Laois Offaly above the average in voting to keep the Seanad

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Seanad Eireann
The Laois Offaly constituency was above the national average for votes in favour of keeping Seanad Éireann.

The Laois Offaly constituency was above the national average for votes in favour of keeping Seanad Éireann.

Of the 37% of people who voted in the referendum in Laois Offaly, almost 54% or 21,108 voted against An Taoiseach’s Enda Kenny’s referendum to scrap the Seanad. The national average against abolition was nearly 52%,

Just over 46% or 18,062 voted to abolish the second chamber in Leinster House.

The total electorate of Laois Offaly is 106,057 but just 39,616 voted.

The result will be a boost for the Laois-based Labour Party Senator John Whelan who campaigned strongly against his own party to retain the Seanad. Sean Fleming, Laois’ Fianna Fáil TD, also backed retention.

The voters chose not to follow the advice of two Laois TDs Charlie Flanagan, Fine Gael Party Chairman and Brian Stanley of Sinn Féin who wanted the Seanad abolished.

Meanwhile, 62% or 24,416 voters in the midland constituency voted in favour of setting up a Court of Appeal in the two part referendum. This was below the national average of 65% in favour.

A total of 14,584 voted against the new type of court in Laois Offaly.

The referenda marked the end of an era for voters in the constituency as this was the last time when Laois and Offaly votes were combined.

From the next General Election, there will be two constituencies due to the population surge mainly in Laois. Monasterevin, Rathangan and other parts of Kildare will make up part of the new Laois constituency.