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06-07-2012

Irish referendum on Fiscal Compact - Post referendum survey

This Flash Eurobarometer was conducted one day after the Irish referendum of 31st May 2012 on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal compact). Two thousand Irish registered voters aged 18 or over were interviewed about their reasons for voting or not, their understanding of the treaty, as well as their main sources of information and knowledge about the EU.

Among the 50,6% who turned out to vote, 60,3% voted in favour of the treaty and 39,7% voted against it.

Asked about their reasons for voting in favour of the Treaty, Irish voters cited reasons mainly linked to the economic situation of the country: economic necessity (24%), instability attached to the "No" vote (23%) and access to funding and future bailouts (22%).

Results show that respondents in favour of the Treaty are who think that Irish membership of the EU is a good thing (77%) and those who have a good knowledge of the EU and of the issues at stake. Moreover, a big majority of those voting in favour of the treaty declared they also voted in favour of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

Respondents who voted against the Treaty cite in the first place reasons related to their opposition to government (28%) and their distrust of politicians (24%). The next reasons are related to the lack of information and understanding (20%), and to the opposition to referendum (19%).

Among the 49,4% who abstained, the main reasons for not voting are a lack of understanding or information (25%), vacations or an absence from their domicile (19%) and personal reasons (17%).

The main sources of information that helped respondents to make their decision are television and radio (60%), newspapers (32%), followed by acquaintances, relatives, friends, word of mouth (27%).

All respondents to this survey were asked about their understanding of the issues at stake in this referendum. Although the main reason for non voting among abstainers was the lack of information, Irish respondents understood relatively well the issues at stake in this referendum.  

Most Irish people consider their own economic situation is good (64%), they were also asked about the possible impact of the referendum on the country's economy. Almost half feel that the economic prospects of Ireland will not change, whatever the outcome of the referendum. One third is more optimistic and believes that they will improve.

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For further information, please contact Catherine Bunyan, Press Officer at 086 8559423 or catherine.bunyan@ep.europa.eu