discovered the questions he was concerned about were not included in the SBP coverage, he requested that the post be removed.

He was informed by Red C that some of the political questions he was asked were commissioned by a “private individual”.

Broadsheet contacted the Red C and this was confirmed.

Longer term trends positive for Fine Gael – SBP poll November 2015 (Red C)

Voters poised on standby vote (Pat Leahy, Sunday Business Post)

Steady as she goes for FG (Richard Colwell, Sunday Business Post)

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29 thoughts on “Nothing To C Here

    1. nellyb

      Brits buried the word “fairness” in everest of poo, now it’s our turn. But it will fail, because we aren’t even sure what fairness is. Something that Brits say and Canadians do. Communists’ stuff, irrelevant fluff.

  1. Fergus the magic postman

    However, after this man contacted Red C yesterday, and discovered the questions he was concerned about were not included in the SBP coverage…
    …He was informed by Red C that some of the political questions he was asked were commissioned by a “private individual”.

    Surely if those questions were asked as part of the same questionnaire/ survey, there would be an element of subliminal influencing at work, regardless of whether the answers were excluded from the poll result.

  2. Mr. T.

    What stability is this?

    Is it the worst homelessness crisis in the history of the state?

    Is it the worst rental sector in decades?

    Is it the huge increase in violence against women over the last five years?

    Is it the huge increase in rural crime over the last several years?

    is it the huge increase in violent street attacks on the person?

    is it the roaming aggressive junkies all over Dublin city centre?

    is it certain people having their speeding tickets quashed illegally by Gardaí?

    Is it the refusal to investigate corruption among state officials?

    Is it the wholesale selling off of huge amounts of rental property to US Vulture Funds at knock down prices?

    Is it the citizens paying for the bailout of the banks and the Troika loan to cover it?

    Is it the Capital Gains Tax exemption for people who buy investment property and hold it for seven years before selling it on again, making themselves richer again?

    Is it the secret plans to bring Ireland into NATO through a step by step approach of increase military engagement?

    Fine Gael have only brought division, despair, crime, more corruption and state theft.

    1. meadowlark

      Lets not forget the ever-growing disaster that is our health system, following the closure of numerous hospitals under FGs watch.

    2. Happy Molloy

      ah see you’re making a lot of stuff up there, if I was bothered I could prove at least 5 of those are incorrect, but I’m not bothered.

      this society is far from perfect, homelessness and rent are massive problems, i agree with you there. But I agree with the content of the post as well, Fine Gael ain’t too exciting but they’re steady and I don’t think we could have done any better over the last few years.

  3. DubLoony

    I thought I was going nuts yesterday. I saw the article, commented on it & then it disappeared.
    Moving on…

    We’re now moving firmly into recovery stage (assuming WWIII doesn’t break out).
    Unemployment is down to 8.9%. The rental / housing crises will start to be solved by the €2 billion investment in social housing. This in turn increases construction employment. Those houses will need to be furnished, painted, outfitted all of which increases the retail, DIY and material suppliers. That multiplier effect ripples out.

    I’m not sure the Anti everyone groups get it yet that things have indeed changed.
    It still won’t take away from the pain of job losses, relationship breakdowns, home losses of the past few years. but hopefully we can make decisions that mean we’ll never put the country in that position again.

    1. Wayne Carr

      I nearly thought you were serious, but then “… hopefully we can make decisions that mean we’ll never put the country in that position again.” Nicely played old chat.

  4. ahjayzis

    Biased third parties can just add questions to a newspapers poll? And the newspapers are happy to pay for that? It has to skew it, right?

  5. Eoin

    I’ve known pollsters who’ve told me that they get sent to poll certain neighbourhoods to get certain results. Ignore polls. They are a propaganda tool and nothing more. Nobody in their right mind is changing to back Labour or FG. And that is essentially what happens when you go up by a percentage in polling. It means you’ve done something to bring people back to vote for you. Polls are nonsense.

    1. Steve

      Lol you keep telling yourself that mate.

      If there are no f@%k ups (PR / comms disaster) between now and march 2016 I reckon you will be pleasantly surprised by the election results.

  6. brownbull

    What this poll result shows is that the conservative right vote has moved further right and the left vote has moved further left. The potential for coalition and compromise between left and right has accordingly diminished. This damages the left more than the right as the right have always garnered more votes in Ireland, the left have never commanded a government. Sinn Fein and the PBP/AAA groups will crow over the corpse of the Labour party at the next election but it will be a bad day for social provision in Ireland as Fine Gael will be returned in strength ala the Tories in the UK, maybe propped up with a few like minded independents and smaller groupings. I hope against hope that Labour recover or the Social Democrats step up and fill the void because without a constructive, moderate centre left presence around the table those in need in this country will suffer greatly and any progressive measures on the cards now in respect of taxation, healthcare, social housing will be shelved. And you can forget about repeal of the 8th if Lucinda is buttressing Fine Gael in government.

    1. Steve

      Oh the simple left/right divide slapped onto the irish political landscape…how nuanced of you. You honestly think our current welfare maintaining / protection of life during pregnancy / marriage equality voting government would hold a candle to the US republicans??

      The popular mainstream parties bash around the middle in Ireland, neither left not right , trying to appeal to the masses. It’s working well for FG at the moment.

      1. brownbull

        Any analysis of the economic policies and positions of Labour, FG, SF and FF would lead to the conclusion that FG are centre right, Labour are centre left, FF are populists, and SF are centre left. In terms of social policy Labour and SF are social liberals and FG and FF are social conservatives, with the added proviso that FG and FF will soften their social conservative positions if they think there is a vote in it. If you think Labour and FG are the same ask yourself why Fine Gael have curtailed Labour’s attempts to regulate the housing and rental market throughout the current government.

        1. Steve

          There is a lot of the word “centre” in the above which I reckon validates my point. Bertie was a fool but he did win 3 elections over 13 years….why?? The secret to success for every political party….be a chameleon…be everything to every voter. And the only way to do that nowadays is to perch yourself in the middle.

          In my opinion there are genuinely very few of your ‘typical irish voter’ who would classify themselves as “leftist”..or “right wing”…with all the connotations that go with those phrases.

          That’s a far point about the rent control but I doubt Kenny and Noonan were actively against it because if they were it wouldn’t have got within an ar@e’s breath of the EMC. And rent control isn’t a win win situation it’s made out to be. I support it generally …I’m
          Not a landlord …but it does have it’s drawbacks…disincentivising landlords to rent / invest in their property…discouraging landlords from maintaining apartment during tenancy…landlords discriminating at interview people who might be long term e.g young couple with baby etc. I’d say EMC were getting a fair bit of lobbying to that effect.

    2. ollie

      “I hope against hope that Labour recover ” You must be mad, seriously.
      The Labour party have abandoned all of their principles and hopefully will vanish form the face of the earth, and I speak as a Labour voter for the last 30 years.

      1. DubLoony

        Lets see Labour are in a coalition after the country economically collapsed.
        The troika are gone, state finances are under more control, minimum wage up 20%, more safeguards for low paid workers, finally some recognition for self-employed workers, emphasis on job activation measures rather than on passive welfare handouts.

        In Education, emphasis on basics literacy. Stunning how we never joined the dots before about the ability to read, early school drop outs, crime, prison and early death are all linked because literacy is a significant problem. New school buildings because sub-standard prefabs are not suitable for a good school environment. Reform of junior cert.

        Labour faced the countries problems head on and introduced significant reforms in every department they had control of.
        Unlike SF in the north who have just handed welfare to UK Tories to avoid having to make any significant decisions.

      2. brownbull

        No Ollie I’m not mad, but I am disappointed Labour couldn’t have done more and implemented more of their policy. It was always going to be an uphill struggle for Labour in this coalition but overall I think they did the right thing and put the national interest before party interest. The Irish electorate had two alternatives at the last election, a government led by FG or a government led by Labour – the mandate was clear and it was for a FG government, albeit with Labour in there to blunt the knife making the cuts, and that is what we got. The Labour party have not abandoned their principles, that is hyperbole and nonsense. Their track record since the foundation of the state has been to go into government to implement as much of their policy as possible, when it is possible, and many of the most important policy developments in the history of the state, in terms of housing, education, healthcare and equality, have come from this. They have always done this in the knowledge that as the junior partner in government they will take most of the the flak and get crushed by the electorate, but they will rebuild – plus ça change ollie?

        1. Clampers Outside!

          JobBridge for the most part, devalues those in jobs. And devalues starting salaries to nothing. That’s not what a Labour left party is supposed to do. So they did abandon principles.

          No amount of anecdotal trite nonsense examples of JobBridge good stories can change that. It was not an efficient system, it was not policed, and it devalued human labour and serves for the most part only one function – to reduce the live register. Simples.

  7. ollie

    FG up 1%, margin of error for polls is usually 3%. SO, FG down 2%!!

    Or as RE reported it:
    FG at their highest since 2012 (up 1%)
    Sinn Fein marginally up (2%)

    I don’t need to see poll results to influence me, Enda Kenny’s idiotic face does it for me.

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