There’s a working assumption on RTE that the heavy No tallies in the Referendum will indicate a final answer. Of course, it should be treated with some caution, since the early tallies are coming from the smaller constituencies. Though, the telling figures are coming from Dublin where the Noes are currently outweighing the Yeses.
Several quick thoughts come to mind. Such a comprehensive defeat for all the Dail parties (with the notable exception of Sinn Fein) is an indictment of the distance between the people and the politics being pursued at the top. In particular the main government party, who negotiated the Treaty in the first place. It seems to confirm Fintan O’Toole’s black hole theory of Bertie Ahern’s politics.
Politically, watch Libertas. The European Elections next year provide them with an opportunity to run the organisation out as a political party. They are keeping mum about that now, but I expect we’ll hear more in the coming weeks and months.
Sinn Fein have to have earned something out this too. Their platform has been noticable for its youth, articulacy and intelligence. Gerry Adams only making a late entry to the campaign and the party’s TDs were notable by their absence. Senator Pearse Doherty, MEP Mary Lou McDonald, Councillor Killian Ford and Eoin O’Broin were the public face of the party.
A resounding YES will constitute a successful launch in the case of one, and a successful relaunch in the case of the other.