Good weekend for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail: Constituency-level analysis of the Sunday Business Post-Red C and Sunday Independent-Millward Brown opinion polls (28th June 2015)

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th June 2015 

Yesterday (Sunday) saw the publication of two new opinion polls; including the latest in monthly series of Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion polls, while a new Sunday Independent-Millward Brown opinion poll was also published. Following a good opinion poll for the party last week, Fianna Fail also gained some ground in these two opinion polls. Fine Gael support levels remain at a notably higher level than the low point reached by the party in the December 2014 opinion polls, while Fine Gael also gained some ground in the Millward Brown poll. The Independent and Others grouping make significant gains in the Red C poll, mainly at the expense of Sinn Fein and Labour. The Independents and Others grouping did lose some support, however, in the Millward Brown poll, with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael both gaining at the expense of Sinn Fein and Labour losses in this instance. Indeed, this was the first opinion poll since the Millward Brown poll of 20th April 2014 in which the combined Fine Gael and Fianna Fail support levels exceeded the 50% level. This weekend’s Sunday Business Post-Red C poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such Sunday Business Post-Red C poll): Fine Gael 28% (NC), Independents and Others 27% (up 5%), Fianna Fail 20% (up 1%), Sinn Fein 18% (down 3%),Labour Party 7% (down 3%). 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 35, Fine Gael 56, Sinn Fein 25, Labour Party 3, Independents and Others 39. This weekend’s Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll): Fine Gael 29% (up 4%), Fianna Fail 23% (up 4%), Independents and Others 21% (down 2%), Sinn Fein 21% (down 3%),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 37, Fine Gael 57, Sinn Fein 33, Labour Party 1, Independents and Others 30.  Continue reading

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Poll Toppers at the 2014 Local (City and County Council) Elections

Adrian Kavanagh, 26th June 2015

In the lead up to, and in the immediate aftermath of, the 2011 General Election, I produced a post reviewing the poll toppers in each of the different constituencies at the 2007 General Election and their subsequent fate at the 2011 contest. This found that over half of the TDs who had topped the poll in their constituencies in 2007 subsequently were not holding seats after the 2011 contest: ten of these TDs opted to retire from politics ahead of the general election while a further twelve of these poll-topping TDs lost their seats at this contest.

Figure 1: The fates of the 2007 General Election poll toppers at the 2011 General Election.

Against that, a study of the 171 current/former City and County Councillors, who had topped the poll in their electoral areas at the 2009 City and County Council elections, found that an impressive number of these had gone on subsequently to win seats at the 2011 General Election (or indeed at a subsequent by-election (or rather one held on the same day, as in the case of Maureen O’Sullivan). Thirty one of these poll-toppers (18.7%) would win seats at the Dail election in 2011 while a further five (2.9%) would win seats in Seanad Eireann. Thus the 2009 poll toppers group would account for just under 19 per cent of the membership of the new Dail after the February 2011 contest (and well over one-third of the new members ).

Could the candidates who topped the poll in the 137 different electoral areas at the 2014 City and County Council elections enjoy a similar level of success at the upcoming general election? Continue reading

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The Younger Ones: General Election 2015/16 candidates aged between 21 and 35

Adrian Kavanagh, 26th June 2015

In a similar vein to an earlier post relating to 2011 General Election candidates and a similar post relating to younger candidates contesting the 2014 City and County Council elections, this page seeks to list the names, and party affiliations, of all the candidates for the upcoming general elections whose ages fall in the 21-35 years age category. (Candidates whose ages fall in the 18-30 years category will be denoted by a *)

Please note that this is an incomplete list due to difficulties in accessing age information in a large number of cases. Given the difficulties involved in getting age details for some candidates, the likelihood is that I will miss out on some names that should be included here, but I will do my best to ensure this list is as accurate as possible. If you note any glaring absences (especially if you are one of the candidates that should be listed below, or else are incorrectly listed below), please feel free to comment below or to Tweet me at @AdrianKavanagh or else to email me at adrian.p.kavanagh@nuim.ie instead.

This list does not include candidates who might run or who are highly likely to run, but just includes party candidates who have been officially selected to run at conventions or independent candidates who have publicly declared their intention to contest the upcoming general election.

At present (30th June 2015), I can currently account for thirty four candidates in the 18-35 age category (16.1% of the total number of general election candidates) – twenty (58.8%) of the candidates in this group are male while fourteen (41.2%) of the candidates in this group are female. Nineteen of these candidates are in the 21-30 age category (9.0% of the total number of candidates).

A higher proportion of all female candidates (20.3%) currently fall into this age category than the proportion/percentage of all male candidates (14.1%) that do. Continue reading

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General Election 2015/16 candidates who previously contested elections for other parties/political groupings

Adrian Kavanagh, 25th June 2015

In this post, I am going to attempt to list all the candidates for the upcoming general election who have previously contested elections for political parties/political groupings that are different to the one they are currently in. In the main, many of these candidates are independents, with many of these joining the independent ranks effectively due to “selection defections” – having left their party arising from the handling of/results of a party selection convention either in the run up to the next general election or as associated with candidate selection processes for earlier local or general election contests. But there are also a number of these candidates who will be contesting the next general election as members of political parties. This post will not list those candidates who might or might not be running in the next general election, but will instead just list those party candidates who have been officially selected to contest the next general election and those independent candidates who have declared their intention to contest this election. Continue reading

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Voter Turnout in Dublin City for the Marriage Equality/Presidential Candidate Age referendum contests

Adrian Kavanagh, 22nd June 2015

As noted in last month’s post, the national voter turnout rate of 60.5% – which was just 9.4% lower than the turnout level for the 2011 General Election – for the Marriage Equality (and Presidential Candidate Age) referendum contests compared very favourably with the turnout levels for other referendum elections, especially given that these were “stand-alone” contests, which did not take place on the same day as a general, local, European or Dail by-election contest (with the notable exception of Carlow-Kilkenny).

Figure 1: Turnout levels at Irish referendum elections, 1937-2015

Figure 1: Turnout levels at Irish referendum elections, 1937-2015

As with previous referendum election contests, turnout levels for these contests tended to be higher in the more urban constituencies (62.4%, on average) and especially in Dublin (63.9%).

Figure 2: Voter turnout (%) levels by electoral division in the Dublin City constituencies for the 2015 Marriage Equality Referendum

Figure 2: Voter turnout (%) levels by electoral division in the Dublin City constituencies for the 2015 Marriage Equality Referendum

Based on the excellent turnout by polling box data provided on the Dublin City Returning Officer’s website, it was possible to analyse these and calculate turnout estimates for each of the electoral divisions located within the six Dublin City constituencies. In mapping these (Figure 2), significant differences in turnout levels across the Dublin City constituencies area can be illustrated. Continue reading

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Midsummer Night’s Dream for Fianna Fail: Constituency-level analysis of the Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll (21st June 2015)

Adrian Kavanagh, 22nd June 2015 

Sunday saw the latest in monthly series of Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion polls. The notable trend here sees Fianna Fail gain some significant ground in this poll, while there is a notable drop in support for Fine Gael. This Sunday Business Post-Red C poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous such Sunday Business Post-Red C poll): Independents and Others 28% (down 1%), Fine Gael 24% (down 3%), Fianna Fail 21% (up 4%), Sinn Fein 19% (down 1%),Labour Party 9% (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 37, Fine Gael 48, Sinn Fein 27, Labour Party 8, Independents and Others 38.  Continue reading

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Former TDs contesting the 2015/16 General Election

Adrian Kavanagh, 6th June 2015 

A good number of former TDs will often decide to contest the following general election contest after the one that they lost their seat in. Some of these will have already contested the 2014 City/County Council elections, in the hope that these could act as a stepping stone towards rebuilding their national careers, although some of these may finish their political careers at the local level. Fine Gael TDs, such as Michael Creed and PJ Sheehan, were able to use victory at the 2004 Local Elections as a stepping stone to regaining their Dail seats at the 2007 General Election, having lost these in the 2002 contest.  The 2009 Local Elections were also contested by candidates such as Joe Higgins and Catherine Murphy, who had lost their seats at the 2007 election but would go on to successfully regain their seats at the 2011 contest (Higgins, of course, immediately gave up his Fingal County Council seat as he also won a seat in the European Elections on the same day).

It would be expected that the upcoming general election will be contested by a number of the candidates who lost their Dail seats at the 2011 General Election and this indeed proves to be the case. At present I account for eight candidates in this group (7 of these lost their Dail seats at the 2011 contest, while one lost his seat at the 2002 General Election). I will add to this list over the coming weeks/months as further candidates in this group are selected/declare themselves.

Continue reading

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