Support for Ireland following UK out of EU has almost halved
Dublin, 9 May, 2017: Less than a month before the anniversary of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, a nationwide Red C poll commissioned by European Movement (EM) Ireland shows Ireland’s commitment to EU membership is undiminished by Brexit.
Almost 90 per cent of people agree that Ireland should remain as part of the EU, while 87 per cent believe that Ireland has benefited from being a member of the EU.
Following the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016, four out of five people (83%) believe that Ireland should remain a part of the EU despite the UK’s vote to leave. Only 16 per cent believe that Ireland should follow the UK out of the EU. This is a significant drop from 30 per cent in EM Ireland’s first polls in 2013.
According to the Red C poll commissioned by the independent, not-for-profit organisation, European Movement Ireland, 82 per cent of Irish people strongly believe that the UK should have voted to remain in the EU.
Support for the EU is especially strong among full-time students, with a massive 99 per cent believing Ireland should remain a part of the EU.
For the first time in an EM Ireland poll, Irish people were asked for their views on whether Ireland should be part of increased EU defence and security co-operation, with nearly six in ten people (57%) supporting increased co-operation. Unemployed people showed strongest support, at 70 per cent, while 63 per cent of people aged over 65 years supported increased co-operation.
Irish opinion is evenly split at 49 per cent on whether the UK’s vote to leave the EU will lead to return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. More women – 59 per cent – think the UK’s decision to exit will cause a return to a hard border compared to 39 per cent of men.
Commenting today on the poll results, EM Ireland Executive Director, Noelle O Connell, welcomed the poll as indicating undiminished Irish support for EU membership, regardless of the UK’s vote to leave the EU almost a year ago.
Ms O Connell said: “This is a timely ‘Europe Day’ poll on Irish attitudes to EU membership as we approach the UK general election and the anniversary of Brexit. Since EM Ireland began its Red C tracking poll in 2013, far fewer people believe that Ireland should follow the UK out of the EU. Brexit has created uncertainty, but Irish people are steadfast in supporting continued EU membership.”
EM Ireland/Red C Poll 2017 Highlights
- 88 per cent of Irish people agree that Ireland should remain a part of the EU; support runs at 99 per cent among full-time students and 90 per cent among young and middle-aged people aged 18-44 years. On a regional basis, support for EU membership is highest at 94 per cent in Munster.
- 87 per cent believe that on balance, Ireland has benefited from being a member of the EU, increasing to 93 per cent among young people aged 18 to 24 years, and again, highest in Munster at 92 per cent.
- 83 per cent believe that Ireland should not leave the EU, despite the UK’s vote to exit. The EM Ireland/Red C poll last year showed 81 per cent believed Ireland should not follow if the UK were to exit.
- Only 16 per cent believe that Ireland should follow the UK out of the EU. This is a significant drop from 30 per cent in EM Ireland’s first polls in 2013.
- On the UK’s vote to leave, views remain relatively unchanged from last year, with 82 per cent believing the UK should have voted to remain in the EU.
- Almost 6 in 10 people agree that Ireland should be part of increased EU defence and security co-operation, with overall support at 57 per cent. Unemployed people (70 per cent), full-time students (69 per cent) and the over-65s (63%) show higher levels of support.
- Opinion is split evenly at 49 per cent on whether the UK’s vote to leave would cause a return to a hard border. More women at 59 per cent anticipate a return to a hard border compared to 39 per cent of men.
- European Movement Ireland commissioned Red C to conduct this poll in the lead up to the anniversary of the UK referendum held in June 2016, to ascertain Irish people’s views on a variety of topics related to Irish-EU relations.
Please see full EM Ireland/Red C poll Infographic here and Report here with detailed findings and regional, gender, age and work status profiles. This poll was conducted between the 24 – 27 April 2017 among a representative sample of 1,007 adults aged 18 + from across the country.