McDonald in a bit of bother with Sinn Féin down to 6% in Dublin

While Gerry Adams’ satisfaction rating is up a healthy 7% to 52% in the latest IMS Millward Brown poll carried out for the Sunday Tribune, it appears Dublin voters are enchanted with a different shade of Green. While Sinn Féin’s vote in the capital is 6%, down 3 percentage points from the 2002 Dáil election, the Green Party are at a whopping 14%, up 6 points from 2002.
The overall vote for Sinn Féin remains relatively stable at 7% (down 1 from October) with support in Connacht/Ulster at a healthy 11%, holding out the hope that the party can win at least one of the two seats it has targetted between Donegal South West and Donegal North East. However, Mary Lou McDonald’s hopes of a seat in Bertie Ahern’s Dublin Central constituency would be in serious doubt if such a result was replicated in the election, especially as she will also be up against seasoned campaigner Patricia McKenna of the Greens.

The survey shows the Fianna Fáil/PD coalition at 44%, a two point loss, while the combined Fine Gael/Labour /Green vote is at 39%, an increase of three points. The parties are as follows:

Fianna Fáil – 39% (down 3)
Fine Gael – 22% (up 2)
Labour – 12% (up 2)
PDs – 5% (up 1)
Greens – 5% (down 1)
Sinn Féin – 7% (down 1)
Independents/others – 10% (unchanged)

At 22%, the Fine Gael vote remains one point below the 23% showing at the 2002 election, while Labour has only gained a single point to reach 12%.

Fine Gael is polling just 16% in Dublin while Enda Kenny’s personal satisfaction rating of 39% is the lowest of the six main party leaders. When asked who would make the better Taoiseach, 57% opted for Ahern and 25% for Kenny.

With such figures, it’s hardly surprising that Labour leader Pat Rabbitte is giving mixed signals about a future coalition with Fianna Fáil.

  • dublinsfsupporter

    George

    You forgot to point out the important caveat that the smaller sample size in the sub-national data means that there is a much greater margin of error for figures reported for e.g. Dublin. Thus the changes for Sinn Féin both nationally (1%) and in Dublin (3%) are well within their respective margins of error.

    As such I am surprised you choose to title your item with statistically insignificant changes.

    The only statistcally significant change you report is the drop in FF’s support and the rise in Gerry Adams satisfaction rating. (Assuming they have about 300 respondents from Dublin the margin of error is 6% so even the Green party’s increase isn’t significant).

  • George

    Fair enough dublinsfsupporter,
    you are right. There is a greater chance of inaccuracies with the smaller Dublin sample so the figures should be treated with a greater degree of caution than is usual with opinion polls, which should always be treated with caution.

    After all, they are just surveys.

    I chose the title because if anything like these results were replicated in the Dáil election (probably) five months from now, McDonald would be really up against it against McKenna.

    McDonald is being portrayed as the flagship for Sinn Féin south of the border in some quarters so if she fails to get elected, it would be a pretty major event.

    Sinn Féin is at 7% nationally, which is 3 points lower than where it was two years ago and I assume isn’t where the party hoped to be.

    We’ll find out soon enough what the position is.

  • Henry94

    I heard the Green leader on the news last week complaining that it’s cheaper to fly from Dublin to Cork than get the train.

    His solution was to tax air fare to even things up not to try to cut costs in CIE.

    If people want to vote for that they really must be all on coke.

  • slug

    Henry94

    I don’t know whether air travel is taxed much in Ireland but it is a very polluting form of travel and the price does not cover the cost when the pollution externality is taken into account.

    So a ‘carbon tax’ on such a highly polluting form of transport (when there are alternatives such as train and car) is a policy very much in keeping with the Green Party’s core values of caring about the environment.

  • Sammy Morse

    There is a greater chance of inaccuracies with the smaller Dublin sample so the figures should be treated with a greater degree of caution than is usual with opinion polls, which should always be treated with caution.

    George, I can’t stand the Shinners but that isn’t remotely true (and I’m being polite). There’s no reason to treat opinion polls with more than a modicum of caution as long as you don’t attempt to use the data for things it isn’t useable for. Like reading trends into changes within the margin of error, for example.

  • dublinsfsupporter

    Indeed Sammy.

    Which is precisely what George attempted to do.

  • hee

    except this is the second opinion poll in a row to show sf down to 6% in dublin!! when it happens once it could be a statistical flaw; when it happens twice its not – also their overall support is consistently down in all polls from 12 per cent before they robbed the northern bank to 7% or thereabouts ever since – chuckie bubble burst, me thinks!! hee!hee!

  • gerry

    This puts SF marginally in fourth place and from this position they think they can sieze power in both parts of the island?

  • Pól

    If opinion polls could get people elected then there would be a point to them.
    They don’t.
    So let’s wait for the election before we get carried away.

  • The worrying thing surely for SF is that this poll seems to be part of a trend.

  • kensei

    “chuckie bubble burst, me thinks!! hee!hee!”

    “This puts SF marginally in fourth place and from this position they think they can sieze power in both parts of the island?”

    “It’s kinda funny looking at the SFIRA tallymen here, They sound like Neanderal versions of really politicos. Maybe go back to shooting GAA men. It’s what ye do best.”

    remind me never, ever to come into an opinion poll thread again.

  • Crataegus

    Kensei

    It is the election season and all sense goes out the window. We will get little sense for a few months they will be like stags at the rutt. Some of it is hilarious. Your own candidates are never wrong, they work tirelessly, the policies were brought down from the mountain by Moses in tablets of stone, the opponents are alien devil worshipers, fickle, lazy, duplicitous, unreliable, unfaithful, wrong hair colour and the policies are crazy, followed by quotes taken out of context and what’s more they aren’t one of us unless they can only trace their roots back in hedge row bog 20 generations etc. All of a sudden we have concerned citizens blogging, I grew up with the YY family and they are nice people BUT that son of theirs is a different story and I will vote for the only true whatever. It isn’t even done well.

    Some of the infighting in Republican circles gives a clear indication of how nasty elections can be at the extremes. Some of it is unveiled open threats.

    Henry94

    His solution was to tax air fare to even things up

    Even I know that is out of context and Greens have endlessly gone on about improved public transport and investing in public transport the trains, the dart etc. To me he or she is being consistent and openly stating his views so we the electorate can make up our own minds. Makes a pleasant change.

  • Ulster McNulty

    “it appears Dublin voters are enchanted with a different shade of Green”

    This really doesn’t surprise me.

    “Dublin’s sprawl and poor planning is being used by the European Environment Agency (EEA) as a “worst-case scenario” of urban planning so that the new EU member states in Eastern Europe avoid making the same mistakes.”

    http://www.finfacts.com/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10007490.shtml

    I don’t think even the Greens can save Dublin now.

  • Crataegus

    I think what it shows is that FF will form the next government, and if not with the PDs then with Labour. With the small parties like the Greens and SF what is important is the level of support and activity in their target constituencies.

    Dublin Central is an interesting one, much depends on FF vote management. They have three candidates and 40% of the vote but Bertie will take the bulk of the vote as before.

    4 seats quota 20% + 1 Here is my guess at the vote.
    FF 40%
    Tony Gregory 17%
    SF 14-15%
    Labour 13%
    FG 10%
    Greens 10-12%
    Bertie will get a quota leaving two FF candidates in at around 8-10% each. First out will be the lowest FF candidate and the transfers will go mainly to the remaining FF candidate but some will go to Greens , Gregory, Labour and SF. So second FF candidate rises to say 15% and is stuck there but hard to pass.
    FG will be out next and I would imagine that they go to Labour, Greens and Gregory (if he is not already elected) which could put SF, FF, Lab and Greens at around 15-16%. It is anyone’s guess, but It is just possible that FF and Labour both lose to Greens and SF.

    Seen McKenna perform a few times in debates, her emotive style is not my cup of tea but there is no question about her honesty and sincerity. I have no doubt that she will poll well and in many ways she may appeal more to traditional SF voters than Mary Lou. She belongs to an all Ireland Party (I think?) is a passionate fire brand, says and tells you exactly what she thinks and is unquestionably deeply sincere. The question is what sort of campaign will she run and how much support will she get from Green Central. If I were Sargent the thoughts of her sitting beside me in the Dail would give me sleepless nights.

    The problem with both Greens and SF is where can they gain.

    Yes Greens may be at 14% in Dublin but where are they placed to gain, Dublin North Central, Dublin North East and SF may be strong in the North and West but outside Donegal where are the potential gains?

    The 14% for Greens surely reflects the support for their existing TDs? Also noticed Greens are running two in Dublin North, what is that all about, yes the FF TDs are retiring but do they really think they can take an extra seat? I would have thought their best prospects for gains are outside Dublin in Galway West, Carlow Kilkenny and Wicklow. With SF it is Donegal and Dublin Central .

    The Greens and SF may gain a few and the PDs will probably lose a few, but FF will form the government and probably without either SF or Greens.

  • Jim Kemmy

    What the Sinn Fein commissars should realise is they are hated by most Irish people. These include those who remember their war crimes (Bloody Friday, Claudy, human bombs); those they used and abused; the ordinary decent people who never trucked with the McCartney killers, the South Armagh diesel thieves, the Ardoyne kidnappers, the Dublin inner city drug peddlars and loafers. The best historical precedent to the Provos are the Nazis, who have since lost their historical mandate.

  • kensei

    “What the Sinn Fein commissars should realise is they are hated by most Irish people. These include those who remember their war crimes (Bloody Friday, Claudy, human bombs); those they used and abused; the ordinary decent people who never trucked with the McCartney killers, the South Armagh diesel thieves, the Ardoyne kidnappers, the Dublin inner city drug peddlars and loafers. The best historical precedent to the Provos are the Nazis, who have since lost their historical mandate.”

    FFS! This isn’t anywhere near on topic. Can someone please start clamping down on this shit?

  • Henry94

    Hated by most people while they are giving Gerry Adams a 52% approval rating?

    Hated by some people without a doubt and suffering like all opposition parties from the popularity of the goverment in a boom time.

    No doubt the unattractive economic policies don’t help either.

  • Chuck E. O’Lawe

    “FFS! This isn’t anywhere near on topic. Can someone please start clamping down on this shit?
    Posted by kensei on Jan 16, 2007 @ 10:17 AM”

    Kensei: This is not an Phoblacht, aka the kneecappers’ weekly. Kemmy was probably trying to say there is a large number of ordinary decent Irish people who do not want Sinn Fein around the house as they regard them as human scum. As Sinn Fein’s profile rises, the scum haters will come to the fore to stop Sinn Fein wrecking the country.

  • Pat

    Looks like the SF Southern political project is grinding to a halt.

    Their slide can only continue :-). Watch Gerry’s popularity slide as he clamps down on those shinners (north & south) who not 100% behind his dogma.

  • kensei

    “Kensei: This is not an Phoblacht, aka the kneecappers’ weekly. Kemmy was probably trying to say there is a large number of ordinary decent Irish people who do not want Sinn Fein around the house as they regard them as human scum. As Sinn Fein’s profile rises, the scum haters will come to the fore to stop Sinn Fein wrecking the country.”

    And there are a large number of ordinary decent Irish people that vote for them for a variety of reasons. The bile displayed on this thread is staggering; “do not want Sinn Fein around the house as they regard them as human scum” is a particular low. You aren’t actually discussing the issues raised by the thread, or offering analysis.

    I thought that was clamped down on here, but apparently not.

  • URQUHART

    My favourite part of this post is Dublin SF Supporter saying that the opinion poll results are unreliable and should be ignored. Except those that have FF down and Geraldo’s approval rating up!

  • mickhall

    I agree polls should not be taken to seriously but they should not be ignored either. I find the fall in the SF vote interesting as I believe the rise of the Greens and SF in the recent past is because they both have stood up to powerful vested interests. The fact that SF appear to be bending the knee of late in the north must have an effect on their vote in the south.

    Whilst the shinners claim entering into an assembly admin in the north will increase their popularity in the south, I am not so sure. As I feel it depends on what they have to concede to get into an assembly government.

    What the SF leftist membership appear to have failed to understand, is that their is not the space in the south for SF to appeal to a section of the middle classes a la New Labour, not without completely gutting the radical and socialist elements of SF manifesto that is; and even then the current leadership still frighten the life out of the southern middle classes.[see Kimmeys post]

    I also feel the Greens in the RoI are in a similar boat, why bother to vote green if all it will mean is a minority party minister with little real power. Surly history teaches that small parties do not grow by entering a coalition with the forces of reaction. Unless they can gain a major element of their platform by entering a coalition, they would better building for the future.

    Can anyone thing of a tempting promise a majority party could offer up to the Green or SF to entice them into office, realistic offers I mean, not the socialist Republic by 1916 or the greening of Ireland:)

  • mickhall

    2016 whoops

  • Mayoman

    Kemmy: How do you know most Irish people hate Sinn Fein from this poll? Kensei is absolutely right! But hang on, if Kemmy is right, then EVEN more Irish people ‘hate’ the PDs than hate SF. Now, McDowell and the Nazis — that’s a little more reasonable!

  • Bob Wilson

    Given the strength of the southern economy and the Republic’s already reasoanble commitments on renewalables, etc a Fiannia Fail Govt could easily work with the Greens. FF could implement even more grants for renewables,invest even more in public transport and even introduce modest green taxes… more than enough to entice in the Greens.
    Meanwhile Gerry et al get forgotten about.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ken,

    “I thought that was clamped down on here, but apparently not”.

    If you mean the word ‘scum’, I’ve unbanned it along with ‘bigot’ in the hope that people will use them advisedly. Though I cannot see how Kemmy’s use of ‘scum’ (on this occasion) is ad hominem.

    I have never stopped people from pushing poor arguments (note that Henry has taken a more direct route and countered Mr Kemmy’s more spurious contentions).

    I would add though, that this individual has been red carded under another name in the past. And I have already had to take some of comments already. They could be heading for a Yellow, if they keep it up!

  • Crataegus

    Mickhall

    Can anyone thing of a tempting promise a majority party could offer up to the Green or SF to entice them into office, realistic offers I mean, not the socialist Republic by 1916 or the greening of Ireland:)

    Really it would be a matter for SF and Greens to make up a list of what their expectations would be rather than the other way round.

    From a FF point of view SF is the easy one just being able to show that they are in government in the South would mean a lot as for their policies hard to say what they stand for. I think development programmes for cross border regions may be attractive, integration of transport networks and services, things that could be said to be bringing the parts of Ireland together, healing the divide. Could be done quite constructively.

    Greens would be more difficult, but a commitment to renewable energy, perhaps greener tax structures, a commitment to invest in public transport and a lot of bits and pieces on planning issues, waste management, pollution etc. Again could be quite constructive for Ireland.

    If I were in FF I would sooner go with the Greens even though it may be a bit prickly at times. They have less baggage. Also SF and FF are in many ways in competition. Greens in the Government I think would help the image of the government whereas SF being there would be seen as a mirage of convenience. Also there is the trust factor.

    It is really up to SF and Greens to put their case.

    As a matter of interest what sort of measures would supporters of Greens and SF PERSONALLY expect in coalition? Just curious.

  • Henry94

    For Sinn Fein I think the price of coalition would have to include the right to representation in the Dail for all the people of Ireland.

  • kensei

    “If you mean the word ‘scum’, I’ve unbanned it along with ‘bigot’ in the hope that people will use them advisedly. Though I cannot see how Kemmy’s use of ‘scum’ (on this occasion) is ad hominem.”

    So, let me get this right. It is ok to declare vast swathes of people as “scum” but if you single out one individual then it is banned.

    The football metaphor only runs so far. But to stretch it, you can avoid playing the man, avoid playing the ball and try brawling with the supporters.

    Poor arguments are fine but when it descends to the type of nastiness seen here then some quality control needs employed. Quite honestly if this place gets any worse I’m avoiding it until after the election.

    “As a matter of interest what sort of measures would supporters of Greens and SF PERSONALLY expect in coalition? Just curious”

    Formal Coalition? Off the top of my head, some policy movement to help the less well off in Irish society; at least one decent Ministry for SF in that regard, possibly Health. Something along the lines of speaking rights for Northern MPs or vote in presidential elections for northerns. Bertie to give a speech on why a UI is a good idea and state that the South does want the North if it wants to join – some positive campaigning on the topic without going overboard. Sensible suggestions on cross border stuff, like going to the nearest hospital.

  • lib2016

    Far too early for Sinn Fein to compromise by joining a coalition with Fianna Fail. It would undermine the whole ‘protest vote’ element of Sinn Fein support.

    In any event Sinn Fein is about reforming politics and a new beginning, North and South, or what’s the point of them that existing parties can’t already deliver? SF haven’t had time to develop candidates or a realistic programme of government and time is on their side.

    First they need to concentrate on building a mass 32-county organisation and a 32-county consciousness.

  • mickhall

    lib2016

    I agree here, for if either the Green’s or SF entered government short term gain may well turn out to be long term pain. They need to establish deeper and more permanent roots in the south’s body politics, which incidentally is something no reformist republican party since De Valera has really managed to do, not for any length of time anyway.

    The problem with representation in the Dail alone as Henry suggested, is that it will not put food on the table of some of the more marginalized people who form part of SF core electorate. However if SF do enter a coalition, this group should be the main beneficiaries at first, needs make it so.

    If the need arose and forming a FF or FG majority government depended of it, I could see them offering the foreign affairs brief to the Greens, which would be hard for some to knock back.

    Mind you, minor party politics is a funny old game and it could be that neither party will have much to bargain with after the votes have been counted, time will tell.

    Although I doubt it will occur, there is also a real need for a re-alignment of the party’s across the whole island, especially on the left, of which I count the Greens.

  • lib2016

    mickhall,

    In the South there won’t be a re-alignment at the moment while Bertie etc. can keep delivering for the vast majority in the middle. That won’t last forever in an economy as open to the effects of globilisation as the Irish economy is.

    I agree completely that the SF goal should be to build a broadleft coalition rather than give into the attraction of gaining power by propping up the right as the Stickies/Irish Labour increasingly look like doing.

    Even a Fine Gael led government wouldn’t be all bad (shudder!) next time round since it would help to allay unreal fears among those ex-unionist voters not yet ready to jump.

    Where we differ is that I support SF moves towards sharing power in the North. It is the way to undermine unionism in the short to medium term where a frontal attack would only unite unionism behind the sectarian barricades.

    Bye for now.