Third poll shows French reject EU charter

25th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 25 (AFP) - A third survey released Friday has confirmed that a majority of French voters intend to vote against adopting an EU constitution in a May 29 referendum called by President Jacques Chirac.

PARIS, March 25 (AFP) - A third survey released Friday has confirmed that a majority of French voters intend to vote against adopting an EU constitution in a May 29 referendum called by President Jacques Chirac.

A poll conducted by the CSA firm, to be published in Saturday's edition of Marianne magazine, showed 55 percent were against approving the landmark document, and 45 percent were in favour.

If the referendum does not end with a "yes" result, the EU constitution may be blocked altogether and the European Union thrown into crisis. Chirac, 72, would also emerge politically weakened.

The figures, though, suggested the "no" camp was growing.

A previous poll by the same company a week ago showed 51 percent against and 49 percent in favour, while another by the IPSOS institute days later put the figures at 52 percent against and 49 percent in favour.

Margins of error were not given in any of the polls, though three percentage points is typical in similar studies.

Half the 856 people questioned in the latest survey said they would abstain from voting altogether, or submit a blank ballot.

The results suggest Chirac, his conservative ruling party and the left-wing opposition Socialists, all of whom have come out in support of a "yes" result, are increasingly out of step with the wishes of the electorate.

Observers believe that much of the opposition stems from widespread disapproval with government reforms and with Chirac's haughty rule more than a rejection of the EU constitution itself, which aims to streamline decision-making in the 25-member European bloc.

That appeared to be backed up by the CSA-Marianne survey, which asked what referendum result the voters wanted "deep inside", regardless of how they planned to vote.

The results were 37 percent in favour of a "yes", 30 percent for a 'no' and 33 percent who said "it doesn't matter".

Those who said they intended to vote against the referendum gave explanations that did not go directly to the constitution itself.

The main reason cited by 31 percent of the respondents was their opposition to Turkey one day being given EU membership, as advocated by Chirac.

Twenty-nine percent said they wanted to see European politics more sympathetic to workers.

After that, 26 percent said they hoped the EU treaty would be renegotiated, 22 percent wanted simply to show they were "fed up" and 20 percent wanted to register their discontent with Chirac and his government.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article