Repeal Likely As Poll Shows No’s Not Making Enough Ground

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A new opinion poll published in today’s Sunday Times shows that support for repealing the Eighth amendment to the constitution has fallen slightly over the past month.

The third Sunday Times Behaviour & Attitudes poll reflects a drop of two points to 47% for those who support repeal – with the No Vote up by two points to 29% – and the combined undecided voters on 24%.

The Poll was carried out from between the 5th to the 17th of April in face to face interviews with 928 voters.

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The Sunday Times Political Editor Stephen O’Brien says when you strip out the undecided voters that gives a lead for the YES of 62 to 38%

He added there has been little enough chipping away at the yes lead, thats a worrying sign for the no side at this stage in the campaign but there are still five weeks to go.

Meanwhile the Taoiseach is urging a YES vote in next month’s referendum to overturn strict abortion laws. Leo Varadkar said the repeal referendum on May 25th could represent a coming-of-age moment when the nation stops cold-shouldering those in crisis.

Abortion is currently only available when a mother’s life is at risk and it is illegal for a woman to have an abortion even if there is a fatal foetal abnormality, or in the case of rape or incest.

In speech yesterday Leo Varadkar drew on the experience of rape and child incest victims: “I am calling for a yes vote because I trust women and I trust doctors and instead of fearing the worst I choose to believe the best about us as a nation.

“I believe a yes vote will allow us to look our sisters, our friends and our families in the eye when for far too long we have looked away.m “Now is the time to change and to put compassion at the centre of our laws.”

He added: “In Ireland in 2018 we still export our problems and import our solutions, and in the Ireland of 2018 we still turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder to our sisters, nieces, daughters, colleagues and friends when in need or when in crisis.”

The Together For Yes campaign has this morning welcomed the findings of the Sunday Times B&A poll, but insists that every single vote will count on May 25th.
Orla O’Connor, Campaign Co-Director said: ‘There is still a very long way to go in this referendum campaign, and we are taking nothing for granted. This is a crucial and historic debate which proposes to remove the harmful 8th amendment from the Constitution, and we understand that people rightly want to consider all the facts and evidence from doctors and medical professionals to help them reach their decision. In the meantime, we are encouraging everyone to check the register and ensure they are registered to vote because every vote matters on polling day.
‘Despite strong public support for removing the 8th in the polls, it is clear this will be a tight referendum. We will do everything we can to continue building support for the personal stories of women in Ireland forced to travel abroad for an abortion or to take an abortion pill at home without any medical supervision. This is completely unregulated, not to mention dangerous. These women need care and they need compassion.
‘Over the the next few weeks we intend to have frank and open conversations with people across the country about why we believe Ireland needs to change the way it treats women in crisis pregnancy by providing them with proper care and support at home in Ireland.
“By removing the harmful 8th amendment from our Constitution, we can create a more compassionate and supportive environment at home for women and give doctors the freedom they need to make the best decisions in the interest of their patients.”