Greens moving into kingmaker position..

As Chris noted last night, there has been some interesting ‘churn’ in the polling figures published in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post. Richard Colwell MD of RedC who conducted the poll, notes the success of the Greens, who at 12% in Dublin and a 2% increase in their national average could hold the key to an new rainbow coalition government. However, there remain some significant gaps between themselves and their most obvious potential partners of Labour and Fine Gael.

  • mark

    The Dublin statistic is interesting. I haven’t seen regional figures elsewhere and haven’t seen the other figures for Dublin.

    Are the figures available or do we have to judge Dublin on the basis of just the Greens reported %?

  • mark

    I found the Regional stats at the tail of this

  • sam

    the link mark intended to give is here
    “http://www.thepost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqid=12915-qqqx=1.asp”>report

  • sam

    sorry I forgot the href report

  • Dort Person

    Never underestimate the power of muesli! Überarschlochundgruppenführer McDowell may sneer at those who eat it in his increasingly frequent insane rants against SF, the Greens, the Teletubbies and all the others he believes are leading us to perdition (or whatever word his cronies in the Knights and/or Opus Dei are using nowadays), but those who keep to a healthy diet are athletic winners. The Greens can look forward to 12% in Dublin and 7% nationally. Even the lower figure is double what the PDs are likely to get.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Dort,

    It’s early days yet. Is there not a danger they may have peaked too soon?

  • slug

    The Greens tend to do well in reasonably prosperous urban communities with a diverse, well educated, and creative population, e.g. Brighton, Manchester, Oxford, London. Dublin seems like the sort of place they could do well.

  • missfitz

    I also think that finally, the winds they are a changing. There is an increasing emphasis on environmental issues and the challenge not to implode globally within 10 years. Perhaps the Greens will be singing Tiochfaidh ar la and believing it

  • Dort Person

    “It’s early days yet. Is there not a danger they may have peaked too soon?” SOT Administration

    Sadly, there is always that danger, but I hope time will tell that they are still in the ascent and there is a long way tó go to their peak. Now that Ireland seems to have sorted out its most serious chronic problems, poverty and unemployment, more and more people are likely to look for more quality in life. Let’s hope the Greens can continue to offer them policies that offer that.

  • I think it would be good to see the greens do well. Provided they are rational about demands, I think they could bring a lot to government. It’s good to see ‘new’ parties gaining a foothold. The interesting thing about the coalescing nature of southern government is the ability of smaller parties to lever power- the PDs are case in point.

    There isn’t a chance parties of Irish Labour’s or the PDs’ stature of getting into power were they running in the UK, but alas in Ireland they get a good crack of the whip.

  • slug

    “there isn’t a chance parties of Irish Labour’s or the PDs’ stature of getting into power were they running in the UK”

    Well the chance is lower but I wouldn’t say that there is no chance, the rise of the Lib Dems and nationalist parties makes it harder these days for a single party to win an outright majority of the seats and at the next election it seems (at this stage) more likely that the parliament would be hung than that the Conservatives would win.

  • Crataegus

    Whilst I agree it would be good to see a different perspective influencing government as far as I am aware Green support bounces around from about 4% to 7%. If they start to show levels of support between 8 -10% nationally then I think we could say they are definitely moving forward.

    The question also has to be asked what sort of coalition partner they would make? I doubt if many of us know the people well enough to judge their competence and reliability though I must confess they are likely to be a lot more ethical.

  • mark

    The Greens did terribly in the last big national test, the European elections.

    They lost their MEP, the party then split internally on the European constitution and remains divided.

    They clearly don’t have a platform for the more challenging aspects of their policy if Slugger’s (and other political websites) is anything to go by.

    The Greens stopped being a purely environmental lobby many years ago in Europe and started being a broader social justice and responsibility party (the compromises they made during the last two decades in Europe have revealed as pragmatic a European group as the rest).

    The main problem for the Greens in Britain and Ireland is they are seen as an environmental force as opposed to a party with nuanced and broader concerns.

    I don’t think McKenna and Sergeant can move the perception from the sectional to the national in the next election, they didn’t managed to convince large numbers of the Irish public when they had a coherent and growing European movement behind them, I doubt they’ll do it when Green EU HQ is upset with many of their local/Irish ‘Green’ proclamations.

  • Crataegus

    Mark

    They were all over the place on Europe and certainly gave the impression that many of them were passionately opposed to aspects of the Union. No clear message came across which would suggest not only splits but perhaps poor leadership.

  • Tochais Siorai

    The divide within the party is a common feature within Green parties everywhere between, for want of better words, fundamentalists and pragmatists. The Irish Greens had been caught between the two up until Patricia Mc Kenna lost her Euro seat and the pragmatist wing are now clearly dominant.

    They missed a great opportunity to raise the profile of the party by not running Eamon Ryan against Mary Mc Aleese in a presidential election – he’s an impressive performer and I reckon he could’ve got 35% of the vote in a head to head contest which would have been a fantastic result.

  • J Kelly

    The green maybe doing well in these polls but the big story that many want to ignore is that SF are incresing steadily and it could be SF who become the real king makers.

  • Glen Taisie

    J Kelly

    “many want to ignore is that SF are increasing steadily and it could be SF who become the real king makers.”

    In the 2005 Meath by-election Sinn Fein added a massive 45 votes to their 2002 total.

    Won’t be High Kings of Tara then !!!!!!!!!!!

    .

  • J Kelly

    Glen Taise
    Now Now trying to make a cheap point by using a bye election. I thought you were better than that.

    Sinn Fein Up 45
    Greens down 1474
    Fianna Fail down 12667

    So by your reckoning the greens and FF are finished.

    You know as well as i do that SF are on the rise and could well be in pole position to influence who is the government after the next election.

  • Crataegus

    J Kelly

    Labour will be the King maker with FF unless something drastic happens. Or there just might be FF & FG coalition.

    TS

    I could not understand why they didn’t run against Mary? Does anyone know? Perhaps another sign of poor leadership?

  • J Kelly

    Crataegus maybe so but Sinn Fein will be in the mix with FF having to give a coalition or a minority government with SF support serious consideration.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Crataegus, the main reason was finance. The leading lights thought it would put the party in too much debt which was a fair point but many within thought it worth the risk for the momentum it would generate.

  • seabhac siulach

    “In the 2005 Meath by-election Sinn Fein added a massive 45 votes to their 2002 total.”

    That Sinn Fein in 2005 managed to maintain their vote in the middle of the biggest media onslaught against any political party in modern times (I refer to the media circus relating to the McCartney murder and the Northern Bank robbery) is surely the remarkable point…not the fact that they ‘merely’ added an extra 45 votes…

    It is that resilience that must be of major concern to the other parties…what is left in the armoury to throw at Sinn Fein now??

    As a final point, one must always remember that opinion polls consistently under report support for Sinn Fein, as many are still reluctant to admit publicly their support (even to opinion pollsters).

  • Crataegus

    TS

    Thanks always wondered. It struck me that they had inadvertently found themselves in front of the goal; ball at their feet and what do they do, head back down the pitch without taking a shot. I think they made a big mistake for in a 1 to 1 with Mary the publicity and support would have outweighed any loss of money. Also as there would have been only 2 candidates they didn’t need to run a slick and heavily postered and financed campaign they could have made virtue out of prudence. Opportunities like that don’t come often.

  • Brian Boru

    “As a final point, one must always remember that opinion polls consistently under report support for Sinn Fein, as many are still reluctant to admit publicly their support (even to opinion pollsters).”

    That’s only in the Six Counties. Last time in 2002 they were polled arouind 8% but got 6.5%. They are now polled 11% but this falls to 10% among those likely to vote. I think they will make gains but maybe not as high as their most optimistic expectations. I don’t expect them to overtake Labour whose support 11% rises to 12% among those likely to vote – and even if they did on first-preferences, they will do badly on transfers. It was this latter problem that gave them 5 seats on 6.5% compared to 6 seats for the Greens on 3.9% the last time and 8 seats for the PD’s on 4.% in 2002.

    I don’t really want the Greens in govt. I support their environmentalism – probably the only truly principled party on this issue in the Dail (McCreevy caved in to the truck protesters over fuel taxes). They opposed the Citizenship Referendum and were the only party for whom a majority of their voters voted No (52%). I generally distrust them strongly on immigration. Their warnings of Labour ‘playing the race card’ i.e. Pat Rabbitte’s work-permit remarks which I believe were not racist, and indicate the intolerance of critical debate on immigration in the Irish Far Left. Even in the centre-left, backbenchers have refused to openly back all of Rabbitte’s remarks. Indeed Ivana Bacik and Michael D have actually criticised aspects of them. Personally I wouldn’t really trust Labour on immigration either because while I have more trust in Rabbitte than I used to, I trust Joe Costello, Bacik, and especially Michael D like I trust the Titanic. If they get into govt I will judge them on actions rather than words though.

    My preference is for a return to FF-PD but in the 1997 context, where they are a minority govt kept on their toes by the need to placate independents. I would like these independents to include immigration-control activists who I hope will get into Dail Eireann on this occasion. Aine Ni Chonaill got over 900 (2.01%) votes as such an Independent in 2002 (not bad considering the media demonisation of her). A huge amount of water has passed under the bridge since then so I would expect if she stands she might be in with a shot this time.

    Don’t trust FG on NI. John Bruton once described a meeting with Prince Charles as the “greatest day of my life” which I found incredibly embarrasing, and he has continued since leaving office to demonise aspects of the war of independence e.g. Kilmichael ambush. No wonder he had a portrait of John Redmond in his office when Taoiseach (since replaced by Bertie with Padraig Pearse). I acknowledge the many flaws of FF, including an excessively liberal policy on immigration – especially legal migration. But FG want to let asylum-seekers work. This would lead to numbers of them returning to 11,000 a year (now 4,300) which they were in 2002. This decline exposes asylum-seeking in this remote part of Europe as the economically-motivated. We need a harder line on it, not a softer one the opposition are always preaching.

    I won’t personally vote SF as I see them as dodgy. I would consider it if they A: Moved to the centre on economic policy B: Stop defending Slab Murphy etc. C: Stop calling the IRA “Oghlaigh na hEireann” (the Irish Army’s official name!) and D: Took a far tougher line on immigration. It is strange for a supposedly nationalist party to be so pro-immigration. Do they not think it could have the effect in the South of eroding traditional nationalism on the Northern question?

  • Brian Boru

    BTW on the “kingmaker” question, I am not convinced the Greens will have the votes alone to hand govt to FG and Labour. Such a govt would probably be possible only with with the support of anti-FF independents. Current TD’s who might – of re-elected – pro up such a govt would include Michael Lowry (former FG minister), Seamus Healy, Tony Gregory, Catherine Murphy, Paudge Connolly, and Dr.Gerry Cowley. Indos who might support FF-PD include survivors from those who propped FF-PD up in 97-02 Healy-Rae and Mildred Fox, and Niall Blaney, and James Breen.

    The poll gives FG 25%. However, polls have always underestimated FG’s strength so I am giving them 28% in 2007. Labour on 12% could be correct. I hope FF on 33% isn’t an overestimate. I thought the polls were supposed to have factored in the traditional overestimate of FF support in polls (some polls put them on 51% in 2002 but they got 41.5%). SF will get less than the 10-11% they are put at because their supporters have a younger age-profile and most 18.24 year olds don’t vote. Not sure what the past connections between the Green vote in polls and elections have had so I won’t make a firm prediction on them but I imagine they will be far more successful in attracting transfers than SF and so may well match them on TD strength.

  • Glen Taisie

    Seabhac Siulach

    “the biggest media onslaught against any political party”

    “I refer to the media circus relating to the McCartney murder”

    The only onslaught was the savagery of Robert McCartney’s murder.

    The media circus was provided by the daily changing of positions and lies as told by the clowns Maskey ,Adams,McGuinness,Croogan and Devenny.

    NO MORE LIES !!!!!!!

    .