Polls show support for Yes vote

 

Irish voters would vote strongly in favour of the referendum on Europe's treaty to tighten budget rules, according to opinion polls published today.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny called a referendum, Ireland’s fifth on Europe in 11 years, on the new fiscal treaty last Tuesday.

According to a Red C poll, published in the Sunday Business Post today, 44 per cent of the 1,000 people questioned said they would vote in favour of the treaty, with 29 per cent opposed. Just over a quarter of voters say they are undecided.

A poll from January in the same newspaper suggested the treaty would narrowly pass with 40 per cent of those questioned backing it and 36 per cent against. The remainder were undecided.

A separate Millward Brown Lansdowne poll published in the Sunday Independent shows 37 per cent of people in favour of the treaty, 26 per cent against and 36 per cent undecided.

According to the Red C poll, Fine Gael has maintained public support of 30 per cent. Sinn Féin is the second most popular party, up one point to 18 per cent. Labour is up two points to 16 per cent, Fianna Fáil is down one point to 17 per cent and Independents and others are down two points to 19 per cent.

Mr Kenny fired the first shots in the Government’s referendum campaign on Friday, saying support for the treaty is crucial for Ireland’s place in the EU and the single currency.

After signing the treaty in Brussels, subject to its ratification by the electorate, Mr Kenny said his EU counterparts received news of the referendum in a “really understanding way” and recognised that the choice was for the Irish people to make.

The treaty requires member states to keep their budget deficits and public debts within tight limits.

“Ireland is a member of the European Union, we’re a member of the euro zone, the euro is our currency. This now will become a matter for the Irish people to decide themselves,” Mr Kenny said.