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Over three quarters of Irish voters back same sex marriage

MORE than three quarters of Irish voters back the introduction of same sex marriages, a poll shows.

The survey suggests 76% of the electorate would vote in favour of allowing gay couples to legally wed in Ireland.

Less than a fifth (18%) of likely voters were opposed to its introduction with 6% saying they didn't yet know whether to back it or not, according to the RedC poll for Paddy Power.

A referendum is to be held on the issue in 2015.

Support is highest among women, those aged under 44, Labour supporters and voters living in Dublin and surrounding commuter counties.

Gay marriages are less popular with Fine Gael and Fianna Fail voters, with just under a third of supporters of each party saying they would oppose such plans.

The latest opinion poll also showed support for Fine Gael has plunged to its lowest level since coming to power.

With just a quarter of the vote, the senior coalition partner's backing dropped4 per centage points from 29% in a similar survey just two weeks ago.

During the same period, support for Independent TDs rose 4%, giving them 24% of votes from the overall electorate.

Fianna Fail were up 1% to 24%, Sinn Fein dropped 1% to 16%, while Labour remained on 9%.

The Green Party saw no change in support, still on 2%.

Pollsters interviewed a random sample of 1,004 adults by telephone between November 4 and 6.

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