Irish Independent\Milward Brown Poll 16th February

Election Poster

Another week and another poll. Tomorrow sees a poll in the Irish Independent my Milward Brown. It has topline figures as follows:

  • Fine Gael 38 (+8)
  • Fianna Fail 12 (-4)
  • Labour 23 (-1)
  • Sinn Fein 10 (-3)
  • Greens 1
  • Others 16 (-1)

This further cements the lead taken by Fine Gael in the polls. It is also further bad news for Fianna Fail who are really beginning to hit rock bottom. Well they hope they are! The greens have really become an irrelevance in this election as with 1% they would be lucky if they were in the toss up for any seat.

Using these polling figures Adrian Kavanagh has calculated the seats as follows:

  • Fianna Fail 13,
  • Fine Gael 78,
  • Labour 42,
  • Green Party 0,
  • Sinn Fein 13,
  • Others 20

Around 10 left leaning independents and 10 right leaning independents would be elected. If things keep building behind Fine Gael it could definately be looking at one party government.

The poll of polls stands at:

  • Fianna Fail 15.5
  • Fine Gael 35
  • Labour 22
  • Greens 2
  • Sinn Fein 12
  • Other 14

Still a lot to play for in the last week..

In other poll news I am told a Cork South Central poll will be in the Examiner tomorrow. And also there was a Evening Herald for Dublin this evening which had the following figures:

  • Labour 31,
  • Fine Gael 29,
  • Ind 16
  • Fianna Fail 10
  • Sinn Fein 11,
  • Green 3

Its going to be a long few days of polls I think!

    Senators Defend the Seanad

    A lunchtime protest by dislocated workers was ...
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    Although they made sound like turkeys voting against Christmas, two Senators have made good arguments in favour of keeping Seanad Eireann.

    Yesterday speaking to the Irish Times, Independent Senator Joe O’Toole had the following to say,

    Speaking this afternoon, Sen. O’Toole acknowledged the existing arrangement was “undemocratic, unfair” and “unrepresentative” and described voting arrangements for the Upper House, where it does not have a universal mandate, as “indefensible”.

    However, the independent senator said the abolition of the Seanad would suit the interests of the political parties.

    “No political party, whatever they are saying, is going to be enthusiastic about a second chamber where they have to listen to the voices of different groups of people whether it be from the Gaeltachts, Northern Ireland, business, farmers, unions, unemployed, voluntary groups, arts community etc,” Sen. O’Toole said.

    Then in today’s Irish Independent, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer also defended the Seanad saying

    “I think the Seanad has a valuable role to play. Some people have latched on to the idea that abolishing it would save the country but I personally think it would be the wrong road to take,” he said.

    “The amount of money saved from closing it would be miniscule. Reforming the Seanad would be better than abolishing it.”

    These are the opinions of the people in that house. Surely they know how its works and are best placed to tell us that it needs reform which has been blocked by certain Senators.

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    Will the Government delay the election?

    A lunchtime protest by dislocated workers was ...
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    Today’s Editorial in the Irish Independent asks for that the following occurs,

    On December 7, the Dail must pass the Budget. Then the Finance Bill should go through with unprecedented speed, to clear the way for the General Election.

    Most people would agree that that is the way that the Government should be planning things, if the budget passes.

    But are they?

    According to Leo Varadkar TD, they are not.

    Under Fianna Fáil’s plan, there are only 10 sitting days left until the Dáil rises on December 16th followed by a 33 day break until the Dáil sits again on January 19th. The Taoiseach has consistently claimed that the Budget is of prime importance yet he is refusing to bring it forward or allow extra time for it and the subsequent Finance and Social Welfare Bills to be debated and voted upon.

    This is a joke. If the Government does not change this plan, it will not be looked on favourable by the electorate. They are hanging on by a thread and by following this course of action they are trying to cling to their positions as they know the writing is on the wall.

    Hopefully the Greens will try and change this plan.

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    How soon before we go to the EU-IMF?

    Broken Cross
    Image by Lochinvar1 via Flickr

    Yesterday I found this post on the Telegraph website (via Stephen Kinsella). Its quite a worrying read for those of us who are worried about Ireland’s future.

    Ireland is funded until April but after that we will have to return to the bond market. Our auctions are currently suspended. As Colm McCarthy said in the Irish Independent

    “The €1.5bn not borrowed in October plus the €1.5bn not borrowed in November represent borrowing postponed, not borrowing avoided,”

    If we can’t raise this money, we may have to tap our pensions reserve of €12bn, but that is not a good idea as we do need that money.

    The spreads over German Bunds are mimicking the action seen in Greece in the final hours before the dam broke.

    This is a worrying sign. Are we about to the way of Greece?

    Even if the government manage to win the Donegal South West election and pass the budget, we might still not be better off.

    Its looking like sooner or later we will have to go cap in hand to the EU-IMF bailout fund.
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    Head Shops – Should they be banned?

    Happy Hippy Dublin
    Image by infomatique via Flickr

    I recently got a mailshot from the local Sinn Fein Councillor, Fiona Kerins, and as part of it, it should her and her comrades picketing outside a shop as it carried out its LEGAL trade.

    Some people may not like head shops, what they stand for, or what they sell. But, they are breaking no law.

    Why should people picket a shop that is not breaking the law?

    Yes I do think mephedrone and its synthetics should be banned, but picketing and threatening shops, as some “dissidents” are doing, is not the answer.

    Maybe we should follow the lead of the UK and ban the substances as soon as possible? Thereby leaving the Head Shops alone to carry out their legal business?

    A recent letter in the Irish Independent makes me think that a total ban on Head Shops is not the way to

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    In agreement with…. Kevin Myers

    Okay so I can see me getting into a spot of bother with this post, but I seam to be heading more right wing in my old age (I turn an old 23 this year 😛 ). But anyway, Kevin Myers got into a spot of bother this week (not a new thing for him) over a colum he wrote for Indo on July 10th entitled “Africa is giving nothing to anyone — apart from AIDS” he raises some good points about population in Africa and how many people can an overstretched continent support? While I might some share some of his exacts thoughts on this issue I think it is something we should be able to share our views on without being called ‘racist’ or have Immigrant Council of Ireland make complaint about views.

    Myer’s column on Friday was also interesting and takes another look at the Olympics, completely ignoring the Tibetan issue (which I am still slightly torn over) but is worth a read. “Corrupt, from the starting blocks to the finishing line” does paint a goodpicture of a country that has hosted the Olympic games.

    After every Olympics, the hosts resemble Belgium 1918: broken, beaten, shattered — their economies ruined, their cities devastated, their sons slain on this Olympian field. The voices rise, querulously declaring, never again: NEVER AGAIN!

    He has a point… Im beginning to feel sorry for China

    Scary Article: HIV threat to students on rise, says GPs

    Irish Independent 13/08/2006

    DOCTORS at Ireland’s third-level colleges have admitted for the first time to treating HIV-positive students in their centres and have called on the Government to rethink its current sexual education policy, which is “failing and ineffective”.

    The news comes as a new sexual health survey conducted by Trinity College Dublin (TCD) of over 2,000 students obtained by the Sunday Independent showed that 51 per cent of students admitted to having a one-night stand and 58 per cent of those said they had more than one.

    A separate UK study published last week revealed that the majority of sexually active teenagers were “mis-using” condoms, risking sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.

    The admission that students within Irish colleges are HIV positive is, according to medical chiefs, merely a reflection of society in general.

    According to Health Service Executive (HSE) figures, up until the end of 2005, there were 4,082 known cases of HIV infections in Ireland, but it is unclear how many of those are students.

    Of the 318 HIV infections diagnosed last year, 159 of them were acquired through heterosexual contact. Of those 318 HIV positive cases, 28 were diagnosed with full-blown AIDS at the same time.

    The TCD study was led by Dr David Thomas, Medical Director at the college’s student health service, who told the Sunday Independent that treatment of HIV-positive students is nothing new but said thankfully the numbers of cases have not risen like those of other STIs.

    The study’s main findings were that alcohol played a big role in students’ decisions to have a one-night stand, sexual education is failing drastically and there is still a taboo about carrying condoms, particularly among girls.

    The report also found several “at-risk” groups, which are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour, often leading to the contraction of an STI. These at-risk students include those who move out of home when going to college, students who binge drink and those students who consume illicit drugs on a regular basis.

    The college’s social and human science students were found to be the most likely to have a one-night stand while engineering students having single-night encounters were most likely to use a condom.

    A total of 44 per cent of those surveyed said they had used emergency contraception while over one in five have said they have used the morning after pill more than three times, which the report describes as “worrying”.

    Just under one in 10 of those surveyed said they had had an STI, with the female group totaling doubling from five to 10 per cent since 2002. Male homosexuals were found to be very diligent in the use of condoms during sex.

    TCD carried out a similar study in 2002, which formed the basis of a Department of Health national survey conducted last year. Entitled the CLAN survey, the study found that the majority of students have had between one and three sexual partners, 71 per cent female and 58 per cent male; 14 per cent had four to five partners, while one in four men have had more than six sexual partners, significantly higher than females.

    Dr Sandra Tighe, Medical Director at the UCD Student Health Centre which sees around 19,000 patients annually, said mass sexual education simply does not work whereas peer educationis found to work extremelyeffectively.

    “These young adults need practical and hands-on guidance. Alcohol is another big factor in people’s sexual behaviour. Our experience on the ground would tally with the report’s findings.”

    It has emerged that the HSE is to give out a massive €165,000 worth of condoms free to prostitutes, gay men and drug addicts in a bid to curb STIs.

    The tax-payer is footing the bill for the health-awareness campaign, which is to focus on prostitutes working the streets in Dublin and a city-centre gay men’s project along with a number of addiction services.