Monday

26th Aug 2019

Irish justice minister concedes Lisbon defeat

Across Ireland, voters have strongly voted No to the Lisbon Treaty, which looks all but certainly set for defeat.

Nationwide, based on a mix of official and unofficial tallies, the No is leading the Yes side 53.7 percent to 46.3 percent on a high turn-out of over 50 percent.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The No side has taken an early lead (Photo: EUobserver)

Dermot Ahern, the Irish justice minister, speaking on RTE television, said: "We're in uncharted waters here."

"The results are quite clear," he added, "I don't see how they can be overturned [from where they are at this point]."

Pat Cox, former president of the European Parliament and spokesperson for the Irish Alliance for Europe, has said he believes the game is all but lost: "On the balance of probabilities, it's all leaning in one direction – towards a No, and possibly a decisive No."

In most of the officially declared constituencies, the No side is leading.

Waterford plumped for the No side 54.3 percent to 45.7 percent.

Tipperary-south has also opposed the treaty, on 53.2 to 46.8. Neighbouring Tipperary-north is a closer call, with the No side on 50.2 and the Yes on 49.8.

Sligo-north Leitrim also voted No 56.7-43.3, and in Dublin south-west, the No side has comprehensively defeated the treaty 65.1 percent to 34.9 percent.

In Kerry-north, the No is leading 59.6 to 40.4, while in Kerry-south, the No has won the support of 57.4 percent to 42.6 percent.

Mayo, home to opposition Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, has also voted firmly against the treaty 61.7 to 38.3.

In only one constituency where results have been officially declared, Clare, has the Yes side won, on 51.8 to 48.2.

In former prime minister Bertie Ahern's own constituency, Dublin-central, in an undeclared tally,voters have gone for No 56-44.

Other unofficial results show Galway-west has voted 56 percent against, while the east of the city is split 50-50. Cork-north, east, south and west are also leaning towards a No.

In Limerick, the vote has set middle class districts against working class areas, with the former leaning toward Yes and the latter backing the No strongly. In working class areas, the No has reached as high as 69 percent.

Declan Ganley, the millionaire businessman and founder of Libertas, the centre-right anti-Treaty group campaigning around tax harmonisation issues and against European 'red tape', said: "It's a great day for the Irish people and a great day for Irish democracy."

"The Irish people have shown enormous courage and wisdom. They have given a resounding meassage that comes atop the votes against the constitution in France and the Netherlands.

"We are bringing democracy into the heart of the European Union," he added, speaking to reporters in the courtyard of Dublin Castle, where the central vote count is being held. "This is democracy in action, and the third time Irish citizens have said 'No' to this formula."

Foreign affairs minister Micheal Martin, whose own constituency in Cork has voted No, said: "Whatever the decision of the people, we must respect that."

The result is only according to initial, unofficial tallies. More precise figures are expected to be released later today.

Initial counts suggest that across the country turn-out has exceeded 50 percent.

Analysts had speculated that anything under a 40 percent turn-out would be dangerous for the treaty, based on the logic that opponents had a strong motivation to go out and vote, but that there were a greater number of passive Yes voters.

However, the reverse seems to have been the case: despite a much higher turn-out than expected, the No vote is very much in the lead.

Orban praises von der Leyen after first face-to-face

The EU Commission president-elect said she had a "good talk" with Hungary's controversial premier. Orban returned the praise, saying said the former German defence minister "thinks with [a] central Europeans' head".

Von der Leyen aims to 'rebalance Europe'

The German EU Commission president-elect hopes to bridge divisions within the EU, as she meets with EU leaders setting up her team of commissioners.

Johnson's call for new Brexit deal hits EU 'no'

The UK will not nominate a new EU commissioner, the new British PM said in his first address to parliament, and insisted that the Irish backstop can be renegotiated - without giving any specifics on alternative solutions.

Selmayr shifted to Vienna, ahead of von der Leyen arrival

London and Washington had been rumoured, but instead the German political mastermind behind the EU commission will now work as a quasi-EU ambassador in Vienna. He irked many in Brussels but also shook things up.

Macron: 14 EU states agree on a migration 'mechanism'

"The haggling around rescues in the Mediterranean has to be ended," German foreign minister Heiko Mass said after the Paris meeting on migration. However, details of Emmanuel Macron's 'solidarity mechanism' were not specific.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Western leaders disagree on Russia, Iran, and Brazil
  2. Belgium: Parties clash on Reynders as EU commissioner
  3. Spain heading for yet another general election
  4. EU to discuss Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires
  5. 'Our house is burning,' Macron says on Amazon fires
  6. What happens when trafficking survivors get home
  7. EU states and Russia clash on truth of WW2 pact
  8. EU considers new rules on facial recognition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  4. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  7. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  12. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us