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From the MO diagram, you could just look at bond order. The higher the bond order, the more stable the molecule (meaning higher Ionization Energy). The lower the bond order, and the opposite is true. Bond order just tells you the number of bonds between the atoms basically. If there are more bonds, it will be harder to break the bond. Stable molecules don't tend to lose electrons as much as less stable molecules would. If you had the valence configuration, and the only thing that differs between the two molecules and 1 or 2 electrons, think of it like this. If an electron is being added to a anti-bonding orbital (in the configuration this would be an orbital with a *), it becomes more unstable than before. If an electron is being removed from an anti-bonding orbital, it becomes less unstable. If an electron is being added to a bonding orbital, then it will become more stable. If an electron is lost from a bonding orbital, then it will be more unstable. More stable, higher IE. Anti-bonding destabilizes, and bonding stabilizes. Hope this helps.
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