First Pass At The Poll




Today’s Irish Times/Ipsos poll

Today’s poll.

What does it all mean?

Shane Heneghan writes:

At face value, there is little to take away from this poll. Fine Gael would seem to have a pre-campaign ceiling of just below 30%. Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein are up and down 2% respectively which would suggest that moderate Republicans may be headed home to the soldiers of destiny. Perhaps this is a back and forth worth watching in the run up to the 1916 commemorations.

Labour on 7% seem to be struggling with their goal of getting to a base of 10% but of even greater concern to them will be the disappointing score of 11% in Dublin- home to most of their safer seats. Fianna Fail are also on 11% in Dublin and this will be the most negative ‘takeaway’ for them here as they seek to reclaim some of their losses from 2011.

Renua and the Social Democrats remain within the margin of error and the perceived wisdom that they will both be doing well to hang on to their sitting parliamentarians seems to be true.

When we break down the numbers demographically, it is interesting to see that if only farmers were allowed to vote Fianna Fail would probably be heading towards an overall majority. Fine Gael are similarly way out ahead with the high income AB group. In terms of age groups, both of the two civil war parties continue to do best among the over 65s.

All of the four main party leaders have alarmingly low approval ratings ranging between 28 and 32% – all of them down somewhat bar a minor increase for Joan Burton. This would hint at much disenchantment with politics in general.

This is the last ‘peace time’ poll before the campaign proper and the high number of voters backing independents and others (usually quite a fickle group) coupled with a reasonably large amount of undecideds would indicate the prospect of lot of voter volatility once the party machines get into full swing.

The glaringly obvious thing to note here is that were these numbers subbed into a general election, it’s likely that the heretofore nearly unspeakable “notion” of a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail grand coalition- (perhaps we could call it the “ara-sure-it’s-grand” coalition*) would be the only combination that might yield a stable government. The leadership of both parties may be faced with the unpalatable choice of this shotgun wedding versus another election within six months.

*Note to self -trademark this term

Shane Heneghan is Brussels-based election expert/Irish political anorak/poll number-cruncher and an integral part of Broadsheet’s ‘crack’ General Election 2016 team.

30 thoughts on “First Pass At The Poll

  1. Rory

    An FG\FF coalition would be nothing, if not entertaining! It would be something if they came together and made acting as adults part of the political fabric of the country. Feckin’ unlikely, though. Great piece, Shane!

  2. Rumpelstiltskin

    While I respect the democratic process if the majority of farmers are voting for Fianna Fail they need to be collectively taken around the back and beaten with the hose.

  3. Amsterdamaged

    I’ve been saying this for years…
    They’re both right of centre conservative capitalist parties, so why not join together. They could call themselves The Fianna or something similar.
    It’s difficult to tell them apart really. It’s like having two Tory parties.

  4. Jimmy 2 tones

    The Irish times are as corrupt as they get. They have been pushing FG all the time. Today they put up some link about lies about Irish fastest growing economy which has been sitting on apples news stories on the iPhone all day long. Usually the headlines change every hour. But this lie has sat there all day.

        1. Kieran NYC

          You mean as the economy starts growing, everyone isn’t suddenly swimming in money?! Shocking! It’s almost as if this was complicated and takes time.

          1. Drogg

            Firstly Kieran it has been reported many times that the money is not trickling down, so very few people now have all this extra cash you are talking about and secondly FG have built a house of straw and if the current collapse of China doesn’t get resolved we are going to be straight back into the recession.

          1. Fergus the magic postman

            Look around.
            The homelessness crisis, at a record high, with over 1.5 thousand of those homeless being children.
            Massive numbers of sick & elderly patients left on hospital trolleys, and chairs in some cases, for simply unacceptable lengths of time.

            The you have to break eggs to make an omelette argument that is made, while the wealthiest members of our nation are hardly made to flinch during the recovery comes across as smug & disgusting.
            These things take time we hear, & we inherited this mess.
            No you didn’t Enda & Joan, you inherited a mess. Not this one. You made this one.

          2. Twunt

            You are conflating things, economic growth is just that. How the money is spent is a different matter.

          3. Twunt

            Again you are conflating things, the .gov has money. We spent among the highest in the oecd on health, our teachers are the best paid. You are right to be angry, but direct it correctly.

            I pay a lot of tax, far more than I would pay if I lived in UK, USA, basically anywhere outside of Sweeden. The Dept of Health and Education are money furnaces and we should not give them more until they sort their collective sh1t out

          4. Nigel

            Actually I think throwing the iniquities of how the money is being spent/distributed back in the faces of anyone praising the economic recovery is entirely appropriate. The lag, if it is just a lag, in economic benefit reaching the people who suffered most under austerity while those who suffered least benefit immediately is no less obscene for being predictable and typical.

          5. Fergus the magic postman

            If you’ll permit me to conflate things further, my argument is not how the money is being spent. It is how it was collected.
            Economic recovery? At what cost. As somebody said, never mind the bodies, look at the figures.
            I wouldn’t mind listening to all this talk of economic recovery if it was as a result of sacrifices being made by the people whose duty it was to make those sacrifices, the people who made killings during the boom, contributing to the bust. The ones who actually partied (we didn’t all party). Most of these people, greed aside, would not have felt much more than a pinch if they were properly held to account when it came to contributing towards recovery.
            Instead, and it’s a cliché, but the most vulnerable members of our society have had to give up the most, & relatively were made to suffer a hell of a lot more than they should have been. In most cases, this suffering continues, because most of these people aren’t noticing a recovery. Of course they are being promised by FG/ Labour, vote us back in & then you’ll see it, but most of us know, that’s horse droppings.

  5. Kirkbadaz

    expect “Ah sure its grand coalition” phrase being parsed or recycled and passed off as original material by likes of Shane Coleman, newstalk imn drones

  6. Zaccone

    SF the largest party amongst under 35s, wow. They’re not my cup of tea, but that’s impressive.

    If FG/LAB/FF aren’t careful they’ll succeed in alienating a whole generation of voters (if they haven’t already). If people get into the habit of voting SF in their 20s it won’t be a surprise if they keep voting that way as they age.

    Once the Gerry Adams generation (and all the dirt associated with it) retires from SF they could become a serious contender.

  7. Eoin

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an unbiased, accurate poll taken in this country. I quizzed a pollster on my doorstep once and they told me that they are sent to specific neighborhoods and streets, and not others, in order to deliver a certain result. 28% FG support? That has to be a joke. There can’t be that many pig ignorant, blue shirt morons out there surely?

    1. ReproBertie

      Polls are easily loaded to get a desired result. I was once polled (ooh er missues etc) by phone. It was at the time of Bertie’s “I won it on the horses” fairytale and, without being asked if I would ever even consider voting FF at all, I was asked if Bertie’s financial shenanigans would make me less likely to vote for them. The take away for those arranging the poll would be that this particular voter was not concerned about the scandal.

      As the cliché goes, there’s only one poll that matters.

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