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Public opinion poll votes for the abolition of the Irish Senate Photo by: RTE

Ireland set to vote for abolition of Senate in cost cutting move

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Public opinion poll votes for the abolition of the Irish Senate Photo by: RTE

Ireland’s Senate is set to be scrapped in Friday’s referendum according to a new opinion poll.

The Irish Times reports that 62 per cent of the population are in favour of scrapping the Seanad.

The paper says the coalition government is on course to win the referendum on grounds that abolition will save money.

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll says that when undecided voters are excluded, the poll indicates the abolition proposal is backed by 62 per cent with only 38 per cent in favour of retaining the Upper House.

The poll also indicates that a separate referendum to establish a new Court of Appeal is also on course to be passed on Friday, but there were a few more undecided voters than those saying they would vote for the new court.

However support for the Coalition’s campaign to scrap the Seanad has narrowed from 72 per cent in June in the last comparable poll while there was 74 per cent support for abolition in February.

Some 44 per cent of respondents told the Irish Times that they would vote to abolish the Seanad while 27 per cent said they would vote to retain it and 21 per cent did not know how they would vote. Just 8 per cent said they would not vote.

The government claims scrapping the upper house will save almost $30million a year.

The paper reports that 43 per cent of those polled said the ‘main reason’ to favour abolition was to save money.

A further 16 per cent said the Seanad didn’t do much or had no power and 14 per cent said two parliamentary chambers were not needed and that other countries had only one.

Only 8 per cent said they were motivated first by a wish to reduce the number of politicians and 5 per cent said their motivation was that senators were not democratically elected. Another 4 per cent said they did not know any senators or what the Seanad does.

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