The no side were outnumbered by the established political class and the media together pushing the same illiberal view

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar – the Irish prime minister – has declared that he won’t be encouraging celebrations if, as seems inevitable, the yes side wins in the abortion referendum. We won’t, then, be treated to the same wild exuberance that met the gay marriage referendum vote, at least not officially. But he can be forgiven for a modestly self-congratulatory tone to his address to the Irish parliament on Wednesday, its last sitting before the referendum, in which he was joined by the leader of the opposition, Micheál Martin. They – the party leaders and ministers – have won it, along with the broadcasters who followed them faithfully through the campaign.

It appears that at least a third of the electorate will oppose repealing the eighth amendment to the constitution, but those voters are not represented by the big political hitters – the sole party against repeal is tiny Renua, which has precisely no seats in parliament. Neither do they have any heavyweights in the broadcast or print media to express their views; I can think of two regular columnists for the main papers who are against repealing the abortion ban in the constitution – that’s it.

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Read More The Irish anti-abortion side will lose. There’s nothing good about that | Melanie McDonagh

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