Adrian Kavanagh, 29th May 2014
As an electoral geographer, I am very interested in which local newspapers are publishing tallies for the Marriage Equality referendum and the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election contest in this week’s editions, or possibly in the following few weeks’ editions. When I refer to tallies/tally sheets I am of course NOT referring to constituency level/overall election results, but instead referring to documents that can show the number of votes that each candidate/the Yes and No sides won in each polling box in that constituency. These can give a very accurate sense then as to the geography of a party/candidates’s votes or the Yes/No votes within a particular constituency. These are the very lifeblood of Irish electoral geography. Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 26th May 2015
The Carlow-Kilkenny Dail by-election was held on the same days as the Marriage Equality and Presidential Candidate Age referendum contests. Based on the list provided on the ElectionsIreland.org website, this was the 133rd Dail by-election held throughout the history of the state, as well as being the seventh by-election contest to be held during the lifetime of the current Dail. As noted in an earlier post, 13 candidates contested this by-election, with most of these hailing from Kilkenny County and particularly the Kilkenny City area.
Figure 1: Turnout levels at by-elections in 1990s and 2000s, contrasted with turnouts in preceding general elections
Adrian Kavanagh, 25th May 2015
With a national turnout rate of 60.5% – just 9.4% lower than the turnout level for the 2011 General Election – the Marriage Equality referendum was passed with 62.1% of the valid votes, but the Presidential Age referendum failed to be carried, attaining the support of just 26.9% of the valid votes.
Figure 1: Turnout levels at Irish referendum elections, 1937-2015
Adrian Kavanagh, 18th May 2015
Only a day after the latest Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll comes the second in the series of Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI opinion polls for 2015. The first such poll, back in March, continued the trend of improving fortunes for the government parties, evident in polls in the first part of the year. In this poll, Fine Gael gain a further three percentage points, but there is no movement in the Labour figures. Indeeed, Fine Gael have gained nine percentage points since the final opinion poll of 2015, while the Independents and Others grouping has lost eight percentage points over the same time period. After a series of disappointing polls, Fianna Fail gain some ground in this opinion poll and indeed this is a very good poll for the two traditional “Civil War” parties, especially as support levels are seen to decline for the Independents and Other grouping and for Sinn Fein. This Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll): Fine Gael 28% (up 4%), Independents and Others 24% (down 4%), Sinn Fein 21% (down 3%), Fianna Fail 20% (up 3%), Labour Party 7% (NC). 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 36, Fine Gael 55, Sinn Fein 33, Labour Party 2, Independents and Others 32. Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 16th May 2015
We’ve been waiting – not a long time – since the last opinion poll and a new Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll emerges, as we head into Eurovision week and the final week of the Carlow-Kilkenny and referendum campaigns. In this poll, combined support levels for the government parties remains in the mid-30s, roughly the same level of support that has been enjoyed by these parties in most recent polls. Fianna Fail poll levels still remain to gain anything in the way of traction, although a win in Carlow-Kilkenny next weekend could have that party a boost. Support levels for Sinn Fein (1%) and the Independents and Others grouping (2%) improve somewhat. This Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitutdes poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitutdes poll): Fine Gael 27% (NC), Independents and Others 26% (up 2%), Sinn Fein 20% (up 1%), Fianna Fail 17% (down 1%), Labour Party 8% (down 1%), Green Party 3% (NC). 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 52, Sinn Fein 30, Labour Party 6, Independents and Others 38, Green Party 1. Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 14th May 2015
With the upcoming presidential candidates age and marriage equality referendum contests to take place on 22nd May (2015), I thought it would be useful to look back at geographical patterns in turnout levels and Yes/No trends in an earlier referendum that might be of some relevance here, namely the 1995 Divorce Referendum.
A good constituency breakdown of voting patterns at this contest can be viewed on the ElectionsIreland.org website or indeed in the official publication by the Department of Environment and Local Government.
Adrian Kavanagh, 10th May 2015
Thursday’s general election in the United Kingdom produced a victory for the Conservative Party, as well as for the Scottish Nationalist Party in Scotland, but brought about a stunning defeat for the junior partners in the outgoing government, the Liberal Democrats, while Labour lost ground, most notably in Scotland. The United Kingdom Independence Party emerged as the third largest party in terms of vote share, winning more than one eight of all the votes cast, but ended up winning just one seat. The Green Party quadrupled their share of the vote relative to 2010, but these vote gains did not translate into seat gains. Continue reading