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06.53 20 Apr 2018


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Campaigners on both sides of the abortion debate are welcoming the results of a new voter poll.

The Ipsos/MRBI poll in the Irish Times shows that a strong majority of people are in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, despite a drop in support.

The last survey in January had the pro-choice side on 56% - that is now down to 47%.

The 'No' side has also dropped, however, going down one to 28%.

The only increase is in the number of people who do not know which way they will vote on May 25th.

That group has gone up 5 points to 20%.

A further 3% said they will not vote and 1% refused to respond.

Strong for Yes

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger, 04-04-2018. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

This morning, Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger said the results are positive for the Yes campaign.

"I think the poll is quite strong for 'Yes,'" she said.

"I think the yes vote has not slipped very much but there is clearly an increase in people who have doubts and questions still.

"I would say to people that it is completely insulting to women to have in the Constitution the Eighth Amendment which has damaged women's health, which has claimed women's lives."

"Devastating blow"

Geraldine Martin from the LoveBoth campaign however, insisted the results are a "devastating blow for the Government's referendum proposal."

"It represents a dramatic fall in support for the repeal campaign," she said.

"I suppose it is really reflecting what we are seeing out on the canvas and people are really just realising how extreme the Government proposal is.

"It really involves abortion on demand and that is what we are being asked to vote on is abortion on demand."

Poll

Support to repeal the Eighth Amendment is strongest among younger voters (67% among 18-24-year-olds; 58% among 25-34-year-olds), urban voters (52%, against 39% with rural voters), among women (53%) and among better off voters.

Support to retain the Eighth Amendment is strongest with older voters (49% among the over-65s), voters in Leinster outside Dublin (32%), farmers (36%) and the lowest income voters (34%).

The poll also found that of those who said they were undecided at this stage, twice as many said they were "leaning towards" repeal (30% of undecided's) as were leaning towards keeping the amendment (15%).

Pollsters spoke to 1,200 adults on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Undecided

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy noted that in the 'don't know' category there are twice as many people leaning towards a yes than there are leaning toward no.

"I think that is a very big positive for the Yes campaign," he said.

"It underlines the point that we have gotten this far in terms of the fact that we have a referendum because of a movement of women and young people who have forced it.

"Now there are five weeks left to go and if we go out and talk to people in city centres and on doors - those people are convincible."

Today marks exactly five weeks until polling day on May 25th.


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