Ireland has rejected the Treaty of Lisbon, dashing years of effort to reform the European Union. The Irish Times cites preliminary reports that the "no" vote has prevailed with about 52%, won mainly among rural and urban working class areas. The ruling and opposition parties both supported the treaty, but some voters felt it surrendered too much autonomy to the EU.
The vote will likely scupper the entire Lisbon Treaty, which must be ratified unanimously. Many voters complained that they did not understand the pact, which is largely a repackaging of the EU Constitution rejected by the French and Dutch in 2005. Turnout in yesterday's referendum was low, not exceeding 45%, which analysts said hurt the "yes" side.