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Healy-Rae(s) holds the sway in Kerry in new TG4 Election Poll


Healy-Rae(s) holds the sway in Kerry in new TG4 Election Poll

A new opinion poll carried out for TG4 shows that the Independent candidate Michael Healy-Rae is in a commanding lead in the new 5 seat Kerry constituency and may well have enough surplus votes to ensure the election also of his brother Danny to Dáil Éireann.

Full details of the TG4 Ipsos MRBI opinion poll on Kerry voters’ intentions was commissioned for the channel’s Vóta 2016 programme and were broadcast this evening on TG4 at 7pm.


Kerry Constituency Party Support (Number 1 Preference Vote)

Fine Gael (FG) 27%
Fianna Fáil (FF) 16%
Sinn Féin (SF) 7%
Labour (LAB) 8%
Others (OTH) 3%
Independent (Ind) 39%


Kerry Constituency Individual Candidate Support   (Number 1 Preference Vote)

Michael Healy-Rae (Non Party) 33%
Jimmy Deenihan (FG) 13%
Brendan Griffin (FG) 13%
John Brassill (FF) 11%
Arthur Spring (Lab) 8%
Martin Ferris (SF) 7%
Norma Moriarty (FF) 6%
Danny Healy-Rae (Non Party) 4%
Michael Fitzgerald (Green) 2%
Grace O’Donnell (FG) 1%
Michael O’Gorman (Non Party) 1%
Donal Corcoran (RN) 1%


Commentary:    For this election, the previous Kerry two three-seat constituencies have been merged into a five-seater.   The main finding in this poll is that the merged constituency has hardly dented Michael Healy-Rae’s support and he has a massive 33% share of voter support throughout the county.   Some distance behind comes the chasing pack of larger party candidates, led by Jimmy Deenihan (FG 13%) and Brendan Griffin (FG 13%).  John Brassil (FF) is on 11%, Arthur Spring (Lab) is on 8%, and Martin Ferris (SF) has 7%.

With the first seat going to Michael Healy-Rae, his very significant transfers will put his brother Danny in the running for a seat despite his attracting only 4% of first-preference votes in this poll.     It is worth noting that Danny Healy-Rae only declared his candidature on the morning the poll was conducted.  As things stand, six candidates are potentially chasing the remaining four seats.  As with last week’s TG4/Ipsos MRBI constituency poll in Donegal, it is clear that the last seat will be hotly contested.

FG  are certain to get a seat and probably two. The party has 27% of the Kerry vote, just slightly shy of two quotas. Labour’s Arthur Spring seems to be transferring in reasonable numbers to FG and should he be eliminated, his transfers could provide the votes needed for a second FG seat. It is also possible that  some Micheal-Healy Rae transfers will go to FG and get them a second seat.

John Brassill (11%) is in contention to win a seat for Fianna Fáil, with the help of transfers from party colleague Norma Moriarty ( 6%).    While his five-point lead over her makes it likely that he will be the FF candidate left standing, it is not at all certain that Moriarty’s transfers will be enough to get FF a seat  as  many of her transfers will go to Michael Healy-Rae.

While his first preference vote is low, Danny Healy-Rae will be competing strongly for the last seat as his brother has a quota to spare.  This may well him up the list (and probably ahead of Spring and Ferris).    Arthur Spring of Labour, on 8%, is still some way off a quota, as too is Martin Ferris, on 7%. On the basis of these poll findings, Spring and Ferris may lose out to Danny Healy-Rae but there is the margin of error for all such polls to consider and the fact that there is time still left for campaigning.

In addition to asking about their voting intentions, sought to find out from Kerry voters what importance they attached to a supplied list of national issues.  Health, Jobs and Crime featured at the top of the list with Broadband and Emigration also prominent in the findings (details below).

Note to Editors:   This is the second of TG4’s three constituency opinion polls in key constituencies along the west coast. Next week’s Vóta 2016  (7pm Tues 23 February)  will report the Ipsos MRBI opinion poll being carried out in the Galway West constituency.

Vóta 2016 Kerry correspondent, Seán Mac a tSíthigh a is available for interview on the findings of this Kerry opinion poll on 087-7737673.
Contact: Linda Ní Ghríofa 091 505228


(Note on Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted in the Donegal constituency on behalf of TG4 by Ipsos MRBI. among a sample of 500 adults aged 18 upwards. Interviewing took place on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th February.   The survey was conducted within the guidelines laid down by The Marketing Society of Ireland and by ESOMAR.  Interviews were conducted via CATI [Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing]. Respondents were selected from a database of both landline and mobile numbers created via Random Digit Dialling.  A survey sample of 500 attaches a margin of error of up to plus or minus 4 percentage points).


Ipsos MRBI Findings on Issues of concern to voters in Kerry

In addition to their voting intentions, Kerry voters were also asked about the importance they attached to a supplied list of national issues.

List of Issues:
Could you tell me whether these issues are very important, somewhat important or not at all important to you?

Responses:  “Very important”

Health services – 87%    (92% of women)
Jobs and employment – 84%    (88% for 35-44 years)
Crime – 64%    (75% for 65+ years)
Broadband availability – 63%    (69% for 35-54 years)
Taxation – 60%    (68% for 45-54 years)

To what extent are you satisfied with the standard of broadband service in your area?

Dissatisfied – 39%
Very dissatisfied – 25%

Question:  Many people were forced to emigrate during the recession, do you think the economic conditions in Kerry have recovered enough for them to now return home?

Yes – 11%    (20% of 18-34 years)
No – 87%

Question:  Has your local area experienced changes in garda presence over the past few years, such as the closure of garda stations or a reduction in opening hours? If so have these changes had an impact on the safety of your local area?

64% responded that there had been a reduction in their area in recent years
75% of those who had experienced a reduction said it had had a negative effect on security  (86%  for those in the 45-54 years age group)