General Election Prediction

Just for the craic.

Ceann Comhairle (Speaker, unopposed)…..1

The other 157 seats.

Fine Gael 52….Labour 10……(outgoing Govt wont reach the numbers to continue). Very bad day for Labour and blood on the carpet in TV studios)

Fiann Fail…..33ish…..largely forgiven by electorate. Back in the game as Official Opposition.

Sinn Féin….24 (not the breakthru they wanted but they will manage expectations and proclaim themselves the credible left wing Opposition. But ultimately they are too toxic in the South. The 2016 result will be better than 2011 but this is the high tide.

that will leave around 38 Others. A high tide for them also as any early election will force most back to a “Party”. And a mixture from Social Democrats (up to 5) and assorted “far left” (7 or 8) but onltthe SDs can realistically be courted by outgoing government.The SocialDemocrats might be the kingmakers but I cant see a crushed Labour wanting to be part of a coalition again.

throw in the Shane Ross types (they will do better than Renua, who I think might be wiped out) but I cant see them formally agreeing to any formal coalition.

Gene-pool Fianna Fáil will take seats and of course genuine Independents….but as I see it most likely the same outcome as everyone else sees it….a hung Dáil, a minority Fine Gael government and a new election within two years.

If Iam wrong, I will be in good company. The last seats in every constituency will be dramatic.


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37 Responses to General Election Prediction

  1. Joe Cowan says:

    I think you’re not far off the mark there John.

    Just putting it out there but I wonder about the possibility of a FG/SF coalition. It gives them the numbers with the help of a few independents perhaps. I think that if Sinn Fein do not go into government now they could remain a small opposition party for ever. Plus 2016 is ‘their’ big year and Gerry will be 72 at the next election.

    Just a thought, but that’s my prediction for the next Dail. Fine Gael and Sinn Fein in coalition.

    • I cant see that Joe.
      The junior party in a coalition gets no credit. Look at Lib Dems last year at Westminster and Labour will be crucified tomorrow.
      So it would be a big mistake.
      fIanna Fáil will be happy enough to be the Officia Opposition and vote against a minority FG government and expose a few cracks
      But if the Govt lasts two years, FF can try and bring it down at te right time or FG can choose their own time.
      Either way it will be a cat and mouse game.
      But if FG-FF form a coalition, then that leaves the third Party …definitely Sinn Féin as the Official Opposition and effectively the alternative Government. Neither FF or FG will want that.
      Afew months ago, I would have said that a FG-FF coalition was possible….now I just dont see it.
      FF had a great campaign and Micheal Martin willbe happy enough with say 35 seats and space between FF and SF.
      SF had a bad campaign. Gerry Adams is a liability.

      • Sinn Féin Supporter in Tyrone says:

        Not sure I would go along with that. Remember not to swallow everything RTE feed you.

        Gerry Adams has taken the party from almost zero to its greatest showing in the south. Hardly bad leadership.

        Martin McGuinness has said that Gerry Adams is the most important leader in Irish politics.

        I recon Sinn Féin’s rise in the south will continue for many years to come.

      • I dont swallow anything that RTE says. Nor do I swallow anything that Sinn Féin press officers….on average industrial wage….say.
        The point about leadership is that whatever the result SF get, it would be better if someone else was leading SF. Adams is too vain to step down.
        And his arrogance and disrespect was obvious in the “whos Senator Cahill?” response.
        Not sure there is any worth in McGuinness thinking Gerry is great. He is a Party member and thats what Id expect him to say.

      • Sinn Féin Supporter in Tyrone says:

        By the way 24 would be a breakthrough. Recall that this is up 10 from 14 currently. And when SF win a seat they have a habit of building on that. Very few seats that SF win do SF lose. Look at West Tyrone for example.

      • Well they won five Westminster seats in 2011 and lied thru their teeth saying they would add Upper Bann and North Belfast….and failed miserably……so it is a habit thats easily broken.
        You are managing expectations.
        Fair play to you. But 24 would be well short of a breakthru.

      • Sinn Féin Supporter in Tyrone says:

        Actually the truth is simpler than the conspiracy theories. Gerry Adams simply had misheard and had thought that Kenny had said Sandra Cahill, so simply had asked who Sandra Cahill is (not Senator Cahill).

        This is understandable as Kenny had not been very clear in his speaking.

      • Bollox….No he didnt mishear.
        Nobody else misheard.

  2. Sinn Féin Supporter in Tyrone says:

    By the way I would argue that SF are better at getting their voters out than FF or FG and hence you may well be in for a surprise on Saturday.

    • More Bollox.
      Take a look at the Election Prediction site avialable thru
      The predictednumber of seats for SF has been steadily going down for months. SF were confidently thinking of 35 seats. Now the site is predicting 28.
      If you look at number of seats SF won in 1957 you will see it was 4….and they lost them next election.
      The H Block seats won in 1981 were promptly lost.
      In 2002 they won 5 seats and in 2007 won 4 seats. In 2011 they won 14 and clearly they will do better in 2016. By all means con yourself into believing that SF have a habit of building on the seats they win but dont try and con me …the evidence is not there.
      What goes up, goes down. SF like all parties have a maximum number of seats that are winnable and the number obtained this time will be at or near the maximum.
      Sinn Féin is toxic to most southern voters and Adams is especially toxic.
      SFs “breakthru” in 2016 is directly linked to Labours collapse.

    • Joe Cowan says:

      There might well be a surprise for Sinn Fein supporters on Saturday, but it is likely not to be the one they expected. I think Sinn Fein actually underperformed in this election for the following three reasons.

      1) Blaming the media was a very weak strategy. I’m not actually referring to whether there was or was not media bias, but to publically being critical of it. This I feel showed a certain lack of confidence by the party. If media bias is present the voters will always be intelligent enough to recognise it. If it is pointed out it will simply put people off. I really think SF lost a few % in the polls after this was talked openly about. Also the blaming of the Independent Newspaper was excessive. There is no question that they are against Sinn Fein, everyone knows this. However, freedom of the press is a fundamental to a republic. A newspaper has the right to say what they want and to be as bias as they like. The protest that SF had outside INM was in my view anti-republican and scared many people. It was an attack on the very republic and beginning of SF’s decline since the council elections and euro election.

      2) Quality of candidates is a major problem for SF in the south. There is the three amigos of Adams, McDonald and Doherty and they are strong. After this there are about 10 candidates who are passable. The big problem is the remaining 37 candidates are extremely weak. I don’t in any way wish to be disrespectful to them however I do believe it is a factor especially on the doors. I really believe SF Supporter in Tyrone that if they knocked on your door you would probably have second thoughts about sending them to the Dail.

      3) Sinn Fein made a big mistake in the implicit message that Sinn Fein is Irishness and other parties lack Irishness. This message was never said out loud but I feel it was still very clear. They tried to own 1916 which is not what 1916 was about. I feel that Sinn Fein created an impression that the Sinn Fein party is above the state. In fact, I think Sinn Fein really believe that they are the Irish State and by not supporting SF is not supporting Ireland and criticising Sinn Fein is a direct attack on Ireland and Irishness. This is extremely dangerous and the voters really felt this vibe and that will be reflected in the polls.

      I am an Irish nationalist and I would love to see a united Ireland. However, all three of my points above reinforce my view that Sinn Fein is the single biggest block preventing a united Ireland from happening.

      • Joe….Independent Newspapers very anti-Sinn Féin but as well as reflecting how the Indo feels, it was probably reflecting how the general public feel. There is a limit to how many seats SF can get. They are not going to get many transfers and people dont accept them fully.
        I actually thought SF would play up 1916 more than it did. I think that in the first few days they were using it more than in last few days.
        They relied too much on Adams. It is hard to tell how good/bad other candidates are because they were not seen often. I had heard good things about David Cullinane but on the two or three occasions I saw him, he was very poor.

  3. zig70 says:

    just on the senator Cahill thing. The RTE subtitle text recorded Enda as saying Sandra Cahill. I’m curious on Gerry’s toxicity. Vincent Browne in the IrishTimes ‘In terms of achievement, no other figure in Irish public life rates even close to him.’ . Gerry definitely is rubbish in interviews on the economy but he has a big media presence. Can’t take back what happened during the troubles, it was certainly strategic stupidity on the IRA’s part and you can attribute some of that to Gerry. I don’t think SF’s strength is solely Gerry, their strength is the folk on the ground. The type of people who will take an industrial wage and believe in the movement, though he definitely seems to have leadership which is a rare trait. It would be a risk to move him on.
    Are you calling a hung parliament and a re-election or a motley crew minority government? What would it take for an election re-run. I could see an FF/FG, holding hands for the year it is, old warriors at peace, that and the fact it is Michael Martin’s only chance of office.

    • I start from the premise that I as 17 in 1969 and lived in west Belfast in the worst years and I have often talked about the arc of events in 1971/72 which influenced how I felt.
      I have been very candid about it.
      And candid about the first SDLP years 1973-1982. Candid about the years 1981-93 when I was merely a family man who voted SDLP. And i have been open about voting SF 1993-2009
      In a way, I have learned a lot about myself.
      I have never had any misconceptions about Sinn Féin.
      While much of what happened is History, I think we are owed Truth….SF has no obligation to be truthful, candid or even self incriminating but in the absence of candour, we can make judgements if they try and treat the electorates as idiots.
      As I often say “dont con a con man”.
      It might well be possible to say that Gerry Adams is a net conteibutor to Peace but we can only make that judgement if we know the facts.
      There is a case to be made that he is an asset to SF…..and a case to be made that he is a liability.
      I would say a “liability” ….I would suggest that his crafted eccentricity (the Teddy Bear and the Trampoline) works well with core voters….but the key observers might well be those we call dissidents.
      Yes…I think we will have a “hung Dáil” and by tacit agreement uncomfortable issues will be avoided until FG or FF collapse it…two years.

  4. Given the variable poll results of late I’ve given up on predicting the election. 20 TDanna would be a good result for SF, up from 14 in 2011. 20+ would be very good. 25+ would be phenomenal. Agree, Adams performances were so-so in the 4-way debates. However he was much better in the multi-leader setting. Probably his last general election and probably an apt time to go. Low transfer rates to SF are a big block and will remain so for this election but not thereafter. Labour and Fianna Fáil have lost voters to SF but the party is equally benefiting from new first-time voters.

    I reckon myself an FG government is certain. It’s the A.N. Others that are open to question. Labour? Probably. Fianna Fáil support in An Dáil on a case-by-case basis? Possibly. In either case disastrous for the country. Though SF will reap the benefit as THE party of opposition. I’m hoping other parties of the Left will make gains tomorrow.

    • Sinn Féin Supporter in Tyrone says:

      I recon any improvement on 14 would be a good result for SF in a very competitive field. Anything over 18+ would be very good. SF’s strategy in the south is that of increase but that increase must be worked at over time, year-in, year-out.

      • What you aredoing is called managing expectations.
        All reasonable predictions have SF in the mid 20s and thats down on what was being predicted some months ago.
        There is no heady talk of Gerry being Taoiseach or even in Government.
        Remember that when SF get into the 20s and you comment on the brilliant performance as you think anything over 14 is good then it is so obvious, I wont be publishing it.
        As you claim SF makes a habit of retaining and building on seats gained….three words. ….Fermanagh-South Tyrone!

      • Close to under 20 would be a good result, above 20 very good. I think the latter is the psychologically important number. 20 TDanna or above would put SF in mainstream territory, on a par with FG and FF. Agree that the party is playing the long game. Let FG, Lab, etc. lead a rainbow coalition and SF will benefit the next general election.

      • Yes…20 is psychologically good ….as is 25.
        The difficulty is that there are 40 constituencies and theres a range of 3 to 5 seaters. sf has to score some quotas on first counts…transfers will be difficult.

    • I think Labour will tear itself apart. The maximum number of seats I have seen predicted is 12 and that looks high to me.
      A lot depends on who is actually going to be a Labour TD on Sunday….Burton, Howlin, White, O’Riordan, Kelly, Costello, at best I can only see two of them make it.
      And while most ex Labour TDs will gracefully retire with pensions, the rank and file will be angry.

      • I’m hoping for a Labour meltdown. I say that as someone who used to give a 2nd or 3rd preference to the party. Never again! It is firmly a party of the centre-right. The name “Labour” is now a mere historical hangover. The post-election infighting should be good.

    • Sionnach….
      See my reply below re Labour Party. It is out of sequence here.

  5. kevinbarryhughes says:

    ‘But ultimately they are too toxic in the South. The 2016 result will be better than 2011 but this is the high tide.’

    Wishful thinking?

    • No, I dont think so.
      There is an optimum number of seats.
      Certainly forty years ago, Civil War politics was still a big thing in the South. I recall being in a “posh” house in Blackrock, Dublin during an election campaign and the woman of the house was a real Blue Shirt (didnt like northerners much) and she was bitter about Fianna Fáil.
      So I am saying there are a lot of people who would never vote Sinn Féin in the south…and more so they would not while Gerry Adamsis an issue.
      Very impressed with their MEP, Matt Carthy. Future Leader?

  6. Political Tourist says:

    Certainly interesting looking at this election from a starting point for the Provos in the 1980s.
    They might get X amount of TDs.
    That’s a long way from 1.2% from way back and one TD in Monaghan.
    Do you still get SDLP folks crossing the border to help the Labour Party?

    • Theres no doubt that Sinn Féin have improved but not as well as they thought they would do.
      If you look at the site (not my favourite site) there is a thread started some months ago “how many seats will SF win”-and the SF contributors based on opinion polls of 18-20% were talking up SF to 30 seats or more.
      In fact the actual percentage is well short of what SF expected.
      The strategy of running two candidates in some places has not worked as well as they thought.
      Yes…some SDLP people went down to help out Labour.

  7. Political Tourist says:

    And didn’t the Provos even at the start of this century still go with the mantra, “sure it’s not this election but the one after”.
    Suppose in theory the Provos have made the breakthrough they always craved.
    Wonder if Fra Browne is still active in Dundalk.

    • I think SF always think that they are unstoppable. I want to be fair to Sinn Féin….its a good performance but its not spectacular.
      This election shows the Irish Electorate is very forgiving …and the next election will be Labours turn to be forgiven.
      Adams (Slab Murphy also) cost them seats. There are leaders in waiting. mAry Lou might miss her chance as Matt Carthy is coming up on the rails.
      This performance is not as good as Martin McGuinness in Presidential election. So obviously better than 2011 but they have peaked.

  8. Wolfe tone says:

    Imho SF missed a trick when it tried to sit on the fence re water charges. They were not radical enough and allowed independents like Paul Murphy fill that void. He and others declared and called on the people to refuse paying the water tax. The shinners dilly dallied. They only came around to being out and out opposed to the tax when they lost the Dublin by-election to Murphy, a by election in which they were favourites to win. Alas the horse had bolted and I suspect people could rightfully see through this new radical stance on the water tax as simply cynical opportunism.

    • I think thats a fair point.
      SF have actually been losing ground for about 18 months…north and south.
      The Water Charges…didnt they say that no refunds to people who had paid but that people should not pay in future. Thats populism.
      But it also seems that some of their two and three candidate strategies …they over-reached. It looks like this was put place when things were better for SF. This is not the “Easter Centenary” they planned.

      • boondock says:

        Certainly over reached in Donegal where they threw away a nailed on seat by running 3 instead of 2 candidates. Watch a similar result happen now in FST, 3 seat was always going to be tough but with a 4th candidate votes will be shredded allowing the SDLP in.

      • I think they were basing their candidate selection and vote management on the data they would have had eighteen months ago,, rather than the most recent data.
        They lost seats in the 2014 Norn Iron councils (I dont know how they did in the most recent locals in Republic) but they did well in the 2014 Euros in the Republic.
        They lost the FST Westminster seat in 2015 and there was no improvement in North Belfast and Upper Bann….they were of course spoofing when they talked up their chances.
        They will be disappointed with these results in Centenary Year. Obviously better than 2011 but not nearly as good as a General Election would have been in 2014 or 2015. They will spin it as a stunning success but the inquest behnd closed doors will be different.
        Donegal shocked me. Thats over-reaching thru arrogance but there were other misses…notably a second seat in Cavan-Monaghan.
        It is a definite set back for them.
        Fermanagh-South Tyrone…since Gildernnew was added to the ticket, it was always likely that one of the Fermanagh men would be told to step down. The Donegal fiasco makes it certain.

  9. Wolfe tone says:

    I think amongst the electorate north and south people are crying out for something different hence the eagerness for independents. S.F had the chance to be different to other political parties but the electorate see through cynicism and I would argue don’t trust cynical populism. The cynical way they have handled the Tory welfare carry on could harm them in the upcoming election in the north, ironically the way the rolled over on that issue was to help them in the south election. They need to be more radical and then stick to their principles but alas we all know they find that difficult!

    • Interestingly there was a good discusssion about the rise of Independents on RTE last night. JOe O’Toole an Independent Senator said that for forty years,local government in the soith has been under-funded and tiers of local government …Town Commissioners, district councils had been abolished. This means that the things local coincilors used to do had been centralised. Big local issues like fixing pot-holes are as important as biig issues like the Economy or Europe…and now people (like the Healy-Raes) were getting elected to An Dáil because of local issues.
      As Tony Gregory and Jackie Healy-Rae proved….Independents can have more leverage iif they are elected at the right time (when the Govt needs their support).

  10. Wolfe tone says:

    Yes, the healy- rae’s did so well they reckon they could’ve got a third family member elected! Personally there is something refreshing to see independents elected; Lowry being the exception mind.

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