Saturday 17 February 2018

Gilmore only gets 59pc of supporters to back vote

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore is failing to carry a substantial chunk of Labour Party supporters with him to vote Yes on the EU fiscal treaty referendum.

But Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has held the line with his party supporters on the referendum after facing down rebel TD Eamon O Cuiv.

And according to the Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll, Fine Gael supporters are also overwhelmingly in the Yes camp, with 85pc in favour of the treaty and 15pc against.

By contrast, only 59pc of Labour voters are supporting the treaty with 41pc against.


Although this is broadly in line with the national trend, it is a disappointing result for a party in government.

The Labour leadership has had to contend with the ambivalent attitude of the trade union movement, with several unions coming out against the referendum.

Fianna Fail supporters are backing the referendum by 72pc for to 28pc against -- well ahead of the Labour figures.

Mr Martin will be relieved to see so many of his party supporters backing his stance so substantially.

He will be able to point to support for the treaty among his party voters being well ahead of Labour, despite the party being in opposition. The results also suggest Mr O Cuiv has had a limited impact in his outspoken opposition to the treaty.

Sinn Fein voters are 81pc against the treaty, with 19pc in favour.

Among supporters of Independents and other small parties, the split is even with 50pc voting Yes and 50pc voting No.

Millward Brown Lansdowne's James MacCarthy-Morrogh says the results show Mr Martin's voice has "clearly prevailed over Eamon O Cuiv's aborted rebellion".

He says it is unsurprising to see Fine Gael support so solid behind the referendum.

And he added that Eamon Gilmore's task in convincing his own voters "is not helped by the opposition of much of the trade union movement".

As for Sinn Fein, Mr MacCarthy-Morrogh said: "There may be some surprise in the 20pc of party supporters backing the treaty. The party's wider support levels of late seem to have attracted some Europhiles, which is not in the party's tradition on such referenda."

The opinion poll also highlights a social divide in the Yes and No camps. The levels of support between men and women are roughly the same.

Across the age groups, those over 65 are the only group to stand out as four out of five pensioners are backing the treaty -- well ahead of the figure for those between 18 and 64.

But there is a class difference as those most in favour are from the affluent in society.

Irish Independent

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