Voting to decide if Ireland will ratify the fiscal treaty ended at 10pm with turnout reported as low across the State. With over 3.1 million people entitled to vote in the referendum indications are that only half the electorate chose to go to the polls. The counting of votes will begin at 9am tomorrow and a result is expected by early evening. In the last comparable referendum, the Lisbon treaty in October 2009, the national turnout was 59 per cent but early figures from returning officers today show it will struggle to reach the 50 per cent mark in many areas. With rain across much of the country earlier turnout was standing below 20 per cent at lunchtime in most constituencies however, there was a boost to the figures as people voted after work.
… As campaigning continued on the final day, the High Court rejected a last minute challenge by Sinn Féin to the legality of the advice given to voters by the Referendum Commission. Fine Gael director of elections Simon Coveney described the Sinn Féin action as a “stunt that has fallen flat on its face”. Former president of the European Parliament and Yes campaigner Pat Cox described the High Court action as a “vexatious complaint which marks a new low in referendum politics”.
Last night the leading figures on both sides made a final appeal for support. “It’s over to the people of Ireland now. There are really positive reasons to vote Yes and I strongly urge people to come out and vote,” said Taoiseach Enda Kenny.