A SECOND exit poll has predicted a large victory for the Yes side in Ireland’s Abortion Referendum.
Immediately after the polls closed, an Irish Times poll carried out by Ipsos MRBI predicted 68 per cent of voters backed a change to the Eighth Amendment.
Now an exit poll conducted by RTÉ, carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes, has supported that projection.
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The poll, conducted with a number of Irish universities, puts the Yes vote at an even higher 69.4 per cent.
It added that the 65+ age group was the only age demographic to vote in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment in its current form.
The poll also projected that 65.9 per cent of men and 72.1 per cent of women voted Yes.
The sample size was 3,800 with a margin of error of +/- 1.6 per cent.
Turnout for the referendum was believed to be as high as 70 per cent in some areas, beating the turnout for the referendum on same-sex marriage in 2015 and the 2016 General Election.
Official counting is due to begin on Saturday morning, with a result expected late in the afternoon.
More than 3.2million people are registered to vote in the referendum, with over 100,000 new voters registering to vote ahead of the poll.
Voters are choosing between retaining the Eighth Amendment, which says an unborn child has an equal right to life as the mother, or replacing it to include provision for ‘the regulation of termination of pregnancy’.
Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.
In the event of a Yes vote, the Government will introduce legislation permitting unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks.