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Vóta 2020 - Galway West TG4 / Ipsos MRBI Poll


Social Democrats and The Green Party in battle to take seats in 5-seater Galway West Constituency.


The results of a TG4/Ipsos MRBI constituency poll carried out for ‘Vóta 2020’ programme shows a real dog-fight is in prospect in Galway West, with all five sitting TDs and as many as five other candidates all in contention to be elected.  The quota in Galway West is 17%, and although no one candidate has enough first preference votes to reach the quota according to the poll, the competition will be fierce for the five seats.

The TG4 Ipsos MRBI Galway West constituency poll was conducted among a sample of 525 adults aged 18 upwards.  Interviewing took place on the 24th and 26th of January

Galway West Individual Party Support (1st preference)

  Party Poll ’20 GE ’16
Hildegarde NAUGHTON Fine Gael 13% 7%
Éamon Ó CUÍV Fianna Fáil 12% 15%
Niall Ó TUATHAIL Social Democrats 12% 5%
Pauline O’REILLY The Green Party 10%  
Seán KYNE Fine Gael 10% 10%
Catherine CONNOLLY Independent 9% 8%
Ollie CROWE Fianna Fáil 8%  
Noel GREALISH Independent 7% 11%
Mairéad FARRELL Sinn Féin 7%  
Níall McNELIS Labour 5%  
Mike CUBBARD Independent 3% 3%
Joe LOUGHNANE Solidarity People Before Profit 2%  
Cormac Ó CORCORÁIN Aontú 1%  



Galway West Constituency Party Support (1st preference)

  Poll ’20 GE ’16
Fine Gael 23% 24%
Fianna Fáil 20% 24%
Sinn Féin 7% 9%
Labour 5% 5%
Social Democrats 12% 5%
Green Party 10% 2%
Independent/Other 22% 30%

The Galway West constituency is always hotly contested.  It was Count 9 when the first TD was elected in Galway West in 2016, and Count 13 before anyone else was elected.  Since 2016, the constituency boundaries have been tweaked once again with some areas transferred to Galway East and some Mayo areas transferred back to Mayo.  15 names are on the ballot this time around and the competition for seats will be even more intense.  As ever, transfers will be vital.

When we look at party support on a combined candidate basis, both Fine Gael (with 23%) and Fianna Fáil (with 20%) exceed one quota, so it is very likely that each party will win at least one seat. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have high profile candidates in Galway West and both are right up there on the evidence of this poll, with Éamon Ó Cuív (on 12%) and Minister of State Seán Kyne (on 10%), slightly down on 2016 but both within the margin of error of 4% on this particular poll.

Emphasising how competitive this election is however is the fact that neither of these two candidates tops this poll.  That achievement belongs to Fine Gael’s other sitting TD, Hildegarde Naughton, who at 13% has substantially improved on her general election figure in 2016.

The second Fianna Fáil candidate, Galway City Councillor Ollie Crowe, can also be satisfied with his score of 8% in this poll as he is a new candidate in 2020, and is building on expanding his solid support base in the city to the rest of the constituency.  Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael both fall well short of 2 quotas; FG on 23% and FF on 20%, however with both sitting FG TDs have performed well in this poll, both parties will feel they have a good chance of claiming a second seat in Galway West.

Many had tipped either Niall Ó Tuathail from the Social Democrats or Pauline O’Reilly the Green Party spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs to poll well this time, so for both of them to be right in the mix (on 12% and 10% respectively) could be seen as a surprise, however both have been very active in building on solid foundations; Ó Tuathail from a good showing in the 2016 general election and O’Reilly from last year’s local elections.  Both look to have a real chance from the results of this poll, which in particular shows them proving very popular with younger voters.

Both sitting Independent TDs, Noel Grealish and Catherine Connolly have also shown well in this poll, polling well on 7% and 9% respectively. Both are very experienced election campaigners with strong bases and have traditionally been beneficiaries of transfers. In many ways the distribution of transfers looks crucial in determining the result of this election.

While Sinn Féin’s vote is down on 2016, they have recovered well after a poor local election last year and with a new candidate in Mairéad Farrell, they will also take positives that they can build on her poll score of 7% with plenty of time left in the campaign, and the party’s national support seemingly on the rise.

The margin of error of this poll is 4%, the same figure that is between the Top 6 candidates in this Ipsos MRBI poll.  Last time as said earlier it was a real dog-fight and this election has the potential to be even more competitive.  In fact candidates further down the list, like the tenth place candidate in this poll, Labour Party Councillor Niall McNelis (on 5%) will feel that they can get themselves into the mix for that coveted last seat, in the two weeks left in the campaign from when this poll was taken.


Notes to Editors:

This is the second of TG4 / Ipsos MRBI constituency polls as part of TG4’s election 2020 coverage. Next Tuesday (4th February) ‘Vóta 2020’ will report the Ipsos MRBI opinion poll in the Kerry constituency.

In all respects, the survey was conducted within the guidelines laid down AIMRO and by ESOMAR.505 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. The remaining 20 interviews were conducted face-to-face at two sampling points in the Mayo corner of the Galway West Constituency.  At analysis stage, the sample was weighted to align the profile of voters in this poll with the profile of Irish voters from the 2016 Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI General Election Exit Poll. In addition, all respondents were asked how much their vote counts on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 means it “makes no difference” and 10 means it “makes all the difference”. Those answering 1 to this question were treated as non-voters and were excluded from our candidate preference calculation, along with those who don’t know how they will vote or said they will not vote.

Media Contact:
Deirdre Ní Choistín, Bainisteoir Cumarsáide / Communications Manager TG4 | | 086 1453527

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