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Sadbh Cox/The Journal
ireland thinks

We asked what the nation thinks about Eurovision - here's what we found

We’re not too enthusiastic about it.

ALMOST TWO THIRDS of people feel that Ireland’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest is not important, according to a new opinion poll. 

The latest The Journal/Ireland Thinks poll found that 53% of people feel that the country taking part in the annual song contest is very unimportant, while 12% felt it was somewhat unimportant. 

Only 8% of people felt our participation was very important. Some 12% said it was somewhat important, and 15% were unsure or indifferent. 

It comes as this year’s contest is embroiled in controversy due to Israel’s involvement. Calls for participating acts and Eurovision fans to boycott the contest have only grown in recent weeks, as the death toll in Gaza nears 35,000 people. 

Irish fans took part in protests in Malmö this week, while campaigners from the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign staged a ‘die-in’ outside RTÉ earlier this month.

Despite being tied with Sweden for the highest number of wins, Ireland has struggled in the Eurovision in recent years.

After failing to qualify last year for the fifth time in a row, some people suggested that Ireland should give up taking part

However, this unlucky run ended on Tuesday as Bambie Thug became the first Irish act since 2018 to make it to the grand final. While it’s thought that they could go on to win the competition in Malmö, this latest polling suggests most people are not interested.

According to the poll, young people are the most enthusiastic about the Ireland’s participation, with 30% of 18-34 year olds saying it’s either very or somewhat important. This is compared to 17% of people aged 45-54 and 55-64, and 15% of people aged 65 and over.

Some 57% of those in the eldest age group said taking part in Eurovision is very unimportant, with just 5% of those aged 65+ feeling it is very important we participate.

When broken down by political party, supporters of the Green Party were somewhat of an outlier in their thinking that Ireland’s participation in Eurovision is important. 

Almost one in four (24%) of the party’s voters felt it is very important we take part, while 29% felt it is somewhat important. 

Some 13% of Labour voters said our taking part was very important, followed by Fianna Fáil (12%), the Social-Democrats (11%), Fine Gael (10%) and Sinn Féin (5%). 

Independents and Others (67%) believed that Ireland’s participation in Eurovision is very unimportant. 

This view was shared by 61% of Aontu voters, 60% of Soc-Dems supports, 59% of Sinn Féin voters and 58% of those supporting Solidarity-People Before Profit. 

Location-wise, Dubliners were more positive about Ireland’s participation than those in other regions, with a quarter (25%) expressing a view that taking part is very or somewhat important.

This is compared to 16% of those in the rest of Leinster, 22% in Munster and 15% in Connacht-Ulster. 

Just under half (48%) of people in Munster said that competing in the contest is very unimportant. 

Looking at housing tenure, there was more support for Ireland’s participation being important among those who rent privately, with 29% feeling it was either very or somewhat important. 

This was compared to 23% of those who live with parents or other family, 19% who own their home with a mortgage, 18% who own outright and 14% who rent from a council. 

Those who identify as middle class felt that Ireland’s participation was either very important (9%) or somewhat important (14%), compared to those who identified as working class (7% and 9%, respectively). 

Bambie Thug will be the tenth act to perform at the Eurovision Grand Final in Malmö this evening. 

The Journal/Ireland Thinks series of polls is running each month ahead of the European Parliament elections in June.

It will continue to explore voter intentions, measure Irish public sentiment towards the EU on a number of issues and highlight any potential opinion gaps between different demographics of Irish society on matters important to them.

***

This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work are the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here. 

 

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