I was browsing politics.ie which is currently hosting an online poll "If there were to be a General Election tomorrow which political party would you vote for?"
Naturally SF is way ahead in the lead. I have noticed this pattern across almost every online political poll on boards.ie, politics.ie, irishtimes etc. But we all know that these results don't translate into reality. SF are a lunatic fringe party with past terrorism links, with a measly 14 seats in the Dáil (compared to FG's 73, Labour's 33 and even the Independents are more popular than them with 21 seats). This raises several questions:
(1) Are websites, such as boards.ie, infested with sleeper cells of SF supporters (or Shinnerbots as they're sometimes referred to) aiming to contaminate young impressionable minds with their propaganda?
(2) If this is the case, why do SF supporters bother hi-jacking these online polls? They have no influence and are a meaningless victory.
(3) How can we stop the influx of shill accounts?
Below is the current politics.ie poll
I don't believe that Sinn Fein have an army of shills and bots. I just think its a case that Sinn Fein's demographic is more likely to be active users of online discussion forums and that they're more attached to arguing their position, thus increasing their visibility.
i think its because many people deep down realise SF raise valid points, but then come election time, havent the bollocks to vote for them. People dont really like change in reality - prefer the status quo, no matter how crap it is.
SF do come in some numbers to many online polls. I have heard of text messages etc been sent around by them
Re the current poll on politics.ie I see that there is a number of total who have voted for each party in the column before the percentages.
By clicking on this ( if you subscribe ) you can get the noms de guerre of each poster has voted.
Anybody interested can look up each poster's posting record. If a number of voters for any party haven't posted for some time before voting, conclusions can be drawn
From my own limited knowledge most of those I know who support SF are in their teens and happily share all the latest 'ra/SF pictures on fb because its the thing to do. Yet most of them are too young to vote.
My younger brother is a prime example , just turned 20, he and all his friends seem to have swallowed the SF spiel yet none ever bother to vote.
In Carlow the SF machine is putting all its effort into targetting the younger generations. If they do get them to vote then......... shudder
I think a large thing as well is that a lot of people on politics ie are actually living in Northern Ireland which has got a huge SF vote. These polls aren't restricted to people living in the south only.
Interestingly, the Boards poll in the run-up to the election in 2011 was quite different:
|8.||People Before Profit||366||1.7%|
|10.||Workers and Unemployed Action Group||56||0.3%|
|11.||South Kerry Independent Alliance||40||0.2%|
|12.||Christian Solidarity Party||16||0.1%|
That's based purely on Boards voters, and it looks very similar to the national results - a poll in the Politics forum might give a stronger SF showing, although a poll in 2009 on the forum didn't:
|The Labour Party||161||28.25%|
|The Green Party||27||4.74%|
Not sure why we're more balanced, bar the absence of FF voters - I'd certainly agree that places like politics.ie, journal.ie etc show much higher SF support than we do. Here's the current Journal poll, for example:
did it ever dawn on you that the polls might be telling the truth. that the ordinary people of ireland have had enough of what fine gael/labour/finna fail have to offer. personally im sick of it and will be voting sinn fein. i can see labour losing at least 5 seats in the next election and fine gael rpobably about the same. Those seats have to go somewhere dont they
Support for SF can mainly be explained by the youthful demographics of the website, and the internet in general I would say. Many SF supporters on here are probably young chaps who still think that supporting the 'RA is the mark of a hard man and don't realise how utterly futile an ideology like nationalism is.
Regarding "shinnerbots" this is probably untrue, but I do admit to getting a good laugh from time to time at the naive SF propaganda that some of the shinners on here spout. While I obviously can't name them for fear of getting into ad hominem territory, some of the posters on here are so indoctrinated with SF's fusion of far left ideology and extreme nationalism that it's quite pitiful. They'll grow out of it hopefully.
Well, no, because the point about these online polls is that they don't reflect public opinion. Online polls are self-selecting (people choose to be in them) out of small audiences with particular interests (politics.ie, boards.ie. journal.ie), and do not represent the Irish public at large, although Boards probably comes closest through sheer scale.
As such, the prevalence of SF or any other party in such polls is completely meaningless except as a guide to the readership of a particular website. It should not be mistaken for real life - although that mistake may be part of the explanation of the effect.
I think their popularity simply reflects a viewpoint similar to yours which is a protest view. You don't say you want to vote for their policies, simply just because they are opposing the government.
Its clear Sinn Fein are often over represented online polls. Its never backed up in elections which is the real indicator.
With online polls we could have people from NI voting where Sinn Fein are more popular due to the tribal nature of politics and people under the age of 18 with which Sinn Fein would be more popular. (I can testify to that with me and a lot of my friends being very pro-republican when we were teenagers). So the online polls arent really worth considering.
This is precisely the propaganda pushing I'm referring to from SF shills. If you want to debate policy, fair enough. But spouting meaningless slogans like a robot is pointless. You're hardly going to convert anyone.
That's 100% true in my opinion. I've heard that Sinn Féin actively have an IT department that pays large amount of boards infiltrators from the proceeds of the Northern Bank Robbery. I mean it's a great political strategy when you think about it, having recreational arguments on the internet brought many a party to power.