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LQD: Support for Lisbon narrows...

by Frank Schnittger Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 05:20:46 PM EST

In a development eerily similar to the first Lisbon referendum, support for the Treaty has declined as voting day approaches...Support for Lisbon Treaty falls eight points to 46% - The Irish Times - Thu, Sep 03, 2009

Support for the Lisbon Treaty has declined over the summer but the Yes side is still in the lead with four weeks to go to the referendum, according to the latest Irish Times /TNS mrbi poll.

The poll shows that 46 per cent would now vote Yes, a drop of eight points since the last Irish Times poll in May, while 29 per cent say they would vote No, an increase of one point.

The number of people in the Don't Know category has increased by seven points to 25 per cent.

When undecided voters are excluded, the Yes side has 61 per cent, with 39 per cent in the No camp. That compares to the referendum result in June, 2008, of 53.4 per cent No and 46.6 per cent Yes.

The decline in the numbers saying they will vote Yes comes after three Irish Times polls in the first half of 2009 which had shown consistently solid support for Lisbon. Most of those who have left the Yes camp have moved into the Don't Know category rather than shifting into the No camp.

In the Irish Times poll at a similar stage in the first Lisbon Treaty referendum campaign, 35 per cent said they would vote Yes, 18 per cent said No and 47 per cent said Don't Know.

snip--------

Voters were also asked if, in the light of the current economic crisis, they thought it was better to be part of the EU. A substantial 80 per cent thought it better to be part of the EU, (down 1 point since the last poll) 9 per cent thought it was not (down 1 point) and 11 per cent had no opinion (up 2 points).

Asked if they were likely to vote 74 per cent said very likely, 13 per cent fairly likely, 2 per cent fairly unlikely, 6 per cent very unlikely and 5 per cent had no opinion. 91 per cent of Yes voters said they were very likely to vote but among No voters the figure was 70 per cent.

This last figure, the 91 to 71% enthusiasm gap between yes and no voters is perhaps the most hopeful figure from a yes perspective.  The first time around, it seemed that it was the anti-Lisbon side who were much more motivated to vote.


It appears from the above that no "likely voter" screen has been applied to the data released tonight.  Thus if one applies the 91% "likely to vote" figure to the 46% who say they will vote yes, and the 70% "likely to vote" figure to the 29% who say they vote no, the predicted outcome based on this poll is still a 2:1 vote in favour.

However the experience of previous polls is that they underestimated the no vote and did not fully capture the swing to no late in the campaign.  Thus the vote could be still be around the 60:40 in favour I have been predicting for the past year.

The poll is the same one which showed support for the Taoiseach, Government and Fianna Fail down to record lows, and so the the yes vote has more than likely been degraded by the virulent anti-government sentiment which has been growing steadily over the past year.

However all the parties (except Sinn Fein) have been more united in advocating a yes vote this time around, as have numerous business, trade union, sectoral and ad hoc civic groups.

The EU is a lot more popular than the Government right now, and so anything which can be marketed as improving EU efficiency, effectiveness and cohesion is likely to fall on relatively fertile ground.  There is almost no public criticism of the EU by either side and so the argument is rightly about whether Lisbon improves or dis-improves the EU from an Irish perspective.

There is no Libertas to fund the No campaign this time around and so it is increasingly being run by marginal groups like Coir (a front for extreme catholic group Youth Defense) with their fixation on abortion.  The Electoral Commission have nailed the lie that Lisbon will imperil Ireland's relatively high minimum wage and the political parties seem generally more robust in challenging false assertions.

Overall, I would still be confident that the electorate will distinguish their anger at the Government and political/financial establishment from the Lisbon Treaty.  However it could yet be close with a few wobbles on the way...

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What would be the consequences of a second 'no' vote?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 07:45:06 PM EST
I can't see the same Treaty being put to a referendum for a third time under any circumstances.  Therefore the Treaty will be effectively dead and the EU will lose even more momentum.  Nationalism will be resurgent in some member states and the bigger countries will do their own thing more - some perhaps agreeing to a two speed Europe under the terms of enhanced cooperation. Ireland will be pretty irrelevant to the whole process for the foreseeable future.

It is a mistake to see the Treaty in purely legalistic terms.  The EU is above all an agreement to cooperate politically, and if one small member state refuses to play ball there are a myriad of ways it can be isolated and ignored.  I think the longer term political and economic consequences for Ireland could be quite devastating - and not great for the rest of Europe either.  I don't find a return to small minded national chauvinism and trumped up xenophobia very appealing.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 at 08:40:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My money is on a 2-speed Europe under Nice's enhanced cooperation rules.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 03:53:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin admits 'significant' Lisbon challenge after poll - The Irish Times - Fri, Sep 04, 2009

"I was never under any illusion but that it was going to be difficult to secure this, but I do think we can do it, and the significant difference . . . between this time last year and now now is that the "don't know" category has reduced significantly, and according to some research that we have seen . . . the information deficit has been improved - in other words more people are aware of the issues," the Minister said.

Warning against becoming "mesmerised by the last campaign," Mr Martin said: "The significant difference on this occasion is that we have succeeded in ensuring every country retains a commissioner, and basically the only guarantee now that the Irish people have now in terms of retaining a commissioner is to vote Yes.

"Whereas if we have a No outcome, we don't have any guarantee in the future that we will have a commissioner every year, and that's a fundamental change in terms of the campaign last year."

However, Mr Martin said the broader issue was Ireland's position within the EU, the perception of Ireland within the it and the degree to which the State wanted to facilitate the reform of the Union "on a modest basis".

Speaking on the same programme, Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said there was no agreement that the arrangement on commissioners "would continue into perpetuity".

"In relation to the protocols in the declaration, all we're looking at here is clarifications, and in the statement by the presidency following the conclusion of the summit on the 18th and 19th of June, they made it patently clear in their own text that nothing whatsoever in the protocols would have any effect in relation to the actual treaty.

"These are only clarifications . . . I don't believe at this point in time, I have not got sufficient assurance that we are going to have a commissioner into perpetuity," he said.

In response, Mr Martin said the Sinn Féin TD was putting forward the "basic conspiratorial approach, the basis approach of lacking any trust at all in the European Union".

"To be fair, Sinn Féin have opposed every single European treaty since we joined the European Union in 1973," the Minister said. "It's about commonsense against the conspiracy theorists."

snip--------

Fianna Fáil voters are the most enthusiastic supporters of the treaty by a margin of 62 per cent to 23 per cent. Among Fine Gael voters there is also solid backing for the Yes campaign by a margin of 58 per cent to 23 per cent. Labour Party supporters are less enthusiastic with 43 per cent in favour and 31 per cent against.

Green Party supporters are significantly out of tune with their party on the issue with 36 per cent intending to vote No and 31 per cent Yes, despite the party's decision at a special convention to support Lisbon.

In line with their party's stance on the issue, Sinn Féin voters are strongly against the treaty, with 66 per cent intending to vote No and just 13 per cent Yes.



notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 06:13:14 AM EST
what other EU countries still need to bring the ratification to a close?

I can think of Czech and Germany (I thought) from top of head.

Am I correct in thinking that if Ireland votes yes, the biggest stumbling block for this treaty has dissolved?

by Nomad on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 07:19:11 AM EST
Yes.  Bizarrely Poland and the Czech Republic have said they will ratify if and when Ireland does.  My recollection is that the German Constitutional Court wanted some parliamentary safeguards put in place before ratification could be completed and I presume they are waiting for Ireland before doing so - Given the current german elections are causing some preoccupation elsewhere.  Perhaps Dodo or someone has and update?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 07:52:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The German safeguard laws were approved in the parliamentary commission, and will go to vote this month (that is before the elections). There is still debate: on one hand, some Eurosceptic parliamentarians of the Bavarian CSU are playing renegade; on the other hand, again at the behest of the CSU, the CDU/CSU wants to explicitely adopt the constitutional court's mindset of national over EUropean in the accompanying text of the final law put to vote, while the SPD wants to drop those passages.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 08:24:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not bizarre. Ireland is the perfect excuse for Kaczinsky and Klaus to divert political pressure away from themselves.

I was sort of looking forward to Klaus' one-man stand against the European Union but Ireland might yet thwart it.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 08:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and Poland has already completed ratification, they just have to "deposit" the instruments of ratification (according to wikipedia - see my parallel comment).

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 08:36:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks WIkipedia is wrong there -- WikiVandalism? All news on Lisbon and Kaczinski for 9 April 2008 is about him denying the signature.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 11:26:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The link to source was to a  Polish one...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 11:28:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to be a Polish legal quirk.

Treaty of Lisbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ratification in Poland was stalled while awaiting presidential signature (on the instrument of ratification). The President, by that point, did sign the bill which allows him to ratify the treaty[117] (in that bill the procedure for granting consent to ratification was chosen according to Article 90.4 of the Polish constitution).[118] According to his official website, it did not mean that the treaty was ratified in Poland and the actual ratification now lies within his sole competence.[119]


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 11:48:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is bizarre for one member state to defer to another member state in the making of a Sovereign decision.  You can imagine the Irish reaction to being told they couldn't do something unless the Brits gave them the ok...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 08:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not deferring. They're saying... why bother? Let others take the blame for killing the Treaty.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:03:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How does not ratifying a treaty contribute to its passing?  They are also giving the Irish NO camp an alibi for voting NO - see other countries don't want it either...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:06:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're "not ratifying it yet". Why bother ratifying it if the Irish might yet kill it?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because your people/parliament have voted in favour of it?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:20:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're talking about Vaclav Klaus, here.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:22:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bizarre

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:32:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the present point Ireland has held a referendum and chosen not to ratify. Since it requires unanimous ratification it is - from a legal standpoint - dead. An ex-treaty if you will, until such time (if ever) that Ireland changes its decision.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 10:37:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
it is - from a legal standpoint - dead. An ex-treaty if you will



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 10:39:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From a legal standpoint it was never alive.  It's all politics until it becomes law...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 10:39:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From a formalistic standpoint then :)

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 10:56:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia has a scorecard.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 08:30:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]


notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 08:42:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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