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New poll finds Irish voters are strongly against a second referendum

27 July 2008

New poll finds Irish voters are strongly against a second referendum and would vote 'NO' by an even bigger margin than before if one were held.

A new Red C poll commissioned by the think tank Open Europe finds that Irish voters are strongly opposed to being made to vote again on the Lisbon Treaty. The poll also finds that nearly two thirds say they would vote 'no' in a second referendum.

The poll of 1,000 Irish voters was carried out between 21 and 23 July - shortly after Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to the country. It is the first poll to look at a second referendum.

Key findings:

  • 71% oppose a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Only 24% are in favour.
  • Of those who expressed an opinion, 62% said they would vote 'no' in a second referendum, compared to 38% who would vote 'yes'.
  • That would mean the 'no' lead would increase from 6 points in the recent referendum to a commanding 24 point lead in a second vote.
  • 17% of those who voted 'yes' in the recent referendum would vote 'no' in a second referendum, while only 6% of those who voted 'no' would now vote 'yes'. Perhaps most significantly of all, those who did not vote last time would vote more than two-to-one against in a second referendum: 57% would vote 'no' and 26% would vote 'yes'.
  • 67% agreed with the statement that 'politicians in Europe do not respect Ireland's no vote'. Only 28% disagreed.
  • 61% disagreed with the statement that 'If all of the other 26 EU countries ratify the Treaty in their parliaments then Ireland has to change its mind and support the Treaty.' Only 32% agreed.
  • 53% said they would be less likely to vote for Brian Cowen at the next election if he called a second referendum. In particular, 43% of Fianna Fail voters said they would be less likely to vote for him.

Full results of the poll are available (.pdf file) at: www.openeurope.org.uk/research/redc.pdf

Open Europe Director Neil O¹Brien said:
'Voters don't feel that Europe's political class have respected Ireland's decision. Their response to the referendum result has obviously appeared arrogant to some voters. By appearing to bully the voters, EU politicians are actually driving lots more people into the no camp.'

'EU leaders who are trying to force Ireland to vote again are playing a very dangerous game, and it looks like Brian Cowen could be putting his political life on the line by calling a second vote.'

'Sadly, Europe's political leaders don't seem to have taken on board the Irish vote - or the French and Dutch votes for that matter. They should drop the Treaty and concentrate on solving the EU's real problems like the lack of openness and accountability.'


Leading pollsters Red C surveyed 1,006 adults aged18+ in Ireland between 21 and 23 July 2008.


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