Abortion a priority for young voters

Some, 88 per cent of Smartvote app users are in favour of abortion, according to new data released by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Smartvote.ie.

The Smartvote app is a new election tool, which has been called the ‘Tinder of Politics’. Smartvote asked every candidate running in the General Election to give their opinion on 30 key issues such as rent, abortion and water charges. The user gives their opinion on the same issues and is then matched with the candidates in their constituency who best share their views.

“There is no such thing as a civil war vote anymore,” said Kevin Donoghue, USI President. “We’re seeing an increase in a personal, informed vote across Ireland with Smartvote because it makes deciding who to vote for simple, easy and fast.”

Out of 15,484 Smartvote users, 88 per cent are in favour of abortion. 72 per cent ‘strongly agree’ that Abortion should be permitted in cases of rape, incest or when the baby is unlikely to survive outside the womb. 9 per cen agreed and a further 7 per cent slightly agreed, which means an overall 88 per cent of users agreed.

“The 8th Amendment is an archaic law that has done nothing but damage this country and that’s why people want to look at it,” said Donoghue. “Once you get past repealing the 8th Amendment it becomes a more nuanced conversation, with different people standing in different places in terms of what happens once the amendment is repealed.”

Eight out of 13 Political Parties also agreed with this statement, while the other five Parties stayed on the fence on this issue, stating that they neither agreed nor disagreed. According to Donoghue, Labour is at the fore for campaigning to repeal the 8th as they are the only government party that have put forward legislation as far as what will happen if the 8th Amendment was appealed.

“Governments will start to run out of excuses in relation to not holding a referendum on the 8th Amendment,” said Donoghue. “It’s likely that there will be a referendum in the 32nd Dail, providing that they serve out their full term.”

Catherine Devine

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