#EP14: FG to prosper from government term, Labour to take a kicking…

There’s been lots of polling figures out over the last 24 hours for the southern European elections. I’ll sow them in later since I’m on the hoof in favour of highlighting the Irish Times Inside Politics podcast analysis of their latest polling (albeit on a 4.5% margin of error).

I’d quickly highlight the following:

– Fianna Fail’s only banker candidate covers a significant weakness in the party brand. Brian Crowley always madly tops the poll independent of the party rating, but the Times poll has their second marker (an anti pylon candidate) only getting 2 per cent of first preferences.

– Ming Flanagan’s late entry (and independents are by most national polling the largest and most popular ‘grouping’) has potentially thrown a match into the Midlands and North West constituency, posing a threat to fellow independent Harkin, FF’s Gallagher, and possibly even, SF’s Matt Carthy.

– FG’s profile in government seems to be enhancing the status of their party candidates with a likely four MEPs coming home (two in ‘South’), whilst Labour only has a chance in Dublin with Emer Costello in a three way death match with FF’s Mary Fitzpatrick and even the Green’s Eamon Ryan.

The tightness in FF’s fortunes is another remarkable aspect for me (since we’d already come write Labour’s chances off some time ago). One MEP or three would not be a surprise result. But the difference politically could vast.

In Dublin, possibly the tightest race, the race for votes and transfers looks like its between Labour and FF, with possibly Ryan coming up between the two to take the last seat from either.

Given that Sinn Fein is running pretty much in line with its polling over the last six months it looks like the Adams arrest has had no significant effect either way…

More to come later…

  • John Ó Néill

    Multiple polls out over the last two days. The Irish Times poll was taken early last week, but the Indo poll was from 13th-14th May and gives the following Irish Times and Indo figures in brackets:

    SF 23 (23)
    FG 22 (22)
    FF 12 (11)
    Greens 10 (7)
    Lab 9 (10)
    Childers 8 (13)
    PBP 7 (6)
    Soc 6 (7)
    Oth 3 (1)

    Main momentum shift is away from Greens to Childers (Childers is ex-Labour, standing as an independent on a centre-left anti-government platform). Seems unlikely that anyone will make it on the first count (a quote will be 25%). Depending on the order of elimination, the Socialist Party, Greens and People Before Profit will likely transfer heavily to Childers and elect Boylan for SF, with some transfers to Labour. It’s hard to see it transferring in any meaningful way to FF. The transfers from whichever of those two are eliminated first will dictate the positions of FF, Childers and Labour (and whoever is left from Soc Party, PBP and Greens). Those eliminations could be transferring some 13% of the vote which would likely keep Childers well clear of FF and Lab (on these figures) and whichever of the Soc/PBP/Greens is still alive. At that stage you could have FF, Lab and the remaining Soc/PBP/Green candidate all on 10-13% and Childers on 15-16%. Essentially Childers/Soc/PBP/Greens represent an anti-government vote of 31-33% (according to those opinion polls) and there isn’t really a pattern of elimination that would seem to suggest that either Labour or FF have a realistic hope of the third seat. I’d call it for Childers based on the available figures. Chances are, to have a better than even chance, Labour or FF would need to poll well above 15% first preferences to tread water through the mid-count eliminations. Based on the opinions polls (although, as ever, caveat emptor), that’s not likely to happen.

  • Mc Slaggart

    I am hoping Eamon Ryan still makes it in Dublin. The Greens are a good European party.

  • weidm7

    I’m doing a weighted aggregate of all the European polls, you can look at it here if you like: http://waterfordinquirer.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/european-election-polling-aggregate/

    I released it this morning, just before the Irish Times poll came out, but I’ll update tomorrow with this poll.

  • Mick Fealty

    Very very good weidm. When you are down crunching these it would be great to have a blog analysis from you on what you think this all adds up to politically over the next day or two?

  • megatron

    Not sure that FG are prospering from government. In GE2012, the results for the big 4 were…

    FG 36%
    Lab 19%
    FF 17%
    SF 10%
    Oth 18%

    Rounding a bit the changes since are approx:

    FG -10%
    Lab -10%
    FF No Change
    SF +10%
    Oth +10%

    I do think the interesting one there is the FF no change. The actual voters may have changed significantly with some of the votes “loaned” to FG returning while the continue to lose some to SF and Ind.

    The low profile campaign has really suited SF where the absense of high profile set pieces that dented MMG votes has really helped.

    Cant wait for the results…Euros will be tight margins either and too much will be read into results. SF could easy end up with 2 rather than 4 seats just down to bad luck. I am a process rather than outcome guy myself and barring any last minute stumbles the process looks good to me.

  • Jagdip

    It’s hardly scientific but if you have been keeping track of Paddy Power’s odds, it is remarkable that there has been such change in the past week.

    Nessa Childers remains a favorite to get a Dublin seat, but the Green’s Eamon Ryan is a hair’s breadth behind her, so she’s extremely vulnerable.
    Ming Flanagan is now a favorite to win a MNW seat – amazing turnaround in a week, in fact he is 3rd favorite for the 4-seat MNW
    FG are now favorites to win two South seats, and four seats overall.
    FF are now on course for two seats but the Independent Marian Harkin is on FF’s Pat Gallagher tail in MNW, so it could just be one. Three years after the disastrous GE2011 results and amid the austerity and government scandal, if FF get just one, then surely Micheal Martin is toast. Will Micheal McGrath be leader by the end of May?
    SF has been remarkably resilient, and remain favorites to pick up three seats. On the island of Ireland, they will claim to be the biggest party, though with four seats apiece, they will tie with FG. But is this as good as it gets for SF? We are at the zenith of govt scandal and austerity and left-wing collapse in Labour vote, from here on, it gets tougher for SF.
    A week ago, PP was predicting a Labour win in three seats at 1,200/1 – that’s down to 420/1 today. Labour’s odds in Dublin and South have dramatically improved, though in MNW the odds have lengthened from 25/1 to 35/1. Is Eamon Gilmore toast, will Joan Burton be leader by the end of May?

  • Jagdip

    a Labour win in three *constituences* at 1,200/1

  • Jagdip

    Oh, and in the Province, no real change at PP, with UUP still odds-on to win 3rd seat.

    Poor old Jimbo at the TUV is 8 times less likely to win the third seat than the UUP’sJim (5/2 vs 3/10 for the UUP).

    UKIP have bounded ahead to 5/1, just twice less likely than the TUV to win a seat. That’s an amazing turnaround.

    SDLP is at 11/4, marginally worse than TUV.

  • Mick Fealty

    What’s Paddy saying on the two by elections Jag?

  • Jagdip

    In Dublin west (funny constituency that used to be a FF stronghold but also has strong left-wing support), the Socialist Ruth Coppinger is favorite; FF is in 2nd position but Ruth is twice as likely to take the seat. Shinners down the field in joint third place with Independent debt campaigner, David Hall. Despite the election being necessitated by a Labour (renegade) resignation, Labour is nowhere in the race. FG won’t be happy with their odds, their senator and former olympic runner, Eamon Coughlan is well down the field. Full list

    Socialist 5/4
    FF 2/1
    SF 7/2
    Ind David Hall 7/2
    FG 7/1
    Labour 40/1
    Green 100/1

    Longford-Westmeath, is remaining staunchly FG where they are odds-on favorite. The FG candidate is sister of the late Nicky McFadden whose death brought about the election. It’s depressing really, the last byelection in Meath East where FG’s Shane McEnteee committed suicide in 2013, was won by his daughter. Same old, same old. FF are in second place but 7 times less likely to win the seat.SF are nowhere but that highlights the lack of a mature network across the State; SF is not as omnipotent as they’re sometimes made out to be. Labour is toast. Full list

    FG 3/10
    FF 2/1
    Independent 12/1
    SF 33/1
    Labour 50/1

    If PP is on the money (and they have mixed form in political betting) then Labour is really toast, which might be why the odds of this government not lasting the full term have dramatically shortened recently. Either Eamon Gilmore changes tack completely in government which will bring about a withdrawal from coalition and collapse or Eamon will be led to the door (Labour’s rules prevent a leadership heave) and Joan Burton will take over, but she will need change tack also. A coalition collapse is looking increasingly likely.
    You might get a FG/SF coalition quicker than you might think!

  • Mick Fealty


    Are you counting NI in your total of four there? Because I don’t sense any danger that Liadh Ni Riada won’t take a seat in south. There’s no real competition for the anti govt there, and I’d say in Cork at least she’s going to be pretty transfer friendly. Matt Carthy is only in question (in SF’s genuinely strongest heartlands) because of the intense anti govt competition in north.

    I take your point though. FG vote in Dublin looks harder than earlier.

  • megatron

    Mick – yep counting NI.

    Agree that Matt Carthy looks only one in danger but I do think Dublin has potential for an unlucky result. Hence 2-4 outcome for SF….my money is on 4 but wouldnt bet house on it at all.

    Would be very surprising if Carthy didnt make it on the face of it since it is very much the heartland of SF’s vote – I wonder would a non-heartland candidate have been a better strategy. Should make it though.

  • Drumlins Rock

    As Euros traditionally are more prone to protest votes will these figures carry over to the locals? and impact on a GE vote?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    There is something very unusual about the betting patterns on Childers. Her odds are fluctuating wildly over the last few weeks. In (as far as 1/10 at one stage) & then out to something realistic and then in again. .

    Let’s just say it’s not unheard of for campaigns to give themselves a little boost by backing themselves with a few quid and causing the odds to go down. But, ahem , don’t make it obvious,

  • Mick Fealty

    He’d be a shoo in without Ming in the field (a candidate with absolutely no ambition for power, now or ever). In Dublin SF have simply eaten Labour’s working class vote wholemeal. Boylan is well clear of the multiple cycle crash that’s going to happen behind her.

  • weidm7

    Thanks Mick. I hadn’t really planned a political analysis blog, what analysis I do I tend to include it at the bottom of articles about the polls. And I have a lot of poll analysis for the next few days!

    SFs seats depend on how transfer toxic they still are and how much the independent left transfer to them. Boylan, Ni Riada and obviously Anderson seem safe enough, Carthy could potentially lose out if both a FFer and Ming transfered a lot better, it wouldn’t be the first time a SFer lost out on a late count. For Ni Riada to lose out, both FGers would probably have to jump ahead of her, which would need heavy transfers from Crowley and probably O’Sullivan and Prendergast, a fairly unlikely event. I’d say they’ll all drop a position or two though in later counts due to transfer toxicity.

  • oakleaf

    Did the Ming make a mistake in running for Europe? He will be less visible now that’s he likely to be elected to the EU. If he is elected that will be good news for Sinn Fein and Paul Hogan.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Might be a possibility, oakleaf…………….if they were in the same constituency.