Austerity Treaty passes by three-to-two margin

The Austerity Treaty referendum has been passed in the official result at Dublin Castle this afternoon.

The Chief returning officer, Riona Ni Flanghaile, declared a total of 955,091 (60.3%) in favour of the treaty and 629,088 (39.7%) against it. There were 7,206 spoiled votes

Five constituencies said No - Donegal South West and Donegal North East, and three in Dublin, North West, South West and South Central.

After a polarising campaign, the deciding factor in the result was the support given to the treaty by middle-class voters.

In his first response, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Ireland's bank debt must be included in future discussions to revive the wider European economy.

"The Irish people have sent a powerful signal around the world that this is a country serious about overcoming our economic challenges," he said.

"The treaty will not solve all economic problems but it is a foundation stone to make sure the economy stands on firm ground."

Speaking at Dublin Castle, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said he accepted the outcome of the referendum and was not disappointed by the result. He accused the coalition government of playing on the fears of the public and that he had met many people who had voted 'Yes' through "gritted teeth".

"In the course of the campaign the Government made a number of very firm commitments in terms of removing the burden of the bank bailout from people and also of growth and job incentive initiatives and we will be holding [them] to those commitments," he said.

Speaking earlier, Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the public had decided to vote in favour of the promises of growth and stability put forward by the 'Yes' campaign and that her party "would seek to hold them" to their promises.

"I'm pretty sure all of the people who came out and cast their votes on the Yes side will equally do so."

Ms McDonald said she believed Sinn Fein had a "good campaign".

"We argued our position fairly and clearly. We did public meetings the length and breadth of the State and I think our political message has a fairly deep resonance with a fairly significant section of the general public."

Ms McDonald said it was clear throughout the campaign that the Labour Party was on the wrong side of the argument when its traditional supporters were considered.

"The Labour Party were on the wrong side of the debate in respect of the trade union movement right across Europe and the wrong side of the debate laterally even in terms of their own sister parties across the EU," she said.

"Austerity hasn't worked and Eamon Gilmore knows that as surely as I know that. They have promised big and we want to see them deliver on it. We will be reminding them of all the promises and assertions they have made."

Libertas leader Declan Ganley said the 'Yes' side had convinced the electorate the treaty would bring stability.

"More people have been persuaded by the various arguments put forward by the Yes campaign that this is going to provide certainty in Europe, this is going to provide stability for Ireland and Europe and this is going to provide growth and jobs," he said at the Dublin Castle count centre. "I'm looking forward to all of those things happening."

Mr Ganley said there was a feeling of powerlessness on the streets.

"I think that one of the things that concern is that if people feel powerless it points to a democratic deficit that is inflicting Europe right now and it badly needs to be addressed."

He said Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his campaign managers had pulled off something that worked by not having him debate the treaty. "If you can't win a debate, don't have one," he said.

Speaking at Dublin Castle, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who campaigned for a No vote, said the result was not surprising. "Fear won the day," he said. "People thought things would get worse if they voted No and that was the message they were given by the Government."

He said the biggest victims of austerity to date, those in working class areas, had clearly voted No and that others had voted Yes in the hope that things would not get any worse.

Mr Boyd Barrett said Labour had a very good reason to be worried given the voting patterns of working class people, who he said had "deserted them to a very large extent".

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