News Referendum 2015

Monday 26 September 2016

10 factors behind the 'Yes' side's victory

Published 23/05/2015 | 13:11

Sisters Rebecca and Rachel Doyle from Wexford waiting for the results of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle.
Pic:Mark Condren
Sisters Rebecca and Rachel Doyle from Wexford waiting for the results of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle. Pic:Mark Condren
Ministers Leo Varadkar and Frances Fitzgerald pictured at the count centre in City West. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Eamon Gilmore pictured after he arrived at the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum count in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Brian McMahon with his daughter Lucy waiting for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle. Pic:Mark Condren
Waiting for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle. Pic:Mark Condren
Sisters Rebecca and Rachel Doyle from Wexford waiting for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle. Pic:Mark Condren 23.5.2015
Michael Barron pictured with his husband Jamie Nanci from Dublin, [ they were married in Capetown five years ago] pictured at the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum count in the RDS Simmonscourt . 23/5/15 Pic Frank Mc Grath Irish Independent
The ballot boxes in the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum Pic Frank Mc Grath
Count Staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Traolach O Buachalla from Dublin pictured with Sen David Norris at the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum count in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Counting gets under way for the Kilkenny by election in Kilkenny this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Counting gets under way for the Kilkenny by election and referendum in Cillin Hill, Kilkenny this morning. Constitution referendum votes. Photo: Tony Gavin
Tellers Fiona Nortwood and Eimear Norton counting votes during the Kilkenny by election and referendum in Cillin Hill, Kilkenny this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Boxes are opened as counting gets under way for the Kilkenny by election and referendum in Cillin Hill, Kilkenny this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Counting gets under way for the Kilkenny by election and referendum in Cillin Hill, Kilkenny this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Count Staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Count Staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Tiernan Brady Policy Director with GLEN pictured with Sen David Norris as they go through some of the tally counts at the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Count Staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
The ballot boxes in the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum pictured being opened in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Count Staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
Count staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt. Pic Frank Mc Grath
Count Staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath
The ballot boxes in the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum pictured being opened in the RDS Simmonscourt . Pic Frank Mc Grath

Here are the 10 factors behind the 'Yes' side's victory in the historic Marriage Referendum:

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1. Power of Social Media

The use of Facebook and Twitter to galvanise support was a cornerstone of the Yes camp's strategy. The No side simply could not compete and was left relying on the power of the pamphlet.

The decision by Twitter to publicly support a Yes vote early on in the campaign was an indication of things to come.

2. High Profile Interventions

From a former President to a prominent political correspondent, the interventions from high profile actors had a significant impact.

Arguably the most powerful intervention came from Mary McAleese, whose son Justin is gay. Other politicians followed in speaking openly about their sexuality, including former minister Pat Carey. TV3's Ursula Halligan penned a deeply personal piece in which she told about how life was a like a "prison" due to her fears about coming out as a gay woman.

But perhaps the most important contribution came from Leo Varadkar, the Health Minister. His decision to finally speak about his sexuality created a domino effect that continued throughout the campaign.

3. #HomeToVote - The Emigrants who came Home to Vote

Thousands of Irish emigrants went to incredible lengths to come home to cast their vote. The images of emigrants arriving through airports and ports in the hours before polling struck a chord with the undecided.  The diaspora certainly had their say.

4. The Power of the Youth Vote

The extraordinary youth turnout debunked the myth that our young people do not engage with politics.

Senior Yes campaigners were stunned by the willingness of the Celtic Tiger generation to take to the doorsteps. As Tanaiste Joan Burton said today, this was the moment when young people felt they could be 'free citiizens in a free republic'.

5. The Ordinary Stories about Ordinary Lives

While interventions by famous people had a significant impact, they could not compare, in some instances, to the stories of ordinary gay people and their families.

We heard from the grandparents whose loved ones dreamed of getting married and the mothers who just wanted their sons to be treated as equals. The ordinary stories from ordinary people created a powerful effect.

6. Winning over Middle Ireland

Middle Ireland came out in force in this campaign and that was essential for the Yes camp.

Despite a stronger no vote in rural parts, the Yes camp managed to spread their message far beyond the walls of Dublin.

7. The Church's Position

Once upon a time, a call for a No vote by the Catholic Church would have had a massive impact. Certainly going from this campaign, the Church's influence has significantly reduced.

8. Political Unity (almost)

Whatever you say about the politicians and their popularity, the cross party support was a boost to the Yes camp.

Just a handful of TDs and senators advocated for a No vote which meant there was very little political momentum on their part from the off.

9. The Tone of the Debate

Civil society groups pulled off a major feat in ensuring the tone of the debate did not turn nasty. This was particular important for appealing to the cohort of the undecided.

10. The Weather

It may not have been a major factor but as polling stations were coming to a close yesterday evening, it appeared that even the sun was a Yes supporter.

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