Cover

The front page of the Irish Times carries a far from fetching photograph of Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen looking sombrely into the distance. Is the layout desk at the Dublin daily mischievously suggesting that he has just learned the results of a latest poll on the Lisbon treaty referendum? With only one week to go, only 48% are ready to say Yes to the controversial 269 page tome. The percentage of those against ratification has risen four points to 33%. Attempting to strike a positive note, today’s leader notes that “Supporters of Lisbon will be glad their lead has held steady”. However, with a resurrected Declan Ganley leading the No camp, the unpopular Brian Cowen may be right to feel gloomy. Despite cross-party support, and a campaign the Irish Times optimistically terms “vigorous”, the Taoiseach's efforts to see the treaty through have left 19% of the electorate still in a state of indecision.