The campaign in Dublin has wound down with only a handful of people to be found from either side handing out leaflets. I managed to snap a picture of this familiar looking chap standing in front of a NO campaign poster.
Given that all of the major parties have supported YES it was not surprising that the majority of people out today were on that side. Overall it appears the YES campaign is much better organised with more posters, leafleting and even a number of retailers displaying prominent YES banners.
Ireland's highest circulation newspaper the Irish Independent is also full square in the YES camp and has today carried a front page editorial stating "Today we will make one of the most important decisions in our history. Here are five reasons why we should endorse the Lisbon Treaty"
They then struggle to give any coherent reasons:
1) "A yes vote is absolutely essential to economic recovery .... it will make all the difference when industrial companies and international financiers contemplate investing in Ireland." They makes no attempt to substantiate this but just throw it out as if it is a statement of fact. It is nonsense, businesses make commercial investment decisions not political ones.
2) "It will restore confidence in our country throughout Europe and the world. It can also improve confidence in ourselves." Again just a bold claim not attempt to explain how. How does allowing big bully neighbours to tell you that YOU got it wrong and make you vote again to give the answer THEY want improve anybodies confidence?
3) "A yes vote will keep us at the centre of a project that has brought peace and prosperity to a continent." What are they implying that a No vote will have Europe descend into war and depression? It is patent nonsense.
4) "Increased impetus to fight crime....security of energy supplies.....combating effects of climate change" These arguments are so weak they are not worth challenging.
5) "Anti-Lisbon campaigners look to the past.......a 'Yes' vote is a vote for a prosperous and self confident future." Well if these are the five strongest reasons to vote YES then it is self evident that they have no case to sell the people. It is clearly nothing more than a politically led project for the benefit of the politicians.
The YES campaign have not had it all their own way though, we found quite a bit of support for NO amongst taxi drivers with many sporting NO banners throughout the day.
and despite the disparate nature of the NO campaign they have also managed to ensure the every major street and junction in the city has NO posters prominently displayed.
Libertas have arranged for a number of city buses to take the NO message on the road around the city.
There is no counting tonight or even exit polls. We will get a view on turnout but nothing else until tomorrow afternoon. Off now to do a bit more last minute leafleting and to encourage as many people as we can to 'Say No To Lisbon'.