Edmund Heaphy, John Keating & Leanna Byrne | Creative Director, Staff Writer & Editor
A University Times poll of 852 students conducted at campus and off-campus locations has found an overwhelming majority will vote against the proposal to remove the Student Union President, Tom Lenihan. When undecided voters are excluded, seventy per cent of voters intend to vote against impeachment.
The poll, conducted on Wednesday by teams in the Arts Block, the Buttery, the Hamilton, Goldsmith Hall, D’Olier Street and at St. James’s Hospital, also found that over a fifth of voters are undecided, which makes it difficult to predict a final result.
James Ringland, manager for the “NO” campaign, said they were “pleased that the results of the UT poll carried out [yesterday] have shown a majority would vote NO”, although they insisted that they were taking the results “entirely with a pinch of salt”, and will “continue to work hard, to get as many students as possible to vote NO over the next two days”.
Close to two-thirds of those polled will not be voting in the referendum, while almost ten per cent said that they were either unaware or not informed about the referendum, despite national media attention and a persistent information campaign.
The strongest yes vote came from fourth years and postgraduate students, while the amount intending to vote against impeachment generally remained consistent across all undergraduate year groups.
Almost sixty per cent of first-year students polled said that they intended to vote in the referendum. Significant voter apathy was evident in the other groups, with less than a third of every other year group intending to vote.
Voting in the referendum began in off-campus locations on Wednesday, while primary voting on campus doesn’t start until today. Early tallies provided by the Electoral Commission showed slow voter uptake at St. James’s and at D’Olier street.
Voting will continue until Friday evening, and results will be tallied before the early hours of Saturday morning.
The University Times is appreciative of advice given by Prof. Michael Marsh of the Political Science Department with regards to polling methodology and best practices.