Amárach Research / RTÉ poll for Claire Byrne Live on the Same-Sex Marriage referendum – are we on course for a record turnout?

84% say they will get out and vote in the Same-Sex Marriage referendum, suggesting we may be on course for a record turnout

77% of those who intend to vote say they will vote “Yes”; with 14% saying they will vote “No”

If, like me, you have been smiling courteously at referendum canvassers while silently screaming as a baby wakes up to the sound of the doorbell (yet again) you will be delighted when May 22nd finally dawns. But will you be voting on the day?

Voter turnout is always the great unknown factor for campaign groups, whether it’s an election or a referendum. It’s a tricky one to predict, because the day of the week, the weather, the time of the year and of course, the question we are asked to decide all come into play. Historically, voter turnout in referendums has been widely unpredictable and varied in Ireland – it ranges from over 28% at its lowest, to over 75% at its highest.

So, as we never like to make life too easy here in the office, we decided to have a look at trying to predict the unpredictable and to see if we could gauge what sort of turnout to expect on May 22nd when we will be asked to vote on same sex marriage. On Monday (April 13th) our Amárach Research / RTÉ panel were asked: Will you vote on the same sex marriage referendum on May 22nd?

A massive 84% of respondents aged 18 and over said that they would, 10% said they’d be staying at home and 6% don’t know. Whatever the result, it shows an extraordinary level of engagement this far out from the vote. All age groups polled were preparing to have their voices heard, with percentages planning to vote in the region of 80 – 90% for each age category. The highest voter turnout for a referendum in Ireland was in 1937 when 75.6% of eligible voters turned out to vote on the draft constitution – are we on course to break that record this time? If these numbers are borne out next month, this could be an historic referendum.

This week we also asked those who said they intend to get out and vote, the following question: How would you vote with regards to adding this wording to the constitution? “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”.

77%  of all adults who intend to vote in the referendum said they will vote in favour, while  14% said they would vote “No”, with the remainder saying they “don’t know.”

We want to keep an eye on this number over the coming weeks to see if the debate, which is likely to intensify, will impact public opinion. More women than men plan to vote yes at this stage. We will keep asking the question in the coming weeks.

I hope you enjoyed Monday night’s show – we were honoured that President Higgins appeared on the programme. You can watch back on the RTÉ Player here – http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10407249/. We will be back on air next Monday night at 10.35pm and I will be blogging ahead of the show on Monday with details of what you can expect. Follow us on Twitter @ClaireByrneLive and join the conversation #cblive

Detailed poll results from Monday April 13th

Detailed poll results from Monday April 13th