If today’s RedC poll results were replicated in a General Election. It would be nightmare on Lower Mount Street for Fianna Fail. The result would be FG 72 seats, FF 45, LAB 33, SF 8, Greens 4 and Others 4 – Higgins, O’Sullivan, Lowry and Murphy. Yes, I’ve been counting chickens again. Read on.My spreadsheet is based on the swing indicated in the poll being replicated evenly across the country. Of course, this won’t happen. There will be regional variations (swing to FG and Labour and FF collapse will be greater in Dublin) and lots of local variations especially where the PDs are gone or where there is a strong independent. But these things usually even themselves out. I am also assuming an that left-of-centre voters will transfer strongly to each other and that terminal transfers will favour the non-FF candidate.
Based on these figures FF would slip to 45 seats with no seats in Kerry North, Tipperary North or Dublin SE. They’d win one in all rest and two in Carlow-Killkenny (just about), Galway West (assuming Grealish goes FF), Louth (due to Kirk) and Laois-Offaly (only chance of 3). Possible casualties include Michael McGrath, Martin Mansergh, Ned O’Keefe, Margaret Conlon, both of the Andrews or even Hanafin, Michael Mulcahy, Conor Lenihan, Peter Power and Beverly Flynn or Daragh Calleary.
FG would have its best election ever with a remarkable 4 seats in Mayo (unlikely but possible), and the possibility 3 in Galway East, Cavan-Monaghan and Laois-Offaly. Seems unlikely but the that’s how the figures fall.
A Gilmore Gale would bring Labour to 33 seats equalling the Spring Tide with fewer votes. They’d take 14 seats in Dublin alone the same as Fine Gael. A big problem for Labour, however, is the absence of candidates in areas where they could have a real chance with the right candidates; Galway East, Clare, Laois-Offaly, Louth and Cavan-Monaghan.
The collapse in Fianna Fail would grant a reprieve for the Greens with White, Gogarty and Cuffe losing out but Boyle making a surprise comeback but only if SF and FF transfers favour him over Fine Gael.
Sinn Fein will become a Dail party in its own right with two possible gains in Donegal and possible gains in Dublin Mid-West and South-West.
The likely outcome would be an FG-Labour coaltion under Enda Kenny with 105 seats. FF, Labour and SF combined would only have 81 and they’d need the Greens or Indepedents to get it together. To do it without Labour, Fine Gael would need to do business with SF and the Greens. That’s not going to happen.
However, if Fine Gael can push up towards 40%, a single party government becomes a real possibility. FF nearly got an overall majority in 2002 with the same share of the vote.
But it all comes with a serious health warning. The Election is months (or years away) and a week is a long time in politics.