Referendum count

Live coverage of counting in Seanad abolition and court of civil appeal referendums

Ciara O'Brien Sat, Oct 5
LIVE: Referendum count

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  • This event has now ended
  • 09:22
    Good morning, and welcome to our live referendum result blog. Counting of votes began in earnest at 9am, and we'll be following proceedings throughout the day.

    We're expecting the first tallies to be completed by mid-morning, and a final outcome by early afternoon.
  • 09:26
    The turnout yesterday is estimated at around 30 per cent, which Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan has just described on RTÉ Radio as "shockingly low".
  • 09:33
    Labour TD Kevin Humphreys has been tweeting from the count centre that the outcome from Dublin Central appears to be a no.
  • 09:36
    Reports of early tallies from Dublin North Central and Dublin North East both appear to be leaning towards a No also.
  • 09:39
    Prof Michael Gallagher of the Department of Political Science in Trinity College said this could be one of the lowest turnouts in a referendum since 1979. He mentions "referendum fatigue".

    "For many people there is a sense of weariness," he says.
  • 09:41
    Joe O'Toole of Democracy Matters: "There is a passion for No around the country, but whether that will be enough to carry us, I don't know. We have found no passion at all behind the Yes vote."
  • 09:45
    We've just received a call into the newesroom from a reader complaining about the "confusing ballot papers". There has been widespread criticism of the wording on the papers, which made reference to the 32nd and 33rd amendments to the Constitution without stating in full the propositions.

    Charlie Flanagan said this morning he "had seen easier questions on an exam paper", and that many voters were unsure what a Yes or a No vote meant.
  • 09:56
    RTE Radio 1 is reporting early indications of a 'No' vote from Dublin constituencies. It is, though, very, very early days.
  • 09:58
    This from Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan in Limerick.

  • 10:00
    Some tallypeople in Dublin West reporting a lot of papers with'Reform' written on them.
  • 10:09
    Tallies from Cork and Wicklow indicating a 'Yes' vote, with increasing signs of a Dublin - non-Dublin divide.
  • 10:10
    Having said that, the non-Dublin vote seems pretty evenly split, with a bigger marfin for 'No' in Dublin. Which means 'No' campaigners will be happier right now.
  • 10:12

  • 10:17

    Adrian Devane hs tweeted a Galway West 1st tally from 12 boxes: 53% no 47% yes
  • 10:24
    A roundup of the story so far. Counting has begun of votes in the referendum on the proposed Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013. Votes on the Thirty-third Amendment of the Constitution (Court of Appeal) Bill 2013 will take place later today.
    The count began at 9am this morning and it is anticipated that final results will be officially confirmed by this evening.
    Early indications are that, contrary to the last opinion polls conducted before the vote, including one carried out last week by The Irish Times and Ipsos, the vote will be quite close and is currently trending ‘No’. Tallies from Dublin in particular indicate a strong ‘No’ vote.
  • 10:26
    John Fallon reports that early tallies from Galway West show a slight preference for a No vote in the Seanad vote, with two of seven boxes (144 boxes in total) tallied voting Yes. Those boxes are all from the west side of Galway city — Newcastle, Shantalla, Knocknacarra and Taylor's Hill — with 924 voting Yes and 1,026 voting note, giving a 47% Yes and 53% No vote.
  • 10:26
  • 10:29
    Alex White has predicted a 55 per cent 'No' vote in his own Dublin South constituency. : 'The vote in Dublin is definitely trending no. But it is definitely too close to call'.
  • 10:31
    Alex White slipping into post-mortem mode: 'This is not a party political issue.'
  • 10:35
    Whatever the final result, there are some questions here for pollsters. Ipsos's poll for The Irish Times said abolition of the Seanad was backed by 62 per cent of the people. Was there a huge swing? Does the turnout explain the difference?
  • 10:36
  • 10:39
    Mary Lou McDonald: 'In Dublin it's veering towards a No right across the city. Whether or not that balance will be extended outside the city of Dublin, I don'y know' She says tally from her own constituency of Dublin Central showing a 52 per cent 'No'.
  • 10:46

    An interesting development at the count...


  • 10:50
    JH It was clear that she was confused over the ballot papers and giving out incorrect information. There is no phone number to report election improprity and I was left at a loss last night after calling several different departments on what to do.
  • 10:50
    JH Last night I had the the lady in my polling station tell me that the ballot she was handing me was "for the referendum that will abolish the seanad" when I said I'm sure you mean may abolish the seanad she became very flustered.
  • 10:52

  • 10:56
    RTE reporting Sligo-Leitrim voting 'Yes' by a narrow margin, with a more substantial 'Yes' vote in Galway East (54 per cent Yes) and a 53 per cent 'No' vote in Galway West. Too close to call in Cavan-Monaghan and Donegal North-East. Donegal South-West also very tight. With the more substantial 'No' margins in Dublin, that's probably good news for the 'No' campaign.
  • 11:00
    Harry McGee of our political staff has this analysis of the story so far:

    It’s very early days in counting in the referendums on the abolition of Seanad Eireann and on the Court of Civil Appeal.
    Understandably, all of the tallies have been focusing on the star item - the scrapping of the Upper House.
    The tallies around the country are sporadic and uneven but there is an unmistakable pattern emerging. What is certain is it’s not
    going to be a foregone conclusion and we may have a very tight outcome, with a massive upset a possibility.
    Throughout the campaign the polls maintained a consistent gap between Yes and No, suggesting that the campaign for the
    retention of the Seanad was not getting sufficient traction. In previous polls, when there was a swing there was a noticeable
    closing in that gap in the final weeks and days.
    There has been a tendency of polls to underestimate the No vote - that was also apparent in the Children’s Referendum last year,
    although the final poll occurred some three weeks before polling.
    The evidence from the very early tallies are that we may have a No vote in Dublin and in the major urban areas, with it being a
    little closer in rural constituencies, but not trending decisively towards a Yes vote.
    In a historical context, it may shape up to be very close to the knife edge result of the divorce referendum two decades ago, with
    both sides separated by a matter of only thousands of votes from a poll of well over one million.
    There is some evidence of slight trends to Yes in rural constituencies like Wicklow, Mayo and Tipperary South where after a
    quarter of the boxes tallied it was Yes 52 per cent and No 48 per cent. In Sligo, a similar three to four point gap for the Yes side
    is emerging.
    In Meath East, the early trend in urban centres such as Ashbourne is veering towards No, as are urban areas of Cork South
    Central and Cork North Central.
    Alex White, on RTE in the past few minutes, has said the vote in Dublin is trending No - he instanced a 55 per cent No vote in
    his own constituency of Dublin South.
    The implication of that is that Dublin may decide the referendum - if it is a close Yes outside the capital, a strong vote in the
    capital may be decisive.
    Politically, there are many implications if there is a shock result. The first will be that it will be a big personal setback for
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who personified the drive to abolish the second house.
    There will be questions about how much a factor was his decision not to participate in a debate with Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin. It will also leave the democratic revolution in tatters - two huge referendum setbacks on two of the biggest changes that
    were promised - a parliamentary inquiry system and the scrapping of Seanad Eireann. 
  • 11:04
  • 11:10
    The Irish Times's Steven Carroll reports that an offical result in the Seand referendum is expected by mid to late afternoon.
  • 11:11
    To be more precise, the Seanad result is expected around 4pm, with the Court of Appeal result expected around 7pm.
  • 11:17
    Very little information so far on the second referendum, on the new Court of Appeal. All we have is a couple of tallypeople tweeting that it's looking like a comfortable 'Yes' of the order of around 60 per cent. But in this case, even the health warning has a health warning....
  • 11:20
  • 11:25
    Marie O'Halloran of our political staff on how the Dublin vote is shaping up:

    Dublin appears to be saying No to the abolition of the Seanad with clear indications are that the more affluent areas of the city are more likely to vote No.
    As counting started at the RDS for the six Dublin city constituencies very early indications were that Dublin would rebut the Taoiseach’s referendum proposal that the Upper House with its 60 members, be abolished.
    Early indications after just one hour of counting where the ballots have been separated are for a No vote.
    Dublin South East appears from about one of the votes being tallied to have decided No by a two to one majority in Sandymount, Ballsbridge and Donnybrook.
    Dublin South East TD Kevin Humphries said boxes in Sandymount and Ballsbridge were two to one against abolition. It was closer in inner city areas such as Ringsend but it was still No,
    Mr Humphries said he had what he considered to be two “weathervane” boxes - one in Scoil Mhuire in Sandymount and one in Ringsend and they were a clear No. Mr Humphries said these boxes were accurate predictions of the presidential election and the children’s referendum outcomes.
    One Ballsbridge box with 248 votes contained 150 No votes and 98 Yes.
    A Fianna Fail tallyman said there appeared to be a No vote as well in Dublin North Central, one of the 42 constituencies which always features in the top three for voter turnout and is frequently number one.
    With 23 out of 72 boxes counted it was 56 per cent against abolition and 44 per cent for. Boxes in Clontarf and Dollymount were 53 per cent No and 47 per cent yes.
    The tallyman said in the city areas where the turnout was higher the electorate was saying No.
    However, he said that in other constituencies outside the capital the result appeared closer.
    Of 17 out of 76 boxes in Dublin North East counted it was 51 per cent No to abolition. One box in Glasnevin showed a majority Yes vote but it was noted that boxes for the Sutton area had not been tallied.
    In a tally for Dublin Central with 28 boxes out of 76 open it was 57 per cent No and 43 per cent Yes.
    Fine Gael director of elections Richard Bruton, who was at the RDS at the start of the count said it was “too early to call” while Dublin South Central Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne, doing early tallies, said it was “very close”.
    There were a number of spoiled votes as ballots were separated for the Seanad and Court of Appeal plebiscite votes.
    Most of the spoiled votes in both referendums were blank ballot papers. One paper showed a large X through all the boxes, while one Seanad ballot paper had written across it “Weapon of Mass Distraction”.
    The Dublin city vote covers six constituencies - Dublin Central, Dublin North Central, Dublin North East, Dublin North West, Dublin South East and Dublin South Central.
    The final Seanad result is expected at about 4 pm while the Court of Appeal outcome should be declared by 7 pm.
  • 11:31
  • 11:35

    Conor Kane reports from Tipperary:

    All ballot boxes have now been opened at the Clonmel count centre for Tipperary South.

    Tally veterans have called it a day, having tallied about 60pc of the boxes, and the predicted result is 50.4pc yes, 49.6pc no.

    "In a referendum, tallying 90 out of 152 boxes generally gives a result that won't change," one long-time count watcher and tally expert has said. "I expect the yes side to win, but only narrowly."

    Sorting and counting of votes is now under way and there could be an official result declared by about 12.30pm if everything continues to run smoothly.


  • 11:38
  • 11:41
    Our own Barry Roche reports from Cork:

    Voting in Cork in the Seanad referendum looks too close to call at this early stage with some indicators suggesting the referendum may be defeated in Cork South Central and possibly narrowly passed in Cork North Central.
    Getting a detailed picture of support for abolition is hampered by the lack of tally people at the count centres in both Cork City Hall where the two city constituencies are being counted and Colaiste Coilm in Ballincollig where the three county constituencies are being counted.
    After roughly one-sixth of boxes were opened in Cork South Central, tallies were suggesting that the No side was shading the context by 52 per cent to 48 per cent with opposition to the move spread across both middle-class and some working class areas.
    One box from Beaumont National School, a largely middle class area, showed 125 votes for Yes and 128 votes for No.
    One box from Holy Cross National School in the nearby working-class suburb of Mahon reported the vote split 74/74, while another box was split 100 Yes to 99 No.
    A similarly close pattern appeared to be emerging in Cork North Central which is a more working-class constituency, with one box from St Mary’s on the Hill in Hollyhill showing 117 Yes and 81 No. A box in Farranree, another working class area, showed the No side shading it.
    In Ballyvolane, also in the city, the vote was splitting 187 Yes to 151 No, while one box in Dromahane in the rural part of the constituency not far from Mallow showed support evenly divided with both sides getting 98 votes
  • 11:46
    Judging by this picture, Labour aren't too unhappy about the way this thing is going.

  • 11:48
  • 11:53
    ken keating Graduates are underrepresented in th Seanad. 37% of the irish adult population hold a third level degree. 20% hold an hounours degree or masters degree. The university panels account for 10% of Seanad members. University elitism is now an oxymoron.
  • 11:57
    Thanks Ken. You can't beat a good education. But you may have missed the class on syllogistic fallacies. I think you need to check them out here.
  • 11:59
    William Patrick Fagan What does say about opinion polls and a 3 percent margin for error?
  • 12:04
    Anne Lucey reports from Kerry that: Kenmare has recorded the strongest No margin in Kerry South so far.

    With 100 of the 145 boxes open Kerry South looks set to vote Yes, marginally. However a strong campaign in Kenmare by FF senator Mark Daly has recorded the highest No margin in the constituency  60 per cent to 40 per cent rejection of the Government proposal. 
    And the FF tally is very strong in the count centre here in Killarney – for the first time in years.
  • 12:07
  • 12:08
    Kevin MacDermott Maybe our next referendum should be on the need to have a minimum turnout quota for constitutional referenda!!!! Just a suggestion.
  • 12:08
    damienc Well done Enda
  • 12:16
  • 12:17
    dec Where is Enda?
  • 12:21
  • 12:22
  • 12:24
    William Patrick Fagan Kevin McDs (12.08 Hrs.) suggestion regarding min quotas for the results to valid has merit and someone should start a public debate regarding same.
  • 12:36
    Fred Meaney So closeness of vote is the fault of an illiterate and confused electorate!!!
  • 12:38
    Glen Rogers It was not appropriate to tack on the abolition of the Supreme Court's 'one judgment' rule to the Court of Civil Appeal referendum. Referendum likely open to legal challenge.
  • 12:42
    Lean Ni Chleirigh @ 12.08 and 12.24 No. Not voting is a democratic choice too. It's up to politicians to engage with potential voters and thus incite higher turnout. Perhaps a live debate on a national broadcaster...
  • 12:45
  • 12:49
    The first official result is in on the referendum to abolish the Seanad. It's from Galway East.

    % Turnout 36.12%
    Yes/Tá 51.37%
    No/Níl 48.63%
    Electorate: 82,588
    Total Poll: 29,832
    Percentage Turnout: 36.12%
    Invalid Papers: 478
    Valid Poll: 29,354
    Votes in favour: 15,080
    Votes against: 14,274
  • 12:52
  • 13:00
    The result from Tipperary South is now in:
    % Turnout  41.72%
    Yes/Tá 50.41%
    No/Níl 49.59%
  • 13:01
    Marian Harkin Sligo 52 yes but N Leitrim 47 yes . Sligo 2/3 of population so marginal yes. The further north in Leitrim the more no.
  • 13:07
  • 13:16
    Paddy Power  has announced it's paying out on a 'No' result in the Seanad Referendum. 'The odds on a Yes vote were as big as 5/1 yesterday but we think it's now done & dusted'
  • 13:20
    The official result is in fo, Limerick City -  YES: 12,831 (52.72%)  NO: 11,509 (47.28%)
  • 13:24
    Alan Colgan You might remember Hugh that Paddy Power paid out on a Yes vote for Lisbon 1 before the count even began. The mistake cost them €80,000.
  • 13:24
    Kevin MacDermott Leann, not suggesting that people are forced to vote, but there should be a minimum percentage of votes cast before the result can be judged as valid. If the public don't vote in numbers then that in itself is a statement, status quo
  • 13:24
    Ivan Kelly Can you run a graphic with a tally by constituency?
  • 13:29
    The 51.27 per cent 'No' vote from Cork South Central is the first official 'No' vote of the day. It won't be the last.
  • 13:32
    Kildare North result is in. 54.16 per cent 'No'.
  • 13:35

    Hi Ivan - to answer your question, we don't have a tallies graphic. I think tallies are too fluid and provisional for that. The best place for graphical representation of official results as they come in is on the Referendum Commission's website here.

  • 13:36

    A 55.1 per cent 'No' from Kildare South. People talk about Dublin saying no, but it's more like Leinster saying no....

  • 13:36
    Clive Brennan Norris is insufferable
  • 13:40
    Cork North Central has voted 'Yes', with 51.84 per cent in favour of the amendment.
  • 13:47
    Conor Kane reports from Tipperary:

    Labour Party senator Denis Landy, who campaigned against the abolition of the Seanad, said the anticipated “no” vote nationwide should prompt party leadership to “listen to the electorate” and particularly Labour supporters.
    Mr Landy, a former Dáil candidate in the Tipperary South constituency, said he was “very pleased” the country had decided to retain the Seanad. The vote in his own county bucked the national trend, with less than 200 votes between the sides as “yes” won with 50.4pc of the vote.
    “The most recent mandate that people have given is now to the senators, to be retained,” he said in Clonmel today. “The government will now have to listen to the voices of senators in Seanad Éireann. It was an ill-conceived idea from day one and that was manifest by the half-baked campaign put up by the yes side.”
    The Labour senator said there is now a “moral duty” on taoiseach Enda Kenny to bring forward “proper reform,” not only of the Seanad but of politics in general.
    Asked why he went against party leadership in calling for a “no” vote, Mr Landy said: “I want to put it on the record that the Labour Party, as a political party, never adopted a policy to abolish the Seanad. The only commitment that the Labour Party gave was to support legislation for the referendum that was held yesterday. Regardless of my being a senator, the retention of the Seanad has as one of our core political institutions has always been a priority for me.”
    In relation to the Labour Party’s problems at the moment, he said: “I think that this will actually strengthen the view within the Labour Party that we need to listen to the electorate and we need to serve the electorate, particularly the voters who have supported the Labour Party down through the years. I’m not going to personalise this to anybody, but the Labour Party’s support has been below 10pc in a number of opinion polls and it’s important that we now start reaching out and speaking out to our supporters and this has to start with the coming Budget in two weeks’ time.”
  • 13:49
    With 10 constituencies declared, it's 51 per cent to 49 per cent in favour of 'No'.
  • 13:51
    Fred Meaney Now analysts focus on Enda's future. Surely message from electorate is lack of trust in current Government and this includes many TDs
  • 13:56
    MEATH EAST: 52.6% NO
  • 14:07

    BREAKING: Leo Varadkar almost (but not quite) concedes. 'It's trending towards a 52 or 53 per cent No vote' he tells Bryan Dobson on RTE.

  • 14:10
    Enda Kenny's constituecy of Mayo delivers a 57.5 per 'Yes', which looks likely to be the country's Yessiest result.
  • 14:11
    Lean Ni Chleirigh Kevin: Insisting on a minimum turnout, without which an amendment can't be passed is, in effect, compelling people who wouldn't vote to take part. Low turnouts may not look like democracy, but they are.
  • 14:15
    So at 2.15pm, here's the national state of play:
    % Turnout 38.09%
    Yes/Tá 48.89%
    No/Níl 51.11%
    Electorate: 833,323
    Total Poll: 324,057
    Invalid Papers: 3,929
    Valid Poll: 320,128
    Votes in favour: 155,650
    Votes against: 164,478
  • 14:17
  • 14:18
    Waterford 53.5% No
    Kerry North 53.8% Yes
  • 14:19
  • 14:22
  • 14:24
  • 14:27
    A call has been made for the Taoiseach to resign after the expected No vote in the referendum to abolish the Seanad, reports Marie O'Halloran. Trinity College senator Sean Barrett said “the Taoiseach spent 20 million euro on an ego trip”. “I think he should (resign). There is no green paper, no white paper. He never comes into the Senate anyway, just one hour a year.” “His treatment of the Northern Ireland graduates is appalling. He and Brian Hayes don’t seem to be aware that under the Constitution all the TCD and NUI graduates who live in Northern Ireland are entitled to a vote and they’d no vote in the 
    referendum to abolish the Senate but they twittered and tweeted all their friends in the South to vote for them.”
  • 14:29
    The slimmest of slim margins: a 50.8 per cent 'Yes' vote in Sligo-North Leitrim.
  • 14:30
  • 14:39
  • 14:42
    john in cork My faith in the Irish electorate is slowly being restored. Democracy is important. Reform YES. Abolition NO.
  • 14:53
    Fred Meaney If no vote carried will current Senate lead drive for meaningful reform before next General Election? A chance to demonstrate relevance!
  • 14:59
    So. Is anyone going to call it yet? There's still some reluctance by media pundits and politicians alike to say the proposal to abolish the Seanad has been defeated, although, as Leo Varadkar acknowledged an hour ago, it's almostly certainly true. Everyone's waiting for the big Dublin constituencies to come through. And the first of those is Dun Laoghaire, with a 57 per cent No vote on quite a high turnout. That means the current national state of play is 51 per cent No.
  • 14:59
    Rebecca-Dublin This is riveting, reform required, abolition not necessary! Amazing to see such intensely close siding from the nation. Speaking volumes to say the least! .
  • 14:59
    Helen Farrell If the government get a strong NO from the electorate, how likely are they to continue to focus their efforts on the Seanad and actually reform it properly and give it some teeth? This is what the majority of people want, I believe
  • 15:02
    Steven Carroll, our man at Dublin Castle, hs just sent this in.

    Regina Doherty, Fine Gael’s deputy campaign director, said there was a lot of ground to be pulled back by the Yes side and that she did not see it happening in the yet to be declared constituencies. 
    “I am surprised as the polls over the last few weeks showed the Yes side was going to win but at the end of the day I am a democrat and the people who have voted, the people who are genuinely interested, have decided they want to keep the Seanad,” she said. 
    Ms Doherty said the party would sit down next week and see what went right and wrong and that some had told her they did not understand exactly what they were voting on. 
    “We need to look at how we deliver information, how we debate information and it is time for a real debate on setting an electoral commission and a fully established referendum commission. There are a lot of things to think about next week.”
  • 15:08
    Derry Healy Come on Enda, time to say I got it wrong. Listening to the people is important.
  • 15:11
    Dublin North West is 54.7 per cent No. It's notable how the margins in most of the No-voting constituencies in the Greater Dublin Area  Leinster are much higher than the lead held by the Yes camp in some Munster and Connacht constituencies.
  • 15:16
    'Looking at the constituencies yet to come in, it's looking like a No.' - Leo Varadkar.
  • 15:18
    Dublin South result is in: 53.2% No.
  • 15:19
    Enda, Galway Slim margin of victory, i hope this doesn't mean the senators settle back into their cosy seats and do nothing for the next 50 years.
  • 15:19
    Mike Egan If our politicians are capable of learning lessons from the result of ballots they sure realise that this result comes about because the electorate just do not trust them to do the right thing or to do things right
  • 15:19
    Kunal Kohli A Good day for democracy! If Enda really wanted to take 20m off the political spending he should have considered a fuehrer paycut for ALL politicians first !
  • 15:20
    Bit of a Freudian slip there, Kunal.
  • 15:22
    It's Enda vs Lucinda. The Taoiseach gets the biggest Yes vote on his home turf of Mayo. And his former junior minister Lucinda Creighton's constituency of Dublin South-East delivers the biggest No vote: a whopping 61.3 per cent.
  • 15:23
    Martin Valentine Thats a relief. Isn't it great to know that a tiny privileged minority will continy to have a disproportionate influence on policy. Privileged minorities have been so good for this country.
  • 15:30
    So, a quick update. With results in from 30 constituencies, this is how it stands: No 51.8%, Yes 48.2%. 18 constituencies have voted No, 12 have voted Yes
  • 15:32
  • 15:35
    Dublin Central No 58% 
    Dublin North-East No 54.6%
    Louth. No 52.3%
  • 15:35
    MJ, Wexford The Sinn Fein voters couldn't find the Yes box on a ballot paper! I'm presuming their three Senators will now resign given how 'elitist' they see the Seanad.
  • 15:36
    Kevin C The people have spoken Martin...get over it!
  • 15:40
    With all 12 Dublin constituencies completed, the total No vote in Dublin is now established as 55.6 per cent
  • 15:42
    We're expecting the offical announcement of the result of the Seanad referendum within the next 45 minutes or so. In advance of that, here's the latest wrap from Harry McGee and Steven Carroll.

    The referendum on the abolition of the Seanad looks set to be defeated by a narrow margin of between two and four per cent. With final results in from a little over half of the 43 constituencies, some 51 per cent of the electorate have rejected the proposition to scrap the Upper House with 49 per cent voting in favour. After 22 constituencies who have posted final results, the running official tally is some 292,000 votes in favour and 301 votes against. A clear pattern has emerge of a blanket No vote in all the Dublin constituencies and in many of the commuting counties of Leinster. No majorities have also been recorded in Cork South Central and the two Donegal constituencies. The strongest Yes margin has been in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s constituency of Mayo which voted 57 per cent Yes and 43 per cent No. In contrast, Dun Laoghaire has rejected the amendment by over 5,000 votes with a percentage difference of 57 per cent No and 43 per cent yes. The first constituency to post a final result was Galway East which returned a very narrow Yes majority. Many of the rural counties in Connaught, the midlands and Munster also recorded Yes votes, as well as Limerick City. Official counts will continue to arrive into the official counting centre at Dublin centre with the first official announcement on the Seanad 
    referendum (the 32nd amendment to the Constitution) expected after 4pm.. 
  • 15:47
    Kerry South 54.4% Yes.
  • 15:55

    Preparing for the announcement....


  • 15:58
  • 16:02
    Fred Meaney Did the Media get it wrong too? If so why?
  • 16:02
    Martin Valentine Kevin C. Actually less than half of the people have spoken but II'm over it. I've got a Seanad vote and I'm sure I'll be using it to to elect a Seanad in exactly its current form for the next 40 years.
  • 16:05
    With 39 constituencies in, and just four to go, it's 51.5% No and 48.5% Yes.
  • 16:08

    OK, this liveblog is calling it officially. The proposal to abolish the Seanad has been defeated. With four constituencies left, tallies indicate that three of those - Wicklow, Carlow-Kilkenny and Laois-Offaly - will be voting No. Which would require an extraodinary Yes landslide in Wexford. Which is not going to happen.

  • 16:10
    Don O'Sullivan NO to Dictat...NO to Nannystatism...Bring on inclusive intelligent reform...let the real debates begin..Eireann Abu
  • 16:14
    A big No vote of nearly 58 per cent in Wicklow. 'The people have spoken' says Labour's Aodhan O'Riordan on RTE. I seem to recall there's a second part to that historic quote.
  • 16:17
    Four minutes to the official announcement.
  • 16:19
  • 16:27

    There you have it. Returning officer Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile has declared 
    the result.

    Total poll. 1,240,729
    Invalid. 14.355
    Valid poll. 1.226,374

    Yes. 591937
    No. 634,437 

    Majority against the proposal: 42,500 

  • 16:37
    Fergal Patronising comments from Charlie Flanagan insinuating that ballot paper confusion caused Yes defeat. No credit for people's intelligence. andreading ability
  • 16:37
    Alan Murphy A decent result for democracy. Now let's concentrate on the fact that our current government has done little for the ordinary people if Ireland. As per normal FG and Labour policy is about pleasing big business
  • 16:37
    Martin Brennan This was not so much a pro-Seanad vote as an anti-Government vote! Why don't they give up their expenses and live off their inflated salaries!
  • 16:37
    Dónal Ó Néill Really pleased with result. Next step Seanad reform. Sooner the better
  • 16:37
    Jack Pay and pensions way to high for all those bastards .
  • 16:40
    That's it from me for the afternoon. Ciara O'Brien will be taking over with further updates on political reaction to the result, and she'll also be keeping an eye on the Appeal Court vote, which is now underway. At this point it looks likely to pass comfortably, and a result is expected by early evening. From me, Hugh Linehan, it's goodbye and enjoy the rest of the weekend.
  • 16:49
    One result down, one to go.
  • 16:56
  • 16:58

  • 16:59
    The Taoiseach is due at the count centre in the next few minutes.
  • 17:01
    Regardless of the voters' reasons, the Seanad lives to fight another day. But we will keep an eye on the Courtt of Appeal vote, which is due in the early evening.
  • 17:02
    Meanwhile, the talk is turning to reform of the Seanad, and the political will to push through change will be there. The more cynical among us think not, and we will still be having the same conversation a few years down the line.
  • 17:06
    We're hearing support for the Court of Appeal in Meath West, Tipperary North and Clare, but this has to be confirmed.
  • 17:09
    "Political change in Ireland has always been difficult" - Richard Bruton
  • 17:11
    People are cautious about their constitution, we need to reflect on this result, Richard Bruton says
  • 17:16
    Mr Bruton is denying that the Seanad proposal was a "power grab" or an ego project. He's not being drawn on reforming the Seanad, talking instead of a "period of reflection" and political reform in a broader sense.
  • 17:21
    Some of the results for the Court of Appeal referendum now. Kildare North passes the referendum Out of a total electorate of 75,043, only 30,851 turned out to vote - a poor turnout.

    % Turnout 41.11%
    Yes/Tá 66.61%
    No/Níl 33.39%
    Electorate: 75,043
    Total Poll: 30,851
    Invalid Papers: 381
    Valid Poll: 30,470
    Votes in favour: 20,295
    Votes against: 10,175
  • 17:23

    % Turnout 38.52%
    Yes/Tá 64.67%
    No/Níl 35.33%
    Electorate: 79,295
    Total Poll: 30,547
    Invalid Papers: 571
    Valid Poll: 29,976
    Votes in favour: 19,385
    Votes against: 10,591
  • 17:26
    The Taoiseach is speaking at Dublin castle; he’s disappointed by the result on the Seanad abolition, but he accepts the verdict of the people.
    "I welcome and accept both verdicts have been very clear.”
    More talk of reflection, and he's promising to continue to push for change.
  • 17:27
    “I welcome the clarity of both decisions by the people.” He's describing it as the ultimate exercise of democracy.
  • 17:27
    It must sting a little bit though.
  • 17:31
    At least it's better results for the Court of Appeal vote. Dublin North-West has also voted in favour of it.

    % Turnout 36.33%
    Yes/Tá 64.87%
    No/Níl 35.13%
    Electorate: 50,943
    Total Poll: 18,506
    Invalid Papers: 246
    Valid Poll: 18,260
    Votes in favour: 11,846
    Votes against: 6,414
  • 17:34
  • 17:36
    It's all Yes votes so far. Looks like the Court of Appeal will be going ahead.
  • 17:40
    According to the Taoiseach, sometimes you can get a bit of a wallop in the electoral process. Hazard of the job, I imagine. Still, Kildare South has also backed the Court of Appeal, at 63.14 per cent to 36.86 per cent.

    % Turnout 38.12%
    Yes/Tá 63.14%
    No/Níl 36.86%
    Electorate: 57,454
    Total Poll: 21,899
    Invalid Papers: 304
    Valid Poll: 21,595
    Votes in favour: 13,636
    Votes against: 7,959
  • 17:52
    Dublin North Central is in now.

    % Turnout 48.2%
    Yes/Tá 67.54%
    No/Níl 32.46%
    Electorate: 53,884
    Total Poll: 25,972
    Invalid Papers: 321
    Valid Poll: 25,651
    Votes in favour: 17,325
    Votes against: 8,326
  • 18:10
    You can of course get a full breakdown of results for the Court of Appeal Referendum as each constituency is declared on our Court of Appeal Referendum main results page, which can be accessed here.
  • 18:13
  • 18:19
  • 18:20
    Each of the constituencies that have declared a result in the Court of Appeal Referendum so far have returned a Yes vote. The lowest Yes so far is Kildare South with 63.14% Yes, and the highest Yes so far is Dublin South-East (surprise surprise!) with 76.61% Yes.
  • 18:23

    As with most live breaking news, as soon as it's posted it's out of date, the lowest Yes vote is now Kerry North Limerick West with 61.49% Yes.

  • 18:29
  • 18:38

    The Court of Appeals Referendum has been formally declared as passed.

  • 18:40
    The final result in the Court of Appeal Referendum is 65.16% Yes, 34.84% No.
  • 18:58
    Steven Carroll reports from Dublin Castle that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he's personally disappointed with the result of the Seanad Referendum.
    • “The people decided Seanad Eireann should be retained, naturally I was personally disappointed but I fully respect and accept the outcome,” he said. “Sometimes in politics you get a wallop in the electoral process, I accept the verdict of the people.” 
  • 19:06
    It's just gone 7pm here in The Irish Times newsroom and with both referendums declared we're going to wrap things up for the evening on the live blog.

    Before we go however, our Legal Affairs Correspondent Ruadhán Mac Cormaic has filed a piece on the Court of Appeal Referendum, which was declared as passed in the past hour.
    • It elicited scant debate and in the end it drew a predictably low turnout, but by saying Yes in the referendum best known as “the other one”, the people have approved a constitutional change that will bring about the biggest shake-up of the courts system since 1937. 

    Yes vote in 'the other referendum' brings relief for court’s champions

  • 19:07
    And on that, we're signing off, our team will update with the latest news and reaction to the referendums as well as other breaking news and sport throughout the evening.

    But from the live blog team, good evening.