With the latest opinion polls showing Irish voters swinging behind the Lisbon treaty, the Irish government is considering moving the referendum re-vote forward to coincide with June’s European Parliamentary elections.
A poll in The Irish Times shows 51 percent would vote ‘Yes’ to the Lisbon treaty with modified terms. This is an eight point increase on a similar poll from November 08. Still, 33 percent say they would vote ‘No’, with 16 percent undecided.
In the same poll, a massive 80 percent of voters said they felt it was better to be part of the EU in the current economic crisis, 13 percent thought it was not with 7 percent undecided.
Ireland is the only EU country to allow its voters a say in the passing of the new treaty. It is constitutionally obliged to do so. Irish voters rejected the new treaty in June last year by a vote of 53.4 to 46.6 percent. Similar polls showed the ‘Yes’ camp winning, right up to the last poll before the actual vote.
The Irish government is reportedly considering moving the re-vote up to June to be taken alongside the European Parliamentary elections. However there is no consensus between political parties on when the poll should be held.
After last year’s ‘No’ vote, EU leaders agreed to address the, “concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon.” The Irish Times poll was based on this agreement which would allow Ireland to retain an EU commissioner and give legal guarantees on issues such as neutrality, taxation and abortion. Negotiations on these guarantees are still ongoing. No second poll can be held until they have been concluded.