Updated: 04/01/17 : 05:30:00
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FF would love an election this particular year

By Eugene McGloin

MARK TWAIN is quoted as saying that reports of his death were exaggerated.

The same health warning -- but in reverse -- maybe should be applied to a new opinion poll.

The 'Ireland Thinks' survey for the Irish Daily Mail showed an election now would (probably) pitch Fianna Fáil back into power.

The 'drill down' summary suggests that FF would win TWELVE extra seats.

The newspaper suggests that ALL of these seats would be wrested from the 'independents and others.' Hmm.

Fine Gael would neither lose nor gain seats on its February 2016 election outing, says the newspaper's interpreters of the poll.

Sinn Féin would gain of two seats, while the same number would be lost by the Anti Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit bracket.

Mobile Phones

The survey was conducted exclusively by phone, using random digit-dial.

Interestingly, 80% of the polling on over 1,000 citizens was done on mobile phones with just 20% on landlines.

Less understandable is that the poll findings suggest significant GAINS by all three main parties since the last general election.  It finds:-

*** Fianna Fáil support has surged by 7% in that time;

*** Fine Gael steadies and rises by 3% since last February;

*** Sinn Fein also adds 3% support in the same period.

Overall, the seats predicted by the Irish Daily Mail poll is Fianna Fáil on 56, Fine Gael on 50 and Sinn Fein on 25.

The next largest bloc would be 'independents and others' at 12 seats -- half what it currently holds.

Hung Dáil

Overall, the poll is an interesting snapshot.....with no indication whatever of any sharp slippage in support for the Government since it was elected.

Labour stay stuck at six percent and do not seem to be gaining any traction in the affection(s) of voters.

The most likely outcome of a snap election, based on this snapshot, is that we would have another hung Dail and minority government.

Locally, the poll suggests we would -- more likely than not -- have the SAME share-out of seats. 

Superstitious folk will tell you that elections with years ending in '7' are great for Fianna Fáil.

Think 1927, 1937, 1957, 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2007; seven with '7' and four of those elections saw FF wrest power back from FG, so.....