Public support for treaty on the rise

Public support for the the European fiscal compact treaty is growing, with two opinion polls showing clear support for passing it.

The latest poll shows that while more than 25% of people have yet to decide which way they will vote, of those with clear voting intentions 60% will vote yes and 40% will vote no.

The news will come as a boost to the Government as it seeks to pass the referendum on the treaty, which Taoiseach Enda Kenny signed on Friday, subject to public approval.

Last night, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar warned of the consequences of rejecting the treaty.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Week in Politics programme, he said: “Increasingly, it is looking like we aren’t going to need a second bailout because we are meeting our deficit targets. To vote no would be very foolish in my view because essentially it is like living in your house not having an insurance policy and saying, ‘we don’t need the insurance policy because ah sure the insurance company will look after us anyway’.”

No date has been set for the referendum, but the Sunday Business Post/Red C opinion poll published yesterday shows a 20 point gap between the yes and no sides, when the ‘don’t know’ camp are removed from the equation.

A breakdown of the voting patterns among those questioned for the poll shows support for the treaty is highest in Dublin, among better-off voters and among those aged over 55 and in the 18 to 34 age bracket.

The majority of Fine Gael voters questioned said they would vote yes, while amongst Labour voters the gap is narrower — 56% of declared voters said they would back the treaty, while 44% would vote no.

Some 70% of Fianna Fáil voters said they would say yes in a referendum.

The majority of Sinn Féin and Independent TD supporters are opposed to the treaty.

Overall 44% of people surveyed said they will vote yes, an increase of four points since last month, while 29% said that they will vote no, a fall of seven points. The remaining 26% of people said that they have not made up their minds, an increase of two points.

In a second opinion poll by the Sunday Independent/ Millward Brown Lansdowne, the margin in favour of the yes side was narrower, with many voters saying they will vote yes if Ireland’s debt deal was renegotiated.

Meanwhile, the president of the European Parliament has said Ireland is not a special case and easing the burden of its banking debt is a separate issue to the fiscal compact treaty. Martin Schulz said he is convinced the Irish people will vote in favour of the treaty “with a wide majority”.


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