Martin: Yes campaign 'ran out of spin'
on 05/10/2013 16:33:37
The official result of the count was announced this afternoon with 51.73% opposing the proposal to close the Seanad. There was a 39.2% turnout and 14,355 votes were discounted.
Mr Martin said it was important that in a healthy democracy that there were alternative voices.
He argued that the Sinn Fein-Fine Gael campaign faltered as it had been based on "spin rather than substance". This had been evident in the TV debates, he added.
"We will move with others to ensure and follow through with what we said, that there is a capacity to legislate for reform of the Seanad in the context of bills on the table."
His party will now support the reform plans proposed by Independent Senators Feargal Quinn and Katherine Zappone.
This includes requirements for the Seanad to retain a gender balance, imposing a pay cut of €20,000 for members, extending voting rights to all college graduates and allowing Seanad candidates to be nominated by 500 citizens or more.
Mr Martin said his party would need to tweak parts of the reform bill, which also includes proposals to give the Irish diaspora rights to vote in elections.
Senators, party leaders and advocates on both sides of the campaign have been arriving at the national count centre in Dublin Castle throughout the day.
Government TDs have, since this morning, said there was confusion for voters about the ballot papers.