Friday, June 13, 2008

Yessssssss! It's no!

It's over!!!! Final result: 53.4 percent of the electorate voted to reject the treaty, while 46.6 percent voted in favour. All but seven constituencies rejected the treaty, with a total of 752,451 voting in favour and 862,415 votes against. Turnout was more than 51 per cent - better than the second Nice treaty vote!!!

Dublin scores 7-5 against. Outside Dublin, only four constituencies declare for the treaty - with one dead heat. Best result: Donegal NE: 64.7 "no" - 35.5 percent "yes".

Corbett speaks and so does Barroso (see bottom of this post). Despite that, there is no way that the "colleagues" can get round this. Spin they might, but the fact is that, in the ONLY referendum on the treaty, the voters said Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Open Europe blog and Conservative Home have commentaries.

OPENING A NEW FRONT: As this is not the end, the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning, a new front has been opened in the war. In a day or so there will be more about the BrugesGroupBlog and the thinking behind it.

The key news as of last night was that the turnout was low. That is what the BBC (and others) were saying. RTE estimated 40 percent (according to agency reports - the BBC said 45). How wrong they were!

In the 2001 Nice treaty vote, a low turnout of 34 percent delivered a victory to the "no" campaign - 54 to 46 percent against the treaty. When the Irish voted again the following year, a turnout of nearly 50 percent delivered 63 percent of the vote to the "yes" camp, with 37 percent for the "noes". Thus does the legend prevail that a low turnout favours the "noes".

The polling stations closed a 10 pm and counting began at 9 am this morning. There was no exit poll. Updates begin here, giving a running commentary on a remarkable day.

UPDATE: French prime minister Francois Fillon is saying that an Irish rejection of the treaty would mean the end. "If the Irish people decide to reject the treaty of Lisbon, naturally, there will be no treaty of Lisbon," he is reported as saying in an interview on French television.

UPDATE: Ireland's major gambling company, Paddy Power PLC, has paid out more than €180,000 in winning bets to people who wagered on a "yes" victory. Paddy Power spokeswoman Sharon McHugh said the company decided a "yes" appeared the likely outcome - despite the low turnout and the fact not a single ballot had been counted - because gamblers inundated their Irish Web site with big bets for a treaty triumph in the hours before polling closed. "All the betting on Thursday night suggests a 'Yes' vote is in the bag, but we could be left with egg on our faces if we've called it wrong," she said.

UPDATE: Cowen and his wife cast their ballots in Mucklagh national school near Tullamore in the Irish midlands yesterday morning. "A referendum by definition, it's about a change to the constitution and our citizens should take that seriously," he told reporters. And the treaty doesn't change ours?

UPDATE: We have received a letter from Anthony Coughlan of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, the leading eurosceptic organization in Ireland for many years, with a copy of his media statement. He is, I am sorry to say, not very optimistic about the outcome. Among other things, his media statement says:

Regrettably, this constitutional revolution which Lisbon would bring about in the EU itself, its Member States and in the civic status of four million Irish and nearly 500 million Europeans has scarcely been referred to in Ireland's referendum debate.

The main reason for this is the failure of the statutory Referendum Commission to carry out its function of explaining the "subject matter of the proposal" in the Constitutional Amendment, "and its text", which is what people have been voting on today.

The 1998 Referendum Act lays down that this is the prime task of the Referendum Commission. Yet the Commission has done absolutely nothing to explain to Irish voters how "the European Union established by virtue of the Lisbon Treaty" - which the Constitutional Amendment would allow the State to be a member of, and which is referred to in the first sentence of the Amendment - would differ from the present EU, which was established by the 1993 Maastricht Treaty.

The Referendum Commission has made no attempt to explain the implications for Irish citizens of being endowed with a citizenship of this post-Lisbon Union which is "additional to" their national citizenship, despite its obvious constitutional importance; for one can only be a citizen of a State and all States must have citizens.

Having failed to carry out its essential duty as laid down in the Referendum Act, the Referendum Commission through its chairman, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill, engaged instead in partisan "clarifications" of disputed matters which were wholly geared to benefiting one side. The Commission and its Chairman have behaved absolutely disgracefully.

We have no doubt that Dr Coughlan's description of the Referendum Commission's behaviour is accurate. We can but hope that his gloomy prediction is less so.

UPDATE: Another message from Dr Coughlan is considerably less pessimistic. He now thinks that, based on the early "tallies" there is a considerable chance that the no side will win. Dr Coughlan is a little on the pessimistic side almost as a matter of principle so this is very hopeful, indeed.

UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that early counting in Dublin is giving the "no" camp a clear lead. Political party monitors known as "tallymen" who watch the count are saying that five constituencies showed the "no" camp ahead, with three evenly divided and one for the "yes" mob. Dublin accounts for about a quarter of the country's electorate and was widely expected to be more supportive of the treaty.

Correspondents for public service broadcaster RTE in other parts of the country also said early counting showed "no" in the lead.

UPDATE: The Irish Times confirms the "no" trend. In Mayo, the vote appeared to be 60-40 per cent in favour of the "no" camp with the majority of boxes counted. There was a 52 percent turnout. Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and the party's MEP Jim Higgins are conceding that the "no" campaign have won in Mayo.

In the Galway West constituency, after the counting of 60 boxes, it is running 54 - 45 percent in favour of "no". Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív is conceding defeat for the treaty in the constituency.

In Galway East constituency, the trend also appears to be against the treaty by a narrow margin with most of the 149 boxes opened. In Tuam, the heartland of Libertas founder Declan Ganley, the "no" votes were two to one ahead.

In Dublin South-West, there is a report 60 - 40 percent split in favour of the "no" side. This 60:40 tally is repeated in Dublin North-West, Dublin Central, and Dublin North-East. Elsewhere in the country, tallies from Limerick West indicate a 59 percent "no" vote to 41 for the "yes" campaign. Tipperary South tallies show 50.3 percent "yes and 49.7 percent "no" vote, while Tipperary North tallies indicate a 50:50 split.

Initial tally figures from Sligo-Leitrim suggest a 66 percent "no" vote, Roscommon-South Leitrim indicates a 55 percent "no", while Donegal South-West (55 percent "no") and Donegal North-East (63 percent "no") are also showing an anti-Lisbon trend.

In Louth, the tally split was reported to be a 57 - 43 percent in favour of "no". In Meath West and East, the split shows a 60-40 percentage advantage to the "no" side. In Cork, the trend also appears to be in favour of the "no" vote. Both Kildare constituencies (Charlie McCreevy country) appear to be bucking the trend, with early tallies indicating a 57 - 43 percent vote for the "yes" campaign.

The tallies indicate there has been a strong "no" showing in rural areas and in working-class urban areas, while there appears to be less support for the treaty in middle-class urban areas than had been expected.

UPDATE: David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent of The Times (London) is also reporting a clear "no" vote. He says: "In Dublin Central, that's Bertie Ahern's constituency, it's going 58 percent "no" against 42 percent for the treaty. Sharrock adds: "I've just been speaking to Garret FitzGerald, a former Taoiseach and very experienced tallyman. He's a fantastic number cruncher and he says that it looks like the "no" vote has won with 55 percent."

UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that France's secretary of state for European affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, is saying that an Irish "no" should not stop other member states ratifying the treaty. "The most important thing is that ratification should continue in other countries and I have good reasons to think that the process of ratification will continue," he told LCI television. "We would have to see with the Irish at the end of the ratification process how we could make it work and what legal arrangement we could come to."

So, the mice are gnawing away at it already. We told you this would happen!

UPDATE: The Irish Times (desperately pro-EU) is struggling to put a brave face on it, reporting: "Dublin Yes vote rallies after early No gains".

This amounts to a strong "yes" vote in County Dublin but a "no" victory in city constituencies and around the rest of the country. Some "rally" - the combined vote in Dublin city and county appears to leaning towards a "no". However, according to tallies, Dun Laoghaire is two to one in favour of the treaty, as is Dublin South with Dublin South East 60 - 40 in favour. Dublin North East, North West and South Central are being called as two to one against the treaty.

Dublin Central is 57 - 43 percent against. Dublin West is 55 percent "no" and 45 percent "yes". Dublin South West is thought to be heading towards a similar margin against, while there are no tallies for Dublin North.

UPDATE: Bookmaker Paddypower has admitted it made a mistake, after paying out more than €80,000 in bets on a "yes" vote. As polls closed at last night, the bookmaker made a decision to pay out punters who had backed a Yes vote after unofficial exit polls indicated a late surge in support for the treaty. The blunder means the bookmaker will be forced to pay out over €180,000 in referendum bets.

In a statement, Paddy Power said: "Last night, there were rumours of an exit poll showing the 'yes' side in the lead and all the late betting suggested a swing in support for the treaty." "It's an unlucky Friday 13th for Paddy Power but a lucky one for our punters," it added.

UPDATE: David Heathcoat-Amory says on BBC Radio 4 that the Conservatives should press for the UK ratification to be abandoned. Some chance!

UPDATE: Ahern says: "We're in uncharted waters." You bet!

UPDATE: The founder of Libertas, Declan Ganley, says: "The Irish people have rejected the Lisbon Treaty. "it is a great day for Irish democracy ... This is democracy in action ... and Europe needs to listen to the voice of the people." Ganley adds that Brian Cowen, "has a mandate to go back to Europe and do the best job possible".

Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins has said the likely "no" vote is a "huge rebuff to the political establishment" but a vindication of the rights of "tens of millions of workers" in the European Union. He believes the "no" side "won the argument", despite the fact that the main political parties and "big business" were in favour of the treaty.

UPDATE: Poland's President Lech Kaczynski's office says he will still sign the treaty. "The president has already said the issue of ratification is a done deal," Mariusz Handzlik, head of the foreign affairs department in the president's office, told Reuters.

UPDATE: Andrew Duff, Lib-Dim leader says, "we cannot accept this result". Corbett on his blog says, "there are 26 other member states whose opinion matters too. It is inconceivable that all of the others will simply say 'too bad - one country has said no to the package as it stands, so let's forget reform and stick with the current system for evermore."

UPDATE: Deutsche Welle reports: "A feeling of gloom and uncertainty fell on Brussels on Friday after Ireland's justice minister said it appeared that the 'no' camp had pulled ahead in the referendum on the European Union's new reform treaty." The eurosceptics, meanwhile, have decamped to Kitty O'Shea's - yards from the commission building - drinking pints of Guiness while they hold an impromptu press conference.

UPDATE: EU commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is still calling on other members states to ratify the treaty. "I believe the treaty is alive and we should now try to find a solution," he says.

UPDATE: Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan says Ireland has lost influence in Europe. He was "very, very disappointed" with the outcome, adding: "I think it is a very sad day for this country and for Europe as well." It was a "serious matter for Ireland," he said, then declaring:"We have to accept the decision of the people… and that's democracy and I accept that."

UPDATE: "By all rights, it [the treaty] should be declared dead," says David Cameron. Gordon Brown is silent. Nigel Farage declares that it [the result] sends a clear message that the European leaders are not listening.

Now the fun begins! An analytical post will follow.

RESULTS: 24 results in (outside Dublin): Waterford: "no" - 54.3 to 45.7 ... Sligo-North Letirm "no" 57-43 percent. Kerry South 57-43 percent as well. Kerry North voting "no" 59-41. Tipperary South has 53-47 percent "no". Tipperary North 50-50. Mayo 61-39 percent "no"! Clare against the trend: 51.8 "yes" - 48.2 percent "no". Donegal North East: 64.7 "no" - 35.3 percent "yes". Roscommon - South Leitrim: 54.4 "no" - 46.6 percent "yes". Cavan - Moneghan: 54.8 "no" - 45.2 percent "yes". Louth: 58.1 "no" - 41.9 percent "yes". Kildare North: 45.4 "no" - 54.6 percent "yes". Cork Central: 64.4 "no" - 35.6 percent "yes". Limerick East: 54 - 46 to the "noes". Donegal - South West: "noes" also win 63.4 - 36.6 percent. Meath East: narrow victory for "yes", which gets 50.9 percent, to the "noes" at 49.1. Cork S. Central: 55.1 - 44.9 for the "noes". Cork North West: 53.9 "no" and 46.1 "yes". Limerick West: 55.4-44.6 percent. Galway East: 53.1-46.9. Laois - Offaly: 44-56.

Dublin Results: ("no" result first) Dublin N: 49.4-50.6. Dublin W: 52.1-47.9. Dublin Mid-West: 60.4-39.6. Dublin SW: 65.1-34.9. Dublin S: 37.1-62.9. Dun Laoghaire: 36.5-63.5. Dublin North Cental: 56.8 "no" and 43.2 "yes".

Pic by Anoneumouse


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