13th Feb SBP Poll Report – Full2011.02.14
Fine Gael upward trend continues
Fine Gael sees a further gain in first preference vote share as undecided voters begin to make up their minds, and in doing so support the party. They take 38% share of the first preference vote and while this is up 3% since a week ago, of more interest is the trend over the campaign. When polls are conducted so frequently the trend is key to the analysis, rather than the poll on poll movement. The trend for Fine Gael is very positive, with a series of poll results since the beginning of the year that has seen the party move from 32, to 35, to 33, to 37, to 35 to 38. This upward trend means on average in the past three polls (those taken in February) Fine Gael is securing 37% share overall.
Independent and other parties are the other big winner this week. Having seen the largest number of independent candidates registered in this election earlier in the week it is perhaps not a surprise that many voters are now choosing this option. Particularly when such a large number of undecided voters are past Fianna Fail supporters with no home to go to at the moment. In total Independents/others secure 14% share, up 3% since last week, and averaging out at 12% over the past three polls. Fianna Fail could potentially be suffering as Independents gain share, given that such a large number of past Fianna fail candidates are now running as Independents. Certainly in this poll the party secures just 15% of the first preference share, down 25 since a week ago, and leaving the average share over the past 3 polls at 17%. This perhaps is the most surprising result from the poll, as many commentators myself included had suspected that the Fianna Fail vote would harden in the weeks before the election. Now it appears that despite the popular appeal of new leader Michael martin the party may not see a late surge of undecided voters move back to the party. Even the spiral of silence analysis that we conduct suggest that the share is not significantly depressed by “shy voters”. Labour will also be disappointed in today’s poll, which sees the party secure 20% first preference, but this figure is also in line with recent trends that has seen the party strength of support weaken in the past few weeks. Their average for the past three polls is now relatively stable at 20%, but in order to ensure they remain in the mix of the next government the party will want to see support return to the low to mid 20’s. Sinn Fein also lose share in this poll, down 3%, to leave the party back at 10% and back to the same levels seen before the Donegal by election surge. This is a very similar pattern to that the party had at the last election, and may mean they do not benefit as much as had been hoped for. Finally the Green party secure 3% of the vote which is remaining relatively steady as the campaign progresses, but still may not be enough to see them take any seats.
SBP 13th Feb Poll 2011 Report
View more presentations from Richard Colwell.