Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lisbon treaty on knife-edge

We have a new poll on the Lisbon Treaty today. The Sunday Business Post/Red C poll of over 1,000 voters suggests that the referendum is all to play for. The findings are:

Yes - 38%
No - 28%
Undecided - 34%

While this represents a slight increase for the "yes" campaign following the disaster of the previous Red C poll that had just a 4% gap between the 2 sides, it still does not repair the damage inflicted on them by the no side in the previous poll. They remain 5% down on the 43% of the first Red C poll of this campaign. Taken together with the MRBI polls of the first Nice Treaty referendum of 2001, in which the yes side had a 12% lead (compared to 10% here) but nevertheless went on to lose the referendum, this strongly suggests that the outcome of the contest - with 4 more weeks to go until polling-day - remains wide-open. Likewise, it was only this week that the yes campaign really started to get their act together in a high-profile way, with umbrella organisations like the Irish Alliance for Europe, the Labour Party and FG getting stuck in. In that context, a gain for the yes side was perhaps inevitable. But a victory for those pushing the ratification of this undemocratic treaty is still far from inevitable.

Looking at the demographics of the sample, a number of interesting statistics emerge about positions on the Treaty:

Among farmers, the gap between yes and no is just 4%, compared to 10% in the sample overall.

42% of Fine Gael supporters now say they will vote "yes".

Excluding don't knows, 54% of 18-44 year olds say they will vote no. This is intriguing given that the previous Red C poll suggested younger age-groups were more inclined to support the treaty.

The region that is most hostile to the treaty is Connaught-Ulster.

The don't knows are more likely to be middle-aged females, with 49% of this group stating they are undecided on how to vote.

With 4 weeks yet to go in the campaign, this should be a wake up call for both sides, who will need to mobilise their relevant bases of support if they are to win the day on June 12th. As you may know I am implacably opposed to the Treaty for reasons of loss of sovereignty, the weakening of the Irish voice on the Council of Ministers via the new voting-system, the loss of the Commissioner, the erosion of the veto, and the subordination of the Irish Supreme Court to the European Court of Justice. I trust that a properly-informed Irish electorate will have the courage to join the peoples of France and the Netherlands in opposing the elite's grand-designs for a country called Europe, ruled by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

1 comment:

Markus said...

It's no secret that the present government is under severe pressure to get a Yes vote at all costs. This will cost us dearly, and I'm pretty sure that most ordinary people will be less inclined to vote yes if they saw the undermining of sovereignty, economic decisions and in particular our justice system that this treaty proposes. The EU will became a huge overpowering entity and we'll be left way behind by the big powers, who will dominate affairs and dictate the agenda. Vote No if you care about the future direction of this island.