Stephen Collins: Varadkar deserves credit for referendum landslide

Abortion result strengthens Taoiseach’s hand before coming general election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: While he was criticised by some Yes campaigners for not adopting a more aggressive approach, the end result proves he has his finger on the pulse of middle Ireland. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: While he was criticised by some Yes campaigners for not adopting a more aggressive approach, the end result proves he has his finger on the pulse of middle Ireland. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A range of people can claim credit for abortion referendum landslide but the politician who deserves it most is Leo Varadkar. The outcome was a vindication of the strategy and tactics he adopted when he became Taoiseach last June and pledged to hold a referendum within 12 months.

While he was criticised by some Yes campaigners for not adopting a more aggressive approach, the end result proves he has his finger on the pulse of middle Ireland. Voters are rarely impressed by politicians who hector them. Quiet persuasion is often more effective and it certainly was in this case.

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