Ahead of England’s huge Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday evening we can reveal the results of a survey to unearth exactly how Irish fans feel about supporting our near neighbours as they look to win their first international tournament since 1966.
In a survey of over 1000 people conducted via pollsters Bounce Insights, we got a definitive answer on how Irish people feel about football ‘coming home’ with 26% admitting they want to see it happen, while the remaining 74% hope England will falter before or in the final.
The poll was carried out as part of our #SaveOurGame campaign, in which we are donating €10,000 to Irish football clubs for every goal that England score during Euro 2020.
With €80,000 banked by the boots of English players in the tournament to date, Paddy’s already started divvying out the cash and details on the numerous recipients so far can be viewed here. There’s still time to get involved and, thanks to the Three Lions, plenty of cash to be put into grassroots Irish football.
We asked Irish fans to get behind England as part of our #SaveOurGame campaign, but ultimately it looks like old habits die hard. Only 26% of our fellow countrymen and women will get behind the Three Lions.
But if you’re part of that cohort, Tipperary is the place to be as you’ll find yourself amongst your kin in the majority. And don’t be surprised to see the flag of St George hanging over the Rock of Cashel come Sunday should Gareth Southgate navigate his charges to the final.
That’s because the #SaveOurGame poll revealed that a majority of people in Tipperary (52%) want to see England win the tournament, with Roscommon (45%), Fermanagh (45%), Antrim (44%), Laois (42%) and Louth (40%) the only other counties in Ireland where over 40% will shout for Southgate’s men.
On the flip side, Cavan is the most adverse to England going all the way, with just 9% of those polled admitting they will cheer on the Three Lions. The people of Sligo (14%), Donegal (15%), Wexford (16%) and Kerry (16%) are also hesitant to break into a chorus of ‘It’s Coming Home’ for the remainder of the tournament.
However, one fifth of Dubliners (20%) hope to see Raheem Sterling and the boys do the business, while in Cork – a county steeped in Fenian roots – more than a third (34%) are getting behind them.
Elsewhere, less Social Democrat voters (16%) want England to win when compared to Sinn Féin voters (25%), whereas a chunky 33% of Labour voters wouldn’t be averse to seeing celebrations on the streets of London after Sunday’s final, assuming they make it that far.
In terms of Irish sports fans, soccer supporters (31%) are the most in favour of seeing the Henri Delaunay Trophy being lifted by Harry Kane, followed by Hurling fans (29%) and Rugby fans (24%) with Gaelic Football fans bringing up the rear at 19%.
Intriguingly, only 33% of people who admit to supporting Premier League clubs most weekends will back England. Despite their differences, little separates Culchies (27%) and City Dwellers (25%) when it comes to their views on England winning.
The Paddy Power #SaveOurGame poll also revealed that of the semi-finalists still in the tournament, Italy is the team of choice for Irish people – with 35% getting behind Mancini’s charges.
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