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Political establishment facing embarrassing Lisbon defeat

Ireland's political establishment looks to be facing into an embarrassing defeat in the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

With almost 12% of results declared, the 'no' side is ahead by around 54% to 46%, despite all the main political parties campaigning for a 'yes'.

The 'no' vote is in the majority in eight of the 10 constituencies to have so far reported their results.

Tallies from the rest of the country also indicate that the 'no' side is ahead in most areas.

Anti-Lisbon campaigners are already claiming victory, while several leading politicians have effectively conceded defeat due to the picture that has been emerging for the past few hours.

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