Red C Poll early ratings…

According to Gav, these are the figures in tomorrow’s Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post Red tomorrow: FG 31 (+1); FF 28 (+5); Lab 17 (-5); SF 7 (-4); Green 7 (+1); Others 10 (+2). Suggests the last IT and RedC polls caught a moment of Lab upswing and FF’s nadir. It’s still way above Labour trends for the last ten years.

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  • How can Labour and the Provos both be down so much in the current climate? I’d be a bit suspicious about the poll, although I’d certainly accept its implications about the resilency of FF.

  • Mack

    Garibaldy –

    The murders in the north probably had a big negative impact on SF.

    Gilmore has been excellent for Labour, but it’s telling for me that I agree with a lot of what he says. He’s not been putting meat on the bones (ultimately I think we want the same things, but likely I’ll disagree about how to best achieve it), some of the papers (Indo / Sindo) have been calling this out.

    Also, I think possibly for FF, as people realise how bad the economic situation is, they may become less angry about the last set of tax rises and cuts. I’d expect another big fall for them after the next budget.

  • Mick Fealty

    Spot on with that Mack. Also, let’s remember the last two polls were more or less done the same week, so they may just have been picking up a short term reaction against the government as its stock was at its lowest.

    I suspect people do need to hear more detail, and as they do I am not certain they will hear what they thought they might hear just a month ago.

    As for SF, well apart from the bad news of the last few weeks, they are simply getting squeezed out of the national debate in the south.

    Greens remain solid. With the Opposition having to show more of their hand, the pressure seems to be coming off them as the favourite whipping boy.

    Everything is pointing to a resignation of the population to the fact that it is going to be hard and nasty. If Labour does not become bolder, we may be back to the old managerial question, rather than who has the vision, the plan and the destination of choice.

  • You think people in the south associated them with the recent violence? Interesting idea. Possible I suppose. We’ll see if Gilmore has damaged himself with his recent comments suggesting he would only go into government with FG. I suspect not in the immediate term, but he’d be wise to keep his options open at election time. The last poll result for FF was a blip.

  • Mick Fealty

    I suspect not directly gari. But for a short while we were back to the old game that the party was once directly associated with. It was an ambient chill factor.

    But I suspect it’s hinting at a weakness that was already there. Given the various policy turns of the last two years, SF in the south simply don’t stand for anything that registers sufficiently strongly with southern voters.

    That said, we won’t have the detail till the paper comes on line.

  • This is true. I noticed the economic plan launched by Mary Lou et al, which in fairness had the type of detail that had been missing over the years, got very little coverage. Marginalised is hardly the word for it after a decade of free publicity.

  • veritas

    garibaldy again with the references to provos….before you run and hide…

    why don`t you refer to the workers cum drinkers party as the officials???

    The OIRA still exists, still robs banks, north and south, still sells drugs from its social clubs…

    and still you never refer to them in any blog!!!!

    I wonder why, are you a stickie supporter with an axe to grind?

    If its not the provos its those traitors of the democratic left/labour party….

  • Veritas,

    The grown ups are trying to talk. Please be quiet.

  • Harry Flashman

    So if I’m wandering around the Republic one out of every four adults I meet will be people who believe that the organisation best suited to administer the Irish state in this time of national crisis is the Fianna Fail party.

    Astonishing, truly jaw droppingly astonishing.

    And they say we Nordies are the stupid ones.

  • Mick Fealty

    veritas,

    I would not have put as bluntly as Gari, but he has a point. The point being this is a discussion about poll figures and party political fortunes, not an invitation to a good old fashioned faction fight.

  • Dave

    I think it’s a case of the infamous ‘lesser of many evils’ option, Harry, rather than any irrational belief that FF are the same party of fiscal conservatism that they were during the Haughey years, when the ruthless likes of Ray “The Knife” MacSharry was allowed to fight the flab as Minister for Finance. That rep went pear-shaped when Bertie “I’m a socialist” Ahern became party leader and promptly abandoned fiscal conservatism and gave the Finance portfolio to Charlie McCreevy wherein he ramped up public spending by 48% in just four years (2000/4), and wherein his successor as Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, continued that practice of squandering. They could do that because of all the borrowed wealth that was flooding into the country allowed taxes to be skimmed off the top. That inflow of wealth, however, must flow back out leaving the lifted boats to land where they will. So, you have public spending that is elevated to unsustainable levels, and utter chaos the boats crash back down to earth all around you. Really, they should be hanged for what they did to the country.

    I think there is a growing realisation that we made a very bad mistake to abandon the fiscal conservatism that lay the foundation for the Celtic Tiger, and to believe that cheap credit generates wealth by the simple expedient of borrowing it and spending it as was the expansionist monetary policy behind it. The Labour Party is exposed as believing that public spending is still a virtue despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The people are not buying it, even if they see the likes of Obama and Browne busy selling it. So, you will see Gilmore talking about public spending cuts taking money out of the economy, but the public will be thinking that it isn’t public spending cuts that take money out of the economy but, rather, the taxes that are used to raise the money for public spending is what takes the money out of the economy. Therefore, public spending cuts keep money in the economy rather than take it out of it. Or, at least, that’s what I suspect they’ll be thinking at they slowly begin to realise where it all went so badly wrong. Gilmore will be seen as part of the problem.

    Personally, I was gutted when Declan Ganley decided to form a European political party rather than an Irish political party, as Ireland is in dire need of a party of fiscal conservatives. I think he would have been just the man to attract high quality individuals into politics who wouldn’t touch either of the mainstream political parties. The PDs, while the best of a bad bunch, were just mediocre hacks led by ex-FF hacks. Ireland badly needs high quality people to stand for public office and serve the nation. Unfortunately, it has no organisational means to that end.

    It’s beyond a joke when the next government will be determined by whether or not a mediocre hack like Kenny will stand aside to let a moderately less mediocre hack like Bruton to become leader…

  • Dave

    “You think people in the south associated them with the recent violence? Interesting idea. Possible I suppose.” – Garibaldy

    Not directly, but they’re part of the ‘don’t touch with 90-mile bargepole’ mentality that forms in the mind when the crimes that the Shinners are famous for return to the TV. It’s also why folks who normally would be going North a few times a year for high value shopping are now saying “I’m not going up there again.”

  • Harry,

    remember that FF is not a political party but a national movement. Makes you sick doesn’t it?

    Dave,

    We have seen that the electorate doesn’t want a new, more ruthless PDs trapped in the monetarist ideology that got us where we are. What evidence is there that public spending is not a virtue? Having a hospital to go to when you need it? As for high-quality people, Ganley and who else? Will you be standing yourself, or founding a new political party?
    As for the poll and the north, I think that once again it’s proof that Cowen and Adams and their parties are fishing in teh same waters.

  • veritas

    Grow up!!! I`ve asked you a serious question. Why do you refer to SF as the provos when you WILL not refer to the workers party as the officials a group still selling drugs and terrorizing parts of west belfast?

    And Mick this isnt about factions, its about those who pollute this forum with lies and innuendo…Garibaldy has an axe to grind and one he does boringly at every instance on if SF related thread…

    Whether you like it or not, surely we have a right to ask why the OIRA isn`t criticised, why this drug dealing pack of thugs intertwined according to the security forces with the drinkers party isn`t given the same treatment by the foresaid political opportunist….

    if its not the provos its the careerists of the democratic left/Labour Party….your getting fuckin boring im not a workers party member cum supporter gari-O connell…

  • veritas

    as for let the adults speak….aaah the days of the lagan social club….eh!

    Just condemn the drug dealing thugs of the OIRA.

  • “fiscal conservatives”

    What do those two words mean in reality, ah, get the people least able to afford it to pay for the mess those with the most money have made.

    So when the public purse becomes empty its to be cuts in public spending, funny how no one said a word about this whilst cash has been shoveled into the vaults of failed banks, insurance companies and god knows what.

    I think those who believe cuts in public spending is the answer may well get a nasty shock. For I doubt the working classes and the best of the middle class are going to stand silent while the services they rely on are drastically cut, whilst those who perpetrated the scam which got us where we are, walk off scot free and with their pocket full of our cash.

  • I hope you’re right Mick, and I think the UK will deal with this in a more equitable fashion, but I am seriously worried that the south will gut every public service in sight while further surrendering control to the interests of the MNCs.

  • George

    “I think the UK will deal with this in a more equitable fashion”

    The UK has spent the last 20 years divesting itself of any responsibility for people’s pensions with its privatisation mantra.

    It has been the most incredibly underhanded abrogation of responsibility possible to move the liability for pensions from the state and companies to the individual.

    Today this leaves millions upon millions of Britons high and dry.

    Next up are the millions upon millions of homeowners who will have to face crippling interest rates in the next two years after the okay was given for full-scale “quantitative easing”.

    Inflation, high interest rates, high taxes, low social welfare and low wages are on the way in the UK.

    Oh the equity of it all.

  • veritas

    AAAh still avoiding a reply gari-oconnell…

    no condemnation of the OIRA!!!!

    Still you can always run to other sites and accuse those who attack your stickie views of being me…

  • George,

    I meant more equitable than the south. Admittedly that is an extremely low threshold. I’m far from the biggest supporter of New Labour, but it seems to me that while its reaction has been in the interests of finance capital, it has at least made some effort to soften the blow felt by the ordinary working person. I don’t think that the same can at all be said of the south.

    The other implicit comparison is with how the Tories would have handled this. I saw Boris Johnson on Channel 4 News the other night talking about the dangers of regulation of the financial sector. I nearly couldn’t believe it, but then again it was simply the mask of Cameronian Conservatism slipping. Your point about pensions is well taken, as is your warning of what is to come. I think however that labour will be forced into what you suggest, whereas the Tories would have embraced it earlier.

  • George

    Garibaldy,
    in what way more equitable than the south?

    Virtually all the suggestions on the table for the April 7th budget have already been in place for a long time in the UK:

    – introduction of rates on properties
    – introduction of university fees
    – tax on children’s allowance
    – higher taxes

    What measures exactly are you talking about that will be less equitable than those that are already in place in the UK or are planned?

  • Pension levy, refusal to spend to stimulate the economy primarily, added to the immediate swingeing cuts that were made in the mini-budget. There’s also the issue of, for want of a better way of putting it, mood music, in terms of identifying where the problem lies, and what the solution will be. You seem to see the introduction of rates and higher taxes as inequitable. That depends very much on the nature of the taxes. From my point of view, the problem with them is likely to be that they are not progressive enough.

  • George

    Pension levy?
    Demanding contributions from Public Sector workers but most importantly maintaining the government’s liability for pension payments going forward (thus guaranteeing a payout) is hitting these workers while throwing workers to the private pension equity gambling wolves a la the UK pension policy of the last 20 years isn’t?

    What is inequitable about asking someone to pay 7% of their wages for a pension that would require a contribution of over 50% if they were to look for it on the private market?

    Refusal to stimulate the economy?
    There is still a lot of capital investment going on in the Republic and it really is a fine balancing act between borrowing and saving.

    I personally believe the UK is taking the easy option of borrowing when like Ireland, it could save a lot by making some tougher decisions.

    We’ll see who’s right in about five years (or maybe sooner).

    Mood Music
    I think people are being more honest in the Republic about what is required. Even trade union members seem to accept what is needed. For all the talk of swingeing cuts, they still called off the national strike.

    And the realism is returning confidence. The Credit Default Swaps on Irish sovereign debt numbers hit a high of 380 basis points in mid-February but are heading down towards 200 today.

    I don’t think tax rises per se are inequitable and I also think a property tax of some sort could be a runner.

    We don’t know exactly what kind of taxes will be introduced so I’d hold fire on the not progressive enough point.

    I also don’t think you have explained why you think the UK’s policies are more equitable (or the Republic’s are less so).

    It’s a nice soundbite but I’d like more substance.

  • George,

    I think that people would be happier to pay were they convinced that something useful was to be done with the cash. The track record of the Dulin government so far does not convince on that point. That is why the pension levy seems unfair.
    As I said above already, your point about the shift of the pension sector is well taken.

    Surely the problem with the southern regime is that they haven’t been saving, and consequently the resources that could and should be there to help alleviate this crisis aren’t. The massive wealth gained by the government during the Tiger years was mainly spent. Some, quite properly, on improving public services, education etc. But far too much was spent frivolously, or given away in tax cuts to those least in need of it. The recovery strategy so far seems not to be very much beyond cut, try and lower wages, keep corporate tax low, and wait for the investment to restart. Ignoring that many of the structural advantages possessed in the past are gone.

    As I understand it, the credit default swaps are not necessarily the best measure of confidence as Iceland’s have also been improving, though that may be something else. As for southern taxation. I’m going on the track record of the Fianna Fáil and other governments. Although the tax system there is more progressive than it was, say, during the PAYE protests 25 years ago, we can hardly have confidence in its fairness when companies and the mega-rich have so many get out clauses. Tax on property being a perfect case in point. Added to the rhetoric coming out, I think it’s fairly clear that we are not about to see taxes aimed at hitting the better off much harder than those less so.

    For these reasons, I think the Republic’s fiscal policy is less equitable, and has been for decades. The UK may be bailing out the banks, but it is also increasing borrowing and spending to try and ensure that people keep their jobs. Something I don’t think the Republic is doing.

  • veritas

    still no reply eh gari-oconnell…so the official ira drug dealers are okay in your eyes?

    Again I ask why do you refer to SF as the provos but refuse to refer the workers party as the officials?

  • Mack

    Garibaldy –

    Mick highlighted a report on irisheconomy.ie, FDI is equivalent to approx 80% of GDP & GNP in Ireland. Keeping the multi-nationals happy is critical. They generate 80% of the wealth in our economy. Let’s not think of them as bogeymen, their investment is directly responsible for a large part of the real increase in wealth (as opposed to the illusory wealth generated by the bogus property / credit bubble).

    The Irish government did save money during the boom, paying into the national pernsions reserve fund.

    Tax breaks on property are ridiculous whether it’s the rent-a-room scheme which simply allows the banks to lend more for (and make more profit on) the same property, VAT reclaim, various section reliefs and even worse today the current developer bail-out the sub-prime Home Choice Loan scheme (currently under investigation by the European Commission).