Preferred Options


This morning.


Almost half of Irish people want Mary Lou McDonald to be the next Taoiseach, according to an Amarach research poll of 1040 Irish adults conducted for on February 16.

…The 50-year-old Sinn Fein leader was dramatically more popular among younger voters compared to both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael’s leaders — a staggering 52% of those under 35 polled said that they would like to see the president of Sinn Fein as the head of the Irish government.

Almost half of Irish people now want Mary Lou McDonald as Taoiseach — (



When it comes to forming a new government, Sinn Fein combined with Fianna Fail is the preferred option for Irish voters, according to an poll.

The poll, carried out by amarach research, said for coalition formation, 31% of those polled would prefer to see a Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin combination while 30% would like to see a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael.

Just 9% wanted a Fine Gael/Sinn Féin government while 30% of people wanted a coalition that didn’t involve those three options. The poll, conducted on Monday, indicates that Sinn Féin would benefit more than any other party if there was a second election and receive an additional 10.5% of first preference votes.

Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail the coalition of choice for Irish voters — (

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42 thoughts on “Preferred Options

  1. class wario

    Perhaps against my better judgement but I would be curious as to how a FF/SF coalition would pan out. FF like to position themselves as being more pro-spend and of the people than FG so why the aversion to going into government with a left leaning party? Admittedly, I don’t think the option is appealing to members of either and every chance it ends up screwing one or both but nevertheless…

    1. V

      I’ve toyed with it myself Super Wario

      Interesting enough in fairness, the only weakness was the loss of one particular FFer
      So I opted to see who’d make it back after the Senate Elections
      and to keep it to myself

      A lash at an all Left under Sinn Fein turned into a skit
      so I decided to bin it – only because it would be unhelpful in the current climate

      and other stuff

  2. george

    The poll is flawed by allowing “none of the above”. At least one is necessary so we are none the wiser.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      42% is closer to half than it is to a third so no

      but, yeah, 42% is a bit short of “almost half”

      1. Cian

        42% is 8 points from 50; it is 8‎⅔ points from ⅓.
        Considering the survey has a ±3 accuracy it’s kinda mid-way between the two.

        1. theo kretschmar schuldorff

          Yes, but how many of these potential leaders can do the Macarena on the head of a pin?

  3. Joe Small

    Maybe the electorate should’ve given SF more than just a quarter of the seats in the Dáil if they wanted them to lead a government. Its not quite the mandate the SF supporters think they have.

    1. Redbeard

      You don’t see 37 TDs elected out of the 42 candidates fielded (88%) as a significant indicator of the electorate’s intentions?

      1. Rob_G

        As another poster pointed out – the Healy Raes got 100% of their candidates elected.

        The election told us that significant proportion of voters wanted to see SF in government – however, this proportion was only couple of % higher than the proportion of voters that wanted FF or FG to form a government.

          1. Rob_G

            … and other parties ran too few or too many candidates in some constituencies, and ended up losing out. That’s politics, baby.

        1. Redbeard

          For Rob_G

          Not sure what your point is (or theirs). The mandate (or lack thereof) won by the Healy Rae clan isn’t in question or dispute here, to the best of my knowledge.

          We know what the the final figures were. There is no clear majority.

          However, to deny the incontrovertible evidence that the percentage of SF candidates elected vs. the number fielded is significantly higher than the other two main parties is self-delusional.

          1. Rob_G

            I’m not denying it, I just don’t get your point.

            SF’s proportion of (wins:fielded candidates) is so high, because they ran so few candidates. If they ran a similar number of candidates to FG or FF, they would have a much lower wins:candidate ratio, similar to FG or FF (though a bit higher).

          2. Rob_G

            Because their share of the vote was similar to (for example) Fianna Fáil. So if they run a similar number of candidates to FF, their ratio of wins: candidates would be similar to FF’s

            Given that we are discussing a hypothetical, it’s not really something that one can provide evidence for ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          3. Rob_G

            Indeed, they would have. But their ration to wins:candidates would not be as high as it was with fewer candidates.

    2. 01101101 01100011

      Hi Joe

      what is clear is that SF simply didn’t run enough candidates, their own self-inflicted admin error is the sole reason the equation sits like it does at present

      as well you know in many constituencies had they run a second candidate, any candidate (such as the mechanic lad who lives down at no.12 and is great with gearboxes) they would have had several more seats at someones expense (a fair number of them FFG) like it or like it not

      my own understanding is that the vote was in effect for an ABFFG Government (anybody but FFG), that’s certainly how I voted anyway and I’m more than ready to go vote again should the need arise!

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        It wasn’t an admin error – they simply didn’t have enough candidates. And candidates need to be vetted.

        1. george

          They have the candidates they decided not to run them so as not to spread their vote too thing. It was an understandable error of strategy given the recent local elections.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Exactly. They and other parties have suffered from selecting rogue candidates (continue to suffer some would argue). You’ve essentially contradicted yourself – suggesting running ‘any candidate’.

          2. Rob_G

            FG FF had a few wrong ‘uns running, surely – however, they didn’t have candidates the caliber of a sponger who didn’t pay her rent to a housing charity for 4 years, or someone who tweeted about Mossad controlling the result of the UK election.

          3. V

            Over 100,000 tweets are hardly off the cuff

            That being said
            When it comes to vetting candidates we can hardly single Sinn Féin out for scrutiny

            Fine Gael themselves have plenty cases to answer for

      2. Cian

        I agree that if they had put in a second candidate in some constituencies they would have got more seats. But they would have been at the expense of the other independents/PBP/AAA. Very few of the SF transfers went to FF/FG

        1. 01101101 01100011

          Hi Cian

          ok, transfers being one factor but what about the pure vote count number in itself?

          i.e. SF paper candidate #2 hoovers up transfers from that grossly over-voted SF #1 candidate, gets over the line easily over next couple of counts, now in your 5 seat constituency there is by default another one less seat up for grabs….first 2 already toasted….I’m thinking of constituencies where FFG candidates literally scraped in the door sometimes without even making the quota?? this is probably difficult to calculate but that was more where I was coming from

          btw. I used the term “Admin” loosely – not as in Mary from Administration forgot to print the documents….Operational maybe better terminology

        2. 01101101 01100011

          also for certain places there’s surely a very high likelihood that a strategic “protest voter” as opposed to someone more balanced had they been offered the chance of a SF 1, 2 would have done just that followed by the reamining ABFFG candidates

          so I’m not sure the transfers argument makes any difference one way or the other in that case

          1. Cian

            If people were protesting against FF/FG then they wouldn’t vote for them – fair enough. Some voted for SF…but the SF transfers didn’t go to FF/FG. So none of the “protest vote” helped FF/FG… it helped the independents/PBP/greens.

            Example: in Dublin Central Mary Lou had 4,935 transfers (on top of her quota of 6,288). the number in brackets below s the number of transfers available.
            – Count 2: SF transfers, FF +275 FG +115 (out of 4,935)
            – Count 3: 4 independents out, FF +27 FG +13 (out of 331)
            – Count 4: PBP out, FF +5 FG +4 (out of 393)
            – Count 5: FG#2 out, FF +35 FG +395 (out of 575)
            – Count 6: Workers Party + Aontu out, FF +153 FG +51 (out of 1,158)
            – Count 7: Labour out, FF +244 FG +372 (out of 1,979)
            – Count 8: PBP out, FF +43 FG +37 (out of 1,906)

            If SF had 2 candidates it would have split Mary Lou’s vote. And it would have been Gary Gannon’s SD seat that the SF would have taken (most likely).

        3. george

          Irrelevant they would be the largest party if they’d ran more candidates and in some cases they might have squeezed out an FF candidate who scraped over the line.

      3. Rob_G

        The STV system means that the preferences that SF missed out on would go to a candidate with similar policies (PBP, Social Democrats, etc) so it’s not like they disappear into the ether.

    3. george

      You don’t understand our political system very well, clearly. If they voted for a party that now has 6 six seats then the leader of that party is not a candidate for Taoiseach.

      1. Tringo

        I always believe the T Ds voted
        The parties nominated

        Heavens forbid access to Garda or army intelligence to Sinn
        Féin ‘s shadowy individuals

      1. V

        Your point?
        Since neither were valid examples for our own duristiction
        So just think about this for a second

        Imagine if it had been Mary Harney
        Now that’s an example that would have made me exercise my right to Citizenship somewhere else

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