Unoffical exit polls in the Irish referendum on the EU’s Lisbon treaty suggest the “yes” camp may have won with a 53 percent score.
Counting of the votes will only begin this morning, and the results are promised for around six pm, when Euronews’s referendum special will be on air with live broadcasts from Dublin and Brussels reactions. Prime Minister Brian Cowen appealed to voters to wait until the next elections if they wished to punish his government, and use the referendum as it was intended, to approve a revised treaty that he says is in Ireland’s, and Europe’s best interests. The fate of the treaty is in the hands of three million electors. If Ireland says yes, it will be the 25th of the EU’s 27 members to give it the green light. “I thought the “Yes” campaign did a much better job this time than it did the last, certainly. So I feel the guarantees are enough to secure a good place in Europe,” said one young man. Many of 2008’s “No” voters appear to have changed their minds, but for some nothing has changed and Lisbon is still a step in the wrong direction. “This is a bad treaty negotiated by a discredited government. We need to see the back of both the Lisbon treaty and this government. Come out and use your vote,” said Sinn Fein’s deputy leader Mary-Lou Mcdonald. A “yes” vote will then switch the spotlight on Prague and Warsaw. The Poles have said they will ratify Lisbon as soon as Ireland does. The Czechs may take a little longer.