RTE Exit poll: Fianna Fail to get home and dry?

If the RTE exit poll is to be believed the main government party is likely to stay in position, though it it depends on how badly marked the PDs are by Fine Gael’s modest progress, whether they will have to swap partners. Interestingly, Sinn Fein and the Greens are at the lower end of heir recent poll readings. There is an error margin of about 2% per cent on these figures.

Fianna Fáil is on 41.6% – marginally above what it won in the last election

Fine Gael is on 26.3%, almost 4% ahead of its 2002 result

Potential coalition partner Labour has slipped 1% from the last time, down to 9.9%

The PDs look to be in serious trouble, down to 2.6%, a 1 1/2% drop from 2002

The Greens are up 1%, but will be disappointed to be at just 4.8%

There appears to be no big breakthrough for Sinn Féin, also up just under 1% to 7.3%

Independents and others are down nearly 3% at 7.5%

As they further note:

Of course, the first preference vote does not give a cast-iron indication of how many seats will be won. Fianna Fáil got a huge seat bonus in the last election and the shape of the next Government may still be determined by transfers.


  • Ginfizz

    7.3% for the Shinners. What will this mean in terms of seats 7 or 8? So much for the big breakthrough and Gerry on course for the Aras!

  • Brian Boru

    If the PDs are lucky, they could (just) scrape through 3/4 even 5 seats on this. Remember the Lansdowne exit-poll in 2002 understated PDs by 0.9%. I hope this will mean FF-PD propped up by Inds or else a FF-PD overall majority. The Rainbow is dead in the water.

  • Whew! This is not the way I (or most others would have called this election). If Fianna Fáil really have pulled this one off (with an increased share of the vote?????) then Teflon Bertie is the understatement of the decade.

    Then again, the Fáilers fought a vastly more professional campaign than any of the other parties. Like it or not, it always reaps dividends.

  • Whatever Next

    Well there’s a surprise: Southern voters – in the lack of any surge for the Provos – evidently couldn’t a toss about ‘developments’ in the North.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Why should support for SF have anything to do with whether people care about the North?

  • protorious

    So… FF and the PDs or FF and Labour? There seems to be a lot of gum flapping going on in the media…


    Not sure if thats that big a hint of a deal…

  • dodrade

    I’d be amazed if FF have increased their vote, but if this this right then surely, despite the projected 4% bounce this is an even worse result for FG than 5 years ago?

    Has any party increased their vote after 10 years in office?

  • slug

    The poll might be quite misleading.

  • Whatever Next

    Oh come off it TS, that has to be just about the most disengenuous question ever asked on Slugger: ‘why should support for SF have anything to do with whether [Southern] people care about the North?’ You can do better than that. Or are you seriously wondering why real world voters in the Republic of Ireland view the Nothern-led, Northern-spawned SF as a ***Northern*** issue? Or to be more precise, as this result – like every other result since the foudnation of the state – showed yet again, a Northern side-issue. Though maybe TS sincerely believes that voters in the Republic blank utterly Northern considerations from their mind in deciding whether to support Sinn Fein in the South, and instead vote for them on the basis of, oh, the quality of their candidates, and, er, the sanity of their economic programme. Oh wait, that might just explain the 7% figure after all . . .

  • hotdogx

    whatever next,
    Thats not true, we care very much about what happens in the north as it affects us directly and almost 50% of its population are 100% irish with others irish to some degree. Its Only in NI people feel compelled to vote for extremes considering NI’s great record of equality and democracy and social stability, Narf !
    If there was ever a vote on a UI it would be a mere rubber stamp in the republic. A UI would finally bring peace equality and stability permanently to ireland and unity will happen when the time is right. Why don’t you ask yourself why people vote the way they don in NI?

  • George

    It seems SF have been squeezed by the fact that nobody will go into power with them this time around. In an election as close as this a vote for SF was a wasted vote.

    Plus they need to develop some serious policies that they can sell to the electorate. “Equality” and “United Ireland” are more aspirations than policies.

    Fully costed programmes and a backseat for Gerry Adams, who really doesn’t have the required knowledge of things southern to be put up against the likes of Rabbitte and McDowell, is the way forward for them.

    Changing position on corporation tax at the drop of a hat and so late in the day also meant their economic policies couldn’t be taken seriously. (Were they ever I hear some say.)

    There was no mention of how the gap caused by not raising the rate to 17.5% would be closed. Adams actually refused to say what SF would do.

    But with Labour looking holed below the waterline, Sinn Féin still have clear water in front of them and might have five years to sort this stuff out.

    I for one had my money on Bertie at evens despite what the polls were saying as Kenny just seems to much of a lightweight. He is the longest-serving TD and his greatest achievement is upgrading the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

    Also, he apparently only gave up his teaching job two years ago. He was on a 30-year-career break from teaching. How can a man who wants to run a country still think he can go back to being a teacher if he fails?

  • IJP

    Well, as always, let’s just wait until the votes are counted.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is pretty accurate.

    As all my Labour acquaintances know, its deal with Fine Gael reminded me too much of Alliance’s with Ulster Unionism in 2001. I didn’t like the latter, and I don’t like the former. As the smaller party in any such deal, you can only lose, and it takes a while to recover. And that’s a shame.

    And as a wise man once said: “As an Irishman, the older and older I get, and the more and more corrupt I realize Fianna Fáil is, the more and more I realize I want to vote for them!”

    But we shall see.

  • Whatever Next

    Kid someone else hotdogx – voters in the Republic (the vast bulk of them) don’t give a stuff about the North, other than hoping it won’t be a nuisance, and quite rightly so from their point of view. After all, as Sinn Fein never cease to point out, only they in the South seriously stand for bringing an end to the border, and only they got 7%.

  • IJP

    Btw I would be surprised if SF was quite as low as indicated in the exit poll, while accepting the North is not as important an issue as SF would like us to think. Knock something like another percentage point on and assume better transferability.


    Quite possible FF could increase its vote at the expense of “Independent FFs”, while not losing quite as much back to the other parties?

  • Ginfizz

    How can 40+% of the Sothern electorate be so dumb?

  • George

    Fianna Fáil have presided over the top performing economy in Europe for the last decade, national debt totally eradicated by 2012, full employment, exploding population, unprecedented wealth etc. etc.

    The best FG and Labour could say in this election is that they would follow the exact same policies but spend the money better.

    How dumb would that be, swapping somebody you know can implement the policies for someone who says they can?

  • Keyser Söze

    Would be surprised if this is the way the ground lies tomorrow. Think the labour vote may fall, but cant see FF topping 39% and the greens falling, goes against what i’ve seen and heard. as for SF, would still expect them to at least get 10 (predict 11), not sure how these exit polls conducted but would expect much bigger 1st pref vote and also greater transfers to push them over the 10 seat line….

  • Kronoc

    Whatever Next:

    All the mainstream parties in the south have
    bringing an end to the border as one of
    their policies, it’s the one thing they all agree

    The reason people don’t vote for SF has nothing to
    do with the north, or any other geography. It’s to
    do with, among other things, the fact that they
    perceive SF, rightly or wrongly, as the party of
    high taxation.

    Anyway, why does “caring about the north” have to
    equate with “wanting a united Ireland”?

  • Greenflag

    I told yiz but ye were’nt listening 🙂

    Farewell to the rabid Rabbitte . A good performance by Mr Kenny . No breakthrough for SF or the Greens (although the latter could end up in Government ) PD’s may scrape 5 seats but not looking good for McDowell . Perhaps it’s time for Mary Harney to return to FF .

    Good man Bertie – a dacent plain talking Drumcondra man -teflon indeed :

    The Irish people came out to vote for stability .
    Rabbitte and his ‘media clique ‘ RTE shower got their come uppance and rightly so !

    The drop in votes for independents was indicative of voters taking more seriously who would /should /could form the next government .

    Berties Westminster speech probably helped as did his tete a tete with Mr Paisley but overall the Irish people did not feel inclined to hand over the management of the economy to this particular ‘Rainbow’.

    Wonder who ‘ll be the new Labour leader ?

    SF will have to learn that 80% plus of the Republics voters are not going to vote for ultra left policies . The Republic’s electorate understands and knows why NI is ‘different’

    The transfers will be interesting and FG will probably benefit more from Labour transfers than vice versa in terms of seats .


  • Ginfizz


    The foundations for that situation were laid by Bruton. And what about the corruption of the political process and the general besmirching of public life brought about by Fianna Fail – does it mean nothing? Obviously not.

    One crumb of comfort from this result is the Shinners are floundering.

  • Whatever Next

    I’ve only just now picked myself off the ground (I fell there laughing after reading Kronoc’s claim that all the Southern parties want to bring an end to the border). Come Kronoc – let’s bring an end to the BS, we’re all on neutral ground here. No one in the South, other than those few who support SF, wants the border to go. In fact, I can think of nothing, other than a return to Dev-era economic retardation, that Southern voters actually want less than to find themselves part of the ‘same’ country as the North.

  • kensei

    Aside, you know, for the polls that still show strong support for unification. Or Bertie’s speech the other week.

  • George

    Bruton was in power for 2 years in the last 20, Fianna Fáil have been in the other 18. In other words, FF have been in 90% of the time. Your argument simply doesn’t stack up.

  • Whatever Next

    Yeah, yeah – you kid yourself that people in the Republic want to find themselves in the same country as the North if you want. Every election they have a chance to vote for the one party in that state seriously commited to bringing that about and they don’t. But as I say, you like that comfort blanket of what people say to opinion pollsters (but don’t do in voting) and what Bertie says at Westminster (but doesn’t do in Dublin), you cling to it.

  • From early tallies on politics.ie, which might be bull as there’s little indication of which boxes have been tallied first, Crowe and Ferris down, McDonald not making much of an impact in Dublin Central, FG vote well up in Dublin North West, which is likely to stymie Larry O’Toole.

    Looks like I was completely wrong about how well the Shinners were going to do. Oh well, I’ll get over it I’m sure.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Oh you could be right in your less than complex analysis, wn, but I doubt it.
    Maybe we don’t like their violence, their infiltration by the British, their traditional association with criminal elements in urban areas, their secondary school economic policies, their mostly inarticulate candidates in the Republic, and of course the fact they are probably the party least likely to bring about a United Ireland.

    Nothing to do with the North, in fact many of the people who vote for them esp in dublin don’t care about the North or indeed they couldn’t give 2 fukks about anywhere else outside the M50 for that matter.

  • Whatever Next

    TS I have no doubt that southern SF voters are, according to taste, the most alienated in society/the dregs of society, and that either way, they don’t give a stuff about da nort. Spot on analysis advanced by you there, as far as I’m concerned. I repeat, however, what seems to be the self-evident truth of the South after partition – it doesn’t want the North, couldn’t handle the North, and has consistently, in the form of political elites accross the party spectrum, sought as many ways feasible as to compartmentalise the north as something that remains firmly outside the southern-national life.

  • Whatever Next

    One very obvious thing, which comes both from this thread, and the ones posted after it: the overwhelming focus of interest for Slugger readers has been the fate of, quintessentially Northern party Sinn Fein. Were there a genuine island wide sense of political identity, in implausible addition to northerners knowing overmuch about southern politics, we’d all have been paying attention to the stunning FF result, the solid recovery by FG, the ins and outs of the Greens and Labour’s variable results, and so and so forth. But we’re not. The northern interest is of course in the solitary ‘nothern’ aspect of this particular poll, and no one, as far as I’ve seen in half a dozen or so Slugger threads so far now, has even pretended to be interested in what happens to the new Dail for its own sake. The South doesn’t want the North; the North doesn’t know the South. Partition wasn’t imposed artificially from above, it grew all too naturally out of what was already there on the ground. And to paraphrase what someone else said a not so long time ago, a long, long way away from Dublin, it’s not going away you know.