Newstalk / Red C poll confirms that the majority of Irish people believe that abortion should be legalised in certain circumstances


The first in a new series of Newstalk/Red C polls ahead of the general election has found that the majority of the Irish population would be in favour of legalising abortion in certain circumstances.

78% per cent think that abortion is an appropriate course of action in the case of rape/incest, 76% support it as an appropriate course of action in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities,  61% in cases of non-fatal foetal abnormality and 59% in cases of suicide.  Just 41% of respondents agreed that it should be an option in any circumstances felt necessary by the mother. 


Differences amongst male and female respondents do not vary widely. The widest divergence is in the case of non-fatal foetal abnormality where 66% of men agree that abortion should be an option while only 57% of women agree with this assertion.


The survey indicates a low level of indecision (9%) amongst the public with regard to the question of whether or not the 8th amendment to the constitution should be removed.  Forty eight per cent of those polled believe that this amendment should be removed while 41% of respondents believe that it should not.


Speaking about the findings Richard Colwell, CEO of Red C Research says ‘the results of this exclusive poll for Newstalk show that the majority of adults in Ireland would like to see legal options for abortion within certain circumstances to be introduced in Ireland.  However, while seeking these changes, many remain committed to the ideals of the 8th Amendment. Suggesting that while at a national level the people want to see abortion laws within Ireland revised, they still want to see careful governance retained. “


Shane Coleman, Newstalk’s Political Editor has commented ‘there is a majority of people based on this poll who want to see changes in the 8th amendment but there is confusion in that.  What we do know is that only 48% of people want to see the 8th amendment removed, that would suggest if there is a referendum it is far from a done deal.’


The Pat Kenny Show will host a special NUI debate tomorrow on the 8th amendment when they are joined by students from the NUI, Galway for a special broadcast from the Radisson Hotel Galway from 10am-12.30pm.


Tune in to The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk 106-108fm weekdays from 10am-12.30pm


Join the conversation on Twitter @PatKennyNT #PKNT




Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:-

A national representative sample survey of 1005 adults 18+ was conducted by Red C on behalf of Newstalk 106-108fm.  The field work was took place between 11th-13th January 2016.  The method was by way of telephone omnibus survey.