Dublin: Ireland has narrowly rejected a government proposal to scrap the upper house of parliament that would save the bailed-out eurozone nation millions of euros, referendum results showed today.
Final results revealed 51.7 percent in favour of keeping the Senate, while 48.3 percent backed Prime Minister Enda Kenny's controversial proposal -- handing an embarrassing defeat to the coalition government.
Ireland voted yesterday on whether to scrap the Seanad, or Senate, which Kenny described as elitist and undemocratic, saying its closure could save the nation 20 million euros ($27 million) year.
Opinion polls had suggested voters would likely back Kenny's proposal, which had the support of the coalition government parties and some of the opposition.
The turnout at the polls stood at just 39.2 percent.