Monday, April 28, 2008


Hope springs from Lisbon swing

I was very interested over the weekend to read the results of a poll in the Sunday Business Post which shows that public opinion here in Ireland appears to be moving against the Lisbon Treaty.

According to the poll, support for the Treaty has fallen from 43 per cent in February, to 35 per cent today amongst the electorate. Those opposed to the Treaty have increased from 24 per cent to 31 per cent. The number of undecided voters remains almost unchanged, at 34 per cent. The poll was conducted last week among more than 1,000 people nationwide.

RTE reports that the change in opinion is particularly marked among farmers. Irish Farmers Association President Padraig Walshe said this was not surprising as his members are very worried about the position being taken in the World Trade talks by EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

Dick Roche, the Minister for European Affairs - who you'll remember has been trying to frighten people into voting Yes by saying a No vote would damage our standing in the EU - commented that it is all "very much to play for".

Let's get play underway then, Mr Roche!

I must say I take great encouragement from these results. I had been of the opinion that those campaigning for a Yes vote would succeed in keeping the Irish people in the dark about the Treaty. It seems however that this is not the case and people are actually taking the time to read up on what this document entails and are educating themselves about it. That is to be applauded.

The results indicate to me that those of us calling for for a No vote are succeeding in winning over the people to our concerns and if we can win over some more of those who have yet to decide how they will vote, then there is the possibility of victory.

I'm not going to get too carried away because anything can happen between now and June and we must remember that all the political parties are in favour of the Treaty. Nonetheless, it shows that those of us fighting the good fight can at least be proud that not all Irish people are buying into the government's spin over this massively important issue.

A vote against Lisbon is a vote in support of Irish sovereignty. Irish people it seems are recognising that.


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