EXIT POLLS SUGGEST LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR “YES” VOTE

Ireland looks set to make history today as counting is underway in the abortion referendum, with the first ballot boxes being opened around the country.

Independent exit polls, conducted for the Irish Times and RTE, suggest overwhelming support for the YES campaign taking 69% of the vote against 30% for the NO campaign.

Counting has been going on since early morning in polling stations across the country and early tallies are in line with those figures.

 

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has tweeted, thanking everyone who voted in the referendum to repeal the 8th – adding that it was a case of ‘democracy in action’.

 

Responding to the exit polls, the LoveBoth Campaign said they ‘paint a bleak picture’ in terms of retaining the 8th Amendment.

The anti-repeal group said that if the polls are correct, they pave the way for what it called ‘abortion on demand’.

 

The turnout for yesterday’s vote was higher than anticipated with some areas reporting a record 70% turnout. #HOMETOVOTE is trending on social media, as thousands of the Irish diaspora made their way home to take part in this once in a generation vote.

The regional breakdown shows that 79% of people in Dublin voted for repeal, with 67.2% in Leinster, 66.3% in Munster, and 62% in Connacht/Ulster.

 

UPDATE AT 11.30 AM

Two thirds of voters in Cork city look to have backed a Yes vote while in the county, there’s also strong support for repeal.

Cork North West had one of the highest support levels in the country for inserting the 8th amendment into the constitution in 1983.

In Dublin with more than 10 per cent of boxes open, YES is leading 4-to-1 with possibly the strongest YES vote in the country coming in Rathmines where it was 87% YES

In the traditionally conservative constituency of Donegal, the NO side leads 55% to 45%.

Galway West and Waterford show the YES vote in the high 60s at the moment while in Carlow, with 75% of boxes open, it’s 64% YES despite three miraculous medals being found in one box there.

 

UPDATE AT 12 PM

As the results trickle in, Ailbhe Smyth, one of the leaders of the Together for Yes campaign says it’s an ‘extraordinary’ day for the country and today’s result will lead to a more equal Ireland.

The final tally in the Meath East constituency has come in at 69% YES – 31% NO. NO campaigners had left the count centre just one hour after the boxes had opened.

Roscommon-Galway, the only constituency to reject marriage equality referendum in 2015, is well on it’s way to voting YES in this referendum. With two-thirds of boxes tallied, it’s 57% YES 43% NO. Galway East are currently 60% in favour of Repeal.

Final tallies, are also in for Laois and Dublin Bay South showing a majority YES vote by 58% and 78% respectively. The highest YES vote in an individual polling station was 91% on Merrion Road, Dublin 4, while the Synge St polling station in the south inner city had 90%.

Meanwhile in Donegal, it’s neck and neck with one third of boxes opened.

 

UPDATE AT 1 PM

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuiness – who campaigned on the No side- says the result today is a ‘turn up for the books’ but says its important the views of everyone are respected.

 

Final tallies are in from the following constituencies:

Wicklow – Yes 74.2%, No 25.8%

Carlow/Kilkenny –  63% Yes and 32% No

County Longford – 54 % YES and 46% NO

Kildare North –  74% YES and 26% NO

Dublin Bay North –  Yes 74.5%, No 25.5%

Rathdown – Yes 76%, No 24%

Donegal could well buck the national trend by voting NO. Latest tallies indicate Donegal is 52% NO

The latest figures from the Rebel county show a majority in favour of Repeal

Cork South West – 90% boxes tallied: YES 63%, NO 37%

Cork South Central – 90% of boxes tallied: YES 68%, NO 31%

Cork East – over 80% boxes tallied: YES 64%, NO 36%

Cork North West also sees YES ahead on 61%

 

In Mayo, Returning Officer Fintan Murphy has appealed for courtesy after minor exchanges between Yes and No sides led to Garda intervention.
With 165 of 210 boxes tallied it’s currently 57% Yes 43% No.

 

UPDATE AT 1.30PM

With official tallies from 2 of the 40 constituencies, the YES vote lead 67.3% (85,459 votes) – NO 32.7% (41,474 votes).  Cork South-Central and Dublin Central have both returned final counts, with other centres trickling in throughout the afternoon. An official final tally is expected around 4PM today.

Of the 62.1% turnout, just 398 votes were spoiled votes.

 

UPDATE AT 2PM

Cork North-Central are the latest to return a final tally; Yes 33,639 (64.02%) No 18,908 (35.98%).

4 of the 40 constituencies have now returned their final figures.

Crowds are beginning to build at Dublin Castle ahead of an expected announcement at 4PM. Minister for Health Simon Harris has admitted it’s an “emotional day”

 

UPDATE AT 2.30 PM

Galway East are reporting a 63.5% turnout with 60.2% (26,525) voting to repeal the 8th and 39.8% (17,546) voting to retain the 8th.

Wicklow meanwhile are boasting a 74.5% turnout with 74.3% (54,629) voting YES and 25.7% (18,931) voting NO.

 

UPDATE AT 2.45 PM

Carlow/Kilkenny and Waterford are the latest constituencies to have their say.

In Carlow/Kilkenny 63.5% (44,211) voted YES while 36.5% (25,418) voted NO.

Meanwhile in Waterford 69.4% (37,016) voted YES while 30.6% (16,296 ) opted to retain the 8th Amendment.

 

UPDATE AT 3.15 PM

We’re almost half way there with 16 of the 40 constituencies returning their final tallies this afternoon. It’s been an emphatic win for the yes campaign with 66.3% of the overall vote in favour of repealing the 8th Amendment.

Clare, Dublin North-West, Kildare North and South, Laois, Limerick County, Offaly, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow are the latest to be added to a growing list of constituencies that have voted YES.

The complete list is as follows:

Carlow/Kilkenny, Clare, Cork North-Central, Cork South-Central, Dublin Central, Dublin North-West, Galway East, Kildare North, Kildare South, Laois, Limerick County, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow have all voted YES

 

Meanwhile, the parents of Savita Halappanavar said thank you to the people of Ireland for voting YES.

The death of the 31 year old in Galway in 2012 was the catalyst in a new campaign to repeal the 8th amendment.

Savita’s father has told The Irish Times he wants the legislation which gives effect to the referendum result to be called ‘Savita’s Law.’

 

UPDATE AT 3.30PM

We’re past the half way mark with Galway West, Limerick City, Louth, Meath East and West all returning YES tallies inside the last couple of minutes.

Roscommon/Galway, the only constituency to reject the Marriage Equality referendum have also reported a 57.2% (23,677) vote in favour of repealing the 8th Amendment.

 

UPDATE AT 3.45PM

Final tallies are coming in thick and fast with 25 of the 40 returned at this stage.

Dublin Bay North, Dún Laoghaire and Galway East have all voted YES.

 

UPDATE AT 4 PM

34 of the 40 final tallies are in.

Cavan/Monaghan, all Cork constituencies, Dublin Fingal, Dublin Mid-West, Dublin South-West, Dublin-West, Kerry and Longford/Westmeath have all voted YES.

 

UPDATE AT 4.30PM

With only 4 constituencies left to return their final tallies, it’s been an overwhelming victory for the YES campaign so far.

Sligo/Leitrim, Dublin Bay South, Donegal and Cork East have yet to return their votes but an official announcement is expected within the hour.

Early polls are suggesting that it was personal stories that won this referendum.

 

UPDATE AT 5.15PM

And then there were 3..

Just 3 of the 40 constituencies have yet to return their official tallies. Cork East, Donegal and Sligo/Leitrim are due to announce shortly, with an official announcement expected at Dublin Castle where crowds are gathering before 6PM.

 

UPDATE AT 6.30PM

All 40 constituencies have now returned their official tallies in yesterday’s abortion referendum. 39 constituencies voted YES with only Donegal voting NO on a narrow margin of 48.1% (32,559) YES, 51.9% (35,091) NO.