Poll majority favours ESM vote
More than seven in ten of those interviewed in a RedC opinion poll believe there should be a referendum on the European Stability Mechanism Treaty, in addition to the May 31st fiscal treaty vote.
Releasing the results of the poll today, the People's Movement/Gluaiseacht an Phobail said the figures were “casting doubt on the Government’s ability to avoid a referendum on this issue”.
The Government is not holding a referendum on the ESM treaty, which it has been advised is not constitutionally necessary, and plans to have the treaty ratified through the Oireachtas.
The poll was commissioned by the Brussels-based EU Democrats (EUD), described as “a pan-European alliance of Euro-realists”.
The results are based on a random sample of 1,026 telephone interviews conducted between May 7th and 9th and a statement was read to respondents explaining the difference between the ESM Treaty to set up a permanent eurozone bail-out fund and the treaty.
More than half of the respondents, or 53 per cent, said they were aware of the ESM treaty, with 46 per cent who were not and 1 per cent undecided. Awareness was highest among males and respondents over the age of 55 years.
In terms of political support, levels of awareness were as follows: Fine Gael 63 per cent; Independent 57 per cent; Labour 54 per cent; Fianna Fáil 52 per cent; Sinn Féin 47 per cent.
When asked if there should be a separate referendum on the ESM Treaty, 72 per cent were in favour, 21 per cent against and 7 per cent undecided.
The highest level of support for holding a referendum was in the 25-34 age-group at 82 per cent where the level of awareness of the Treaty was 45 per cent.
The lowest level of support for a vote was 60 per cent in the 55-64 age-group, where the level of awareness was 62 per cent.
In terms of political sympathies, the group most strongly in favour of a referendum were Sinn Fein supporters at 87 per cent and Independents at 85 per cent with Fine Gael supporters least in favour of a vote on the ESM Treaty at 52 per cent.
Former MEP Patricia McKenna, president of the EU Democrats said: "In light of these findings, Taoiseach Enda Kenny must seriously reconsider whether it is acceptable to fast-track this Treaty through without reference to the people.
"The wishes of the Irish people should not be ignored: irrespective of whether or not people support this treaty, they do want to have their say.
"This treaty has far-reaching consequences, committing Ireland to provide billions of euro – the initial Irish commitment is in excess of €11.1 billion, which it cannot afford – to the so-called 'bailout fund'.
"Nobody is asking where will the money come from, the issue is being deliberately suppressed by the Government," Ms McKenna said.