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Irish referendum 2009 - Lisbon treaty

Treaty referendum passes with large majority

Article published on the 2009-10-03 Latest update 2009-10-04 12:06 TU

Official results announced on Saturday afternoon showed 67.1 per cent of Irish voters in favour of the Lisbon Treaty, with 32.9 per cent opposed.

The swing in favour of the treaty, which was 20.5 per cent, became clear early in the day as results from constituencies came into the national count centre in Dublin.

Earlier, Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen welcomed the results, "Today the Irish people have spoken with a clear and resounding voice".

"We as a nation have taken a decisive step for a stronger fairer and better Ireland, he said, "today we have said to the other countries of Europe that we stand with them".

Leading No campaigner Declan Ganley conceded defeat very early on Saturday, congratulating Cowen on the result.

"The Yes side had an overwhelming victory here today, I doff my cap to Brian Cowen the Taoiseach," Ganley said, "He ran a campaign which made the Irish people believe that a Yes vote will bring massive job creation and economic recovery in this country - it will do nothing of the sort - the fact that these claims are false, in the game of politics it doesn't matter to them".

Ganley went on to refer to the fact that the vote had been put to the Irish for a second time after last year's referendum rejected the treaty.

"We've overturned a democratic decision," he said, "of course there won't be a third referendum, because Brussels will only accept one answer and when it gets it, that's the standing decision, this is democracy Brussels-style, exactly why we ran the campaign we did".

Leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, said it was "a sensible decision by the Irish people".

Reaction: Eamon Gilmore, Labour Party leader

03/10/2009 by Daniel Finnan

"The biggest obstacle that we had throughout this entire campaign was the unpopularity of the government," Gilmore said. Supporters of a Yes vote had been concerned that disapproval of the current Irish government could push people to punish the government with a No vote.

The government's Minister for Europe, Dick Roche, said he was "very very pleased for Ireland".

Reaction: Dick Roche, Minister for Europe

03/10/2009 by Daniel Finnan

"Our future is in Europe and we've sent a marvellously strong message from this small island out to the rest of Europe 'let's get on now with the economic recovery', we've given Europe the tools to do that," he said.

Counting began at 9am local time in Ireland and 43 Irish constituencies forwarded figures to a main count centre in Dublin. From early on Saturday tally makers began predicting that the referendum would return a Yes to the Lisbon treaty.

Tallyman: Ronan O'Connell, People's Movement organisation

While in the more working-class areas we're seeing a strong No vote, it would look like the turnout in those areas is quite low and I believe the overall figure is going to be for a Yes. The tallies in the more middle-class, upper-class areas, where the vote seems to be stronger, it's coming out towards a Yes.

03/10/2009 by Daniel Finnan


Tallyman: Paul Spain, independent tallyman

It's actually quite close now. After that count St. Finnan's school in Finglas recorded 220 people against the treaty and 105 people in favour of the treaty. That's an area that we can consider a No kind of area. Other areas in Dublin would be the other way round so it's still open, it's still an open game. It could still go either way but it still seems to favour the Yes side overall

03/10/2009 by Daniel Finnan

EU Commission Chief Jose Manuel Barroso said it was "a great day for Europe" while calling on the Czech Republic to complete its ratification procedures.

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