VOTERS in Ireland went to the polls on May 25 to decide whether to make abortion legal.
And in an historic day for the country a landslide victory saw a referendum overwhelmingly back repealing the eighth amendment.
Alamy Live News No campaigners were out on the streets ahead of Ireland’s historic May 25 referendum
What are the official referendum results?
Ireland has voted decisively for a change to its strict abortion laws with a majority of 706, 349 voting for a repeal of the eighth amendment.
The final results were:
FOR – 1, 429, 981 AGAINST – 723, 632
The percentage resulty was 66.4 per cent for Yes and 33.6 per cent for No.
What did the exit polls say on the Irish abortion referendum?
The referendum sought the approval of the Irish people to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the constitution – which has imposed some of the world’s toughest abortion laws since 1983.
If people voted Yes, the government said it will legislate for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks.
Opinion polls showed a strong lead for Yes soon after the referendum was announced earlier this year.
An Irish Times/Ipsos poll published on May 23 of 1,200 eligible voters found 44 per cent of voters would say Yes in the referendum, with 32 per cent voting No and 24 per cent yet to decide or not planning to vote.
After the nation voted on May 25 two major exit polls predicted a landslide victory for the YES campaign.
An RTE poll suggested that almost 70 per cent of voters wanted to see an end to the termination ban.
And a second survey of voters conducted by The Irish Times suggested the margin of those in favour of liberalising the law would be 68 per cent to 32 per cent.
It followed one of the highest reported turnouts for a referendum.
Alamy Live News Yes campaigners want reform to make it easier for women to seek abortions legally
The No campaign, which was led by the group Save the 8th had conceded defeat saying in a statement on its website that Irish voters have perpetrated “a tragedy of historic proportions”.
Despite the official results still a few hours away, celebrations have already erupted at the counting centre after Ireland’s pro-life ‘Save the 8th’ campaign conceded defeat.