Belfast Telegraph

Irish abortion referendum: Exit poll predicts landslide repeal of the Eighth Amendment

Kevin Doyle and Denise Calnan

Ireland is on course to legalise abortion after a massive turnout of young people seeking to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

According to the first exit poll after polling stations closed, Ireland has voted overwhelmingly in favour of changing the constitution so that abortion can be legalised.

The poll, conducted for The Irish Times by Ipsos/MRBI, suggests that the margin of victory for the 'Yes' side will be 68pc to 32pc.

The poll was conducted by interviewing four thousands voters as they left polling stations today.

The sampling began at 7am and was conducted at 160 locations across every constituency throughout the day, according to the Irish Times.

Polling stations closed at 10pm on Friday evening and voter turnout of up to 70pc was recorded in some parts of the country.

The highest 'Yes' vote was in Dublin where some 77pc voted to repeal.

Although Dublin was predicted to deliver a strong 'Yes', campaigners on the 'No' side believed the rural vote would favour them. However, 60pc of voters in rural Ireland voted to repeal.

The Irish Times exit poll shows the rest of Leinster outside of Dublin voted 66pc to 34pc for 'Yes'.

Munster voted 66pc to 34pc in favour of repeal, and Connacht-Ulster voted 59pc to 41pc in favour of repeal.

The Connacht-Ulster poll forecast is important as these provinces were expected to deliver a strong vote in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment, which hasn't been borne out in this exit poll.

Women were strongly in favour of repeal, according to the poll, with 70pc in favour, and 30pc against.

Some 65pc of men who voted were in favour of repeal, while 35pc were against.

People in the 18 to 24 age group voted overwhelmingly in favour of repeal, with 87pc voting Yes.

Finally, according to the poll, voters over the age of 65 voted to retain the Eighth Amendment.

Irish Independent

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