On the heels of the shock win for the Conservatives in the UK, we would like to thank in advance any and all of you who are so civically minded that you are actually coming home from far away to vote in the Referendum.
What the UK result drums home is 1) opinion polls can be very, very wrong and 2) it’s all down to whether people are arsed enough to get on down to the polling stations on the day. In other words, every single vote matters. A lot. You may not remember the divorce referendum twenty years ago but it only passed by 9,114 votes. To put that into perspective that’s 73% of the undergraduate student body at Trinity and only marginally more bods than used to fit into the old Point Depot.
And what about the massive recount in Florida that came down to 537 votes (out of six million cast) in 2000? That swung the entire American presidential election George Bush’s way and left Al Gore to ponder climate change a lot harder than he intended. You probably have 537 friends on facebook so you know what that looks like and how hard a pill that must have been to swallow for the loser and his supporters. The consequences of those 537 votes still reverberate throughout the Middle East and every corner of the globe (do globes have corners?).
Curious to know just how many people might be planning to commit Herculean acts in order to make their voice heard, we did a little informal shout out in the office and on social media to gauge the mood. The result? Let ‘s just say town’s gonna be jammers on the weekend of the 22nd-23rd what with the impending influx of returned emigres. We personally know people coming back from Germany, Canada, Japan, Sweden, the US and loads from the UK. As of this writing, there is literally only one handful of seats left on Aer Lingus Heathrow – Dublin flights that will allow passengers to get in most of a day’s work and arrive before the polls close at 10pm.
As one homecomer says, ” You can’t be a part of history or whine about an outcome if you don’t participate. I’ve never been so personally engaged with an issue so I have to come back. I don’t want to live abroad forever and I want to return to the best Ireland I can.”
Do you know anyone coming home to vote? Where from?
Follow Laura George on twitter @lgeorge353