I’ve been busy recently, and haven’t got the time together to analyse the previous two RedC polls, but given recent events, I’ve stayed up late to run the latest one through the machine.
The latest RedC came out today, and it looks both at party standings, and at an issue I had, somewhat foolishly I know, hoped would have been advanced quite some while ago.
First, the parties. FG are taking a hammering, presumably as a result of their position on abortion – at least as far as they are portraying it – being somewhat out of step with an outraged public, and drop a massive 6% (I stand open to correction, but this seems to be the largest single drop in a RedC poll over a similar period for any party). Labour experience a slight upwards bump, and OTH see their vote up 4%, one suspects this being more a Clare Daly effect, whatever Mattie McGrath protests…
The projections, are as follows…
As you can see, the very high OTH vote makes it all a bit skewed, and the continued absence of ULA in the survey – particularly in this case, is undermining the usefulness of these polls. In the absence of more detailed information, I’ve had to assume GP at 2011 levels, and the ULA component tbeing he same proportion of the remaining OTH vote as in 2011.
Of course, another budget, and legislation for “X” may change this, but it looks to me as a significant FG vote has moved to LP, and another LP vote has moved to OTH. Clearly the larger party has not had a good day at the office dealing with the Savita case – Shatter excepted – but Labour may not benefit from this unless they progress legislation promptly – clearly a significant proportion of the electorate is angry, and 20 years of waiting means many are not prepared to trust the Govt to show the required leadership to enact what is at the very minimum, IMO, needed, namely legislation that protects the lives of women.
Which brings us on to the other questions…
The poll also tested public opinion on abortion, and the various options that this and future govts might consider. The figures will fortify those who are pro-choice, and will not make pleasant reading for those on the anti-abortion side of the debate.
Summary of the poll’s findings on each possible option for abortion law:
“Legislate for the X case, which means allowing abortion where the mother’s life is threatened, including by suicide.” Support: 85%
“A constitutional amendment to extend the right to abortion to all cases where the health of the mother is seriously threatened and also in cases of rape.” Support: 82%
“A constitutional amendment to allow for legal abortion in any case where a woman requests it.” Support: 36%
There’s little point in me adding much to these figures. But it might be worth looking at the figures in this way…
Support Abortion on request without specified limits (or “demand”) - 36%
Not on request, but extended to rape or serious threat to health – 46%
Not further than “X”, but want “X” legislated for (including suicide) – 3%
Oppose “X” being legislated for (includes ‘termination’ where reqd to save life of mother) – 15%
Clearly, not quite support for abortion without questions asked. But also, it is obvious that a vast majority support legislation on “X”, and it would appear a very substantial majority would support a referendum that extended “X” to allow broader access to abortion.
I’ve not seen the poll data beyond the media reports, and, frankly, I’m tired, but I think for once the figures speak for themselves, and you don’t need my laboured opinion to understand them.
Labour. Push harder.