Friday 23 March 2018

Students told -- 'make Saturday vote count'

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

TRANSPORT Minister Leo Varadkar is warning students to vote in large numbers in the children's referendum -- which is being held on a Saturday -- to prove weekend voting increases turnout.

Mr Varadkar is Fine Gael's director of elections for the November 10 poll, and said Saturday voting is a "bit of an experiment".

The Government listened to groups asking for weekend voting to allow students get home to cast their ballots, he added, but it was now up to them to make it a success.

"It is something young Fine Gael particularly campaigned for, based on the idea that it would allow students to come out and vote in large numbers," the Dublin West TD said.

Mr Varadkar said Fine Gael will spend €150,000 on posters and publicity, the same as the fiscal treaty referendum, and insisted they are taking "nothing for granted" in what is shaping up to be a massively one-sided campaign.


All political parties and the majority of civil society groups are campaigning for a 'Yes', while no major groups have come out for a 'No'.

But Mr Varadkar said the Government has learned its lesson from the failed referendum to beef up powers given to Oireachtas committees.

He said there wasn't a "strong Government campaign".

"And literally a one-week long, clever campaign from a small number of people defeated that campaign, so we're taking nothing for granted even though it's not yet clear who is against us in this referendum."

Irish Independent

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