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Irish People Split on Eurovision Worth –

Lansdowne Poll

A Lansdowne poll conducted exclusively for the Irish Examiner today reveals the attitudes of Irish people to the Eurovision song contest following the disappointing outcome of the McCaul siblings performance in Thursday nights ‘semi-final' in Kiev. The research, conducted in the days prior to Ireland's latest Eurovision setback, reveal sharply differing attitudes to this annual event.

Lansdowne interviewed 750 Irish adults aged 15+ between 10 –19 th May. The margin of error on a poll of this size is plus/minus 3.7%.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with 4 statements relating to the Eurovision song contest.

When asked if they took a close interest in Ireland's entry each year

The following results reveal a clear divide in attitudes.

‘ I take a close interest in the Irish entry each year'

Any agree – 45%

Any disagree – 47%

Neither agree/disagree – 7%

The event clearly attracts more interest from women, 51% of whom agree that they take a close interest in the Irish entry compared to only 39% of men.

The next question reveals the extent of people's commitment to the competition.

‘The Eurovision Song contest should be abolished'

Any agree – 24%

Any disagree – 64%

Neither agree/disagree – 11%

Despite the apparent lack of interest in the competition amongst many Irish people, this apathy does not extend into support for the contest's abolition. Only a hardcore of 24% of Irish adults wish to see its demise.

‘The Eurovision Song Contest is a worthwhile celebration of culture and music'

Any agree – 46%

Any disagree – 44%

Neither agree/disagree – 8%

The results regarding the cultural and musical merit of the contest, reveal that Irish people are again evenly split. Equal numbers are likely to endorse or dismiss the event's intrinsic worth. Interestingly, younger people are more favourable to the contest in this regard, whilst recognition of the contest's merits tends to dissipate amongst older people. This finding may help bolster support for the contest amongst people in years to come.

The following question sought to put the hype surrounding Ireland's Eurovision entry each year into some context.

‘The Eurovision Song contest is an event Irish people take much too seriously'

Any agree – 34%

Any disagree – 52%

Neither agree/disagree – 11%

A minority of 1 in 3 believe that the country gets carried away with the Eurovision hype each year. However, a majority of Irish adults disagree that Irish people take the event too seriously. Younger people's enthusiasm for the contest is underlined by the fact that only 26% of 15-24 year olds agree with this statement. Older people however, are rather more jaded in their view – 44% of those over 65 agree that the event is taken much too seriously. Men are also more likely to agree that the Eurovision is taken too seriously with 38% agreeing with the statement.

Following the heartbreak in Kiev, and Ireland's absence from tonight's final, it is evident that although interest in Ireland's participation is mixed, few in Ireland would welcome the Eurovision's abolition and many continue to believe that it is a worthwhile endeavour.



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