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Irish Supporters of EU Fiscal Treaty Lead, Opinion Poll Shows

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Fifty-eight percent of Irish voters who expressed a preference will support the European fiscal treaty in the May 31 referendum, a poll commissioned by the Irish Times showed today.

Forty-two percent are opposed to the treaty, when undecided voters are excluded, the Dublin-based newspaper said, citing the poll of 1,000 voters carried out by Ipsos MRBI on April 16 and April 17. Thirty-nine percent are undecided, the poll showed.

Though polls have consistently showed the yes side leading, there’s no guarantee of a successful outcome for Prime Minister Enda Kenny as he faces his biggest test since winning power last year. At the same stage of the first Lisbon Treaty campaign in 2008, rejected by voters in June of that year, supporters of the treaty had a bigger lead, the Irish Times said.

“It’s all to play for,” Irish European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton said in an interview with Dublin-based broadcaster RTE today. “This referendum is not a foregone conclusion.”

When undecided voters are included, 30 percent of voters said they will support the treaty, while 23 percent said they are against it, according to the poll. The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In four previous polls since February, between 59 percent about 60 percent of voters with a preference said they would support the treaty.

The compact requires nations to virtually eliminate structural deficits, creates an “automatic correction mechanism” and enshrines the new measures in national law.

The treaty also provides for tighter control of tax and spending by governments that overstep the bloc’s deficit limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product.

Ireland’s October 2020 bonds, regarded as the benchmark, yield 6.93 percent, compared with 1.7 percent for German bunds of similar maturity.

To contact the reporters on this story: Finbarr Flynn in Dublin at fflynn3@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net

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