Irish Times poll: Most Irish voters want UK to stay in EU

Support for Cameron’s reform plans including opposition to free movement of labour

Most Irish voters want UK to stay in EU, a new Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll reveals.

Most Irish voters want UK to stay in EU, a new Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll reveals.


An overwhelming majority of Irish voters want the UK to remain in the European Union, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

It also shows strong support in this country for the demands of British prime minister David Cameron for changes in the way the EU operates.

However, a large majority of voters believe that Ireland should remain in the EU regardless of whether or not the UK decides to leave.

Three-quarters of those polled want the UK to remain in the EU with only 13 per cent saying they would like to see our nearest neighbours leaving.

Supporters of all parties want Britain to stay in the EU with Fine Gael and Labour voters being the most enthusiastic.


But even among Sinn Féin voters there is a majority of more than two to one in favour of the UK remaining in the EU.

There is also solid support among the electorate for a number of the key demands for EU reform.

Asked if they believe four of the British demands should be applied to all EU countries, including Ireland, strong backing emerged for Mr Cameron’s position.

A total of 58 per cent backed the proposal that more power should be given to national parliaments with 20 per cent against and 22 per cent having no opinion.

Asked if member states should have the right to opt out of further integration, 59 per cent were in favour and 22 per cent against with 19 per cent having no opinion.

On the more controversial issue of whether the free movement of labour from new member states should be prevented until their economies develop; 54 per cent were in favour, 25 per cent against and 21 per cent had no view.

The issue where there was strongest support for the British position was on ending child benefit payments to migrants whose children remained in their home country with 70 per cent in favour and 20 per cent against with just 10 per cent having no opinion.

Ireland’s EU membership

Sinn Féin voters are much more inclined than supporters of other parties to say Ireland should follow the British out of the EU if they decide to go.

The survey was undertaken on Monday and Tuesday of this week among a representative sample of 1,200 voters, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent.