Referendum tallies show no urban/rural divide in Kildare

Support for repeal and turnout were consistently high in most boxes

Conor McHugh


Conor McHugh


Referendum tallies show no urban/rural divide in Kildare

Scenes at the count centre in Punchestown, Saturday, May 26. Photo Tony Keane.

At the Marriage Equality referendum, both of the Kildare constituencies voted in favour of the referednum proposal at a higher rate than most of the rest of the country.

 And both have followed suit with last Friday’s referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

The Kildare North consituency returned 73.6% in favour of yes, while Kildare South was 70.7%, once again making them two of the most liberal constituencies in the country, and putting them in line with the most urbanised parts of the country.

That puts the overall county at 72.2%, and outside Dublin, second only to Wicklow which recoreded a 74% in favour. In fact Kildare North was higher than two of the 11 Dublin constituencies, and both of these results are considerably higher than the national average which was 66.4% in favour.

Tally figures from the count centre in Punchestown on Saturday reveal that no single box in the entire county returned a majority in favour of keeping the amendment.

The lowest rate of approval for the repealing the amendment was in one of the boxes in Athy’s Scoil Mhichil Naofa, which returnedf 53% in favour. This was the lowest in the county.

It should be added that other boxes from that school returned approvals in the 60s and 70s, so it probably cannot be taken to be statistically significant.

In Kildare South the highest return in favour of removing the amendment was a box in Newbridge Patrician Primary School, where 82% of votes were for yes. Meanwile the highest in the county was a box in Celbridge’s Scoil na Mainistreach where 83% voted in favour of removing the eighth amendment.

The lowest vote in Kildare North in favour was 59% in a box in Derrinturn National School. It was one of two boxes from that school, the other one returning a 63% vote in favour of the referendum.

There was no obvious connection between the rate of turnout of the electorate and the result of the particular box. 

In Kildare South, the highest turn out was in a box in Athgarvan National School which attracted 84% of the available electorate. That was also the highest in the whole county. The lowest in Kildare South was in one of the boxes in the Athy Church of Ireland centre, where only 24% turned up. It should be said that the three other boxes at that voting centre returned 46%, 45% and 61%.

In Kildare North, the highest turn out was in a box in Oldtown Naas, where 78% of the electorate voted. The remaining five boxes in that centre were not othewise significantly unusual.

Meanwhile, the lowest turnout in Kildare North was Celbridge Aghards National School where only 33% of the electorate voted in one of the boxes. However, that was only one of nine boxes there. Another box returned 34%, but the rest were all in the 60-80% range.

 Although large swathes of Kildare are considerably more rural than the large urban centres, no significant discernable difference can be detected in the voting patterns between urban and rural boxes, according to the tally reports — neither in the turnout nor in the rates of people who approved or disapproved of the proposal to repeal the eighth amendment.

On occasion rural boxes returned slightly higher rates in favour than those from urban areas, and just as often, they didn’t.

Kildare North did, overall, return a slightly greater percentage in favour, 73.6% and 70.7%, although given that both represent overwhelming majorities, it can hardly be claimed that there is a significant difference between them. This appears to back up the national picture where the proposal enjoyed significant and consistent support across most areas.