TV3 Opinion Poll – Data Interpretation

The Millward Brown Lansdowne poll published by TV3 last night showed Labour on 29%; FG 25%; FF 18%; Green 2%; SF 3%; Others 7% Don’t knows 17%.

Excluding don’t knows – FF 22%, FG 30%, Lab 35%, Gr 2%, SF 4%, Ind 8%.

Methods ; telephone poll of 1000. on 21/22 September 2010 according to European and Irish Market Research and Opinion governing bodies. “Data was weighted at the analysis stage to represent the adult population aged 18+ years”. I am not sure exactly how this is done. Because in my area of Dublin Northwest, the more troubled areas have the lowest voter turnout, usually in the 30s%.

My interpretation as objectively as I can muster is because these polls are usually =/- 3% for the 95th Percentile of the data, the true results to 95% confidence are Labour 32-38%; Fine Gael 27-33%; Fianna Fail 19-25%; Green zero to +5%; Sinn Fein 1-7%; Others 5-11%.

Thus the lower quartile of the Labour distribution overlaps with the upper quartile of the Fine Gael distribution. This means that they are essentially equal. If this is true, Fine Gael may have a slight advantage of incumbency, higher number if councillors and wider organisation.
However, in the 1992, Spring tide, Labour had Bhamjee in Clare, Gallagher in Laois, Bree in Sligo, Sean Ryan on two quotas in Dublin North, Penrose in Westmeath etc where the organisation was very limited. The voters decided to flow to Spring and the result was unprecedented. It is for that reason, I think that Fine Gael will be the biggest party but only just.
Fianna Fail will be in the 40s for seats.

Damian Kiberd read out the Dublin figures to me at Lunchtime on Newstalk
106 radio. These were Labour 43%; Fine Gael 26%; Fianna Fail 16%. These figures are subject to a high tolerance +/- 5%.

In Leinster, the Labour 36%; Fine Gael 26%; Fianna Fail 24%. Tolerance is again high.

With regard to the next Taoiseach, Gilmore is on 36%; Kenny on 19%; Cowen 11%; The interesting breakdown in the constituents of these numbers is that 23% of FG opted for Gilmore as Taoiseach and only 53% opted for Enda Kenny.
Whereas only 5% of Labour voters opted for Enda Kenny. Interesting 12% of Sinn Fein supporters opt for Kenny. This is bad news for Fine Gael.

The data does not indicate why the ex-FF voter has moved to Labour. It is easy to speculate the reasons.