Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post had a poll on Party Support and the upcoming treaty referendum. For the referendum the Yes side has much to be comforted by. The results are:
Yes: 53% (+6)
No: 31% (-4)
Don’t Know: 16% (-2)
When you exclude the Don’t Know yes side lead 63% to 37%. This shows the strength of the Yes side before the entry of Declan Ganley to the debate so it will be interesting to see if his contribution makes any difference.
In terms of party support the only major statistical movement is drop below 30%. The party support is as follows:
Fine Gael 29% (-3)
Labour 13% (-1)
Sinn Fein 21% (+1)
Fianna Fail 19% (+2)
Others 18% (nc)
Fianna Fail, who have been in the news a lot lately thanks to Eamonn O Cuiv, seems to have gotten a bit of a bounce from that. Sinn Fein remains the second most popular party in Ireland, but I still believe transfers will still be hard to come by for them.
The Government Parties have seen a drop in support which is probably due to the treaty campaign as much criticism has been laid at how the country is being run.
But over all, the movement is all within the margin of error, but trends are starting to set in.
Disclosure: I served on the USI LGBT Campaign between 2006 and 2008
Reports have surfaced that two Dublin Colleges are mulling their membership of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Both Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin (UCD) have issues with current USI Policies and Campaigns according to a post on Studenty Dublin.
According to the post TCDSU president Ryan Bartlett is seeking a referendum on the Union’s affiliation with the USI. Bartlett’s main criticisim focused on the planning and co-ordination of the ‘Stop Fees, Save the Grant’ campaign last year. He said “The national protest didn’t receive enough attention earlier on, which caused logistical difficulties and difficulties with getting the message out there to students and really getting students to understand what the issues were what solutions were available and what the plan of action was.”
“I’m not convinced that the “Stop Fees, Save the Grant” campaign has represented Trinity students and other colleges seem to have accepted that there is a different sentiment in Trinity. This means that students have to ask whether or not they want to continue being represented by USI.”
The post also raises specualtion about UCDSU’s financial difficulties which could see it withdraw from USI.
This year also sees University College Cork (UCC) hold its triennial referendum on USI membership. With only the current President of the SU and the Vice President not seeking election they could be left thin on the ground in what could be a tight vote.
It will be a tough year for USI if any of the three colleges dis-affiliated and it could be in dire straits if all three leave and join the University of Limerick and the Cork Institute of Technology outside of USI.
One of the big issues to be discussed at this weekend’s Young Fine Gael National Conference in Tullamore will be the issue of Gender Quotas. The National Executive of YFG have a motion on it which reads as follow
YFG calls on the Minster for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to impose the 30% gender quota as outlined in the Electoral (Amendment) Political Funding Bill 2011 on the 2014 Local and European Elections
This along with the motion on the Irish Language will be hotly debated. There is much division within the party on this issue. UCC YFG recently passed a motion against Gender Quotas by a 95% margin and ran a campus campaign on it.
While what this motion proposes is extending the quota’s from the General Election to the Local and European Elections.
The Sunday Business Post has two polls for us about the Irish Presidential Election. It has one poll with the 5 nominated candidates so far and one poll with the 7 candidates who will most likely be on the ballot on October 27th.
In the 5 Candidate poll the 1st preference vote would look as follows:
Higgins, Michael D (Lab) 27%
McGuinness, Martin (SF) 20%
Davis, Mary (Ind) 20%
Mitchell, Gay (FG) 15%
Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 15%
This poll is interesting as it has Davis level with McGuinness, but with Sinn Fein being transfer toxic, Davis could be the one to make it to the final count with Higgins.
In the 7 candidate the poll, the first preferences are as follows:
Norris, David (Ind) 21%
Higgins, Michael D (Ind) 18%
McGuinness, Martin (SF) 16%
Davis, Mary (Ind) 13%
Mitchell, Gay (FG) 13%
Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 11%
Scanlon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 6%
When Senator Norris is added in to the poll he takes a margin of error lead over Higgins. Davis falls back to tie with Fine Gael’s Mitchell who does not seem to be making much of an impact in the campaign.
Of course with this many candidates in the race it will all come down to transfers. With this looking like the first Presidential Election to go further then two counts, where the transfers go will be what is important. RED C have polled this and the results are interesting.
Norris, David (Ind) 6%
Higgins, Michael D (Ind) 20%
McGuinness, Martin (SF) 8%
Davis, Mary (Ind) 16%
Mitchell, Gay (FG) 14%
Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 14%
Scanlon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 7%
This is where the campaign for Norris falls down as he comes last in terms of 2nd preferences where he is beaten by McGuinness and Dana. This would spell disaster as both Higgins and Davis could easily gain enough transfers to leapfrog him and leave it as a two horse race. Unless Norris can get a larger lead, he may win the first count but ultimately lose the election. The beauty of the Irish Electoral System?
The count for the Agricultural Panel started last night and has continued today in Leinster House. 28 candidates battled it out for 11 seats on this Seanad panel. The quota for this panel was 88,834. At least four candidates must be elected from each sub-panel.
The following have been elected.
Heffernan, James (Lab) 1st Count (inside panel)
Burke, Paddy (FG) 8th Count (outside panel)
Bradford, Paul (FG) 14th Count (outside panel)
Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor (SF) 17th Count (inside panel)
O’ Domhnail, Brian (FF) 19th Count (outside panel)
Comiskey, Michael (FG) 21st Count (inside panel)
O Neill, Pat (FG) 21st Count (outside panel)
Walsh, Jim (FF) 24th Count (outside panel)
Denis O’Donovan (FF) 25th Count (outside panel)
Paschal Mooney (FF) 25th Count (outside panel)
Susan O’Keeffe (Lab) 25th Count (inside panel)
The Micheal Martin list seems to have not worked fully on this panel with James Carroll losing out. Brian O’Domhnail was on the list so it does work a bit. But at the same time 1 out 4 isnt a great finish. The Fianna Fail vote is extremely tight and the small number of candidates is making it easy for them to keep up numbers wise with FG.
Fine Gael seems to have ran too many candidates on panels but the transfers are remaining tight within FG candidates. But in the end the fact that most FG candidates are starting with low 1st preferences it gives FF an easy ride to steal seats. FG had 5 quotas on this panel, but only won 4 seats. I know they have gained a seat, but this is not how they should be doing it.
Labour have run the exact number of candidates on this panel. They have managed their votes and candidates well with both of their candidates elected. I am especially happy that Susan O’Keeffe has been elected. She will be excellent in the Seanad. Susan was elected as she was the last remaining candidate on the inside panel. Labour so far have have had 3/3 candidates elected, but on the upcoming panels Labour have lots of candidates and may suffer from the same problem as FG.
I have finished another week on the door steps and this week saw me canvassing for Jerry Buttimer and Deridre Clune.
On Monday we were out canvassing in Ballinlough for Jerry Buttimer and we got a good response. I got my first local issue on the door that night. Someone was giving out about City Council and the pothole outside their house. This was no ordinary pothole though! It was huge! So she had to complain! Thankfully Enda had decided to turn up to the debate on Monday so there was no questioning like the last time.
On Tuesday I was out in Ballinlough, again out canvassing for Jerry. This was the day that the Irish Language Policy really became an issue on the doors. I only got it the once, and I managed to canvass that vote as Gaeilge! I was very proud of myself! Enda’s debate performance was raised and it certainly impressed people.
Yesterday was my longest day of canvassing yet. It started with being collected at 7:45am by Jerry to canvass early morning traffic! This is a hard canvass as it can be difficult to interact with people, but people were receptive and will to take the literature.
After a coffee break we were down in Mahon at lunch time. It was a hit and miss area as a lot of homes were empty with the time of day and all that. But people were quite open to being engaged with. After another coffee break in Mahon Community Centre we headed out to Douglas to do a few estates. At this point I was drenched to the bone and my knee was acting up. I did canvass a number of houses, and got a good response, (limping always brings out the sympathy!) by the end of the canvass I was told to stay in the car cause I was in too much pain!
After going home and drying and dosing myself I headed out again (glutton for punishment I am!) This time to Donnybrook with Deirdre Clune. We got an amazing response and quite a number of people wanted to engage with us. Which is good. There was questions on one-party government, jobs, public sector, tax, education and student nurses. A really interesting canvass. I finally finished canvassing at 9pm! Thats makes it at about 13 hours of canvassing! Not to be done in rain I will advise! I have at least 2 more full days planned next week! Its going to be a long week!
Tomorrow is the last week of canvassing and it will be a case of canvassing up until the last moment. So dont be surprised if there is no update until election day! and remember be nice to canvassers!
This week I have been sharing my time with the three Fine Gael candidates in Cork South Central. I find that is the best and easiest thing to do. It also broadens your canvassing experience!
So on Monday I was out with Deirdre Clune. We were canvassing in Donnybrook in Douglas. I was paired with Fiona and it seemed that we got every nice person in the estate! We had lovely chats with people who wanted to talk about disability, social welfare and of course the leadership of Fine Gael, which is a bit of a recurring issue!
There was one house with a bunch of lads and we ended up talking to a few of them and one of the was a Fine Gaeler from Wexford! So all in all a good canvass with a good response and again, people seemed more interested in national issues. That as I have said previously is a good thing in my book.
On Tuesday, after we finally found out when the election would actually be held, I went canvassing with Jerry Buttimer in Turners Cross. Here I was invited into a house for the first time! (yes, it was someone I knew but still!) The reaction was very positive towards change.. I would hate to have been a Fianna Failer knocking on any of those doors. Again the issues that came up were national issues. Higher Education funding and Social Welfare policy was brought up on doors and people were genuinely interested in the policies that Fine Gael had. I must say I am enjoying this campaign!
On Wednesday I went out with Simon Coveney in Ballyphehane. This is an area I knew well as it is where I went to school and have plenty of friends living in the area. It was also a fairly well established area. Again I noticed it was mainly national issues with the Economy being the major issue. Another thing I noticed was the number of people who did not know who they were going to vote for. This was extremely true of elderly people who said they would have normally voted for Fianna Fáil and now don’t know who to vote for. Its going to be interesting to see if they will change their votes on election day.
So all in all 3 nights which were very interesting and I didnt mix up candidate names too often! I am off to Paris now for the weekend so I won’t be on the canvass trail until next Tuesday.
So today I took part in the European Movement Ireland poll canvass in Cork on the European Citizens Initiative. A canvass also took place in Galway and Dublin. We got a great reaction from the people in Cork and I heard the same from Galway and Dublin. We were out in our T-shirts handing out lollipops and pens and postcards with the poll on it. (The front of the postcards are the images in this post). Expect to see more European Movement events like this in the future!
The results of the three polls will be added together. But, it doesn’t end there! You too can take part. You just need to fill in this survey. Its five questions and really short! Thank you!
For more information on the European Movement Ireland, check out their website!