Looking at the official results of the Eurobarometer 'snap poll' of Irish voters following the No vote (released today), there's a striking contrast between the figures in it and the figures that were leaked out to journalists before the summit.
The Times story on 18 June ran with the headline “Irish voters failed to understand the Lisbon Treaty”, citing a figure from the EU Commission stating that, amongst No voters, “40 per cent blamed the fact that they did not understand the treaty.”
Below is the extract from the briefing note pushed around by the Commission – the basis for the story in the Times, and other papers:
However, when we compare this with the official Eurobarometer poll, published today (20 June) – after the Summit had concluded – we see a very different picture:
Just 22% of No voters said their vote was informed by a lack of knowledge/ familiarity with the Treaty.
The EU Commission’s unofficial briefing seems to have arbitrarily doubled the proportion of voters falling into this category – presumably if this had not been done, pre-summit headlines focussing on Irish voters “failing to understand the treaty” would not have occurred.
Are we missing something here?
If not, this certainly looks like a very clumsy piece of politically-driven propaganda on the part of the Commission designed to make the Irish voters look ignorant.
Unless we are missing something, they have lied to journalists, and this should be a big story.