Eighth Amendment referendum: The rural urban divide that did not happen

The referendum has shown the myth is just that

Eighth Amendment referendum: The rural urban divide that did not happen

Ballot boxes are opened in the Dublin Count Centre at the RDS | Image: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Updated: 20.00

It is something we hear in votes again and again - that the country is generally split with an urban rural divide.

Some say the large urban centres are seen as more progressive on social issues, while rural areas tend to be more conservative.

But the referendum on the Eighth Amendment has shown this myth is just that.

Exit polls published on Friday showed that the urban rural divide was just not there.

The first poll from the Irish Times showed the majority in favour of repeal in rural Ireland was smaller than in urban Ireland, but not by much.

Some 60% of rural voters polled were in favour of repeal, while that number climbed to 71% for urban voters.

 

And this was confirmed on Saturday as ballots were counted around the country.

 Limerick County saw a 58.08% Yes vote.

Cork North-West had a decisive Yes vote, at 60.10%, as against a 39.90% for No.

Similarly, Cork South-West voted 64.51% in favour of the proposal, with just 35.49% voting against.

Wexford voters opted for a 68.40% of a yes vote, and just 31.60% No.

In Laois, the picture was 61.35% for Yes and 38.65% for No.

And the Wicklow electorate voted 74.26% in favour and just 25.74% against.

All five Dublin constituencies also voted Yes - with the highest being Dublin Bay South, at 78.49%.

Ballot boxes are opened in the Dublin Count Centre at the RDS | Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Speaking earlier in his Wicklow constituency count centre, Health Minister Simon Harris said: "There were efforts during the course of this campaign to suggest there was a rural Ireland and an urban Ireland - but what we're now seeing is that there's a compassionate campaign in both rural and urban Ireland."

"I'm just so grateful to the Irish people for voting in the way they have."

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Ireland has made a "powerful decision" for change - with a strong Yes vote in urban and rural areas.

"For the first time, Ireland is going to able to legislate to protect women in their own country - and we are not going to see thousands of women travelling to cities like Birmingham and Manchewster on their own - lonely, vulberbale - any longer.

"And that makes me very proud as an Irish person that our people, rural and urban, have voted in such huge numbers to allow us to make appropriate change which is compassionate - and which in my view with get the strong endorsement of the Oireachtas in a few month's time."