IRELAND: Voter Turnout Is Promising

Via the Irish Times:

Turnout in the world’s first referendum on same sex marriage and on the age of candidates for the presidency is reported to be brisk. Some urban areas estimated that 20 per cent of the electorate have cast their vote but voting is slower in many rural areas. Ireland is the first country to vote on marriage equality and in Dublin some turnout was seen as quite high for lunchtime. Returning officers expect voting to increase significantly by tea-time with most people in employment expected to vote between 7pm and 10pm when polling finishes. In a number of polling stations in Galway city queues were reported before polling opened at 7am. In city areas of Cork polling hit 12 per cent by 1pm. Across the country in Mayo voting was estimated at 17 per cent in Westport by lunchtime and about 10 per cent or 11 per cent in Castlebar.

RELATED: Bookmakers Paddy Power are putting the odds at 10/1 in favor of the Yes vote.

  • neonzx

    Sounds so promising, but I’m still nervous as fuck.

    • Gene

      place faith in the bookies neonzx. the bookies reflect what people are really thinking (where they put their money)

    • Soren456

      If the rural v. urban turnout remains the same, it is promising indeed.

      But my nerves are jangling too.

  • Rand503

    Hard to imagine that anyone in Ireland would forgo a nice pot of tea just to vote in a referendum, but if there is one time to so, it is now. Erin go screw’em!

    • mari

      When they say “tea” they mean a nice meal. My daughter took me aside once when a friend said, “We need to find someplace to have tea,” and whispered, “Can you tell her I’m really hungry too.” She was pretty surprised when she found out just how much food came with that pot of tea.

      So they’re forgoing more than a bit of caffeine and some lemon or milk.

      • Bj Lincoln

        I always thought it would be nice to stop around 4:00pm for tea and a cookie because my family eats so late. As it is, I call it “nap time at the zoo” because everyone except myself takes a nap around then and I get some peace and quiet. I often have an energy drink and a piece of fruit. I drink tea in the evening. Earl Gray in a tea ball with honey and a splash of milk.

        • fuow

          Oh, gods, yes. I can’t stand the whole ‘roibos’ and ‘herbal’ tea shit.

          • Bj Lincoln

            I do keep peppermint and ginger tea for digestion issues and camel meal ( I call it that because it tastes like shit) for sleep and anger issues. I am a huge Black Tea fan. The darker the better.

          • Gustav2

            Mix your camomile with mint, both calming and it will taste better.

          • Bj Lincoln

            Thanks but I can’t stand the taste of either. If must, I just hold my nose and drink it down. LOL

          • Todd20036

            I’m a jasmine kind of guy myself.

          • Bj Lincoln

            My mom sent me some and I add some to my tea for that flowery taste. Add rose water for that flowery sweet. Very good.

          • RoFaWh

            Rooibos is the one non-tea tea that I find palatable. All the other herbal teas impress me as insipid and boring.

            Yerba mate (about which Octavio may be able to offer a few words of wisdom) has a distinctive flavor all its own, vaguely like Lapsong Soochong tea (i.e. smoky), but having drunk it just once, over fifty years ago, I’ve never felt even a twinge of desire to repeat the experience. If I want to experience the flavor of mate, I have a clear memory of it and that’s enough. (That’s a wordy way of saying “I didn’t like it then and wouldn’t like it now.”)

          • Roger

            You should try the Mate Iced tea WITH LIME, its fabulous and one of my favorite summer refreshments. It will change your opinion about Mate believe me.
            Actually it´s an all time favorite at Rio´s beachs, all year round.

          • tcinsf

            Hmmph. I love Roiboos – learned to drink it in SA. Not to say I don’t like real tea, coffee, and everything else.

      • fuow

        Yup, UK teas are much more interesting than the American variety.
        Devonshire cream teas beat everyone else’s hands down, though.

        • Bj Lincoln

          I need to try that. Sounds yummy.

    • Gustav2

      Can mean evening meal

      Lower-middle-class and working-class people… traditionally call their midday meal dinner and their evening meal (served around 6 pm) tea, whereas the upper social classes would call the midday meal lunch (or luncheon), and the evening meal (served after 7 pm) dinner (if formal) or supper (often eaten later in the evening).[20] In Australia, the evening meal is still often called tea, whereas the midday meal is now always called lunch.

      • Steverino

        Hmmm… Perhaps hubby and I should start calling our late afternoon / early evening meal “wine.”
        ; )

        • Gustav2

          That means breakfast should be called “beer?”

          • Steverino

            “Bloody Mary!”

          • Gustav2

            That’s brunch!

      • BobSF_94117

        I watch a lot of UK TV and asked a British co-worker how can you tell when they mean “tea” as meal and “tea” as just a mug of tea? She said, “You just know…”.

        Not helpful at all.

        • Megaera

          ‘A cuppa tea’ is definitely the drink. ‘Some tea’ is almost always the evening meal. Otherwise, time of day is a good indicator.

      • StraightGrandmother

        What is is called when you sleep late, wake up with a Latte, and then eat nothing until around 4pm to 5pm?

        • Silver_Witch

          american standard diet

        • RoFaWh

          It’s called “someone needs to buy an alarm clock.”

        • Gustav2

          A diet.

        • tcinsf


        • BlueberriesForMe

          At a minimum, I think that makes you a an evening/night person, depending on what time you get up.

        • ChrisMorley

          a Stoner lifestyle?

  • j.martindale

    Westport is a lovely little seaport in Mayo. But I discovered that you don’t go to dinner there without a coat and tie. Very proper, they are.

    • Westport is one of the prettiest towns in the country.

  • BearEyes

    “expect voting to increase significantly by tea-time”

    there’s a phrase you’re not likely to read in a US paper.
    And if the no votes don’t turn out in the rural areas, then so be it.


    I feel confident, always go with the bookies.

    • Gene

      oh yes. Remember when some people thought that the SNP would take Scotland out of the UK? I did not buy a word of it for lots of reasons, but chief among them was Paddy Power and the bookies in London putting the odds in favor of union (and it was a solid pro union vote if you remember). People will SAY one thing to a pollster…but, they put their MONEY where they really, truly believe the vote will go. Greed leads to honesty…at least with ones self.

      I am suspected a win vote now.

      • Gene

        oops. 🙂 Expecting. me no type good

      • Megaera

        Just for the record… The SNP wasn’t the only pro-Yes group: it was quite a broad movement. The Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Socialist Party also supported independence. And there were also other groups, which weren’t necessarily affiliated with any political party, e.g. the Radical Independence Campaign, National Collective, Business for Scotland.

  • Blake Jordan

    Voting on the rights of their fellow Irish citizens… how does that make anyone feel good…

    But anyway, here is hoping that YES wins!!!

    • neonzx

      Sucks that they have to do it this way, but If YES wins, we’ll all feel good. I have a favorite little Irish-American pub that I plan to get plastered at tonight if this passes.

      • MichaelJ

        As much as I don’t like human rights being subject to a vote, a YES victory — particularly if it is a strong victory in a fairly religious country — would send a great message to the rest of the world, not to mention to Roman Catholic Church.
        Re: the Church, Ias Bob Dylan’ put it: “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command, the times, they are a’changing.”

        • Blake Jordan

          It’s a major IF… a NO win could be a “kick to the balls” four our side… even if it will not be the final say on the issue.

          • MichaelJ

            That is certainly true, which is why I too am “nervous as fuck,” as neonzx put it, and “I don’t dare get my hopes up,” as Bess Watts wrote.

          • StraightGrandmother

            Blake, if it ends up going against Irish LGBT, they will cry and decompress but eventually they will come back, they would live to fight another day. A loss NEVER means it is over. Same thing with us at SCOTUS, a loss will smart bad but we would live to fight it out State by State.

          • shrpblnd

            I vividly remember in California when when Prop 8 passes, and the profound disappointment I felt. Yet two years later we had gay marriage. Are losses are rarely permanent, but our victories often are.

        • Bj Lincoln

          That song applies to every generation. I remember when it came out. ( Goddess, I’m getting old)

    • StraightGrandmother

      Because Marriage is defined in their Constitution as between a man and a woman, they HAVE to vote to change the Constitution. It has to be this way in Ireland.

  • gaylib

    I love that “tea time” is actually a thing.

    • David Walker

      “Tea dance” and “tea room” used to be actually things, too, but that’s another story.

      • gaylib

        More like a two hour lunch. The further south you go, the longer it gets.

        • gaylib

          oops, replied to the wrong comment 🙂

      • Sure, Limerick LGBT Pride still includes tea dances. It’s very self-consciously old fashioned and a bit ridiculous, especially when most of the dancing couples are same-sex. Great fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously.


  • bkmn

    10 PM in Ireland is 5 PM EDT/2 PM PDT if daylight savings hasn’t messed up my calculations.

  • Bess Watts

    As promising as this sounds – I don’t dare get my hopes up.

    • StraightGrandmother

      I guess I am the polar opposite of you, my hopes are up REAL HIGH. I’m feeling quite positive.

  • Queequeg

    Based on yesterday’s article, it seems good that voting is higher in urban areas, where the “yes” votes greatly outnumber the “no” votes.
    Love that they vote before “tea time”.

  • Randy Ellicott

    I did not realize there was another referendum up for vote as well, bringing the presidential age down to 21…. With all the young voters i am betting if the Marriage one passes that one will as well… Someone thought that thru very nicely! I know i wasn’t mature enough to be a president at 21 but i also dont think i am now at 35+….

    • zhera

      Not so sure that people will think a 21 year old president is a good idea just because they’re young themselves.

      • Randy Ellicott

        I had not really thought about it until i just read it, but i can think of any number of 21 year olds who are more qualified than any of the GOP contenders right now…

      • Toasterlad

        The more I think about it, the more I think it’s a great idea. What they lack in wisdom they more than make up for in idealism. And they haven’t had time to be corrupted by years of political cronyism. Let the young rule!

        • Silver_Witch

          Agreed Toasterlad. They still have dreams.

    • occono

      Yeah 21 seems a bit low, but I think they just wanted to go with the lowest reasonable age of maturity to avoid having to debate on arbitrary numbers. There’s not going to be any serious 21 year old candidates. I voted yes on the presidential age vote, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t pass.

    • ChrisMorley

      All the polls say the presidential age referendum will be defeated.
      It’s what Tánaiste Joan Burton, the Deputy Prime Minister, expects too

  • fuow

    My Irish husband says it’s too early for the rural areas. The hard working haven’t time in the morning, the drunks aren’t awake and sober enough yet.

  • Ash_here

    Fingers crossed x

    • gewaite

      Tough to think this is happening; they only got legal divorce, what, 20 years ago? And legal birth control without a doctor’s prescription was pretty recent, too.

  • 2patricius2

    I have my fingers and toes crossed. And my pot of shamrocks is standing tall in the sun.

    • People4Humanity

      eyes crossed here, too.

  • DutchBoy74

    One in Five vote to determine the age of the highest office and one of the most significant contracts one can make.

    It’s sad to see how much apathy there is out there. Same could be said for here as well.

    • Randy Ellicott

      Those are just the early turnouts, they are seeing much higher than normal for such times with the biggest push coming shortly, when most people vote according to past trends.

      • DutchBoy74

        good to hear

    • Toasterlad

      If you want your faith in humanity restored, follow #hometovote on Twitter.

      • David Walker

        Itself a brilliant idea.

  • Greg B.

    NOM’s going to have the McSadz.

    • David Walker

      Or the O’Sadz.

      • j.martindale

        My family has it McSadz.

  • Stev84

    I assume those will go up and some people vote later, but aside from that I don’t see how those numbers are so good. Again proof that rights shouldn’t be up to a vote and that a referendum to take away people’s rights should always require a quorum.

    • Toasterlad

      You’re obviously right that civil rights shouldn’t be up for a majority vote, but there are still a lot of people who haven’t voted yet who will. Plus, bookmakers always have a much better grasp on the reality of the situation than pollsters. I’m cautiously optimistic.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Over here in the UK, airports, train stations and the port of Holyhead ferry service have been overwhelmed with Irish residents returning home to vote. That’s a very good sign.

    • Bj Lincoln

      Thanks for the update.

    • David Walker

      I’ve looked at some of the pictures on Twitter and I have to say I am blown away by the number of people going home to vote. I can’t imagine that happening in the US. Of course, the commuters probably aren’t happy about being inconvenienced. Still, it’s just one day, isn’t it?

      • RJ Tremor

        The commuters can deal with it for one day, yes indeed. I imagine the shallow people will complain, but then I have a rolled-up newspaper or a palm aimed at the back of their head. In spirit, at least.

      • Robert W. Pierce

        They take it all in stride here in the UK, just a few hours of inconvenience. Some of our celebrities took part in a ‘Yes’ campaign video. They have a lot supporters here after our own marriage debate. They’ll win.

      • ChrisMorley

        Commuting by plane and ferry to Ireland isn’t really a ‘thing’ except for wealthy suits.

  • Dan Robinson

    If this wins and SCOTUS gets it right ’twill be a fine summer indeed!

  • gaylib

    Tea time does sound nice, but nothing beats the Spanish siesta. íOlé!

    • Bj Lincoln

      Power nap?

  • Mike in Texas

    If this wins, I may have to drag out the results of my brother’s genealogical research and use our ancestral name …. if I can figure out how it is pronounced : “Mac Giolla t-Sean in.” It was Anglicized and split into two variants, then later given the Ellis Island treatment. What we are called now bears hardly any resemblance to the old name.

    • stuckinthewoods

      If it loses stick with the new name. If it loses I’m all Italian.
      I know what you mean about the Ellis Island treatment. My sister in laws unpronounceable Eastern European name became Brown because they were wearing brown shoes.

  • NeverEclipsed81

    OMG I’m nervous for Ireland. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    Call your granny! Call Hailo or Uber to drive her to the polling place for free!

  • joe ho

    The referendum is also a chance for the Irish to say Fuck You to the ubercorrupt RCC.

    Religiosity Plummets In Ireland And Declines Worldwide; Atheism On The Rise


    Rocked in recent years by sex-abuse scandals and crises in leadership, the Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland has been struggling to keep its members close.

    But this week, a new global survey on faith and atheism has revealed that the crisis of faith in Ireland may be much worse than previously thought.

    According to the poll released by WIN-Gallup International, the traditionally Catholic country has seen one of the steepest drops worldwide in religiosity.

    The poll — which was based on interviews with more than 50,000 people selected from 57 countries — asked participants, “irrespective of whether they attended a place of worship, if they considered themselves to be religious, not religious, or an atheist.”

    In Ireland, only 47 percent of those polled said they considered themselves religious — a 22-point drop from the 69 percent recorded in a similar poll conducted in 2005. In addition, 10 percent self-identified as atheist.

    The only country that registered a steeper decline in religiosity was Vietnam, which saw a 23-point drop from 53 percent to 30 percent.

    • Kate

      That’s not a crisis. It’s an awakening.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Hey I like the odds of the bookmakers.
    I’ll take that!
    To our LGBT community in Ireland may the odds be ever in your favor.

  • TheManicMechanic


  • where is that poster who was all over the place yesterday guaranteeing this isn’t going to pass? s/he seemed so confident Yes would lose.

  • Hunter M

    I’m sending good thoughts to our brothers and sisters in Ireland. Hoping freedom will win out.

  • Helen in Ireland

    We’re being more cautious in terms of numbers to the activists and LGBT groups. Complacency would kill us, anything under a 50% turnout would be VERY close. There is still a lot of outdoor canvassing going on – I’m on a quick break from holding up placards at major road junctions in our area – and social media is still plugging the ‘GOTV’ aspect. We also have ‘I’ve voted – Have you? ‘ stickers.

    There has been some confusion over active canvassing because of a legal moratorium on election or referendum material which started at 2pm yesterday, but it is only applicable to broadcast material (TV and radio), not to leaflets, personal canvassing, print and social media.

    It is now 6.15pm here, we have less than 4 hours to go before the end of polling. Then we wait until tomorrow. ..

    • TampaDink

      Thanks for that update, Helen. We’re with you in thought & spirit.

    • People4Humanity

      Very nicely done!

    • People4Humanity

  • Michael Senesac

    Should the YES campaign WIN in such a catholic country it will be amusing to read how Brian Brown spins his loss.