Polls as referendum nears..

Possibly the most interesting point to consider from the Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll on political party support is how it may affect the Lisbon Treaty referendum on 12th June.. although the question wasn’t actually put. doesn’t appear to have been put – George tells me that it was and the results will appear in tomorrow’s paper. Anyhoo.. The poll was conducted last Monday and Tuesday among a representative sample of 1,000 voters in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all 43 constituencies. From the Irish Times frontpage

The adjusted figures for party support, compared to the last Irish Times poll in January, are: Fianna Fáil, 42 per cent (up eight points); Fine Gael, 26 per cent (down five points); Labour, 15 per cent (up three points); Sinn Féin, 6 per cent (down two points); Green Party, 4 per cent (down two points); PDs, 1 per cent (down two points); and Independents/others, 6 per cent (no change).

Update Initial figures from the Lisbon Treaty question

The poll showed that 35 per cent of voters intend to vote Yes, up nine points since the last Irish Times poll at the end of January, while the number intending to vote No is 18 per cent, up eight points. However, 47 per cent of voters either don’t know how they will vote in the referendum on June 12th, or say they won’t vote. This compares with 64 per cent who were in the don’t know category in January.

Also from the [earlier] report

The core vote for the parties compared with the last Irish Times poll is: Fianna Fáil, 40 per cent (up eight points); Fine Gael, 20 per cent (down three points); Labour, 11 per cent (up two points); Sinn Féin, 6 per cent (down two points); Greens, 3 per cent (up two points); PDs, 1 per cent (down one point); Independents/ others, 4 per cent (no change); and undecided voters 15 per cent (down two points).

In terms of satisfaction ratings the poll shows the Government has recovered considerable ground since January, with a rise of 13 points to 48 per cent.

This is close to the rating it achieved just before the last election.

Dublin is the weakest region for Fianna Fáil, while the party is strongest in Mr Cowen’s home region of Leinster and in Connacht- Ulster. Fine Gael is also weakest in Dublin but it is the strongest region for Labour, which is now significantly ahead of Sinn Féin and the Green Party in the capital.

When voters were asked whether they believed Bertie Ahern was right to resign from the taoiseach’s office when he did, 70 per cent said he was right while 24 per cent said he was wrong, and 6 per cent had no opinion. Fianna Fáil supporters were more inclined than others to say Mr Ahern was wrong to go but there was a two to one majority among party voters who said he was right to go.

Asked about Mr Ahern’s personal finances and tax liabilities, 65 per cent of people said he had not given the full picture and had further questions to answer (a drop of 13 points in the number holding that view) while 24 per cent said he had given the full picture (up 10 points).

Those questions are continuing..

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  • George

    I believe the Lisbon Treaty question was put but will be in Saturday’s paper.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks George.

    I’ve updated the original post accordingly.

  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    The drop in support for Sinn Féin is statistically insignificant given the sample size of 1000.

  • I’m not sure about the drop in support for SF being statistically insignificant. I think the feeling is that SF are not at the races any more and even if the drop is within the margin of error, it certainly indicates one thing – the support is not increasing.

    What also has to be factored in is the end of the underreporting of SF’s support. I think, by now, people feel they’re able to say whether or not they’re supporting SF. In previous years, if SF got 10%, it was as good as 15%. My own thinking is that this margin is getting slighter as time goes by and this comfort zone for SF less comfortable.

    Certainly on these figures – and these assumptions – SF’s seat in Dublin’s Euro Constituency appears to be on very thin ice at present. And no doubt this is the reasoning behind Mary Lou’s picture being included in the party’s ‘Vote No’ posters. Will support solidify in time for next year’s elections? I have my doubts as I believe the wind has gone from SF’s sails south of the border….

  • Henry94

    TNS/mrbi polls are generally regarded as the best so everybody will be watching the Lisbon results very closely. For what it’s worth I think the treaty will be rejected in the referendum.

  • The poll confirms that FG’s negativism and failure to offer new ideas has damaged them, and that their support over 30% was “soft” – this was also shown in the 2007 election when they started over 30% and then fell back to 27.1%. Other that that, I hope that tomorrows poll will be a no to Lisbon because while I would probably vote FF in a GE, that is a mandate for them to govern Ireland – not for Brussels to do so. We lose vetoes including energy, tourism and sport, and culture. This could lead to Brussels dictating Irish language policy and forcing us to accept nuclear power stations in Ireland. Vote no to protect independence. I support EU and Euro membership but we have lost enough of our independence. Vote no in solidarity with the French and Dutch people who also said no, and whose wishes are being drowned out by an arrogant elite.

  • joeCanuck

    The odd thing is that, even if the Irish vote “No”, business will just continue as usual in Europe.
    Most people across the continent will just yawn, if they are even aware of it.

  • Henry94


    Yes 35 (+9)
    No 18 (+8)
    DK 47 (-17)

    Comparison with January poll.

  • I remain hopeful of a no vote on June 12th. As David McCullagh stated on the 9 o’clock news last night, the yes side in Nice I in 2001 had an even bigger lead but were defeated on the day. A lot will come down to turnout, as no voters are more likely to vote.

  • Wilde Rover


    “The odd thing is that, even if the Irish vote “No”, business will just continue as usual in Europe.

    Most people across the continent will just yawn, if they are even aware of it.”

    Yes, you’re probably right.

    But still, this treaty is being voted on in every state.

    And yet in a small corner of a small continent it is the little man and woman who gets to say yes or no, at least for a little while.

    Many of them will vote Yes and think their vote means a certain thing, and many will vote No and think their vote means another thing. Both groups will be wrong on many counts.

    Many will vote for what is a good guess at what the corrections of the corrections of the corrections of treaties long obscured actually mean, and they do so with the best of intentions.

    But the people decide.

    It is a heavy burden, heavier than it should be.

    Still, Irish people came up with and voted on a constitution in 1937 and they have been arguing over it and changing it ever since.

    It is a little unfortunate that the other states were not equally lucky when it came to the whole fine print thing or having the type of writer who could say “Document No. 2” with a straight face.

    I seem to recall that the business that needed most attention the last time the Irish electorate were presented with a treaty was how the electorate could be convinced that the treaty was the best thing going forward for Europe and the whole free and wonderful place thing.

    It is unfortunate for all involved that

  • Wilde Rover

    (continued) only one little place gets asked the question.

    But then again, no one ever said that trying to maintain a constitutional republic was ever going to be easy.

    Time will tell.

  • Dave

    “But then again, no one ever said that trying to maintain a constitutional republic was ever going to be easy. ” – Wilde Rover

    Well, it’ll get easier if folks agree to become subservient to the new EU super state. For one, you won’t be asked to make any more amendments to Bunreacht na hÉireann to cede sovereignty to the EU in a plethora of treaties.

    The Supreme Court case of Crotty v. An Taoiseach established that sovereignty resided with the people and not with the State. That’s an important but little understood difference between a democracy and a Republican democracy. That case is why we are the only State within the EU to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty – the State can make the people do whatever it wants in those countries, so the State can alter the fundamental rights of the people by act of parliament, but in Ireland, Bunreacht na hÉireann protects the people from the State, granting them inalienable rights, and so it is the people and not the State who must agree to alter their fundamental rights. It is this right that you will be forsaking.

    Under the Lisbon Treaty, any future changes that the EU wishes to make to promote its own interests will not require the agreement of the Irish people because Irish people will have transferred the right of agreement on amendments to the governing treaties from themselves to the State, effectively rendering the Republican democracy of Ireland status null and void. The Lisbon Treaty gives the European Council the power to propose changes to the governing treaties. As the European Council is comprised of the heads of government, you can see that it is the State and not the people who have control over the citizens and their destiny.

    “The State may ratify the Treaty of Lisbon signed at Lisbon on the 13th day of December 2007, and may be a member of the European Union established by virtue of that Treaty. No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by membership of the European Union, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the said European Union or by institutions thereof, or by bodies competent under the treaties referred to in this section, from having the force of law in the State.”

    The difference between that amendment to Bunreacht na hÉireann and other amendments that ceded sovereignty to the EU is that the sovereignty that is being ceded here is over Bunreacht na hÉireann itself, and by extension sovereignty over the Irish people, because they will have agreed that the de facto EU constitution (which is what the rehashed Reform Treaty is) will take precedence over Bunreacht na hÉireann.

    It is actually a complete sell out of the Republic of Ireland by these self-serving quislings but I think folks will vote ‘yes’ because they have been brainwashed into thinking that a conspiratorial entity that is steals their democracy, independence, sovereignty, right to self-determination by a process of stealth is actually a force for good, and good is best served by not bothering their arses to pop over to dictionary.com and look up the meaning of the word “democracy” or “sovereignty.” Anything for a quiet life, even if it comes to a noisy end a few decades hence when they are sucked into a new nation state that seeks to further its aggressively expansionist imperial agenda by violent means and their nothing they can do about it because they have ceded sovereignty and democracy to the EU.

    And besides, if they vote No, Charlie McGreevy has told them that the Europeans will laugh at them, while Barry Andrews has told them that the nice, benign Europeans will suddenly no longer benign but will be very angry with them indeed, bringing great wrath and vengeance upon them for exercising their democratic right to vote No. The poor dears.