A leading academic has warned that the Government could face embarrassment similar to that of the first referendum on the Nice treaty with the new EU Constitution.

A new EU-wide survey shows that Ireland has one of the lowest levels of support in the union for the new draft document.

The Eurobarometer opinion poll, to be published by the EU Commission later today, shows that only 28% of Irish people surveyed supported the draft document.

This level of support puts Ireland fourth lowest in the EU, just above Sweden, Cyprus and the UK.

When polled last November, 5% said they were against it while 67% of respondents 'didn't know' whether they would support it or not.

Professor Richard Sinnott of UCD has carried out an analysis of the findings.

Prof Sinnott says the high number of 'don't knows' should sound the alarm for the Government, since it is widely believed that the defeat of the first referendum on the Nice Treaty was because people did not really have a sense of what was going on.