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Majority of people in Ireland want to allow Irish citizens abroad to vote in presidential elections

That’s according to an Amárach/Claire Byrne Live poll carried out for TheJournal.ie.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

THE MAJORITY OF people in Ireland think Irish citizens living abroad should be allowed to vote in presidential elections. 

That’s according to an Amárach/Claire Byrne Live poll carried out for TheJournal.ie. 

It found that 56% of people believe that Irish citizens who live outside Ireland should be allowed to vote in presidential elections. 

36% of people believe they shouldn’t be allowed, while a total of 8% of people were unsure. 

In September, a referendum commission was set up to advise on the upcoming ballot on allowing Irish emigrants and people in the North to vote in presidential elections. 

Also that month, the government published a bill allowing people abroad to vote in presidential elections. The bill must first be passed by the Dáil and Seanad before a referendum can be held. 

The referendum was initially due to take place in May of this year, but in February, Cabinet approved to move it to the autumn. 

In October, it was reported by the Irish Times that the referendum was unlikely to take place until 2020, as government sources said the referendum campaign would not go ahead while Brexit negotiations were ongoing. 

Returning to look at the poll results, the age group most in favour of allowing Irish citizens living abroad to vote in presidential elections was 25-34, at 68%. 

Those least in favour were the 45-54 age group, with just 50% in favour.

Looking at a regional breakdown of the poll, Munster was the area with the most amount of people in favour of allowing Irish citizens abroad to vote in presidential elections, at 61%. 

In Connaught/Ulster, 56% of people were in favour of allowing it, while 55% in Leinster (excluding Dublin) and 53% in Dublin were in favour.

The Claire Byrne Live / Amarách Research Panel consists of over 1,000 Irish adults, all aged 18+. The poll was conducted in early December.

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