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#Elections2019: Divorce referendum set to pass with 82% of voters supporting law change

A Yes vote on a ballot paper in Ireland's divorce referendum during counting in the Local and European Elections and divorce referendum at the RDS in Dublin. (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The latest trends in the divorce referendum suggest the vote is likely to pass by 82% to 18% with over two thirds of the country declaring to date.

With 23 of the 31 local authorities concluding their results by just after 10.30pm on Saturday night, the landslide exit poll result prediction appears almost certain to turn into a reality.

However, it is widely expected that no formal result will be announced until the early hours of Sunday, due to slow counts in Longford and Galway.

According to the latest figures, which can be tracked via www.referendum.ie:

  • * based on 23 of the 31 local authorities already declaring, the referendum is due to pass by 82.03% to 17.97%
  • * Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown (86.7%) has the highest yes vote, followed by South Dublin (86.06%), Wicklow (85.89%), Kildare (85.39%), Louth (82.35%), Clare (82.3%), Cork City (81.73%), Cork County (81.1%) and Waterford city and county (81.32%)
  • * And overall turnout to date is 51.53%, and is so far highest in Leitrim (64.94%), Mayo (62.44%), Roscommon (61.61%) and Sligo (60.51%)

The local authorities which have yet to announce their results are Dublin City, Galway City, Galway county, Kerry, Longford, Meath, Tipperary and Westmeath.

However, while most of the remaining counties votes counts are nearing completion, officials told the Irish Examiner delays in Longford and both Galway counts mean an official result may not happen until the early hours of Sunday morning.

Speaking to reporters at the RDS count in Dublin City on Saturday afternoon, Culture Minister and divorce referendum director of elections Josepha Madigan said the likely result shows the "deep well of kindness" among the Irish public.

"I think there is a deep well of kindness in the Irish people, this ultimately wasn't about rocking the system it was about humanising it. People have shown that they have a solidarity with people going through marital breakdown, though separation and divorce.

"I think people felt it was a reasonable proposal, it was a moderate proposal, it will mean significant reform for those thousand of people out there who are locked and trapped in a legal limbo-land. So it's a great day for those people," she said.

The RTE-TG4-Red C exit poll on Friday night suggested the divorce referendum will ultimately pass by 87% to 12%.

The referendum question asked voters to support calls to remove divorce from the constitution and to allow the Oireachtas to provisionally legislate for a liberalising of divorce waits, allowing couples who have lived apart for two years or more to divorce.

The referendum question also asked voters to support calls for foreign divorces to be acknowledged under Irish law.

For further, up to date details on the divorce referendum results, see www.irishexaminer.com, www.referendum.ie and https://www.referendum.ie/detailed-results/?ref_id=12.

Results summary: Check out our Elections 2019 dashboard for a summary of results as we get them. Read more.

PA

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