Small change in SBP tracking poll…

It is extraordinary how one poll with a barely perceptable change in the fortunes of Fianna Fail can lead so quickly to talk of a crisis in government. Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post returned the slightest of changes for Fianna Fail, the Greens and Sinn Fein: with a larger (2%) slip for Labour.According to Irish language election site Guth an Phobail’s own tracking poll with correctives added, he the likely outcome would spill out like this:

Fianna Fáil 58 (32.79%)
Fine Gael 50 (26.83%)
Lucht Oibre [Labour] 30 (14.14%)
Comhaontas Glas/Greens 8 (5.98%)
Sinn Féin 7 (7.99%)
Páirtí Daonlathach [PDs] 4 (3.22%)
Páirtí Sóisialach [Socialists] 1 (0.76%)
agus 8 n-iarrthóir neamhspleách [independents].

The Sinn Fein tally looks small to me, though Ciaran who owns the site has added 6% to their average in Donegal South West because of an especially strong candidate. and predicts at this point that FF may not pick up any seats in Dublin South East.


  • Frank

    Just have one question, unrelated to the topic.
    Who murdered Irish Republican Dominic McGlinchey. I knew dominic well and am certain that he was not mudered by “some family in Armagh”, rather he was murdered by pro=Brit elements. But why the silence???

  • Mick Fealty

    If you have some info on this, then send it in to myself or one of the bloggers. I’m really not sure why you have posted it under such (as you say yourself) an unrelated topic.

  • Keith M

    The reason why SF’s tally is so low is that they need a huge a amount of first preference votes to get any TD elected, mainly because they remain transfer repellent. There is a case to be made, that in the 2004 European and local elections, it wasn’t quite as bad as previous elections, but it is worth pointing out that in a general election, where there are two coalition options which will tend to generate their own internal transfers and if managed correctly, will not leak transfers to parties like SF.

    As it happens, I also have a pretty basic tracker of polls which I also transfer into seats, using a vote share to seat share model. Yesterday’s SBP poll produced the following Dail (change from 2002 in backets);

    FF : 70 (-11)
    FG : 45 (+14)
    Lab : 22 (+2)
    PD : 4 (-4)
    Greens : 8 (+2)
    SF : 7 (+2)
    Ind + Others : 9 (-6)

    So the two coalition options shape up like this :
    FF+PD : 74
    FG+Lab : 69

    Even if you asume that the Greens might help prop up FG+Lab they only get to 75.

    At the moment the favourite option must be FF plus Labour, although at 82 they arre still short a couple of TDs for and overall majority, some independents would surely support this option.

    Another interesting option could be FG+Lab+Greens+PD. At 81, they would still be a little short but again some independents could come into play. This would also be a preferred option for most Labour supporters.

  • [removed]

    McGlinchy’s execution has barely (if ever mentioned) since the slaughter. Even McAliskey is afraid to tell the truth. Meanwhile, the family in S. Armagh laugh at the mere suggestion that they were involved.

    I know who murdered Dominic. In the interim, why the silence, why has nobody pursued this issue, why doesn’t anybody gave a tinker’s curse. The execution of serialkiller Rat Wright merits an Inquiry. Dominic deserved better and by christ if those who murdered him at the behest of the free State and British Government are not id’ed pronto, then others will apply our form of justice.

    [Mod: if you are generally given to trying cheap tricks like the one you pulled below, then it is not surprising you have not had much progress. Again, send your information to me directly, or another blogger of your choice. Further off topic contributions will be removed]

  • Crataegus


    FF 70 plus Labour 22 is 92 and is the only stable option.

  • Keith M

    Thanks Crataegus, sometimes it’s the basoc addition that lets me down ;-))

  • Keith M

    As if to prove my point above. “Even if you asume that the Greens might help prop up FG+Lab they only get to 75.” should of course be 77.

  • Gone for a Burton

    Catnapper- is this about democracy or numbers? Mainstram Repiblicanism wiol get at least 13 seats, but if they enter a coalition with Dev’s crowd then they cannot expect the populace in the 26 cos to continue to support them elctorally. Labour are hungry for power and with ex-sticks as party president, party leader and party vice leader, it should be obvious to all and sundry that power and not ideology is the driving frce. So give SF a chance (as I am sure hundreds of thousands will, in the liberated area). What do we want? A Free United Ireland or a Rabbitte/Cruise O’Brien bastsardized statelet?

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    I would think this would be a wake up call for sinn fein…they had been boasting their numbers were soaring…but what they want to have happen and what is the reality …isn’t the same. Recently sinn fein hasn’t been doing well and they seem to be ignoring this fact and saying their numbers are on the rise. I really think the leadership should admit that they are faultering and get back on track.

  • MikeW

    “Mainstram Repiblicanism wiol get at least 13 seats,”

    Doubt it, but suppose anything is possible.

    “So give SF a chance (as I am sure hundreds of thousands will, in the liberated area).”

    What was the voting electorate in the last election (genuine question)? Whatever it was I doubt 9-10% will translate into hundreds of thousands. Might get to 100,000 I suppose.

    “What do we want? A Free United Ireland or a Rabbitte/Cruise O’Brien bastsardized statelet?”

    Personally, wouldn’t want the Free United Ireland bit, if it meant it was run by a Left wing organisation still getting to grips with democracy, and as far as I can tell seem to be opposed to any of the items that have given the Republic a lift over the last decade of so (EU, low Corp Tax rate etc). Not sure what a Rabbitte/Cruise O’Brien bastsardized statelet is, so probably opposed to that as well.

    Personally I want a free independant country run by a democratically elected centerist government. Which sounds a lot like what we have, and would have under either a FF or FG led coalition.

    And no, I don’t think the EU currently impinges unduely on sovereignty.

  • Brian Boru

    I prefer the Red C poll. People formerly involved in ICM are involved in it, and ICM was the only accurate poll in the 2002 election. I feel that MRBI overcompensates by “adjusting” FF support so much which is why FF does worse in their polls.

  • Henry94

    Who murdered Irish Republican Dominic McGlinchey.

    Paddy Farrel

  • Brian Boru

    The thesis in the Guth na Phobail poll that Labour could get 30 seats on 14% of the vote is just fantasy. They only managed to get 33 seats in 1992 on 19% of the vote. I predict a Labour seat total of 23 seats – especially as they will have to compete with FG for seats in some constituencies. They are probably right enough on FG and the PD’s. Tom Parlon’s vote in local polls has dropped to 4.5% in Laois-Offaly so he’s likely gone. Mae Sexton likewise has no real chance as her constitutency of Longford-Roscommon is being split into Longford-Westmeath and Roscommon-Leitrim. Her election last time was the biggest fluke therein, caused by getting 60% of FG transfers. Some FG voters transferred in this way to stop FF getting an overall majority, as polls then showed a FG were hopeless case for getting into power.

    This poll estimates a SF vote of 7.99% and only 7 seats for the party – an increase of just 2. I think they could pick up seats in at least one of the 2 Donegal constituencies (either Padraig McLochlainn or Pearse Doherty). Mary-Lou McDonald will also win in Dublin Central (pretty inevitable as SF’s Nicky Kehoe came within a few votes of getting elected in 02). So that’s at least 2 extra seats so far. I expect them to hold all their present seats. That’s 7-8 seats so far. However if they maintain their current rating (questionable given last time) then I would expect they would pick up a few more seats too, especially in Mayo after their role in the Rossport Five controversy and one of the 5 attending the SF Ard Fheis. I predict that again they will fail to attract transfers which will keep their seat again lower than their share of the vote like last time. So this time the second poll may be right about SF’s final seat tally, but it all depends on how spread out it is.

    I expect the Greens to outperform SF due to their transfer-friendly image – especially with the Left. 11 seats is a possibility. FG (50) + Lab (23) + Greens (11) = 84, giving a putative Rainbow a majority of one. However leftist Independents will save it from collapse in the event of the probably inevitable lost byelections (no govt has won one since 1982.

    I expect the next elections to be a disaster for FF. They will have to come up with new policies to interest a bored electorate which seems to regard them as “same old faces”. A leadership change might help. As of now I predict the loss of 20 seats, though SF transfers (many SF voters are former FF and have transferred to FF in the Meath by-election) may minimise the seat penalty in so far as is possible.

    However, I am not totally ruling out FF getting back into power. FF-PD’s alone will not make it. But if FF swallows hard and seeks a partnership with SF (as a last resort), they could perhaps make 70 TDs. There will probably be slightly fewer Independents than last time. Much will depend on how many of the new Indos will be of the “disgruntled former FF” type and how many will be of the leftist anti-FF tradition. Will be interesting to see how many of the 4 traditional pro-FF Independents will keep their seats (Fox (barely held off Labour challenge in 02), the Blaney seat, Healy-Rae and Beverly Flynn (suspended from FF). The current Dail also contains a number of former FFers. If the PD’s were to perform a Damascus Road conversion and take part in this kind of govt too with probably 4 TDs left, and had 9 Independents on their side, then FF could get back in as part of a weird alliance. Don’t rule out what desperate people will be prepared to do.

  • Crataegus


    It’s time for a change and it would be good to see the alternative get in with a comfortable majority. They will have enough hard times without the need to go running to every independent come a vote. For that to happen would need just a few more percent drop in FF vote. It is reaching a tipping point when serious losses could happen.

    I agree with you regarding SF. Dublin Central has to be a gain, but at whose expense and a gain in Donegal? There must be one or two other places where they will gain.

    With Wicklow the mood for change may well see the end of Mildred Fox and the seat could be taken by Labour or indeed the Greens if their fortunes improve. With regards Greens probably a gain in Galway West and Carlow Kilkenny. In and around Dublin perhaps Dublin North Central or North East but I wouldn’t bet on either. They seem to becoming stronger in places like Louth and Kildare but I don’t see gains in either of these and in Cork they will hold the one seat. In Clare who knows. Difficult to predict Greens unless you had a better idea what they are up to in each constituency. Yes I could see them getting 8 or 9 perhaps 10 on a good day.

    It would be good for Ireland if there was a change in government and good for FF.

  • Henry94


    It would be good for Ireland if there was a change in government

    If the two biggest issues are the economy and the peace process and there is agreement on the economy then the question is who can best deal with the peace process.

    FG in coalition with a Workers Party dominated Labour would be a disaster. They have all the wrong attitudes.

    I don’t think people are thinking about an election yet. When they do they will see no reason to change as the argument for change for the sake of change is never enough.

  • Brian Boru

    Crataegus I don’t believe in change for changes sakes. I think policy is more important. The following are reasons I won’t vote for the Opposition as things stand:

    A: Enda Kenny’s admission on “The Political Party” that he will throw open our borders to Romania and Bulgaria. What especially disturbs me about this is that he did not qualify his remarks e.g. “Well we will wait and see what Britain does”. Hundreds of thousands of Eastern EU citizens who went to the UK would have gone to Ireland instead had we been alone in opening our borders to the new EU states already joined. With 78% of the public wanting controls reimposed on the new 10 EU states, it seems that what Enda is proposing flies in the face of public-opinion. This is problem No.1 for me. Now some might argue that Pat Rabbitte’s apparent greater scepticism on this issue might militate against Enda getting his way on this, but I am not convinced Rabbitte’s views enjoy much support in the Labour party.

    B: The economy is doing fine thank you very much.

    C: Labour’s opposition to building private-hospitals on public-land. This is an ideological position and scrapping these plans would pile pressure on an already overcrowded health-service. Private-hospitals would help reduce the burden from what it would otherwise be. BTW the recent report castigating the health-service as only worse than Lithuania is 5 yrs out of date statistically.

    D: FG has voiced scepticism about neutrality, including a demand to scrap the “Triple-Lock” requiring UN approval for military missions. Neutrality is very important to me and I will not compromise it by voting for those opposed to it.

    E: FG are too integrationist for me regarding the EU.

    F: Don’t trust FG on NI as far as I could throw them. I remember the Bruton years.

  • Keith M

    BB : ” Mary-Lou McDonald will also win in Dublin Central (pretty inevitable as SF’s Nicky Kehoe came within a few votes of getting elected in 02).”

    Crataegus : “I agree with you regarding SF. Dublin Central has to be a gain.”

    This is my constituency, and talking to local FF and Labour people, both are saying they will hgold their seats. The Labour seat looks safe and FF and using a very interesting three candidate stategy which could see them hold their two. Senator Cypian Brady (Royston’s older brother) is already canvassing and apparently getting a good response.

    This leaves Tony Gregory, and it seems likely that he will stand again. If he does, his personal vote should see him through.

    The problems for McDonald is that the Greens have chosen to run the high profile ex-MEP Patricia McKenna, and there’s a feeling that haven taken McKenna’s Euro seat, there is a certain sympathy for McKenna ahead of McDonald.

    McDonald’s second problem is that much of Keogh’s vote was a personal vote, in the Cabra area and that may not transfer to McDonald (who comes from outside the constituency).

    while I still wouldn’r rule McDonald out, it’s far from being the certainty that you both seem to think.

    In 2004 SF outpolled Labour in the Euro elections and people were talking about them displacing the 3rd biggest party. As recently as last year SF were confidently saying they were going to get 14 seats in the next election. I don’t know anyone who thinks that today. The “glass ceiling” which impacts left of labour parties has kicked in if recent opinion polls are to be believed. I think they may (just about) get 10 but that’s it.

    On today’s numbers a FF/Labour coalition looks by far the most likely.

  • Brian Boru

    “I agree with you regarding SF. Dublin Central has to be a gain, but at whose expense and a gain in Donegal? There must be one or two other places where they will gain.”

    Regarding Dublin Central, I predict Dr.Dermot Fitzpatrick’s seat will be lost (2nd FF seat other than Bertie). Bertie will obviously hold his seat. SF’s Pearse Doherty is running level with the FG candidate in Dublin South-west and Padraig McLochlainn supposedly performed even better in a poll last year, possibly at the expense of the Blaney seat (especially with Blaney purportedly on the verge of a deal to rejoin FF). I am pretty certain that SF will take at least one of these 2 seats.

    “On today’s numbers a FF/Labour coalition looks by far the most likely.”

    What? 80% at the Labour conference voted to exclude Coalition with FF. The Labour grassroots regard the loss of 50% of their vote in 1997 as punishment for the 1992-4 Coalition with FF. Personally I have more mixed views, considering it partly due to a lack of demcracy in how they brought FG into power without an election by crossing the floor. I think though that the current Labour core vote is very anti-FF (having spoken to Labour voters I know). And my estimate of FF getting 60 seats might be optimistic on a bad day (on 32% they could well do worse than 60 and even Labour mightn’t be able to save them).

  • Brian Boru

    Uh oh…

    Should be :

    “SF’s Pearse Doherty is running level with the FG candidate in Donegal South-west”.

    LOL sry…(again!)

  • Crataegus

    Keith M

    Thanks for the local information in Dublin Central. There are enough votes for 2 FF. but it very much depends on how the FF votes are spread and the Bertie factor. Tony Gregory must get in so the weakest is Joe Costello.

    Take your point about Keogh’s vote being personal also running an MEP like this may put a few off and I could imagine McKenna having a more effective local campaign than she did in the Euro Elections. Ireland’s Clare Short. IF she gets elected the Dail will be a lot less peaceful! Enough to give a party leader sleepless nights.

    There comes a time in all governments when it is time to regroup. FF has a complacent feel though I must confess I would view the alternative coalition with some trepidation. It’s an odd mix and would probably need a good majority to work.

    FF + Labour is the most likely government despite votes against within the Labour Party. It is likely to be the only possible government.


    I agree both Donegal seats are interesting, but somehow I get the feeling that SF is faltering loosing momentum.

  • Henry94

    I think it is true that economic policy is creating a limit to SFs growth. The party needs to move away from the failed ideology of socialism and give us what we want which is a 32 County version of the best elemets in Fianna Fail.

  • Nathan

    I hope for an increase in the number of Independent TDs in the next Dail. Ireland has the highest number of Independents in any of the EU Member State Parliaments, an accolade we enrichly deserve and which we must hold on to.

  • Crataegus


    An interesting point and it is worth considering the difference between an Independent and a Party politician. Independent can be true to their views, party animal has to allow party policy to override personal belief but has more backup in terms of expertise and research.

    In the next election the biggest losers could well be the independents.

  • Nathan


    Yep, I’d imagine that Mildred Fox especially will be toast come the next Dail. LP’s Nicky Kelly had a terrific 1st preference vote in the local elections, and only missed the Dail by 15-20 votes last time round.

    If the independents are knocked down the pecking order once more in this election, then they shouldn’t despair. Thanks to the Brits, we have the STV system which benefits them the most, so they’ll always be with us in all shapes and sizes.

  • lib2016


    The republican vote in the South is a ‘protest vote’. Even in electoral terms Sinn Fein have to be careful not to move too close to the centre where Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are already established but I suspect that party supporters wouldn’t support such a move in any case.

    Centrist enough to attract transfers but radical enough to hold their core supporters would be my recipe for success.

    It’s early days yet but a Fianna Fail party post-Bertie could well become a lot more republican, especially if they are out of office. Let the hare sit til 2011/12 and be in office North and South.

  • Ranier

    Slightly unrelated to the topic, but does anyone feel that 5 year elections are a stymie to further progress in the Republic. Its been 10 years for Bertie and Co. in power and they seem stagnant, unresponsive, lazy and incompetent in government. Their sluggish and careless responses to the Transport problem/Housing crisis/human trafficking legislation are case in point. I think a four year election cycle would keep them on their toes to much greater effect.

  • Brian Boru

    Ranier it isn’t a 5-year fixed term. The govt can call elections whenever they like. But historically govts since 1987 had a short shelf-live, so I guess Bertie is trying to inject more stability into the system, which I welcome.

  • Crataegus


    Can’t see 4 or 5 years making that much difference.

    Slightly unrelated, but it has always bothered me; should there be a minimum time that a Government Minster stays in a post. Given the complexity of some of the Departments it would take a while to get on top of the brief. That way if you are replaced it is a real public humiliation as the only reason would be incompetence or worse.

  • Ranier

    Yeah i know it isn’t fixed, but the accepted concensus amoung the government and the public has since 1987 been a 5 year electoral cycle. Arend Lijphart recommends a regular electoral cycle to ensure democratic stability and to stave off voter apathy, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.
    I agree that some posts need a longer time to master, but having seen the sheer incometence of some ministers, i think it really is time to see some new faces, and not just the old useless ones moved into different posts.

  • Frank

    Henry says – “The republican (SF) vote in the Southis a protest vote”said Henry the orangie. Well Henry, SF has been working hard on behalf of its constutuents. Perhaps you cannot get it into yer orange wee brain, but the growth of SF in the south has been inexorable. In the interim, i’ll be happy with a mere 15 seats in the next election, i.e. just triple what was achieved in the last election. As ya know, the struggle for Irish liberation and the variety of strategies used is several hundreds of years old. This latest strategy (employed by Adams, Mary Lou, the two Martins and co) may succeed. If not there are other ‘theatres of ops’ that can be used to pursue the Irish Republican agenda. But who murdered Dominic McGlinchey???