ONLY a week ago, the back roads of Laois accommodated 250,000 people going to the Ploughing in Ratheniska. But there was no need for traffic management for the voters heading to the polls in nearby Vicarstown.
About one car every five minutes rolled into the large car park of the old schoolhouse. But those who were turning out knew exactly why they were voting in their particular way – and the majority were voting No.
"Reform is the way to go," a woman said.
"The Taoiseach did not debate. The saving of €20m doesn't add up and I don't trust the Government," another declared.
In Stradbally, the pattern was the same with a slow turnout, but the Yes and No votes were evenly matched.
"It's half thought-out and anti-democratic. I don't believe in centralisation of power," a man said.
"It's a breeding ground for Fianna Fail," said another.
In Portlaoise, voters coming out of Maryborough National School were also evenly divided.
"The Government is trying to railroad it," a woman said.
"It's about time they cut back too," another voter said.
Teatime generated the closest thing to a rush in Portarlington, but it wasn't exactly overwhelming.
"It doesn't reflect us," a Yes voter said.
"I just don't trust the Government," a man said.
Contrary to the polls suggesting this would be a cakewalk for the abolitionists, our exit poll showed Yes and No were neck-and-neck.
The tally for the day, from an unscientific exercise, worked out at 53pc to 47pc.
The old canard about using the referendum to kick the Coalition was disproved.
Nobody cited this as a reason, but there was a general lack of trust in the Government and its motivations for scrapping the Seanad.
Yes voters listed the cost and lack of powers as their primary reasons for voting it out of existence.
The Court of Appeal referendum was also prompting a lot of negative sentiment, particularly towards the legal profession and the judiciary.
Although a majority was backing it, it was still 60-40 Yes and No.
Among the reasons for objecting to the court was that it would result in "lawyers making more money".
It was also clear there was a lack of information about the purpose of the court.
"It will lead to more evictions," a woman in Vicarstown said.
"A paedophile or a rapist shouldn't get the right to appeal their sentence," a man in Portlaoise said, despite the court having nothing to do with criminal cases.
"I vote No when I don't get enough information," another man said.
Presiding officers in Co Laois reported confusion over the text of the ballot papers.
The poor turnout and stronger No vote make for an uncomfortable morning for the Taoiseach.