#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…

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