AN OPINION poll published today shows overwhelming support for the Lisbon treaty among voters who have already decided how they’ll vote in next month’s referendum.
It also reveals that almost half of the electorate, or 47%, are undecided on the treaty.
Up to 35% of people have said they will vote yes in the upcoming referendum — an increase of nine points on the last poll. The number of people opposed to the treaty has also risen by eight points to 18%, according to the Irish Times/TNS MRBI poll.
The last such poll in January showed that 64% of those questioned didn’t know how they’d vote — a figure that has dropped by 17% this time around.
Those in favour of a yes vote are likely to welcome the poll result in spite of the eight point jump in the number of people set to vote against ratifying the treaty.
While many groups opposed to the treaty have been mobilised for some time, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have only recently launched their respective campaigns in favour of a yes vote, and will see the current 18 point lead as potentially decisive.
The result of the opinion poll will also come as a boost to Taoiseach Brian Cowen who yesterday sought to ease any fears among workers that ratifying the treaty would have a negative effect on their rights.
Addressing the IMPACT trade union conference in Kilkenny the Taoiseach said that 35 years of EU membership had shown leadership on social and employment rights legislation and the Lisbon treaty would allow that pattern to continue.
He said the treaty would give effect to the charter of fundamental rights that would offer workers greater information and protection and would help the EU to pursue full employment.
“I am aware that within the trade union movement there are concerns about the potential impact of recent judgements of the European Court of Justice on workers’ rights,” said Mr Cowen.
“I can understand these concerns might arise, but I am also confident that they will not have any detrimental effect on workers’ rights here in Ireland and I am satisfied that the treaty will not weaken the position of workers in any way.”
Yesterday, both the general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions David Begg and his counterpart in the IMPACT union Peter McLoone both voiced their support for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum.
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