How would Irish emigrants have voted if they could?

Irish Times Abroad ‘virtual vote’ shows 91.7% of citizens abroad would have voted Yes

The Eighth Amendment  will be removed from the Irish Constitution after the electorate voted  66.4 per cent Yes to 33.6 per cent  No in a referendum on May 25th. Photograph: AFP

The Eighth Amendment will be removed from the Irish Constitution after the electorate voted 66.4 per cent Yes to 33.6 per cent No in a referendum on May 25th. Photograph: AFP

 

On Friday, Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, by a two-thirds majority. Irish citizens living overseas could not legally vote on the issue - unless they fell within the 18-month restriction and travelled home to do so - so Irish Times Abroad wanted to know how they would have voted if they could.

Using our specially designed “virtual voting tool”, we offered members of the Irish Times Abroad Network a chance to cast a “virtual vote” on the referendum. More than 2,000 of you had your say, and the results were even more emphatic: 91.7 per cent said they would vote Yes, while 8.3 per cent said they would vote No.

To read the full results of the survey, and more about how we conducted it, click here. If you would like to have your say on similar issues in the future as an Irish person living overseas, you can join the free Irish Times Abroad Network here.

Since The Irish Times exit poll on Friday night, readers have been sending their reaction, from London to as far away as Jakarta and Nigeria. And as all those who came home to vote from abroad embark on their return journeys, UCC migration lecturer Piaras Mac Éinrí sums up the “powerful resonance” created by images of them arriving in their droves last week:

“As we saw already with the marriage equality referendum of 2015 and now in recent days, it is impossible not to be moved by the sight of all those emigrants arriving, albeit temporarily, to express their ongoing connection. For every person who returned, tens of thousands more followed every moment on news and social media worldwide... It is now time to give proper and meaningful political expression to that ongoing vibrant connectivity in the obvious way, as the vast majority of other countries do: allow our emigrants a meaningful and ongoing voice at the ballot box.”

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