No polls for a while then three or four come along at once. News broke tonight of the Sunday Independent’s Millward Brown poll.. MB have done a few polls on politics for the Sindo, but the last comparative poll that I have figures for was last May…
These figures are proportions of voters after eliminating the undecided, which stands at a high figure 27%
Fianna Fáil 27% (17), Fine Gael 25% (36) Sinn Féin 20% (20) Labour 13% (12) Others 18.
What to say? Well, SF and Labour haven’t changed in the best part of a year. That’s more worrying for Labour than for Sinn Fein, who seem to be benefiting from every peck of churn in public opinion.
The real dynamic lies in the battle between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. The uncertainty of the voters indicated by the 27% per cent of don’t knows, is high, but there seems to be a touch of momentum. Just for fun, here’s Maynooth academic Adrian Kavanagh’s seat predictions from this latest poll result:
Fianna Fail 42; Fine Gael 51; Labour 15; Sinn Fein 26; Independents 24
Ouch for Labour. We can’t extrapolate too much, but you can see why percentages do not glide across in proportionate success. Last seats are notoriously hard to predict. Proportional representation, especially the STV version of it, creates all sorts of unpredictable kinks and biases.
Harry Magee today quotes a senior source in Fianna Fail on how they are viewing the recent rise in the polls:
“We have a long journey to go to rebuild trust. A few opinion polls do not tell us anything. We have to satisfy the electorate that we understand what went wrong and show we won’t let it happen again. In the long run the only way is to have better ideas and to be serious about them.”
Such seriousness fits well with Micheal Martin’s often cerebal style of leadership, which he’s not averse to taking to a fight when its needed…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty