“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!”: Constituency-level analysis of the Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll (22nd February 2015)

Adrian Kavanagh, 21st February 2015 

The latest Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll is in line with most of the recent opinion polls, though it brings somewhat mixed results for the two government parties, while the Independents and Others grouping fares notable better than they did in last week’s Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll. The latest Sunday Business -Red C poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Sunday Business Post-Red C poll): Independents and Others 27% (up 1%), Fine Gael 24% (NC), Sinn Fein 21% (up 1%), Fianna Fail 18% (down 1%), Labour Party 7% (down 2%), Green Party 3% (up 1%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 33, Fine Gael 47, Sinn Fein 31, Labour Party 4, Green Party 1, Independents and Others 42.  Continue reading

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Sinn Fein feeling the love on Valentines Day. Constituency-level analysis of the Sunday Independent-Millward Brown opinion poll (15th February 2015)

Adrian Kavanagh, 14th February 2015 

The latest in the series of Sunday Independent-Millward Brown opinion polls brings slightly better news for the government parties but very good news for Sinn Fein, who find themselves estimated to be the political party with the highest support level in the state in yet another opinion poll. By contrast, the Independents and Others political grouping are seen to lose significant ground in this poll. The latest Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll): Sinn Fein 26% (up 5%%), Fine Gael 19% (down 5%), Independents and Others 23% (down 9%),  Fianna Fail 19% (up 1%), Labour Party 6% (up 1%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 34, Fine Gael 46, Sinn Fein 45, Labour Party 1, Independents and Others 33.  Continue reading

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Where could Fine Gael run female candidates at the next general election?

Adrian Kavanagh, 16th January 2015

Following yesterday’s post on the situation with Fianna Fail, this post will consider the case of Fine Gael in relation to the candidate selection decisions that party needs to make in order to meet the requirements set by the gender quota legislation, which demands that at least 30% of all the candidates running for political parties at the next general election should be female candidates (and at least 30% should be male candidates!). Given that party’s success at the 2011 General Election and the large number of (mainly male) Fine Gael candidates elected at that contest, the target number of female candidates for this party needs to somewhat higher than the levels set for Fianna Fail in the Markievicz Commission Report. Based on my earlier analysis, the smallest number of female candidates that Fine Gael could run at the next general election in order to meet the requirements of the gender quota legislation probably falls within a range of between 25 and 32 female candidates. The final number is probably likely to fall somewhere towards the upper end of this range.

Given the large number of male Fine Gael incumbents, the gender quota legislation poses greater challenges for them than for any other party in the state. Against that, the party has the largest number of female representatives – at the European, national and local levels – in the Republic of Ireland. Fine Gael currently have two female MEPs (Deirdre Clune and Mairead McGuinness), 11 female TDs (highlighted in the list below by a *), 3 female Senators (highlighted in the list below by a ^) and 50 female City and County Councillors, amounting to 66 elected female representatives in all. Given that, the pool of potential Fine Gael female candidates is very strong, suggesting the party will have no difficulties in finding enough female candidates to achieve a target of selecting c.30 female candidates to contest the next general election. As the list below shows, Fine Gael have at least one potential candidate in each one of the 40 constituencies and indeed have a number of potential candidates in some of these constituencies. Ironically, given that female candidates generally tend to fare stronger in urban areas and particularly in Dublin, the only constituencies that the party does not, at present, appear to have potential female candidates are Dublin North-West and Dublin Central. Continue reading

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Fianna Fail’s Markiewicz Report: Where could Fianna Fail run female candidates at the next general election?

Adrian Kavanagh, 15th January 2015

Today saw the publication of the Markievicz Commission Report, which has set out targets for Fianna Fail to reach in order to meet the requirements set by the gender quota legislation, which demands that at least 30% of all the candidates running for political parties at the next general election should be female candidates (and at least 30% should be male candidates!). This report has set a target for Fianna Fail of selecting between 20 and 27 female candidates, suggesting that female candidates should be contesting at least half of the constituencies where the party currently does not have a TD (22 of the 40 constituencies in all, given that Fianna Fail currently has two TDs in Cork South-Central and Galway East). It has been suggested in the report that the party could have all-female candidate tickets in two or three constituencies, while the party should also aim to have female candidates in half of the constituencies where Fianna Fail currently has a sitting TD and plans to run more than one candidate at the next general election.

Some commentators, no doubt relating back to the party’s selection patterns at past general election contests and the percentage of female candidates selected to run for Fianna Fail at last May’s local elections, may think that Fianna Fail could struggle to reach this target. However, in drawing up a list of potential female candidates in the forty different constituencies that will be contested at the next general election, I would suggest that Fianna Fail has a more than sufficient number of potential candidates to choose from in order to comfortably attain the targets set out in this report and thus meet the stipulations set out in the gender quota legislation. Continue reading

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The Empire strikes back?: Constituency-level analysis of the Paddy Power-Red C (14th January 2015) and Sunday Business Post-Red C (25th January 2015) opinion polls.

Adrian Kavanagh, 14th January 2015 

After a series of very poor polls for these parties in the dying months of 2014, the latest Paddy Power-Red C poll (14th January 2014) and the subsequent Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (25th January 2015) both pointed towards an improvement in the popularity levels of the government parties. Fine Gael saw a three percentage point gain in the party’s poll levels since the last Red C poll, while there is a two percentage point gain in relation to the Labour Party poll figures. Sinn Fein saw a drop in their support levels relative to the last such Sunday Business Post-Red C poll, but they still remained as the second most popular party in the state based on these poll figures. There were slight drops in support levels for the Independents and Others grouping and for Fianna Fail. The Paddy Power-Red C poll estimated party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Red C poll): Fine Gael 24% (up 3%), Sinn Fein 21% (down 3%), Fianna Fail 18% (down 1%), Labour Party 8% (up 2%), Independents, Green Party and Others 29% (down 1%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 31, Fine Gael 46, Sinn Fein 31, Labour Party 6, Independents and Others 44. The Sunday Business Post-Red C poll estimated party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Red C poll): Fine Gael 24%, Sinn Fein 20%, Fianna Fail 19%, Labour Party 9%, Independents, Green Party and Others 28%. My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as followsFianna Fail 33, Fine Gael 48, Sinn Fein 28, Labour Party 7, Independents and Others 42. 

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Introduction of the gender quota and challenges for political parties

Adrian Kavanagh, 6th January 2015 

The passing of gender quota legislation by Dail Eireann in July 2012 has linked the state funding of political parties to a requirement that female (and male) candidates will account for at least 30% of those parties’ total number of candidates at the next general election. On the day that this legislation was passed, I wrote a post outlining the different challenges and issues that may arise in relation to the implementation of this legislation, particularly as these parties progress with their selection of general election candidates over the following months. In this post, I will outline various scenarios that these parties may face in terms of meeting the requirements of this legislation and ascertain the minimum number of male/female candidates that these parties would need to select under two different scenarios. Continue reading

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Shortest day and longest night for Labour. Constituency-level analysis of the Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes, Sunday Independent-Millward Brown and Sunday Business Post-Red C polls (21st December 2014)

Adrian Kavanagh, 20th December 2014 

Tomorrow’s Sunday Business-Red C, Sunday Independent-Millward Brown and Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll results largely reflects the figures in the Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll from earlier this month and indeed most recent polls. Trends in these polls have suggested that the political effects of the recent events surrounding Irish Water have fuelled increased support levels for the Independents and Others grouping and Sinn Fein, with these gains being made mainly at the expense of the government parties. The results of these polls will produce perhaps the longest dark night of the soul for Labour, with both poll results showing this party losing a number of percentage points. The latest Sunday Business Post-Red C poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Red C poll): Independents and Others 30% (NC), Sinn Fein 24% (up 2%), Fine Gael 21% (down 1%), Fianna Fail 19% (up 1%), Labour Party 6% (down 2%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 33, Fine Gael 40, Sinn Fein 41, Labour Party 0, Independents and Others 44. The latest Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Red C poll): Independents and Others 34% (up 10%), Fine Gael 22% (NC), Sinn Fein 21% (down 5%), Fianna Fail 18% (down 2%), Labour Party 5% (down 2%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 31, Fine Gael 41, Sinn Fein 32, Labour Party 0, Independents and Others 54. The latest Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitiudes poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitiudes  poll): Independents and Others 30% (NC), Fine Gael 24% (down 1%), Sinn Fein 22% (up 3%), Fianna Fail 18% (NC), Labour Party 5% (down 4%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 32, Fine Gael 43, Sinn Fein 35, Labour Party 0, Independents and Others 48.  Continue reading

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