Majority backs same-sex union, poll indicates


There is broad public support for same-sex marriage and for most of the other constitutional changes backed by the Government, according to an Ipsos MRBI 50th anniversary poll. Most of those proposed changes will be considered by a constitutional convention which will hold its first meeting next weekend.

The only proposed change that does not meet with public approval is to reduce the voting age to 17.

The survey covered a range of issues and was conducted by Ipsos MRBI to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Details of changing values and beliefs over the past half century on a range of issues including religion, Northern Ireland and Europe will be revealed in The Irish Times in the week ahead.

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 locations in all 43 constituencies.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.

Voters were asked how they would vote in the constitutional referendums planned during the Coalition’s lifetime.

On same-sex marriage 53 per cent said they would vote Yes while 30 per cent would vote No, while 17 per cent have no opinion. Women were significantly more in favour of the change than men and younger voters were the most enthusiastic. Voters over 55 are solidly opposed to the proposed change.

Citizens living abroad

On abolition of the Seanad 55 per cent said they would vote Yes, 22 per cent said No and 23 per cent had no opinion. There is an even spread of opinion on this issue across age, class and region. The Government has committed itself to holding a referendum on this issue and it will not be considered by the convention.

The most popular proposal going before the convention is the one to give Irish citizens living abroad the right to vote in presidential elections. The response here was 68 per cent Yes and 17 per cent No.

On the question of whether the reference to the woman’s life within the home should be removed from the Constitution the most striking finding was the number of people with no opinion.

A total of 41 per cent said the reference should be removed, while 19 per cent said it should not and 40 per cent had no opinion.

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