Regina Doherty: 'If nobody does anything, I don't think this referendum will pass'
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty has said there is a "job of work to be done" if the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment is to be successful.
As things stand, Ms Doherty said she believed proposals to replace the Eighth Amendment would not pass.
She said: "Standing right now, if nobody does anything, I don't think this referendum will pass."
The Fine Gael TD was speaking on RTE's The Week In Politics programme.
"We need to sell, as advocates of people who want to see the Constitution changed and the 12-week imposed, that needs to be sold to people and the reasons why that 12-weeks figure was come at," she added.
"That needs to be explained clearly to people with reasons and evidence, so there is a job of work to be done."
The referendum on the Eighth Amendment is expected to be held in May.
Meanwhile, the latest Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll revealed that almost half of voters (48pc) are supportive of proposals to legislate for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks.
The majority of those polled are also supportive of abortion in distress scenarios such as rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities. However, in a possibly ominous sign for repeal supporters, there has been a softening of support in these cases.
Two in five voters (40pc) said the introduction of legislation to allow unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks is "about right", while 8pc said it does not go far enough.
However, a third of voters (33pc) believe the proposal from the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment goes "too far". The findings also show one in five has yet to make up their mind on the question, meaning the referendum outcome is far from certain.