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Tuesday 6 December 2016

'Take a selfie!' - Tanaiste's novel advice to marriage referendum voters

Tanaiste Joan Burton
Tanaiste Joan Burton

Tanaiste Joan Burton had novel advice for voters in the gay marriage referendum: “Take a selfie!”

Unlike Cabinet colleagues predicting a 60:40 win in Friday’s landmark vote, the Labour leader said it was too near polling day to make a prediction.

Ms Burton said everything now centred on a big turnout to ensure victory for the 'Yes' campaign.  And she urged early voters to send 'selfies' to friends to goad them into coming out to vote.

“Take a ‘selfie’. Take the photo outside the polling station – not inside – send it to all your friends saying: ‘I’ve voted – have you?’ Because that’s what we need,” Ms Burton said.

The Tanaiste also conceded that she was aware that many Fine Gael politicians were not keen on canvassing a “Yes” for gay marriage.

But she insisted that Fine Gael in government were totally committed to a successful campaign and their party organisers had committed big resources.

“I am aware of what some Fine Gael backbenchers have said. Some of the older members may have had reservations,” she said.

Ms Burton said Labour had driven social law changes over the last two decades.

In government with Fianna Fail and later Fine Gael in the 1990s, they championed the decriminalisation of homosexuality, a successful divorce referendum, and wider availability of contraceptives.

Note: It is illegal to take pictures inside polling booths, offenders could face a fine or jail sentence.

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