Referendums in Ireland and the UK: comparisons and contrasts

Recent referendums in Ireland and the UK highlight stark differences regarding the place of the referendum as a political institution within the respective overall political systems, and also raise some questions about how a referendum outcome should be interpreted. The most obvious difference is the highly specified role of the referendum in the Irish political…

Analysis of the abortion (8th amendment) referendum, May 2018

The long-anticipated referendum on repealing the 8th amendment, known by proponents and opponents alike at the time of its initial adoption as the ‘pro-life amendment’, has delivered a result widely and understandably described as ‘seismic’, ‘historic’ and ‘momentous’. In a high turnout (64%, second among standalone referendums only to the 1972 vote on EC entry…