Ireland's Choice: Fear or Austerity

Ireland's Choice: Fear or Austerity

Ireland voted for the referendum on the new Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance - also known as the “Fiscal Compact” – on May 31st. As opinion polls predicted, a wide majority, around 60.3 % of the electorate, voted yes, but the electoral turnout was relatively low with only half of the 3.1 million eligible voters coming out to express a preference. Rural areas and middle-class suburbs voted yes, while working-class areas in Dublin and the entire county of Donegal (five constituencies in total) rejected the treaty. A similar tendency was noted in the working-class areas of Cork and Limerick. An analysis of the results reveals a strong class polarization which could be explained by the fact that austerity measures taken by the government have hit the working class the hardest. Meanwhile the middle class yes vote most likely reflects this sector’s hope that support for the treaty will prevent the crisis from worsening in the long term. The Yes campaign was strongly supported by the most important Irish political parties across the political spectrum, as well as by the main newspapers and opinion leaders.

Read Full Article »
Comment
Show commentsHide Comments

Related Articles