EU referendum passes by comprehensive margin
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this afternoon that Ireland's comprehensive Yes vote on the EU fiscal treaty has sent a powerful signal around the world that the country was serious about overcoming its economic challenges.
The ballot boxes were opened at 9am today at count centres in all 43 constituencies.
Final results show 60.3 per cent voted Yes, while 39.7 per cent voted No, when spoiled or invalid votes are excluded. Turnout was 50.6 per cent.
Total poll: 1,591,385
50.6 per cent
Invalid Votes: 7,206
Valid poll: 1,584,173
Yes Vote: 955,091
No Vote: 629, 088
Just five of the 43 constituencies voted against the treaty. Full constituency-by-constituency results are available here.
Dublin Mid-West voted Yes by a margin of just five votes, while Dublin South-Central rejected it by 700.
Donegal South-West, Donegal North-West, Dublin South-West and Dublin North-West also voted No. The turnout in the two Donegal constituencies was just 42 per cent, the lowest in the country.
The highest turnout was in Dublin North-Central, Wicklow and Dublin North-East, at 58.76 per cent, 57.47 per cent and 57.17 per cent respectively.
The treaty was supported by voters in rural constituencies and middle class areas in urban centres, although the No vote was stronger in working class areas.
Addressing the media at Government Buildings this afternoon, Mr Kenny said the result would help bring stability and credibility and ensure Ireland has access to funding under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) if needed.
“The Irish people have sent a powerful signal around the world that this is a country serious about overcoming our economic challenges,” he said. “The treaty will not solve all economic problems but it is a foundation stone to make sure the economy stands on firm ground.”
He said Ireland had sent a message that the issue of Ireland's bank debt had to be dealt with by the leaders of Europe.
While he said he would not go into technicalities, he confirmed he raised the "specific issue" of banking with German chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders in a series of telephone calls. He said Mrs Merkel and the other leaders were "pleased" at the outcome of the fiscal treaty referendum in Ireland given what he described as the waves of anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping around the world.
Mr Kenny He denied the Government had frightened people into voting Yes by saying the State would be cut off from EU funding in the event of a No vote. "The fear came from the other side, where we heard of the billions of timebombs of austerity blowing up in the people's faces," he said.
He suggested "local issues" had impacted on the decision of people in five constituencies to vote No.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore described the Yes vote as "a necessary step on Ireland's road to recovery".
The result would "strengthen our hand” and it now had to be built on. He said Ireland now needed a long-term deal on its banking debt that was workable.
Earlier, Fianná Fail leader Micheál Martin welcomed the result, noting that people were worried about the future. “Many people voted Yes, I'll be honest with you, they saw it as the lesser of two evils, he said. “Many people who voted No were concerned about voting No.”
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said he accepted the outcome of the referendum and was not disappointed by the result. He accused the Government of playing on the fears of the public and that he had met many people who had voted Yes through “gritted teeth”.
“In the course of the campaign the Government made a number of very firm commitments in terms of removing the burden of the bank bailout from people and also of growth and job incentive initiatives and we will be holding [them] to those commitments,” he said.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett claimed many people voted out of fear.
"I think people are hoping things won’t get any worse. The fear factor, I think, prevailed,” he said. “But I think it’s quite socially polarised. The manual working-class areas have voted highly No because the people have been the biggest victims of austerity. They have rejected the Government’s advice. The middle classes, in the hope that things won’t get any worse, have voted with the Government and with the establishment.”
Socialist MEP Paul Murphy said the results showed "strong class polarisation", with working class areas voting No and the more affluent areas voting Yes in high numbers.
Minister for Europe Lucinda Creighton agreed that there appears to have been a "class divide" in the vote, but her Fine Gael colleague, Minister of State Brian Hayes later said he believed talk of a class divide in Irish politics was being "over-egged"
"It's a sigh of relief from the Government rather than a celebration," Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar told reporters while watching votes being counted in Dublin this morning.
Libertas founder and No campaigner Declan Ganley said many people voted Yes "through gritted teeth". Asked what went wrong with No campaign, Mr Ganley replied: “Not enough votes.”
Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O'Brien said the "truce" between his party and the Coalition partners which held for the duration of the fiscal treaty referendum campaign is now over.
Mr O'Brien said Fianna Fáil "took the right stance" for the good of the country and said party leader played a very important role in encouraging a Yes vote. However, he said today was not a day of celebration and said the Government had failed to improve the lot of many citizens. "The truce is over," he said.
The turnout in Dublin was lower than in the last comparable referendum, on the Lisbon Treaty in October 2009, when the national turnout was 59 per cent.
Rain across the country in the morning and afternoon did not help the turnout, while Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said "referendum fatigue" may also have been a factor in the low turnout.
More than 3.1 million people were entitled to vote in the referendum, and polling stations were open from 7am until 10pm.
Political parties reported that older people appeared to be voting Yes by a substantial majority, although the vote was more evenly split among younger voters.