Irish voters set to liberalize abortion laws in landslide

DUBLIN - The people of Ireland are set to liberalize some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws by a landslide, an exit poll showed on Friday, as voters demanded change in what two decades ago was one of Europe's most socially conservative countries.

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI exit poll suggested that voters in the once deeply Catholic nation had backed a referendum by a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent. A second exit poll was due to be published by 2230 GMT.

"Not the official result, but it's looking good!," Irish Culture Minister Josepha Madigan, c-ordinator for Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's governing party's campaign for a "Yes" vite, said on Twitter.

Vote-counting begins at 0800 GMT on Saturday, with the first indication of results expected mid-morning.