ITN - Friday, June 13 05:47 pmIreland has plunged the European Union into chaos by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty.
The result puts plans to overhaul the European Union's institutions in peril and is a humiliating result for Ireland's political leaders.
The result of the vote was announced at Dublin Castle in the Irish capital amid jubilant scenes from a crowd of 'No' voters.
Official results revealed 53.4 per cent opposed the pact and 46.6 per cent voted in favour of it.
The count showed 862,415 people voted 'No' while 752,451 voted 'Yes'. Turnout was 53.1 per cent of the electorate.
The victory means a country with fewer than 1 per cent of the EU's 490 million population could derail a treaty negotiated over years by leaders of
all 27 member states.
Ireland is one of the most pro-European countries in the bloc and the only one to hold a referendum on the treaty, which replaces an EU constitution
rejected by Dutch and French voters in 2005.
The treaty, intended to make the EU stronger and more effective, had the backing of the three main political parties in Ireland, which has prospered
under EU membership. Farmers' groups, businesses and many unions also backed it.
Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, the only party to oppose the Lisbon accord, said: "I think that's a very positive thing. "It was very much
a David and Goliath contest - and in this case Goliath lost again."
Referendums expert Professor Matt Qvortrup said the legal position is that the treaty will collapse if any member state votes it down.
But officials in France, which takes over the EU presidency in weeks, have said work on the treaty could continue.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged other EU states into ratifying the treaty after the surprise 'No' vote was confirmed.
Eighteen countries have already ratified the Lisbon Treaty and it was due to come into force on January 1 if all nations agreed.