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Home / News / Second defeat for Govt as voters reject Care referendum

Second defeat for Govt as voters reject Care referendum


The Care referendum – on the proposed 40th amendment of the constitution – has been emphatically defeated by an even higher margin than the Family referendum that was declared earlier this evening.

The result was a 73.9% No vote and a 26.1% Yes vote. The proposed 40th amendment to the constitution was rejected in all 39 constituencies.

The margin between those in favour and those against the Care amendment was 47.8% or 721,567 votes.

Some 1,525,221 people voted and turnout was 44.3%. This marked a 30% drop since the 2018 abortion referendum.

Tonight’s Care referendum result – announced by the Returning Officer Barry Ryan in Dublin Castle – marked another bruising referendum defeat for the Government and opposition parties who advocated Yes votes.

It is also the highest ever No vote percentage in an Irish referendum.

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Prior to today, the highest No vote was in the 2015 referendum to lower the age for Presidential candidates, at 73.1%.

The 1992 Abortion referendum (65.4%) and the 1986 Divorce referendum (63.5%) have also both been overtaken by the No vote percentages on the Family and Care amendments.

In the Care referendum, voters in Donegal delivered the highest rejection where 84% voted No.

The next highest No votes were recorded in Cavan-Monaghan (81%), Laois-Offaly (80%) and Dublin North-West (79%).

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the referendum result was clear and both amendments would be rejected by a “considerable margin.”

“We accept the result. We will respect the result fully, and as the head of Government and on behalf of the Government we accept responsibility for our failure to convince a majority of people to vote Yes,” Mr Varadkar said.

The Family referendum has been defeated in the constituencies of all major party leaders – Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin (Cork South Central), Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar (Dublin West), Green’s Eamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South) Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central), Social Democrats’ leader Holly Cairns (Cork South-West), Labour’s Ivana Bacik (Dublin Bay South) and Aontú leader Peadar Tobín (Meath West).


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Earlier this evening, the Family referendum was resoundingly defeated with the result showing 67.7% voted No and 32.3% voted Yes.

Referendum Returning Officer Barry Ryan made the official declaration in Dublin Castle shortly before 7pm.

The margin between those in favour and those against is expected to be 32.3%, or 533,982 votes.

Turnout was 44.36% and this marked a 19% drop since the 2018 abortion referendum.

An overall result for the Care referendum is expected with hours.


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