FF to 'redouble' Lisbon Treaty campaign effort

 

With only eighteen days left before polling day, Fianna Fáil’s Lisbon Treaty referendum campaign director, Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has said the Yes side will be taking "nothing for granted". Minister Martin said the Fianna Fáil would redouble its efforts to bring its message to every part of the country.

Mr Martin said "a lot of people" have still to decide how they will vote.

"They need to keep hearing from all groups and parties which support a positive approach to the EU about why it is essential for both Ireland and Europe that we vote Yes," he added.

Both sides in the Treaty debate welcomed the results of the latest opinion poll which shows a gap of eight percentage points between the sides with less than three weeks to go before referendum day.

While the Red C poll in today's edition of The Sunday Business Post shows both sides recording an increase in support, the gap has narrowed to 8 points.

The Yes side has seen an increase of 3 per cent in support bringing them to 41 per cent, while the NO side has seen a jump of five per cent with 33 per cent now planning to vote against the Treaty.

Twenty-six per cent remain undecided.

Minister Martin said that he was "encouraged" by the fact that the Yes vote has increased despite what he said was an "incredible barrage" of aggressive attacks on the Treaty launched in recent weeks.

"I am very encouraged by the fact that the Yes vote is up in spite of the incredible barrage of aggressive attacks on the Treaty launched in recent weeks. The sheer scale and ferocity of these attacks -threatening economic and social ruin - makes the result very significant, showing that the Irish public refuses to demonise a Union which has done so much for Ireland", he said.

Libertas chairman Declan Ganley said the narrowing to eight points the gap between the Yes and No came in spite of an intensive and expensive spending spree by supporters of the treaty.

He warned that those against it must work every day and night to secure the No vote.

“In the next three weeks, we will campaign relentlessly for a No vote - a vote that will keep Ireland’s Commissioner, keep our voice in Europe strong, keep back doors to tax meddling closed, and protect the interests of Irish farming,” he added.

The Labour Party's spokesperson on European Affairs Joe Costello said the poll showed that "every single vote will be crucial".

The Irish Alliance for Europe (IAE) which is chaired by former Labour leader Ruairí Quinn, welcomed the result.

IAE Director Brendan Kiely said: “It’s still all to play for, a lead of 8% is very positive right now but there are still three weeks to go before we have the results of the most important poll”

IBEC Director of EU and International Affairs Brendan Butler said people should ensure they have enough  information about the issues.

"Some opponents of the Treaty have reverted to the old line: ‘if you don’t know vote no', however, there is plenty easy to understand information out there. Our message is " If in doubt , find out", he said.