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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 1, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    A class and generational divide?

    Mary Minihan

    No alarms and no surprises for the Yes side in the end, although the lowish turn-out may have allowed the most optimistic on the No side to dare to dream very briefly yesterday.
    Talking about class difference makes many of us uncomfortable. We live in a Republic, after all. But tallies are broadly showing, as polls predicted, that the Yes campaign had strong backing from middle-class voters while many working-class voters remained opposed to the treaty.

    That’s basically what I found when I went around polling stations in Dun Laoghaire yesterday. (My colleague Pamela Duncan did the same thing in Donegal. The idea was to canvass a traditionally strong Yes and strong No constituency.)

    I also found something of a generational split, with lots of older people fretting that younger voters had drifted towards the No side.

    A growing number of disgruntled and politicised working-class voters, and disillusioned young people across social divides, means that problems are being stored up for Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail.

    Will Sinn Fein be the direct beneficiary, or is there scope for the emergence of a single-issue anti-EU party?

    Did fear win the day, as some on the No side will say? Let us know.

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