Ireland Referendum 2009
Ireland held a “you gave the wrong answer” re-vote referendum on the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty yesterday after the previous referendum in 2008 had failed, much to the glee of Eurosceptics across the EU. Ireland’s constitution requires popular ratification of treaties of this type, and it did so for past European treaties such as Amsterdam and Nice (again, for Nice, the first failed but the second passed).
Ireland is now seriously hurt by the economic crisis, and its government is extremely unpopular. However, it did manage to obtain special advantages for Ireland in the new treaty, in regards to Ireland’s neutrality and its abortion laws. The YES, supported by most major parties, was expected to win easily and enjoyed a consistent lead in polls. And it did win, by a very large margin which surprised me.
Yes 67.13% (+20.5%)
No 32.87% (-20.5%)
Turnout: 59% (53.13% in 2008)
Only two of Ireland’s 43 electoral constituencies opposed the treaty: the two Donegal constituencies. Donegal, an isolated area of Ulster, has a tradition of general opposition to Europe and the governing authority. The YES was strongest in the affluent suburbs south-east of Dublin, where it broke 80% in two constituencies. The YES’ weakest areas, outside of Donegal, were generally poorer working-class areas. It did win, however, in working-class Dublin South West, where the NO had won its largest victory in 2008 with 65.05%.
The next steps for the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland is Presidential assent, a vote on a statute bill in the Dáil and Seanad before receiving final Presidential assent. All of which should be done soon.
Now, only the Czech Republic lacks Presidential assent and Poland hasn’t yet deposited the instruments of ratification with the Italian government as required by Article 6, paragraph 1.