“Lack of information, knowledge, understanding, treaty too complex..”

The Republic of Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Micheál Martin, has published the Millward Brown IMS Post Lisbon Treaty Referendum Research Findings [pdf file]

The key (spontaneous) factor behind the No vote was a lack of understanding of the Treaty, which is mentioned by 45% of No voters. Indeed, 65% of Soft No voters cite this reason, clearly indicating that lack of knowledge was the deciding issue in the campaign.

That’s a damning verdict on the government’s ‘Yes’ campaign. And, in particular, Fianna Fáil’s low spending on it. RTÉ report here. And from the Millward Brown IMS report – Base: All Who Voted No on June 12th

Any mention of information, knowledge, understanding 45 %

Lack of information, knowledge, understanding, treaty too complex – 42 %

Not sure of opinion so voted no – 3 %

Reasons for voting No – Base: All Who Voted No on June 12th

Any mention of information, knowledge, understanding 45 %

Lack of information, knowledge, understanding, treaty too complex – 42 %

Not sure of opinion so voted no – 3 %

Any mention of issues attributed to Lisbon – 26 %

Lisbon treaty a bad deal, bad for Ireland – 8 %

Loss of/diminution of Irish neutrality – 5 %

Loss of Irish Commissioner on rotating basis – 4 %

Any mention of attitudes to referendum process – 20 %

Didn’t have confidence in Government/they were secretive and cagey –failed to provide information and arguments – 6 %

Didn’t like being told how to vote without agreements beinggiven/being bullied & pushed into voting yes – 4 %

Not convinced by Yes arguments – 3 %

Any mention of loss of power/independence/identity – 16 %

Loss of power, domination by large countries,dictated to by other countries – 13 %

Loss of/threat to Ireland’s Independence – 3 %

Any mention of aspects of European integration. – 6 %

  • Can someone please explain what this adds to the post-eventum appraisals in the media, especially the Irish Times, Indy and all?

    Or, (if we want to) where we go from here?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    The unecessary complexity of the treaty was arguably used by the EU to bambooze the natives by obfuscation into voting Yes – this tactic seems to have spectacularly backfired.

  • Dave

    Good question, Malcolm. The first lesson to learn from this is that the government should resign if it strongly supports a referendum that the people they represent reject that referendum, and, of course, the strong support of the government for it. Otherwise, we have the situation we now have wherein the government does not share the democratically expressed will of the people they were elected to represent, and conspires with foreign agencies to undermine that democratic will.

    Clearly, we cannot have a situation where this absurdly Europhilic government commits de facto treason against the people by conspiring to transfer the sovereign powers of the people to foreign agencies against the will of that people. Ergo, if the government lacks the honour to resign, then we must pass legislation that compels them to resign in future referendums.

    If there is to be a second referendum because the government refuse to accept the result of the first referendum, then this legislation must be in place before it. It would be an utter travesty to allow these quislings to remain in office after the second referendum is defeated (and it will be).

    This government-sponsored poll has a wholly different emphasis from the Red C poll, and explains why the government had a fit of anti-English outrage when it was published.

    Key findings of the Red C poll:

    – 71% oppose a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Only 24% are in favour.

    – Of those who expressed an opinion, 62% said they would vote “no” in a second referendum, compared to 38% who would vote “yes”.

    – That would mean the “no” lead would increase from 6 points in the recent referendum to a commanding 24 point lead in a second vote.

    – 17% of those who voted “yes” in the recent referendum would vote “no” in a second referendum, while only 6% of those who voted “no” would now vote “yes”. Perhaps most significantly of all, those who did not vote last time would vote more than two-to-one against in a second referendum: 57% would vote “no” and 26% would vote “yes”.

    – 67% agreed with the statement that “politicians in Europe do not respect Ireland’s no vote”. Only 28% disagreed.

    – 61% disagreed with the statement that “If all of the other 26 EU countries ratify the Treaty in their parliaments then Ireland has to change its mind and support the Treaty.” Only 32% agreed.

    – 53% said they would be less likely to vote for Brian Cowen at the next election if he called a second referendum. In particular, 43% of Fianna Fail voters said they would be less likely to vote for him.

    The full results of the poll are available at:

    http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/redc.pdf

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    The ‘red c’ poll was set up by a shower of Anti EU -UK merchants . Dick Roche wiped the floor with them a month or so back.

    There will be another referendum and Ireland will row along with the rest of the EU and not with the neo con nutters of ultra right wing free market insanity, nor their fascist compatriots Monsewer Le Pen of France and Herr Halder of Austria , nor with the myopic Shinners .

    It’s just a question of when .

  • Oilifear

    Dave, good to see you back on form. Alway good for a laugh!

    “The first lesson to learn from this is that the government should resign if it strongly supports a referendum that the people they represent reject that referendum …”

    And who would you have them stand against? The other bunch who strongly supported a referendum that the people rejected?

    “Ergo, if the government lacks the honour to resign, then we must pass legislation that compels them to resign in future referendums.”

    That would require a constitutional change (e.g. with reference to the role of the President). What would you suggest happen in the event that the government strongly supported a yes vote in that referendum but it was rejected by the people? Should the government then resign or not resign??

    – “… quislings …”

    Aaah … I was beginning to worry that you wouldn’t get around to using that word. You had so many opportunities in the first two paragraphs. You’re teasing us now, aren’t you?

    “This government-sponsored poll has a wholly different emphasis from the Red C poll …”

    That’s right. The government-sponsored poll sought to examine the reasons why people voted no, presumably to better secure a yes vote the second time around. The RedC poll – actually the Open Europe-sponsored poll – was conducted in the aftermath of the referendum, presumably to capitalise on the loss of the referendum by an anti-EU lobby. Several of it’s question had a strong whiff of spin about them.

    For example, the Open Europe-sponsored poll did not ask “Do you want a second referendum”. It asked if people agreed with the following statement: “The Irish government should do as the French President has reportedly said and organise a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.” I believe the government should run a second referendum, but I do not agree that the government “should do as the French President [says]”. In that event, you would have caught me up that supposed 71% against a second referendum.

    In another example asked, “If all of the other 26 EU countries ratify the Treaty in their parliaments then Ireland has to change its mind and support the Treaty”? This is false. Ireland does not *have to* change it’s mind. Again, I would have disagreed with this. So what? What does it tell us? The question has an air of meaning, but on reflection is substanceless and misleading.

    The meat of the survey also followed several emotive and negative statements – “the French President has reportedly said”, “politicians in Europe do not respect Ireland”, ” I would be less likely to vote for him”. You don’t need a degree in social science to understand that that’s no way to formulate an honest survey – but then in a country where 89% of people are in favour of the European Union, that doesn’t sound like the kind of survey that Open Europe would want to sponsor. Does it?

  • Greenflag

    oilifear,

    ‘Several of it’s question had a strong whiff of spin about them.’

    The understatement of the year .

    To minimise or hopefully remove the ’embarassment’ of a minority imposing it’s view on the entire polity there should be a minimum turn out requirement (70% -75% ) for a referendum result to be deemed valid . Just over a quarter of the electorate voted NO with almost a quarter voting YES while the rest

    Having a minimum tutnout requirement would also impinge on the Government party and indeed all parties the requirement to explain the issues in simple straight forward language together with the likely implications longer term for the country one way or the other .