Back to the Feb-ture?: Constituency-level analysis of Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll (27th November 2016)

Adrian Kavanagh, 28th November 2016

The November 2016 Red C opinion polls shows little in the way of changes in support levels since the previous Red C poll in October. The main change here sees Sinn Fein gaining a further three percentage points in terms of their support levels, while support levels for the Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit fall back by four percentage points, following on an exceptionally strong showing for that political grouping in the October 2016 Red C poll.  Support levels for Fianna Fail fall back by two percentage points, leaving Fine Gael once again positioned as the most popular party in the state (albeit by the narrowest of margins), based on these poll support levels.  As it is, the support levels in this poll mirrors the results of the February 26th election to a remarkable degree, save for the fact that Sinn Fein and Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit are faring slightly better and the Labour Party is faring slightly worse. It is almost as if the shifts in support levels that occurred over the past eight months never happened! The 27th November Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Independents and Others 29% (down 3%) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 5%, Social Democrats 4%, Green Party 3%, Renua 1%, Independent Alliance 4%, Other Independents 12% – Fine Gael 25% (NC), Fianna Fail 24% (down 2%), Sinn Fein 16% (up 3%), 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 47, Fine Gael 49, Sinn Fein 28, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 7, Labour Party 1, Green Party 2, Social Democrats 4, Independents 20.  
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The 2016 US Presidential Election: Disproportionality and the Electoral College

Adrian Kavanagh, 18th November 2016

As the dust settles following the conclusion of the 2016 USA Presidential Election campaign, there are two striking patterns, or trends, which point towards the high degree of disproportionality associated with the Electoral College system, as with other “first past the post” electoral systems:

  • Donald Trump can be seen to have won a very clear 306-232 victory in the Electoral College
  • Hillary Clinton will emerge as the candidate with the highest number of “popular votes”. Even with counting still ongoing in some US states, she currently holds a lead of over two million votes over Donald Trump in the popular vote (over 2.3 million votes based on the latest updates), which could be further extended if there are still some more votes to come in from Democrat/Blue states, such as California where she has currently opened up a winning margin of just over 4.0 million votes

Rather than getting into a pointless debate about the “unfairness” of the system. As an electoral geographer, my argument is that you have to take the rules of the electoral game/system and shape your campaign to put these to your advantage. This is something that the Trump/Republican campaign clearly did in 2016. Instead, this post will try to tease out why there was such a mismatch between the percentage of the electoral college votes won by the two candidates and the percentage of the popular vote won by them. Continue reading

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AAA-PBP SBB ina Shuí?: Constituency-level analysis of Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll (30th October 2016)

Adrian Kavanagh, 1st November 2016

The latest in series of Red C opinion polls shows little change in support levels for the two largest parties in the wake of the recent Budget, with Fianna Fail support levels dropping by one percentage point, while Fine Gael support levels remain as they were back in September’s poll. The Independent Alliance do gain two percentage points in this latest poll, however. The main shifts in terms of support patterns comes on the left of the political spectrum, however. Support levels for both Sinn Fein and Labour fall by two percentage points, but there is a three percentage point increase in support levels for Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit.  The 30th October Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 26% (down 1% relative to the previous Red C opinion poll), Independents and Others 32% (up 6%) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 9%, Social Democrats 3%, Green Party 3%, Renua <1%, Independent Alliance 6%, Other Independents 10% – Fine Gael 25% (NC), Sinn Fein 13% (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 53, Fine Gael 48, Sinn Fein 19, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 12, Labour Party 2, Green Party 2, Social Democrats 2, Independents 20.  

Other Recent Polls: A number of other opinion polls were carried out in the weeks prior to, as well as the weeks following, the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll. Analyses of these are not covered in detail on this website, but the seat-estimate figures drawn from a constituency-level analysis of these polls will be reported below: Continue reading

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Heading towards a three-party, not a two-and-a-half party, system?: Constituency-level analysis of Irish Times-Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll (6th October 2016)

Adrian Kavanagh, 6th October 2016

After little change in party support levels had been evidenced in the wake of the February general election, a series of opinion polls in July 2016 (most notably the July Ipsos-MRBI poll) pointed to significant gains in support for Fianna Fail, pushing that party ahead of Fine Gael in terms of overall support levels. The general trend since then has been for Fianna Fail to maintain its position ahead of the other parties and groupings, including Fine Gael, at the head of subsequent opinion polls, although the party, on average, has lost some support relative to the high levels it attained in the July Ipsos-MRBI poll, while Sinn Fein – after a relatively disappointing general election – has made some notable gains in the most recent polls.  This July Ipsos-MRBI poll had marked a notable break from the earlier post-election polls that preceded it. The latest Ipsos-MRBI poll is not as dramatic; although it does show a seven percentage point drop in Fianna Fail support, this probably merely reflects the trend that has been observed across other opinion polls over the past four months. This poll is notable because it shows Fine Gael drawing level with Fianna Fail, but other recent polls did not show a particularly sizable gap between these parties, in any case.  This poll amounts to very good news for Sinn Fein, as that party now finds itself once again at the level of support it enjoyed in the two years before the February 2016 election.  This is not a good poll for Labour, however, with that party staying at 5%; going somewhat against the trend in recent polls which saw that party clawing back the ground lost in the post-election polls.

The 6th October Irish Times/Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 26% (down 7% relative to the previous Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll), Independents and Others 24% (up 2%) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3%, Social Democrats 2%, Green Party 3%, Renua <1%, Independents 15% – Fine Gael 26% (up 2%), Sinn Fein 19% (up 3%), Labour Party 5% (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 48, Fine Gael 48, Sinn Fein 31, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3, Green Party 3, Labour Party 2, Social Democrats 2, Independents 22.  

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As You Were More Or Less…: Constituency-level analysis of Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll (25th September 2016)

Adrian Kavanagh, 26th September 2016

After little change in party support levels had been evidenced in the wake of the February general election, a series of opinion polls in July 2016 pointed to significant gains in support for Fianna Fail, pushing that party ahead of Fine Gael in terms of overall support levels. The latest in series of Red C opinion polls more or less reflects the trend that has been established across all polls from July onwards; showing Fianna Fail standing a few percentage points ahead of Fine Gael in terms of overall support levels.  This also reflects the trend evidenced in the recent Behaviour & Attitudes poll, in which the two largest parties were both seen to lose some ground to Sinn Fein, Labour and the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit. (This poll, however, sees the Social Democrats standing in notably stronger position than was the case with the Behaviour & Attitudes poll.) The 25th September Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 27% (down 2% relative to the previous Red C opinion poll), Independents and Others 26% (NC) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 6%, Social Democrats 4%, Green Party 2%, Renua <1%, Independent Alliance 4%, Other Independents 10% – Fine Gael 25% (down 1%), Sinn Fein 15% (up 2%), Labour Party 7% (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 52, Fine Gael 44, Sinn Fein 23, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 8, Labour Party 7, Social Democrats 4, Independents 20.  

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Larger parties lose some ground to Sinn Fein: Constituency-level analysis of Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll (18th September 2016)

Adrian Kavanagh, 21st September 2016

The 18th September Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll shows  Fianna Fail still holding the position of the most popular political party in the state,  standing some five percentage points ahead of Fine Gael. However, the two largest parties have lost some ground in this, the latest in the series of Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion polls, with Sinn Fein emerging as the main beneficiaries of this loss in support. Labour continues to regain the ground lost by the party in the opinion polls carried out in the weeks/months immediately following the February election. The 18th September Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll estimated party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 28% (down 2%), Independents and Others 24% (NC) – including Social Democrats 1%, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 4%, Renua <1%, Green Party 2%, Workers Party 1%, Independent Alliance 4%, Other Independents 12% – Fine Gael 23% (down 2%),  Sinn Fein 18% (up 4%), Labour Party 7% (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 54, Fine Gael 43, Sinn Fein 27, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 5, Labour Party 7, Social Democrats 1, Green Party 0, Independents 21.  Continue reading

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Fianna Fail surge confirmed: Constituency-level analysis of Sunday Business Post-Red C and Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion polls (18th July 2016)

Adrian Kavanagh, 18th July 2016 (Updated: 30th July 2016)

The July 7th  Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI opinion poll had shown the most dramatic movement in political party support levels since the February 26th General Election, pointing to a notable increase in support for Fianna Fail, mainly at the expense of the Independents grouping. The Red C and Behaviour & Attitudes opinion polls carried out between March and June had not shown any notable changes in support levels for political parties/groupings, but the most recent editions of these polls (both published on 17th July) now tend to mirror the trends observed in the Ipsos MRBI opinion poll, albeit not to as dramatic an extent. Contrasting with the Ipsos MRBI poll, these polls both point to a loss in support levels for Sinn Fein, bringing that party back to a level just below their February 26th General Election performance. There is no great movement in terms of support levels for Fine Gael and Labour, but these parties are not seen to be losing major ground in these polls either. The 17th July Sunday Business Post-Red C opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 29% (up 3% relative to the previous Red C opinion poll), Fine Gael 26% (NC), Independents and Others 26% (down 1% relative to the previous Red C opinion poll) – including Social Democrats 4%, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 5%, Green Party 4%, Renua 1%, Independent Alliance 5%, Other Independents 7% – Sinn Fein 13% (down 2%), Labour Party 5% (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 57, Fine Gael 50, Sinn Fein 18, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 6, Social Democrats 4, Green Party 2, Labour Party 4, Independents 17.  The 17th July Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 30% (up 5% relative to the previous Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll), Fine Gael 25% (down 1%), Independents and Others 24% (down 3%) – including Social Democrats 2%, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 5%, Green Party 2%, Renua 0%, Workers Party 3%, Independent Alliance 4%, Other Independents 8% – Sinn Fein 14% (down 3%), 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 58, Fine Gael 47, Sinn Fein 21, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 7, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 1, Labour Party 3, Independents 18.  

A Paddy Power-Red C opinion poll, carried out roughly two weeks after these two polls, produced roughly similar support levels to these. The 29th July Paddy Power-Red C opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 28% (down 1% relative to the 17th July Red C opinion poll), Fine Gael 27% (up 1% relative to the 17th July Red C opinion poll), Independents and Others 26% (NC) – including Social Democrats 3%, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 4%, Green Party 3%, Renua <1%, Independent Alliance 5%, Other Independents 10% – Sinn Fein 15% (up 2%), Labour Party 5% (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 54, Fine Gael 49, Sinn Fein 24, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 6, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 2, Labour Party 0, Independents 20.  

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