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Latest referendum polls show the 'Yes' side is ahead

This is likely to be the last of the national surveys before polling day.

A nun walks past a Yes poster in Dublin earlier this month.
A nun walks past a Yes poster in Dublin earlier this month.
Image: Sam Boal

TWO OPINION polls on the Eighth Amendment referendum shows that the ‘Yes’ side is ahead, with the number of undecided voters declining.

The Sunday Business Post/Red C poll published today shows that 56% are in favour of voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment, a three-point increase on the same question last month.

The No side is up one point to 27%, while the number of ‘don’t knows’ is at 14%. Three percent refused to answer.

As an additional question, people were asked to estimate the result of the referendum, a technique which predicted the result of the same-sex marriage referendum exactly.

The ‘wisdom of the crowds’ technique predicted that in the Eighth Amendment referendum next Friday, 56% would vote ‘Yes’ and 44% would vote ‘No’.

The poll of more than 1,000 adults was taken between 10 and 16 May. Today’s poll is likely to be one of the last national surveys to be published before polling day.

A Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes poll, also published today, showed that the ‘Yes’ side is on 52%, rising by five percentage points, and that the ‘No’ side is on 24%. When the undecideds are removed, that represents a 68-32 lead for the ‘Yes’ side, according to the poll.

The last poll on the issue, published in the Irish Times on Thursday, showed support for removal of the Eighth Amendment at 58% to 42% once undecideds are excluded.

Including those yet to make up their minds, the Yes vote was placed at 44% with the No vote at 32% and 17% undecided. 7% said they would not vote or declined to say.

Campaigning continued this weekend, with high profile figures on either side of the debate making appeals to win over undecided voters.

“We are now in the final week of campaigning in the referendum to remove the eighth amendment. The eighth has caused and continues to cause untold suffering to women. Next Friday is an opportunity to right this wrong,” Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said, canvassing on Dublin’s Moore street yesterday.

“At all times in this campaign we must ground ourselves in respect and fact and recognise that every day women in this country are suffering under the eighth amendment.

5338 Sinn Fein_90543212 Mary Lou McDonald canvassed on Moore Street yesterday. Source: Rollingnews.ie

“The fact is that the eighth amendment causes further trauma to victims of rape.

The fact that the eighth amendment forces young girls to import abortion pills illegally at great danger to themselves.
The fact is that women are suffering and will continue to suffer under the eighth amendment.
The crucial fact is that removing the eighth amendment is the only way to help women who are seeking a termination because they are pregnant as a result of rape or who are dealing with the devastating diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality.

Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin said in his latest message that to be against abortion is not simply “a Catholic thing”.

The innate dignity of every human life is a value for the whole of society – for people of all faiths and none. It is rooted in reason as well as in faith. To take away an innocent human life can never be simply a matter of personal choice.

90414710_90414710 Archbishop Eamon Martin pictured alongside Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Martin appealed to voters to say no to repealing the Eighth Amendment “and then do everything you can to ensure that our country will always provide the best possible care and support for all mothers and their unborn children”.

Voting in the Eighth Amendment referendum begins at 7am this coming Friday, with polls closing at 10pm.

- With reporting by Daragh Brophy 

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