Yes side on track for double-digit referendum win

Government nerves about the fiscal treaty have been eased by a series of weekend polls which show the yes side still on track to win Thursday’s referendum.

Three separate polls indicate the yes side has a double-digit lead with just three days of campaigning left before voters go to the polls.

While there are also significant numbers of people undecided, it would take a dramatic swing in the final days of the campaign for the treaty to be defeated.

A Behaviour & Attitudes poll for The Sunday Times found 45% of respondents saying they would vote yes, 30% no, and 25% undecided or not voting.

When undecideds were stripped out, it was 60% yes against 40% no.

A Millward Brown Lansdowne poll for the Sunday Independent showed 42% yes, 28% no, and 31% undecided or not voting.

Again, when undecideds were stripped out, it was 60% yes against 40% no.

The third poll, by Red C for the Sunday Business Post and which polled only likely voters, showed 49% yes, 35% no, and 16% in the undecided category.

When undecideds were stripped out, the poll showed 58% yes to 42% no.

On RTÉ last night, Pat Rabbitte, the communications minister, said there was no room for complacency among the yes side.

But Government figures will now be quietly confident that the electorate will approve the treaty on Thursday.

Independent TD Shane Ross, however, said the Government had scheduled the referendum too soon, and advocated a no vote.

Mr Ross said it was wrong for Ireland to vote on the treaty in a “twilight zone” where EU leaders had yet to agree economic growth measures and the full scale of the Greek crisis remained unclear.

“Germany is still calling the shots. There was no reason to hold the referendum before the year end,” he said.

“By then, the clouds will have cleared. By then, we will know whether the promised changes to soften austerity will have been enacted.

“By then, we will see the real colour of the growth measures, if any. By then, we will have a fuller picture of the Greek crisis.

“Instead, we are being asked to lock ourselves into a prison of measures which only tell half the story. The second part, the promised growth compact may — or may not — follow.”

Mr Ross said he supported the European project and wanted to support a fiscal treaty.

But what was currently on the table represented an “incomplete package”, he added.

“It should have been postponed.

“We can still achieve postponement by defeating it. If we do, despite the Government’s denials, there will be a second referendum in the autumn.”


Kevin O’Hanrahan, clinical psychologist, HSEWorking life: HSE clinical psychologist Kevin O’Hanrahan

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