Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ireland: Red C Poll (12/9/09) -Lisbon Treaty referendum likely to be passed

This Red C poll was conducted on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. More than 1000 voters were surveyed. The results of the poll were as follows:
  • Yes-52%
  • No-25%
  • Undecided-23%

When the don't knows are excluded, the Yes side leads by 67% to 33% - a two to one margin.
Among those most likely to vote on 2 October, the Yes side is even further ahead, by 73% to 27%, when the undecideds are excluded.

Anecdotal evidence appears to tally with the poll findings. There is at this stage undoubtedly a swing towards the Yes position notwithstanding the fact that there is a high proportion of don't knows.
There are several reason for this:
  • The precarious state of the economy has convinced many voters that Ireland needs Europe more than Europe needs Ireland. Since the Irish economy collapsed there is a perception that Europe has been hugely supportive.

  • Captains of industry are on this occasion pushing strongly for a Yes vote. Intel Ireland has launched a communications campaign in support of the Lisbon Treaty.

  • There is a fear that a second rejection of the Treaty would marginalize Ireland.

  • The IFA on this occasion has come out strongly in favour of the Lisbon Treaty. This is in contrast to its posture prior to the first Lisbon Treaty referendum when it only adopted a pro treaty stance in the last days of the campaign.

  • Both FG and Labour have come out enthusiastically in favour of the Treaty and advised supporters to withold a kick in the backside for the government parties until the next general election.

  • Guarantees offered by Europe appear to have mollified some voters.

  • The NO campaign has so far been weak and fragmented. Small organizations such as Coir have been highly active. However the Sinn Fein campaign has been ineffectual. The absence of Declan Ganley up to today deprived the No side of a powerful intellectual force.

  • Media support has been overwhelmingly pro Lisbon.
There are a number of imponderables. There is widespread disquiet in rural communities at the level of EU bureaucracy. Farming and fishing communities are on their knees. This may yet result in a huge protest vote which would benefit the NO campaign. In addition there is widespread alienation in working class communities throughout the country. The No campaign may yet tap into this. The decision of Declan Ganley of Libertas to rejoin the No campaign will certainly boost its prospects somewhat. However he may have left it too late.