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Vast majority of Irish people want a second referendum on Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn says he’s open to holding another vote; while PM Theresa May has dismissed it as “a politicians’ vote”.

Image: Aaron Chown via PA Images

THREE QUARTERS OF Irish people want the UK to vote again on whether they should leave the European Union.

In a survey for Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research, 75% of people answered ‘Yes’ when asked whether the UK should hold a second referendum on Brexit.

Of the remainder, 15% responded ‘No’, and 10% said they didn’t know.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he would allow a second vote if his party backed the decision, while UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised a prospective second vote as undemocratic during her Tory party conference speech:

“A second referendum would be a politicians’ vote. Think of what it would do to democracy… Politicians telling people they got it wrong and to vote again.”

Labour are using the promise of holding a second vote in an attempt to attract voters in any prospective election – despite Corbyn’s political past as a Eurosceptic.

In what appeared to be an acknowledgement of that threat, in her speech to Tories on Wednesday May took the opportunity to repeatedly attack Corbyn and say that the Labour party had gone into decline under his leadership.

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Ireland’s second vote

In October 2009, Ireland held a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, after the electorate voted against it by 53.4% to 46.6% in 2008. 

The second time round, 67.1% of the electorate voted in favour of the Lisbon Treaty, which formed the basis for Ireland’s entry to the European Union. Although Ireland is very pro-EU according to opinion polls, the second Lisbon vote is often criticised as a lack of respect from politicians for the people’s vote.

Ireland was the only EU member state that held public referendums on the Treaty; echoing some arguments that it was irresponsible for former UK Prime Minister David Cameron to put the issue of EU membership to the electorate in the first place.

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

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