Thursday 20 September 2018

Nothing can be taken for granted as referendum poll shows narrow gap

Campaign to persuade undecided voters holds the key to Eighth Amendment verdict, writes Paul Moran

Marchers calling for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment (Niall Carson/PA)
Marchers calling for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment (Niall Carson/PA)

Paul Moran

This latest Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll, conducted over 12 days up to and including last Monday, will certainly focus the minds on both sides of the Eighth Amendment debate. It will serve as a clarion call to all, as it illustrates that with three more weeks to go, there is still plenty of hard graft to be done, and nothing can be taken for granted.

The Repeal side, for so long in the ascendency, may be somewhat alarmed to see that the gap between both sides is relatively narrow.

Traditionally, polls on plebiscites are reported on by those decided in their intentions - excluding the don't knows. By this measure, the Yes side leads by 57:43. However, for this referendum, this is at best simplistic, and arguably quite dangerous.

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