A few weeks ago Paul opened up a blog on election predictions. Now, a bit older and wiser, its time for everyone to put their cards on the table and, rather than risk money, to stake their invaluable credibility as pundits on predicting the outcomes of the election.
I’m going to qualify mine by pointing to a few things:
- The last polls tend to over emphasise support for the lead party, in this case Fine Gael, but their lead is over the second placed party is going to be very big and they may get a seat bonus regardless.
- Fianna Fáil and Labour have both candidate strategies that may shake out badly for both since they were predicated upon polling up to 10% higher than the last opinion polls suggest they might do.
- The Independents might take 14-18% of the first preference vote, but that is unlikely to translate directly to seats.
- This time out we will see many more Fianna Fáil candidates eliminated than ever before – a bit like an elephants graveyard – no-one really knows where their transfers will go.
- Sinn Féin candidates may attract more transfers than before, and may be coupled with Fianna Fáil attaining pariah status and receiving relatively few.
- The result for both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil is going to be wildly unpredictable – Sinn Féin could come back with 10 or 25, Fianna Fáil could return with 14 or 36.
So, my prediction is: Fine Gael: 77 and short of that majority; Labour: 38, a historic day if they don’t talk it down themselves; to be controversial and on balance of the reasons above, I’m going to call it Sinn Féin 21 and Fianna Fáil 19 (plus the returning CC giving them 20); Greens – zero; Independents – 10.
And keep an eye out for Mick during the day as he barrels around the potholes of the midlands spreading tweets over various constituencies…
[To simplify the conversation – I’ve closed the comments part to try and keep all the #GE11 predictions on Pauls thread here]