Monday 11 December 2017

Treaty triumph provides us with platform for hope

In the end it wasn't even close. Yesterday's referendum result, in which the Yes campaign won over 60pc of the vote, was a resounding triumph for Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his government. The contrast with the shambolic first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in June 2008 could hardly have been starker.

Unlike the first Nice and Lisbon referendums, where most of the Don't Knows eventually ended up voting No, the opposite seems to have happened in Thursday's vote. On the basis of last weekend's opinion polls it would appear that this time around most of the Don't Knows who made it to the polls actually voted Yes. This speaks volumes for the superior quality of the Yes campaign.

The result justifies the government's decision to put the fiscal stability treaty to the people in an early referendum. It also vindicates the campaign it conducted in favour of the treaty -- a simple message of Ireland being unable to access the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) in the event of a second bailout being required if we voted No. With Finance Minister Michael Noonan reinforcing this message with warnings that next year's budget would be even tougher than planned if the treaty was rejected, the Yes campaign possessed a compelling narrative that was easy for voters to understand.

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