The findings of these exit polls will surprise and even shock many in the political system.

There was undoubtedly a sense that the Yes side had gained momentum in the final week of the campaign but the likely scale of this result was unexpected.

It means the Government's proposals to allow abortion up to 12 weeks will progress through the Oireachtas before the end of the year.

It's likely the early work on this will now begin when the Cabinet meets on Tuesday.

And the result could even see the process set in train in the Oireachtas a little sooner than originally planned.

Exit poll on the Eighth Amendment projects: Yes 69.4% No 30.6%

For other political parties too the result is significant.

A majority of Fianna Fáil TDs may have opposed constitutional change, but party leader Micheál Martin's decisive backing of the proposal strengthens his position.

And the new Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald can, with no little authority, ask her party members to support the upcoming legislation, when it holds a special Ard Fheis next month.

Based on these poll findings, the Government too has carefully and skillfully addressed a difficult social issue.

Its approach spearheaded by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health Simon Harris has won support in all parts of the country and across almost all age groups.

The Citizens’ Assembly, which plotted the path to this point, has also proved to be reflective of the public mood.

And that is something very few in political circles would have accepted before now.