Waterford has voted NO to the Lisbon Treaty by a majority of 54.3% to 45.7%. The totals were 20,812 against and 17,502 for.
Counting of the votes cast in yesterday’s Referendum began at 9 o’clock this morning, with early indications from the city and county pointing to a defeat for the ‘Yes’ camp – a trend mirrored nationally.
The final result from Waterford was announced at just after 12.30, with the ‘No’ camp prevailing by several thousand votes. Though there was some uncertainty within the last hour as to which side would win, the outcome backed up initial tallies from the Butler Community Centre which had the ‘No’ vote six percentage points ahead at 53:47.
That was with 69 of the 166 boxes having been tallied, comprising “a decent mix” between city (18) and county (51) ballots.
One St Paul’s box sided 70:14 for the ‘No’ campaign, while a Tramore sample showed 128:112 in favour of the ‘Yes’ side. However, significantly, a St John’s College box, which would have been expected to produce a clear ‘Yes’ majority, was split 50-50.
Having canvassed vigorously for a positive result, a decidedly downbeat Minister Martin Cullen had been ‘very pessimistic’ from early on about the prospects of a victory for the ‘Yes’ lobby, but wasn’t giving any official reaction before the result was confirmed.
However, Portlaw-based Fine Gael Senator Paudie Coffey, “disappointed” at the predicted outcome, said “cynical” voters had sent out a clear message that they wanted more engagement and explanation on European issues at local and national level.
The percentage turn-out countrywide was estimated to have been in the mid-40s – but Waterford’s was bang-on 53%.
Each of the 43 constituencies will count their own votes separately, before sending the result to the Referendum Returning Officer in Dublin Castle.