As the FF tide goes out will the SF boat rise?

With Mick and many others doing serious political analysis based on polls and the DWS by-election, I thought’d I’d drag up some old election results for the discussion.

While one seat or poll does not make an electoral summer, SF members clearly feel the sun on their backs and few would argue with them.

If their difficulties with transfers diminish and they do poll over 10%, how far could they go? One indicator might be looking at the return for parties getting around 10% 1st preferences since 1977. The general trend is, if you poll around 10% and aren’t transfer abhorent you return 15-20 TDs.

Of course that would be beyond anything seriously expected from SF (the TDs not percentage) but if they do poll above 10% they must surely be looking more likely to have 15 seats than their current four?

1977

Lab 11.6% – 16 seats

1981

Lab 9.9% 15 seats

1982

Lab 9.1% 15 seats

1982

Lab 9.4% 16 seats

1987

PDs 8.4% 14 seats
Lab 7.2% 12 seats

1989

Lab 9.1% 15 seats

1997

Lab 10.4% 17 seats

2002

Lab 12.7% 20 seats

2007

Lab 12.1% 20 seats

UPDATE:

Back in January Harry McGee in the Irish Times finished an analysis of SF’s situation with:

There are some who believe Sinn Féin is in terminal decline, like other republican parties that preceded it. Despite the party’s current woes, that view is as far-fetched as the party winning 20 seats or more anytime soon.

His kicking off point had been:

A DECADE ago, Sinn Féin strategist Jim Gibney made the audacious prediction it would make spectacular strides in the South, with the number of TDs reaching respectable double figures (many took that as 20-plus or 30-plus) within two decades.

Jim Gibney might end up right but for the wrong reason yet.

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