Early tallies in the Lisbon referendum indicate that the Treaty is likely to be passed on the second attempt.
Although counting has been underway for little over than two hours, it appears a swing of approximately 10% to the ‘Yes’ side will be sufficient to secure victory.
The tallies indicate that voters in the Dublin region are most in favour of the treaty and are in line with opinion polls leading up to today’s count.
Libertas leader Declan Ganley conceded defeat at the main Dublin counting centre this morning.
He accused the ‘Yes’ campaign of playing on the fears of many voters, particular in connection with jobs and said he would come back next October with the ‘Yes for Jobs’ posters “and see how we are all doing”.
“We have not succeeded but we did tell the truth and that is something I am proud of,” Mr Ganley said. He said he was “proud of the campaign that we ran”. Mr Ganley said he needed time to reflect on what he would do next.
Anti-Lisbon group Coir also said the result looked like a ‘Yes’. The group’s leader, Richard Green, said he wanted to “sympathise and commiserate with all our people who put in a great effort for the love of their country. We are extremely disappointed that the voice of the people was not heard the first time around.”
The group’s poster campaign was strongly attacked by the ‘Yes’ campaign, most notably one which warned that the effective minimum wage could fall to as low as 1.84 euro an hour.
Coir’s spokesman Richard Greene defended the posters and said “people will learn very very soon that what we were saying was the truth”.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin described today as a good day for Ireland. “I am delighted for the country. He said the guarantees secured by the Government had played a crucial role and claimed the win would be “convincing”.
Tallies showed Dublin South West constituency, which recorded the highest ‘No’ vote in the State last time, was now indicating a ‘Yes’ vote.
However, the predominately working class areas of Jobstown, west Tallaght and Killinarden are remaining two to one in favour of a No vote, according to tallies.
With 50 per cent of boxes opened in Dublin South, some 73.5 per cent of votes appeared to be in favour of a Yes, compared with 62.5 per cent last time, indicating a 10 per cent jump in the Yes vote.
Opening of ballot boxes for Cork South Central and Cork North Central indicated a clear ‘Yes’ result, with the result closer in other Cork constituencies.
Donegal was noted for a stronger ‘No’ vote.
More than 50 per cent of the electorate was reported to have voted in the referendum with FIne Gael expressing confidence in victory as early as last night.
It said its own exit poll showed a strong Yes vote in Dublin, touching close to the 70 per cent mark in places, while it was nearer to 60 per cent in most of the country.
The official figures for the result of the referendum are expected at approximately 5.30pm this evening.