Fine Gael experiencing a “Leo-Leap”?: Constituency-level analysis of the Ireland Thinks/Dail Mail opinion poll (26 June 2017) and other Summer 2017 polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 26th June 2017

IrelandThinksDailyMail_26June2017A

Having experienced a series of poor figures across opinion polls in the earlier months of 2017, the Fine Gael party fortunes did improve somewhat in the polls carried out in March and April. Changes of party leadership, however, often do result in a “bounce” in opinion poll support levels for politician parties and this is what transpires in the Latest in the series of Ireland Thinks/Daily Mail opinion polls, with a six percentage point gain in support levels being recorded by Fine Gael weeks after Leo Varadkar became the new party leader (and was subsequently elected Taoiseach). This poll is perhaps particularly significant as it is the first poll to be published after Leo Varadkar became the new Fine Gael party leader. Out of the other parties/groupings, this also amounts to a good opinion poll for the Labour Party and this poll shows that party on one of its highest support levels out of any of the opinion polls carried out in the wake of the February 2016 General Election. Most of the other parties/groupings – with the exception of the Green Party – do lose ground in this poll, with a four percentage point drop in support levels being recorded for the Independents grouping.   

The 26th June Ireland Thinks/Daily Mail opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 26% (down 1% relative to the previous Ireland Thinks/Daily Mail opinion poll), Fine Gael 31% (up 6%), Sinn Fein 16% (down 1%), Independents and Others 19% (down 6%) – including Solidarity-People Before Profit 2%, Social Democrats 2%, Green Party 4%, Independents 11% Labour Party 7% (up 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 46, Fine Gael 63, Sinn Fein 26, Labour Party 8, Solidarity-People Before Profit 1, Social Democrats 2, Green Party 3, Independents 9.   Continue reading

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Ministerial and Junior Ministerial appointments by constituency (June 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 22nd June 2017

This post will look at ministerial appointments by constituency and by region, following the election of Leo Varadkar as new Taoiseach last week and the subsequent appointment of a new cabinet, including Fine Gael and Independent Dail deputies, as well as the junior ministerial appointments which followed a few days later. With thirty four ministerial and junior ministerial posts to be distributed, this meant that just 21.6% of Dail deputies (excluding the Ceann Comhairle) will be taking up these posts, but this percentage increases dramatically to 58.6% when only the Dail deputies from Fine Gael and the group of Independents supporting the Government are factored in.

Senior Minsters Junior Ministers
Female Male Female Male
Carlow-Kilkenny 1
Cavan-Monaghan 1
Clare 1
Cork East 1
Cork North Central
Cork North West 1
Cork South Central 1
Cork South West 1
Donegal 1
Dublin Central 1
Dublin Mid West 1
Dublin Fingal
Dublin Bay North 1 1
Dublin North West
Dublin Rathdown 1
Dublin South Central 1
Dublin Bay South 1
Dublin South West 1
Dublin West 1
Dun Laoghaire 1
Galway East 1
Galway West 1
Kerry County 1
Kildare North
Kildare South
Laois 1
Offaly
Limerick City
Limerick County 1
Longford-Westmeath 1
Louth
Mayo 1
Meath East 1 1
Meath West 1
Roscommon-Galway 1
Sligo-Leitrim
Tipperary
Waterford 1
Wexford 2
Wicklow 1 1
STATE 4 11 3 16

In terms of the senior ministerial/cabinet positions, four (26.7%) of these have been taken up by female deputies – a similar level/number to the female appointments made in March 2016, but up notably on the two positions that were awarded to females in March 2011 following the formation of the previous government. The number of female junior ministers has fallen by one, however – with the percentage of junior ministers who are female falling from 22.2% (Spring 2016 appointments) to 15.8%.

As with the March 2016 appointments, Dublin dominates in terms of the regional distribution of senior ministerial posts, but not to the same extent as was the case in 2011, with seven (46.7%) – as opposed to nine (60.0%) in March 2011 – of the cabinet posts being taken by deputies from the Dublin region. All of the Dublin-based independent Dail deputies who are supporting the government have either been appointed to full cabinet positions (Katherine Zappone, Shane Ross) or to a super-junior ministerial position (Finian McGrath). Five of the fourteen Dublin-based Fine Gael Dail deputies (35.7%) were appointed to the Cabinet. Seven Cabinet positions were divided out between the 36 Fine Gael Dail deputies from the constituencies outside of the Dublin region (19.5%).

Following Michael Noonan’s retirement from the post of Minister for Finance, only two (13.3%) of the cabinet posts are now held by deputies from the Munster region. Both the Leinster (rest of Leinster) and Connacht-Ulster regions, by contrast, now have three senior ministers hailing from these regions.

With Simon Coveney added into the equation, urban-based deputies now account for well over half (53,3%) of all cabinet positions.

Given the very obvious Dublin and urban bias that is still evident in terms of senior ministerial appointments, Geography does not seem to have played a significant influence in shaping these. The precedents from the 2011 and 2016 appointments and the 2014 reshuffle suggested that there would be a somewhat greater degree of geographical balance evident in relation to the junior ministerial appointments, especially given that appointments involving a number of rural-based independent Dail deputies need to be factored in here. This indeed turned out to be the case, as Dublin only accounted for three of the junior ministerial appointments (15.8% of the total). Connacht-Ulster also accounted for three of these appointments (15.8%)  – down from four in Spring 2016 – while Munster accounted for six (31.6%) of these. The region that fared best in this regard was Leinster, which accounted for seven (36.8% of these appointments). In all, the South European Election constituency accounted for over half of the junior ministerial appointments (52.6%), but just one fifth (20.0%) of the senior ministerial appointments.

15.8% (3) of these junior ministerial appointments were given to female Dail deputies, while 84.2% (16) of these were given to male deputies.

Government TDs seemed to have a much better chance of being appointed to a senior ministerial position if they represented a three seat constituency,  while they had a much better chance of getting a junior ministerial appointment if they represented a five seat constituency. Of the senior ministerial/cabinet appointments, 40.0% of these went to TDs from three seat constituencies, 40.0% of these went to TDs from four seat constituencies and only 20.0% of these went to TDs from three seat constituencies. Of the junior ministerial appointments, only 26.3% of these went to TDs from three seat constituencies, 31.6% of these went to TDs from four seat constituencies and 42.1% of these went to TDs from three seat constituencies.

Thirty constituencies now have either a minister or a junior minister. Ten constituencies do not have a minister or junior minister, namely Cork North-Central, Dublin Fingal, Dublin North-West, Kildare North, Kildare South, Offaly, Limerick City, Louth, Sligo-Leitrim and Tipperary. (There are currently no Government TDs representing the Tipperary constituency.)

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Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (8th June 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 8th June 2017

It’s Election Day in the United Kingdom. What do the final opinion poll figures of the general election campaign suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? The opinion polls across the final few weeks of the campaign showed Labour gaining significant ground on the Conservatives, albeit not to such an extent that these improved Labour fortunes seem likely to prevent the Conservatives winning another majority in the House of Commons after the June 8th election. Both of the two largest parties, as of now, are well ahead of the support levels that they won at the 2015 General Election, meaning that the smaller parties are at risk of being squeezed out in this contest.

HouseofCommonsseatestimates_8June2017A

Continue reading

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Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (29th May 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th May 2017

There is little more than a week left now until the general election that is scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8th June 2017.

What do the latest opinion poll figures suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? The opinion polls across the last few weeks of the campaign have shown Labour gaining significant ground on the Conservatives, albeit not to such an extent that these improved Labour fortunes seem likely to prevent the Conservatives winning another majority in the House of Commons after the June 8th election. Both of the two largest parties, as of now, are well ahead of the support levels that they won at the 2015 General Election, meaning that the smaller parties are at risk of being squeezed out.

As the last general election in the United Kingdom showed, estimating seat levels for the House of Commons elections is a hazardous task to engage in, as the votes to seats ratio will be skewed by geography and spatial differences in terms of support gains/losses for different parties. For instance, Labour’s overall share of the vote increased in 2015, relative to the 2010 General Election, by 1.5%, but the extent of the party’s support/seat losses to the Scottish National Party in Scotland (returning with just 1 of the 41 seats that the party had won there in 2010) meant that most of the 701,147 votes won by Labour in Scotland were effectively wasted votes.

 

HouseofCommonsseatestimates_29May2017

For the purposes of this analysis, I have averaged out the estimated support levels for the five political parties in the United Kingdom (Conservatives, Labour, United Kingdom Independence Party, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party) that are covered in all of these polls. As no consistently accurate poll figures are presented here for the regional parties, or for the very small parties, I have assumed – for the purposes of this model – that support levels for these parties/groupings will remain “as was” relative to the 2015 contest. Averaging out the party support estimates in the most recent YouGov/Times, Kantar, ICM/Guardian, Survation/Mail on Sunday, ORB/Sunday Telegraph, Ipsos-MORI-Evening Standard, Opinium/ opinion polls (as published on the UK Polling Report website) estimates support levels for these five parties to stand as follows: Conservatives 45.6% (up by 8.7% relative to 2015), Labour Party 34.2% (up by 3.8% relative to 2015), United Kingdom Independence Party 4.1% (down by 8.5% relative to 2015), Liberal Democrats 9.0% (up by 0.3% relative to 2015) and Green Party 2.2% (down by 1.6% relative to 2015).

I have separately factored in the results of the latest Scottish regional opinion poll (the YouGov/Sunday Times poll of 19 May) into the support/seat estimate figures for the 59 Scottish constituencies. This poll estimated support levels for the five aforementioned parties and the Scottish National Party as follows: Scottish National Party 42% (down by 8.0% relative to 2015), Conservatives 29% (up by 14.1% relative to 2015), Labour 19% (down by 5.3% relative to 2015), United Kingdom Independence Party 1% (down by 0.6% relative to 2015), Liberal Democrats 6% (down by 1.5% relative to 2015) and Green Party 2% (up by 0.7% relative to 2015).

Using the same constituency-level analysis model that I employ to study the likely impact of Irish opinion poll figures on Dail-seat estimates, I estimate the following number of seats would be won by these parties – and other parties in England, Scotland and Wales – in June 2017, should the latest opinion poll figures be replicated exactly at the general election contest (As noted below, I also apply the figures in the most recent Scottish regional poll to generate separate support/seat estimates for the 59 Scottish constituencies): Conservatives 360 (up by 30 seats relative to 2015)Labour Party 218 (down by 14 relative to 2015)Scottish National Party 44 (down by 12 relative to 2015)Liberal Democrats 6 (down by 2 relative to 2015)Plaid Cymru 3 (NC relative to 2015), Green Party 0 (down by relative to 2015) and United Kingdom Independence Party (down by 1 relative to 2015). Continue reading

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Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (24th May 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 24th May 2017

There are just over two weeks to go until the general election that is scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8th June 2017. What do the latest opinion poll figures suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? As the last general election in the United Kingdom showed, this is a hazardous task to engage in, as the votes to seats ratio can be skewed by geography and spatial differences in terms of support gains/losses for different parties. For instance, Labour’s overall share of the vote increased in 2015, relative to the 2010 General Election, by 1.5%, but the extent of the party’s support/seat losses to the Scottish National Party in Scotland (returning with just 1 of the 41 seats that the party had won there in 2010) meant that most of the 701,147 votes won by Labour in Scotland were effectively wasted votes.

HouseofCommonsseatestimates_24May2017c

For the purposes of this analysis, I have averaged out the estimated support levels for the five political parties in the United Kingdom (Conservatives, Labour, United Kingdom Independence Party, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party) that are covered in all of these polls. As no consistently accurate poll figures are presented here for the regional parties, or for the very small parties, I have assumed – for the purposes of this model – that support levels for these parties/groupings will remain “as was” relative to the 2015 contest. Averaging out the party support estimates in the most recent ICM/Guardian, Kantar, Survation/Mail on Sunday, YouGov/Sunday Times, ComRes/Sunday Mirror and Opinium/Observer opinion polls (as published on the UK Polling Report website) estimates support levels for these five parties to stand as follows: Conservatives 47.3% (up by 10.4% relative to 2015), Labour 30.3% (down by 0.2% relative to 2015), United Kingdom Independence Party 5.4% (down by 7.3% relative to 2015), Liberal Democrats 9.0% (up by 0.9% relative to 2015) and Green Party 2.7% (down by 1.0% relative to 2015).

Using the same constituency-level analysis model that I employ to study the likely impact of Irish opinion poll figures on Dail-seat estimates, I estimate the following number of seats would be won by these parties – and other parties in England, Scotland and Wales – in June 2017, should the latest opinion poll figures be replicated exactly at the general election contest (As noted below, I also apply the figures in the most recent Scottish regional poll to generate separate support/seat estimates for the 59 Scottish constituencies): Conservatives 388 (up by 58 seats relative to 2015)Labour Party 187 (down by 45 relative to 2015)Scottish National Party 44 (down by 12 relative to 2015)Liberal Democrats 7 (down by 1 relative to 2015)Plaid Cymru 4 (up by 1 relative to 2015), Green Party 1 (no change relative to 2015) and United Kingdom Independence Party (down by 1 relative to 2015). Continue reading

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Candidates for the next (2017-2021) General Election by constituency

Adrian Kavanagh (First posted on 19th April 2017 – this post will be updated as and when new candidates are selected/declared)

The run in to the next general election, which can take place at any stage over the next four years, has officially commenced given that the Labour Party has now started the process of selecting their candidates for the next general election contest, commencing with the selection of Ged Nash as their candidate for the Louth constituency on 12th April 2017. (See this post for a list of the candidate for the 2016 General Election and an analysis of candidate selection trends ahead of this contest.)

This post will track all candidate selections or candidate declarations, with respect to the next general election, as and when these happen (and I become aware of them!). This will also take account of the fact that there might be changes to Dail constituencies between now and the next general election, but only if the report of the 2017 Constituency Commission is put into law by a new Electoral Act before the next general election takes place. Until the 2017 Constituency Commission report is officially enacted, this post will assume that general election constituencies (and their seat numbers) will remain the same as for the February 2016 General Election.

The number of candidates selected by parties and political groupings (to date)/number of independents who have signaled their intention to contest the next general election are also outlined here, with web links to the official website candidate pages to be provided for these parties/groups in cases where these exist.

As of now (as far as I am aware), 25 candidates have been selected to contest the next general election, or have – in the case of independents – declared their intention to contest the next general election. of these candidates are women (36.0%) and 16 of these candidates are men (64.0%).

Continue reading

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Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (19th April 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 19th April 2017

Following an announcement by Theresa May yesterday and a House of Commons vote to confirm this today, a “snap” general election is now scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8th June 2017. What do the latest opinion poll figures suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? As the last general election in the United Kingdom showed, this is a hazardous task to engage in, as the votes to seats ration can be skewed by geography and spatial differences in terms of support gains/losses for the different parties. For instance, Labour’s overall share of the vote increased in 2015, relative to the 2010 General Election, by 1.5%, but the extent of the party’s support/seat losses in Scotland to the Scottish National Party (returning with just 1 of the 41 seats that the party had won there in 2010) meant that most of the 701,147 votes won by Labour in Scotland were effectively wasted votes.   Continue reading

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