By Greg O Brien

The No votes stand at 33 per cent, against 41 per cent who say they will vote Yes, the gap has narrowed down to a mere 8 per cent, a drop in 2 per cent since the last poll a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile the undecided have dropped eight pints to 26 per cent.


Taoiseach Brian Cowen, on a visit to Portlaoise, urged voters to stand firm behind the treaty, continuing the usual sweeping statements with no reference to the details of the text. He said: “we have an open economy, Europe has been hugely important in terms of the markets it provides, the jobs, the investment at home and many of these  companies are continuing to invest because of our commitment to the European Union.” Again no reference as to how this treaty will improve jobs or investment, or why we need to hand over huge more areas of power to the EU, or our personal rights to the European Court of Justice.


Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin said the Yes side could take “nothing for granted”, but he lashed out at the No campaigners claiming he was “very encouraged” that the Yes vote was up in spite of the “incredible barrage of aggressive attacks” on the treaty in recent weeks.


The minister claimed:” the sheer scale and ferocity of these attacks – threatening economic and social ruin – makes the result very significant showing that the Irish public refuses to demonise a union which has done so much for Ireland.”


Perhaps Mr. Martin hasn’t been listening to the Yes side who have been making the exact same remarks about people opposed to the treaty as well as personal attacks on the campaigners. Including Garrett Fitzgerald’s recent outburst calling No campaigners extremists.


Mary Lou McDonald said the treaty would further distance Irish people from an already undemocratic union. She said: “we have to be mindful of protecting our influence within the institutions. The Lisbon Treaty does not address the issue of democracy, on the contrary, it continues the trend if centralising powers”.


Labour Party spokesman on European Affairs Joe Costello welcomed the results, saying they show a “clear majority in favour of the Lisbon Treaty and a significant reduction in the don’t know category. The reduction in the don’t knows is a direct result of the intensified campaign over recent weeks”. Again no mention of the Laval judgement from the labour camp and the drastic effect it will have on workers rights.


This referendum looks like it is going to go down to the wire; the margins are so slim now. The next couple of weeks will be vital in rejecting this treaty and the No side are on the ground in full force trying to do the job the government and most of the media refuse to do: educating the public on the real significance of the treaty.