The exit polls say Ireland has voted to legalize abortion with a smashing majority

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
May 25, 2018

An Irish Times exit poll says Ireland has voted to repeal the constitutional provision banning abortion with a crushing majority. The poll says that 68 percent voted yes and 32 percent voted against. People on both sides had expected a yes vote over the past couple of days; few had expected that the margin would be so decisive. Of course, the exit poll may be wrong, but it is hard to imagine that it could be wrong enough to call the final result into question.

It’s not just the big cities that voted yes

Ireland, like the United States, has very different patterns of voting in urban areas and in the countryside. The big cities — Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway — are in many ways typical Northern European cities, with cosmopolitan voters and low levels of religious observance. People in the countryside and small towns tend to be more conservative and more religious. Nonetheless, even the most rural parts of Ireland seem to have voted in favor of change. The exit poll suggests that 77 percent of people in Dublin voted yes — but so did 60 percent of people in the countryside. Connacht-Ulster — the part of Ireland that is most rural and most conservative — reported 59 percent in favor of constitutional change.

Read the full piece at The Washington Post