Is this the end of the line for Joan?

Today’s Independent is not happy reading for the Labour leader, Joan Burton.

A poll in her Dublin West constituency finds her struggling to hold on to her seat with the election just two weeks away.

The results are;

Leo Varadkar (FG)  and Paul Donnelly (SF) on 20% each.

Jack Chambers is on 17% for Fianna Fáil and Ruth Coppinger is on 15% for the AAA.

Joan Burton trails on 10%.

Worth pointing out 14% of the electorate are still undecided but if Burton goes in this constituency, Labour TDs across Dublin will fall like dominoes on 26th February.

, , , ,

  • chrisjones2

    Wishful thinking on the part of some external and internal rivals

  • Gingray

    Not sure you know what you are talking about, but hey ho.

  • Gingray

    Not much surprise in this. Its a very working class constituency, and Labour are being hit hardest there, vote holds up better in more middle class areas.

    In the 2014 byelection Labour polled a paltry 5%, FG 13%, SF 21%, AAA 21%, FF 18%, Greens 6% and others 17%. Council elections came up with similar scoring.

    Its a 4 seater, with a quota of 20% required.

    David McGuinness, the FF candidate in both previous byelections, is running as an independent, and FG are running two candidates, with FF, SF, AAA, Labour running one apiece.

    SF, FF, AAA and FG should all get the quota quite easily, Coppinger is a very popular candidate, and endorsed by Joe Higgins.

  • mickfealty

    Expand Chris?

  • the rich get richer

    Its good to see the leader of fg/ff’s mudguard under pressure.

    The party that has kept these two as the permanent government for so long should have no future in Ireland.

    If you keep on voting the same way you keep on getting the same results=Insanity.

  • mickfealty

    Here’s a link to the actual story: If she is at that level it means that she’s not only lost what the party had in 2011, but they’ve been busted to pre 1997 levels.

    Whatever little Varadkar can leave her may get snaffled by Noon first, but there’s not going to be much left for her. What holds this poll up for me is the 2014 byelection result (

    It’s worth sharing the chart without the Don’t Knows removed (which has all candidates missing quota)…

  • chrisjones2

    From memory didn’t she top the poll in 2011? There must be significant resilience behind that. I dont think that the by-elections are a reliable guide – they rarely are.

    Then there is the inherent reliability of small polls like this – just 500 surveyed of whom almost 100 are undecided – so that means 400 ‘decided’ – thats just not a reliable sample.

    Add in the fact that people are often unwilling to disclose their real voting intentions or their intention to not bother.

    It will therefore depend on who turns out on the day and how the transfers split. It will be tight but I think she may well will displace Coppinger or FF but the key issue is that the poll is simply unreliable
    in a constituency of 63000!

  • Eoin Fogarty
  • chrisjones2

    Nor am I but as it is an election who really does know?

    Paddy power are offering evens on her

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well the irony would be the effective winner of her seat would be Fianna Fáil.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well I don’t know if Coppinger is getting to that quota easily, being 5% short still leaves her with work to do, I would say she looks like getting elected under the quota unless there is significant transfers coming from the independents, which cannot be guaranteed or dismissed. The Sinn Féin candidate Paul Donnelly has definitely ate into her vote and the number of transfers available for her and is likely to be elected on the first or second count alongside Vardarkar.

    I’d say McGuinness transfers may put in Chambers. Then I’d imagine it comes down to Ruth vs. Joan, once the independents and the Greens are gone, Ruth needs about a third of these and Joan two thirds of the remain 14-16% of the votes that are left to get a quota, but one factor that cannot be dismissed is that significant numbers of votes may be non-transferable.

    It’s likely the four you mention will get in with a quota, but I don’t think Ruth is going to get in easy with a quota, it may be a long wait, it may be even just under the quota.

  • Gingray

    Coppinger got 15% in this poll, I think she will be higher on the day. Joe always picked up good transfers from FF, which what will happen with a good portion of McGuinness transfers too.

    I just do not see Joan picking up transfers from FG and the Others column at the high % which is needed to come close, and Ruth is so close it will not take much to push her over the quota.

  • Gingray

    All we can do is look at the facts, and on a 48% turnout in 2014, Labour polled 5%. 2011 is a long time ago and a different Labour party with high hopes and a transfer friendly outlook – they suffered in the locals on transfers, particularly from working class voters.

  • Robin Keogh

    I agree with some of that, I cant see her at just 9 percent. However this poll would have to be stratospherically off the mark if she gets in. This constituency have a natural left wing block of voters, voters who are absolutely stunned with fury at what they percieve to be Labours failures in government. SF and PBP/AAA voters are itching to get to the polls. I doubt Joan will be saved.

  • chrisjones2

    OK …but she’s been there nigh on 25 years …that is a lot of personal relationships

  • Kevin Breslin

    It took Ruth 6 counts to win the bi-election, it’s likely she’s been overtaken by Sinn Féin in terms of first counts, it’s also a larger constituency that will have a larger turnout.

    It’s very rare for four candidates to get a quota in PR-STV, in the same constituency Brian Lenihan Jnr. got 15% and was over 200 votes short of a quota.

    His nearest rival was his future replacement Patrick Nulty from the Labour Party ironically enough was on a mere 5%. Dublin South West did get four under the quota, but it took 8 counts to get there.

    I think the result is likely, it is in the hands of the electorate of course, but it does look like the contest may not be so easy, probably five or six counts.
    Two to get the first Two in, maybe Third and Fourth to eliminate most of the independents, running mates, small parties, Fifth to eliminate McGuinness and put in Fianna Fail and a sixth for the redistribution of Chambers’ transfers.

  • Gingray

    I see something similar in terms of the counts, but I do see Ruth getting over the line, and making quota, she has been fairly visible in the press and may even get ahead of the FF candidate. McGuinnesses transfers will not all go direct to him either.

    Its not this poll that has me thinking Joan will struggle, its Labour in general, as with FF in 2011, the voters are not as forgiving as people would have us believe.

  • Gingray

    History is actually not in her favour – do you actually follow Irish politics or just want a comment on every slugger article?

    She got 22% in 1992 and in 2011, her best score.

    In 1997 she polled 12% and did not get elected. A byelection in 1996 saw the labour candidate get under 5%.

    In 1992 Labour got 20%, in 1997 they got 10%, and this was viewed as a massive collapse.

    In 2011 Labour got 19% of the vote, if they got 10% this time it would be viewed as a victory. And they have regained some of the transfer toxicity that existed in 1997.

    So no – when you dismiss a poll showing poor support for Joan as “wishful thinking on the part of some external and internal rivals”, I can only surmise you do not know what you are talking about.

  • chrisjones2

    Well I know a fanciful poll when I see one then when I see that translated into a screaming headline that isn’t justified by the data I ask why and what political agenda is running and who set the ball rolling

  • Gingray

    Ha ha ha, a poll, in line with byelection and local election results, mirroring a similar labour collapse, is in your opinion fanciful.

    Ah well. You must have a better grasp of Dublin politics than most, have you been to Dublin West recently?

  • Greenflag 2

    If Joan Burton loses her seat it will be a decade in the wilderness for the Labour Party . They can thank their former Leader and international Foreign Affairs MInister Gilmore for going one better than even James Tully he of the Tullymander fiasco back in the 1970’s . This time there was no finagling with constituencies to help increase the number of Labour TD’s just sheer bloody mindless bootlicking of FG that got the Labour Party where it is .

    Truly an astonishing decline almost akin to FF’s . Be not surprised at an FG/FF coalition . If Labour returns to the Dail in one taxi an FG/FF coalition may be the only possibility for a stable government for the next few years .