Referendum: Higher than expected turnout amid brisk voting

Shaun Moriarty of Limerick Pride and his fiancé John James Hickey, the first Irish member of the Board of the Federation Gay Games, at the polling station in Ballina/Killaloe, Picture: Marie McCallan/Press 22

Brisk and early voting for the marriage referendum saw the probability of a yes vote increase, despite predictions one in four constituencies could oppose the amendment of the Constitution.

A clearer indication of whether same-sex marriage will be supported or not is expected to be known by mid-morning, after the count begins.

A turnout of 56% or more was predicted last night after higher than normal turnouts at polling stations, including early-morning queues and a surge in first-time voters.

Coalition sources said early tallies in Leinster in places such as Kildare, Wicklow or central parts of Dublin may give an indication on whether the referendum will pass or not. Turnout in parts of Dublin was twice the normal rate for a referendum by lunchtime with some saying the high numbers were comparable to a general election.

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By teatime, the rate was exceeding 40% but was lower elsewhere, and closer to 30% in Cork county, Kerry, Clare, Tipperary and Waterford.

The odds shortened for a yes vote from 1/12 at 9am yesterday morning to 1/25 by lunchtime. Paddy Power had earlier predicted turnout to be around 56%, but parts of Dublin were reporting turnouts in excess of 65% within the final hour of polling.

The bookmaker predicted one in four constituencies would also vote against gay marriage. The highest no vote would be Donegal North East, Roscommon/South Leitrim, Donegal South West and Kerry South, while the largest yes vote was predicted in Dublin South East, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin South, and Dublin North.

Government figures predicted the referendum on reducing the minimum age of presidential candidates would be opposed.

A result in the Carlow- Kilkenny by-election is not expected until later today.

Visit our special Referendum 2015 section for all the latest news and analysis


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