Ireland looks set to comfortably approve same-sex marriage
The Republic of Ireland looked set to pass same-sex marriage this morning, with early counts indicated a margin of up to 2:1 for the measure.
According to early tallies, a yes vote was likely in most of the 43 constituencies in Ireland, with some reports suggesting up to a 2:1 split in favour of same-sex marriage.
Even in more conservative areas, early reports suggested only a 50/50 split, and an exceptionally high turnout in urban areas offered reassurance to those supporting the ‘yes’ campaign.
The official announcement will be made in Dublin Castle later today.
As the campaign against same-sex marriage conceded defeat earlier today, and Ireland’s Equality Minister predicted that the country had voted yes, early counts indicated a strong vote in favour of equal marriage.
Many Irish citizens travelled back to Ireland to vote, as it was not possible to cast a vote from abroad, with emotional scenes in airports and train stations as large crowds flocked in. Under Irish law, citizens who have been out of Ireland for less than 18 months are still eligible vote.
The Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week said he thought same-sex marriage will pass – but that it may be closer than previously anticipated.
A moratorium was is in place across Ireland’s broadcast media preventing discussion of same-sex marriage, until the polls closed.
Despite a consistent lead for the Yes campaign in the polls, there are fears that a stronger turnout among older religious voters, who are more likely to oppose equality, might sway the outcome.
Polling has consistently shown that at least 60 percent of people plan to vote in favour of equality, but campaigners warn that projections could be unreliable, citing the shock result in the recent UK Parliamentary elections.
The Irish Constitution requires referenda on a range of issues that would be usually passed by Parliaments in other countries.
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