Ireland has passed the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty with an overwhelming majority
Ireland has passed the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty with an overwhelming majority of 67 per cent in favor.
Ireland was the only EU member state to hold a referendum on Lisbon, though there have been calls for referendums in several countries. Last year 46.6% of Irish voted "Yes" and 53.4% "No", and the rejection of the treaty plunged the EU into political gridlock so the Irish Government undertook to hold a second referendum.
The second referendum took place yesterday (October 2) and the voted were counted today.
Yesterday's turnout was 58 per cent with 1,214,268 people voting for the treaty and 594,606 voting against. This was higher than the 53.13 per cent turnout for the first referendum on Lisbon.
The No side were much better resourced for the first Lisbon campaign and they ran an excellent poster campaign while the Government campaign was half-hearted and unfocused. The majority of the Yes posters were photographs of local and national politicians and some did not even appear to indicate how they wanted the public vote.
In 2009 the No side seriously misjudged their poster campaign, they suggested that the minimum wage would drop to Euro 1.84 per hour and that Ireland would become an aircraft carrier for a European superstate. Some posters implied that Turkish workers would invade Ireland taking Irish jobs and forcing the Irish to seek employment abroad. Sinn Féin claimed that voting yes to Lisbon would result in an increase in military spending which was a bit of an own-goal.
A Coir ad and poster campaign claimed that Lisbon effectively provides a backdoor for the introduction of euthanasia to Ireland. Spokeswoman Niamh Ui Bhriain said the treaty would give EU courts the right to decide on abortion and euthanasia.
Sinn Féin vice-president and anti-Lisbon campaigner Mary Lou McDonald said the YES vote should not be seen as an indication of support for the Government parties.
Nigel Farage the UKIP MEP and leading Eurosceptic described the result as "a victory for big money, a victory for thuggery and a travesty of democracy".
Brussels, Saturday 3 October 2009 Statement
José Manuel BARROSO President of the European Commission
on the outcome of the Irish Referendum
"It's a great day, for Ireland and for Europe" said president Barroso after the positive outcome of the Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum. "I see the yes vote as a sign of confidence by the Irish people in the EU, as a sign of their desire to be wholehearted members at the heart of the EU. A sign that Ireland recognises the role that the EU has played in responding to the economic crisis." Commenting the campaign, the mass of information available for the citizens and the legal guarantees - including the retention of a commissioner per Member State – president Barroso believed these played a significant role in helping people make up their minds and in meeting the legitimately expressed concerns voiced by the Irish people in June 2008. "Now that all Member States have democratically approved the Lisbon Treaty,” he concluded, “I hope that the necessary procedures for its entry into force can be completed as quickly as possible in Poland and the Czech Republic."