Sinn Fein to pull through in Cork North Central…

As Paul noted, I was in Dublin on Friday and called into the Irish Times. Here’s my interview with Hugh Linehan, on what #GE11 means and doesn’t mean to Northern Irish pols and anoraks.

And just in case Pete’s reading of yesterday’s Red C polls may have convinced you that Gerry’s poor economic performance, means Sinn Fein’s running out of steam, have a read of Stephen Collins’ constituency report from Cork North Central where Jonathan O’Brien (mentioned here previously) is currently running a close second to Labour’s Kathleen Lynch:

O’Brien’s vote is relatively evenly spread across the age groups but there is a huge difference in his appeal to the different social classes. He records no support among the best-off AB voters but is strong in the C2 and DE social categories in this predominantly working class constituency.

He is also much stronger among male than among female voters. This has been a feature of Sinn Féin support in opinion polls. The only doubt about O’Brien’s prospects is whether the strength of support in the poll will turn into votes on February 25th.

To put this in perspective, that’s double O’Brien’s percentage from 2007 (see Elections Ireland). Billy Kelleher of Fianna Fail party rating drops from 22% down to 13%. Last time out he was able to bring in Noel O’Flynn, so it demonstrates these national poll ratings are have local bite.

That said, the margin of error rate of 4.5% is high enough to allow for a great deal of variation. It’s frustrating too not to get a glimpse of the undecided, who may yet have the greatest say in a lot of electoral races.


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  • Antoin Mac C.

    what are they pulling through corcaigh alainn,a donkey wit
    a tri-colour?how will this perceived wisdom have any input to reality?

  • tacapall

    Interesting times Mick but opinion polls are just opinion polls not elections. If that increase in support for Sinn Fein by the young and working class is a reflection of opinion across all constituencies, then there is indeed a possibility that Sinn Fein could spring a few surprises.

  • Pete Baker

    Not my reading, Mick. Red C’s and the Sunday Business Post’s.

    As for the poll in the Irish Times.

    That’s a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 points.

    Which, given the quoted figures, is a hell of a lot of uncertainty to be basing any reading on.

  • Mick Fealty

    My caveats are at the bottom of the post…

  • Henry94

    Keep an eye on East Cork too.

  • J Kelly

    I have has a look through Paddy Power and Sinn Fein are in line for a significant rise in seats if the betting can be taken as an indicator. If it happens it could shake a few things up in Assembly Elections in May.

  • Munsterview

    tapa….: ” If that increase in support for Sinn Fein by the young and working class is a reflection of opinion across all constituencies, then there is indeed a possibility that Sinn Fein could spring a few surprises……”

    J O’Brien is undoubtedly benefiting from the Sinn Fein bounce but it also should be remembered that O’brien like his South Cork colleague Chris O’Leary ( Greens, Independent, SF last year ) , he is one of the hardest working councillors around and both have also but in the long slog.

    Sinn Fein are lucky to have both but even without the Sinn Fein electoral machines behind them, both are quality candidates, their time had come and they both would have made a notable impact this time around anyway. I was in Cork to-day and the talk everywhere in shops, filling stations and hotels at lunchtime was the demise of Billy Kelleher and the collapse of the FF vote. Fianna Fail veterans I spoke with were literally in shock.

    Remember this is famous Glen Rovers and the Piarsaigh turf, two clubs that are bywords Nationally in GAA circles for Gaelic Culture and FF culture, Blacckpool is to Cork Fianna Fail what the Shankill is to Belfast and the DUP !

    While FF will pull out all the stops to keep the seat, the loss of it as now seems likely will reflect very badly on Micheal Martin. It may be a different constituency but in FF thinking all Cork City is the same FF parish.