Yes camp maintains substantial lead over Noes…

Looks solid for the Yeses this time, although Stephen Collins’ view is that the Noes are making ground (4% rise is just above the margin of error)… But compared to last year, the Yes camp must be quietly pleased:

The final Irish Times poll at a similar stage in the first Lisbon Treaty referendum campaign put the No side in the lead with 35 per cent of the vote compared with 30 per cent who said they were voting Yes. At that stage 35 per cent of voters were still undecided.

That substantially different from Gael Poll’s ‘folk-polling’ efforts last week. The demographic breakdown is this:

As in almost all previous polls on the Lisbon Treaty, men are more likely to vote Yes than women – 51 per cent of male voters say they will vote Yes compared to 34 per cent No and 15 per cent Don’t Know. Among women, support for the Yes side drops to 45 per cent, with 33 per cent No and 22 per cent Don’t Know.

In class terms, there is strong support for Lisbon among the better-off AB voters, with 62 per cent in favour and only 18 per cent against, with 20 per cent Don’t Know. The picture is very different at the other end of the social scale, with 48 per cent of the poorest DE category against the treaty, 33 per cent in favour and 19 per cent Don’t Know.

Here’s the bit that will chill the no camp. The farmers, traditionally the most knowledgeable about EU affairs, appear to be solidly in favour of the Treaty: 68 per cent Yes, 24 per cent No and 8 per cent Don’t Know.

At the end of a traumatic year, the Irish alone in Europe will be more familiar with the issues surrounding the Treaty. But whichever way it goes at the polls, the basic lesson that should be learnt by national and international elites is that you cannot get ahead of your people. And most especially, that if you take the mick by springing a Referendum on them at 4 weeks notice, you WILL get bitten. And badly!