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General Irish politics discussion thread

  • 10-12-2021 1:44pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭

    There doesn't appear to be a thread for the day to day news in Irish politics, much like there is for British politics. I used the search feature but couldn't find one - mods if there is one feel free to merge this into it.

    The big news today is that Sinn Fein have pulled further ahead. 15% up on both FF & FG in the latest Ipsos/MRBI poll. One of the interesting findings from that poll is that Sinn Fein are now the #1 party within the middle-class cohort:

    Remarkably, Sinn Féin has not just consolidated support among its core audience – 45 per cent among working-class voters and 44 per cent among the under 35s – but has also broadened its appeal to include older, middle-class voters. Among those aged 35 and upwards, Sinn Féin attracts a significant 31 per cent of the vote. Among middle-class voters, support is an impressive 27 per cent.


    Mod: threadbanned users (see mod note @ post 3113)

    • Working class heroes 
    Post edited by Seth Brundle on



  • Registered Users Posts: 28,762 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    we re moving into a new era of politics globally, traditional government parties are really struggling with this change, as many of the newer ideas are directly against these older generations beliefs and ideologies, interesting times ahead

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Obviously we're a long way from a General Election but there's a big difference between 30% and 35%. With 30% SF would likely need to rely on FF to form a coalition but once they go over 35% they begin to get into territory where they could possibly form an entirely left-wing coalition with smaller parties and independents. FG got 76 seats in 2011 with 36.1% of the vote.

    The question is - where does the 25% of the vote that isn't for the big 3 parties go? Will enough of it go to the likes of Soc Dems, Greens, Labour to give them a few seats each and allow them to become coalition partners? Would Labour actually even go in with SF?

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,762 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    i think sf will attempt a left coalition, if the numbers stack up, but failing that, they ll be forced to coalesce with ff, and maybe some others, it ll be interesting to see this, but i think they ll struggle to change much, as our governmental systems are ideally setup for the traditional parties

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,024 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    Can you really see SF+Lab+SocDem+Greens agreeing?

    And would they make over 80 seats?

    If SF = 50, then the other three parties need 30+? Is that possible?

    I just can't see the sums work out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,024 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    Labre34 in the post above suggests that SF might get 45 seats on a good day. It's a long way to 80.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 599 ✭✭✭poppers

    SF transfers got a lot of the left TDs elected in 2020. If they run enough candidates this will kill of the smaller left parties. If SF to get 50-55 seats its still a long way to form a gov.

    IMO FG will have been in gov for 3 terms so i doubt they'll go again so only real option if SF/FF.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,762 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    sf and fg are too far apart ideologically as well, so i suspect it ll be sff, i just cant see a left alliance happening

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    I suspect that poster may be thinking with his heart rather than his head. The findings in that poll today alone show that SF are pollng well (and I'll quote his charming description) "outside of their heartland working class sink estates and ghettos "

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,024 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    You say FG got 76 seats with 36.1% of votes.

    Isn't there something called a seat bonus? I don't know much about it.

    Can you really see SF getting a second seat in dozens of constituencies?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Frankly, I didn't see them winning seats in nearly every constituency that they ran in in 2020, even when the polls started picking up their late surge. On that basis I'm certainly not going to rule it out.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Thinking about this again, I'm not sure where that poster got that 45 seat figure from but it's a farcically inaccurate estimation.

    In the 2020 election Sinn Fein won 37 seats with 24.5% of the vote. However that doesn't tell the full story. They famously underestimated their own performance and did not run enough candidates. Going through the constituencies there were many where they got at least 1.5 Quotas in but had nobody to transfer them to. There's no guarantee that any of those people would have been elected especially give SF's infamous transfer issues. However, they had 7 seats where their share of the vote was so high that there is no question that they'd have won the seat:

    1. Dublin South-Central : 1.97 Quotas
    2. Waterford : 1.91 Quotas
    3. Dublin Bay North : 1.79 Quotas
    4. Dublin South-West : 1.78 Quotas
    5. Dublin North-West : 1.78 Quotas
    6. Dublin Central : 1.78 Quotas
    7. Donegal : 2.71 Quotas (they ran 2 candidates)

    So you can add 7 to the 37 that they actually won which gets you to 44 seats off the back of that 24.5% vote share. If they get 30% or even 35%, well then their number of seats will be significantly higher.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,955 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    Yes because they can rely on transfers from the entire rest of the left. I'm in Mayo and I'd put my house on them getting two seats in the next GE, even though they never came within an asses roar of one before 2020 (and I have no idea who their second candidate would be). 45-50 seats is an absurd underestimate. On 35% of the vote they'd be guaranteed 65 seats at the very least.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,276 ✭✭✭✭ArmaniJeanss

    The issue with two candidates is the discipline to split the constituency into two areas and not work each others turf. Also you have to accept that it's a strategy which means you are often aiming for seat#3 and seat#4 in a 4 seater, which can be hard to handle for the main/original TD who knows that on his/her own they'd cruise home in first place with 1.4 of a quota.

    And crucially you have to hold that discipline when you get a bad week of poor polls and awkward headlines (which inevitably happens at some stage of the campaign). With my amateur bookies hat on, I think I'd put their mid point at 52<->54 seats.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Something to note is that if this Government goes full-term (or at least lasts another ~18 months); and the census comes out as expected on current CSO estimates, there will be 14 more seats - extensively in the GDA, causing a lot more 4 and 5 seat constituencies where there are currently 3s or 4s - I'd take a stab at both Meaths going to 4, Kildare North to 5, Dublin Rathdown to 4 for instance.

    This will make it a lot easier for SF to get two seats in these areas, or hold on to a seat somewhere where their existing TD has been problematic (both Kildares for example)

    The flipside of that would be if, say, Louth gets split to 2x3, they'll probably only get one seat in each - they already have 2 of 5.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Why would there be an increase by so many seats? Surely the population hasn't jumped that much in 6 years - or is there some kind of correction going on as well?

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    The population has jumped that much. If the estimates are over it might only be ~10 seats, but we have the absolute bare minimum number of seats for population currently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,830 ✭✭✭✭PopePalpatine

    Good job DCC, god forbid there's ghastly new developments that...

    *checks notes, Ctrl + F for "BTR"*

    ...either have less than 100 units, or have 100 or more units where more than 60% of them will be rented out.

    If DCC ran the NCT, we'd all still be in horses and carriages.

  • Administrators Posts: 53,231 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    I still don't see it, any grand coalition of the left would lack the stability required based on these numbers.

    SF+LAB seems like a likely duo, and that brings them to 39% of seats. They'll need to find the extra 12%. Imagine they manage to court the GP (not a sure thing IMO) that brings them to 44%, still needing 7%, or at least half of the independent + other seats. This is dodgy ground and where things start to unravel.

    SF+FF is still by far the most stable and likely path for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,955 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    Why are you leaving out the SDs? To me they would be the most propitious partners for SF of all the smaller left parties. And I think there's a good chances they'll have the most seats among those parties.

  • Administrators Posts: 53,231 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    I included them in with the others.

    Even with the SDs, they need a big chunk of independents or the PBP/Solidarity types and I do not believe this later group have any interest in governing.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,454 ✭✭✭✭For Forks Sake

    If the SF surge manifests itself, it'll be at the expense of the soc dems/lab/pbp for those final seats so there may not be as many of them to go around.

    That said, SFs track record on vote management when running multiple candidates in a constituency isn't good (they even managed to lose a seat in Donegal of all places in 2016 as a result), up until now they've been going with the blunt force instrument of running one candidate and coming in with 1/1.5/1.8 quotas, managing voters and territory for multiple candidates is an entirely different ballgame,

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,955 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    I'd say a lot of SF's gains will come from the hard and independents. I think there's still a sizeable soft left middle class constituency that don't trust SF and will vote Green/Lab/SD and possibly transfer to FG rather than SF. But of course if those parties end up in government it will almost certainly be with SF.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    There'll still be votes for ~25 centre left seats. I would expect there to be some redistribution of who has them, though.

    What could be interesting is if there is ABSF transferring or tactical voting. Very easy to vote what you think is ABSF and is actually for a party or independent that'll go in to coalition / confidence and supply!

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Eoin Ó Broin was on a radio station and when pressed by the host he agreed that it would be helpful if Gerry Adams apologised over the video he released the other day.

    Asked by presenter Damien Tiernan should Mr Adams apologise, Mr Ó Broin replied: “Let me say one thing before I give you a straight yes or no answer. I don’t believe for a second Gerry either intended to cause hurt or offence to anybody; I really don’t. But given the fact that offence has been caused, yes, I think for him to apologise for the offence that has been caused would be helpful.”


    Would Ó Broin have said that a year or two ago?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,955 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    This is why FG will be hammering home the message that they are the only party who can be trusted not to deal with SF. So I can see a fair number of voters who are broadly left/liberal but strongly anti-SF giving their only preference to FG.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Sounds like Ireland's own mini Republican party is up to it's usual schenanigans:

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,416 ✭✭✭blackwhite

    I'm not sure that FG's performance in 2011 is the best proxy to use to estimate how SF's seat count would look like after the next GE.

    In 2011 Labour took 19% of the vote, and FF took 17%. Both parties transferred to FG in decent numbers and gave FG a seat bonus by scraping in 2nd and 3rd candidates on transfers. That allow FG turn 36% of the vote into 46% of the seats. In particular the FF transfers were critical, with FF taking only 12% of the seats off 17% of the votes.

    In 2011 both FG and Labour were viewed by the electorate as the "change" options, and their vote and transfers reflected that. FG then also did well off FF transfers, because they were seen as the "next best" by the many traditional FF voters.

    In the next election, even if SF hit around 35-36% of the FPV, they'll struggle to get as large a seat bonus because the transfers won't be as plentiful. SF,. FF and FG will take 75-80% of the vote between them - the pool to go fishing for transfers isn't as large.

    Throw in the increased polarisation in Irish politics in general over the past 5 years, and I think we'll see a situation in the next G/E where the % seat share will mirror the % first preference vote share quite closely (as we saw in 2020 as well, with seat share within +/-1.5% of FPV share).

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,921 ✭✭✭✭BonnieSituation

    They really need to let this message go. It isn't working.

    This FG govt brought FF back to power. That's what will do them in. And tbh, given the record since 2017, it would do them no harm to have a natural enough bloodletting and let Varadkar resign without a heave.

    SF and SD's will be the big winners at the next election. I don't think that will be that surprising.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    The cabinet are meeting at the moment to discuss further restrictions. Sounds like there might be a revolt on the back benches though.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Looks like the ministerial cars could be making a comeback:

    Cabinet Ministers will be given greater security including bodyguards and specialised cars following a review of their personal safety carried out by An Garda Síochána.

    The review followed a number of incidents which gave rise to increased concerns over the safety of Government politicians, including protests which have been held outside Ministers’ homes.

    The murders in Britain of Tory MP David Amess this year and Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 also raised concern about the personal safety of politicians.

    At the moment only the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Ministers for Justice and Foreign Affairs have full protection including Garda drivers and State cars.

    The use of Garda drivers and State cars for all Ministers was discontinued after the economic crash.