More than 4 out of 5 Irish people think UK should remain in the EU


Dublin, 25 May, 2016:  Just under a month before the United Kingdom’s referendum on its EU membership on 23 June, a nationwide Red C poll commissioned by European Movement Ireland, shows increasing support for the EU among Irish people.   The poll also suggests that an increasing number – 81 per cent – of the Irish population believes that Ireland should remain as part of the EU, regardless of the UK’s position. 

For the first time in a poll, Irish people were asked if they think the UK should remain in the EU, with more than 4 out of 5 (86 per cent) of those polled saying that the UK should stay.

According to the Red C poll commissioned by independent, not-for profit organisation, European Movement Ireland (EM Ireland), 90 per cent of respondents believe Ireland should remain part of the EU, with 87 per cent of adults here believing that Ireland has, on balance, benefited from membership of the EU.  These figures are higher than those in a similar polls carried out in 2013, when 83 per cent agreed that Ireland had benefited and in 2015, when 84 per cent agreed.

EM Ireland/Red C Poll Results

Results from this poll which was carried out among 1,015 people between 9 and 11 May, 2016, show that:

  • 90% of Irish people want Ireland to remain in the EU; for young people this is 94%, up from 85% in 2015. Support for EU membership is highest in Connacht Ulster at 96%;
  • 87% of people believe Ireland has, on balance, benefited from membership of the EU.  This increases to 91% for those aged 24 years and under and was again highest in Connacht Ulster at 91%;
  • 81% want Ireland to remain in the EU, even if the UK leaves the Union; This rose to 84% in Dublin;
  • 86% of Irish people think the UK should remain in the EU, rising to 92% for young people;
  • When asked if they are aware that the EU will abolish mobile ‘phone roaming charges by 15 June 2017, 92% are aware, with the lowest levels of awareness among young people, at 82% and Farmers at 79%. Those living in Munster are most aware of this at 94%.

European Movement Ireland commissioned Red C to carry out this poll one year from the last such poll and ahead of the forthcoming UK referendum, in order to ascertain Irish people’s views on a variety of different topics related to Irish-EU relations.  The poll was conducted among a representative sample of over 1,015 people aged 18 and over from across the country.

EM Ireland Reaction

Commenting on the poll results today, EM Ireland Executive Director, Noelle O Connell, welcomed the high levels of support for the EU, saying “There is unprecedented support for Ireland’s EU membership, at 90 per cent, since we began tracking sentiment in 2013.  Perhaps the forthcoming UK referendum on its EU membership has focussed minds here in Ireland?  It is very noteworthy that in the last two years, a growing number of Irish people believe that even if our nearest neighbours leave, that Ireland should remain in the EU, notwithstanding that we both joined on the same day in 1973.  The results also indicate that young Irish people in particular overwhelmingly believe that Ireland has benefited from EU membership, with 91% agreeing with this statement in the poll.”

When asked if the UK should remain in the EU, which was a new question in this year’s poll, Ms O Connell observed, “86% of Irish people believe that our nearest neighbour should stay in the EU, which speaks for itself. This is not surprising given the historical and other ties our two islands share.”


Please see full EM Ireland/Red C polling report here with detailed findings and regional, gender and age profile breakdowns.



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