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5th Jul 2020

Yes voters in Irish referendum found No side more convincing, survey finds

A survey of Irish voters has shown that even amongst those who voted Yes in last week's referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the No side was considered to be more convincing.

Some 57 percent of people who voted Yes still found the No campaign the more persuasive of the two sides, according to a flash Eurobarometer survey conducted on behalf of the European Commission.

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  • A majority of Irish women (56%) voted No to the Lisbon Treaty (Photo: EUobserver)

Only 29 percent of Yes voters found the Yes campaign convincing.

Overall, a large majority of voters on both sides - 68 percent found the No side the better campaign.

The survey also showed that young Irish people under the age of 24 were more strongly opposed to the Lisbon Treaty than other sectors of society, with two-thirds (65%) of them voting No on 12 June.

A majority of young people, women and manual workers all came out against the treaty, while many self-employed and retired people backed the Yes campaign.

Of all groups, the most supportive of the Lisbon Treaty were people over the age of 55.

The poll also asked people their reasons for voting Yes or No, with many Yes voters (32%) saying the treaty "was in the best interest of Ireland" or that their country receives a great deal of benefit from the EU.

The complexity of the treaty was an important reason for people voting No, with 22 percent saying they voted against "Because I do not know enough about the Treaty and would not want to vote for something I am not familiar with."

The protection of Irish identity also feature as a reason (12%).

The No campaign focussed on tax, neutrality and family law issues, but none of these single issues came out as a major reason for people to vote No, according to the poll.

The neutrality issue was mentioned by only six percent, the same for protection of the tax system and maintaining an Irish commissioner.

The number of immigrants Ireland was mentioned by only one percent as a reason for voting No.

At the same time, two of the major issues that the No side campaigned on - the democratic deficit in the EU and concerns over workers' rights were not offered as one of the 15 options offered in the survey as to why people voted No.

The third biggest reason why voters sided with the No camp - on 14 percent, according to the survey - was "Other".

The turnout on referendum day was 53 percent, with over half the people who did not vote in the referendum saying this was due to a lack of understanding of the issues, the poll showed.

With much disagreement over the Lisbon Treaty itself, there is one issue uniting the Irish. They agree that Ireland's future is within the EU, with nine out of ten (89%) supporting Irish membership of the bloc.

A total of 2,000 people were interviewed by telephone for the survey, conducted by Gallup from 13-15 June.

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