Vast majority happy that Ireland is in EU

Tue, Nov 27, 2012, 00:00

The vast majority of Irish voters are happy that the country is part of the European Union, but there are divided views on how far the integration process should go, according to the Ipsos MRBI 50th anniversary poll.

On the question of whether or not it was better to be part of the EU, the poll confirmed the long-term trend with a massive 74 per cent saying it was better to be involved, 14 per cent were opposed, and 12 per cent had no opinion.

Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil voters are overwhelming in their view that it is better to be part of the EU, with 80 per cent taking that view.

Sinn Féin is the only party which has a significant number of supporters, 27 per cent, saying it is better not to be part, yet 57 per cent of party voters think it is better to be part of the EU.

On the question of further European integration there is a wider range of views. The biggest number of people think the process has gone far enough, but a significant proportion would like to see it continue. Asked how they felt on the issue, 16 per cent felt the integration process had gone too far, 45 per cent said it had gone far enough, 37 per cent said the process should continue, and just 2 per cent had no opinion.

The very low number of don’t knows shows that the future of Europe is an issue which has really engaged the attention of voters.

There are some differences across the age groups, with the 18 to 34 cohort most enthusiastic about continuing integration and the over-55s least enthusiastic. Middle class voters were more inclined to favour further integration than working class voters but the difference was not very great.

In party support terms Fine Gael and Labour voters were the most supportive of continuing integration, with Fianna Fáil a little less enthusiastic about the process. Among all three parties a very small minority said the process had gone too far. There was a very different emphasis among Sinn Féin voters, with 40 per cent of them saying the process had gone too far, 28 per cent saying it had gone far enough, and 33 per cent saying it should continue.