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Massive 54 per cent now plan on voting 'Yes' to Lisbon Treaty

The Irish people are set to endorse the Lisbon Treaty referendum by a massive majority in the autumn, a new poll has revealed.

It is clear that the Irish people believe that the country's economic fortunes are best served by being tied closely to Europe and are now prepared to support the treaty they opposed in such large numbers last year.

According to the Lansdowne Market Research National Poll carried out for the Sunday Independent and RTE, 54 per cent of the electorate intend to vote in favour of the EU reform treaty, compared to 28 per cent who said they would vote against it. At present, 18 per cent have said they are undecided.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has signalled that the second Lisbon referendum would be run in October, and the poll results on Lisbon represent a rare positive note on what was a difficult day for Mr Cowen and Fianna Fail.

According to the poll, the main reasons for supporting the treaty include the benefits Ireland derives from being within the EU.

Some 30 per cent in favour of the treaty said it was because they believed the EU had been good for the Irish economy.

Those in favour of the treaty come from across the political spectrum and age groups, with the only notable opposition to the treaty among Sinn Fein and Libertas supporters. One interesting note is that one in three Labour supporters said they would vote 'No' to Lisbon II.

In terms of age, 60 per cent of over-50s are now saying they support Lisbon, while a clear majority of young and middle-aged people now favour passing the treaty which was defeated last summer.

The vast majority of those opposed to the treaty say that it remained too complex and that there was a huge lack of information about what it means.

Many opposed also said they deeply resented being asked to vote a second time on the referendum.

A sizeable proportion of those opposed said they were intending to vote 'No' as a form of protest at the Government's handling of the economic crisis, while fears of a loss of Irish neutrality and loss of Ireland's sovereign power also featured as reasons to oppose the Lisbon Treaty.

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