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Support for gay marriage on the up in Ireland ahead of 2015 referendum. Photo by: Getty

67 percent of Irish will vote in favor of gay marriage in 2015

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Support for gay marriage on the up in Ireland ahead of 2015 referendum. Photo by: Getty

The Irish public is ready to vote in favor of same sex marriage when it goes to a referendum in 2015, according to a new opinion poll.

The Irish Times reports that a poll carried out on its behalf by Ipsos MRBI shows support for same-sex marriage has increased over the past 18 months.

The paper reports that 67 percent of those polled said they would vote Yes in the referendum which the Irish government intends to hold next year.

After months of intense debate on the subject, only 21 percent said they will vote No with 12 percent undecided.

A similar poll for the Irish Times in November 2012 saw 53 percent prepared to vote Yes, 30 percent to vote No and 17 percent undecided.

Once the undecideds are excluded from the current poll, support for the Yes campaign is up to 76 percent with 24 percent No.

This compares to a figure of 64 percent Yes and 36 percent No in November 2012.

The paper says the poll also shows voters are of the view that a traditional family of a father and mother is best suited to bringing up children by comparison with any other combination.

It reports on wide differences in attitudes towards same-sex marriage across the different age groups and social classes.

The poll found younger voters more likely to support same-sex marriage than older people with support for a Yes vote declining steadily with age.

The results suggest that among the 18 to 24 age group, 80 percent would vote in favor of same-sex marriage while 13 percent said they would vote No with seven percent undecided.

In the over 65 age group, 44 percent of those canvassed would vote Yes with 40 percent likely to vote No and 16 percent undecided.

Some 73 percent of women are in favor of the proposals compared to 61 percent of men.

Labour voters remain the most enthusiastic for change with 80 percent support followed by Independent/Other voters on 74 percent.

Fine Gael voters show the Yes support is 69 percent with 68 percent among Sinn Féin voters, but the Irish Times reports that only 55 percent of Fianna Fáil supporters back same sex marriage.

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