Irish voters set to reject Lisbon Treaty
Friday, 13 June 2008 13:26
It seems certain that Irish voters have rejected the Lisbon Treaty.
Although official results are only starting to come in, tallies of votes have shown a very strong No vote right across the country.
Waterford was the first constituency to declare an official result - and it was unequivocal, rejecting Lisbon by 54-46, while Sligo-North Letrim voted no by 57-43. Tipperary South also voted No, by 53-46 as did Tipperary North by 50.2-49.80. Waterford also voted to reject the Treaty by 54-46.
In Sligo-North Leitrim, the No vote was higher than was recorded in the first Nice Referendum, and if as seems likely it is followed in other parts of the country, the Lisbon Treaty looks certain to be defeated.
Tallies from other constituencies show the strength of the No vote across the country, with just a handful of constituencies looking like they will vote yes.
The margin of victory for the No side may be a bit tighter than was suggested in the initial tallies - but there seems little doubt that it is a victory.
The final official result is expected to be announced late this afternoon.
Tallies of votes have indicated there has been a strong No vote - although the Yes side appeared to have made up some ground.
The nationwide trend had indicated a very strong showing by opponents of the Lisbon Treaty - but as the morning went on and tallies became more complete, the Yes side has regained some ground.
Complete tallies are available from around half the constituencies - although they come with a strong warning that some of them may not be all that accurate.
Judging by those tallies, middle class constituencies like Dublin South, Dublin South East and Dún Laoghaire seem likely to have a 60-40 vote in favour of Lisbon.
However the No vote was said to be ahead in Dublin North West, Dublin Central, Cork North Central and South Central, both Kerry constituencies, both Tipperary constituencies, and Galway West.
Early tallies had pointed to a very strong showing by the No vote.
The No vote was strong in many rural areas and in working class districts of cities, while middle class areas appeared to be less supportive of the treaty than had been anticipated.
In urban areas, middle class areas by and large appeared to have voted in favour of the treaty - but not by the normal large margin, and not by enough to counteract the large No in working class areas.
In Mayo, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has forecast his home constituency will vote against the treaty.
Turnout is estimated to have been in the mid-40s percentage range. After years of negotiation and months of debate, the fate of the Lisbon Treaty will be known within hours.
Each constituency counts its own votes separately, and then sends the result to the Referendum Returning Officer in Dublin Castle, who will announce the overall result.
With a 60-40 margin in favour of the Treaty in south Dublin (home to the Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar-driving demographic), which is bigger than the margins by which the Treaty has been defeated in rural constituencies, shall Dublin swing the final result back toward the Yes side? Dublin contains not much less than a third of the whole electorate. Victory for the No side is not assured.
In any case, we still await the definitive outcome.