Re: Irish abortion referendum.
"I presume you mean 52%?"
Nope, more like 4% because that's the difference between the Yes/No result.
But the constant argument by ardent Brexiteers that a whopping 52% majority of the population voted to Leave is extremely annoying.
52% is a very slim majority, If I cut a cake into 2 pieces one of 52% and one of 48% you wouldn't even be able to spot the difference that readily.
Another important point is that the turn out was not 100%. So it was 52% of the people that actually voted, and whose votes weren't discarded. In December 2017 (closest published figure) there were 46,148,000 people registered to vote, in the referendum 17,410,742 people voted to Leave and 16,141,241 voted to Remain.
As a percentage of the registered voters that's 37.73% Leave 34.98% Remain. Your ~38% vs ~35% result seems a bit less convincing now.
Of all the people who could vote, 38% were bothered enough about the way things are to vote to change it. Certainly you can argue that only 35% cared enough to try and prevent it, but that's a flawed argument because you cannot say why the 27% of voters didn't vote trying to claim them for either side is just plain wrong.
The general consensus about most things in life is that in a group/organisation the burden to drive change is on those who want it and then you need a majority to agree, and in many other situations not voting is considering not being for the change in one way or another.
This is achieved by simply counting abstentions as against or by setting a minimum turnout, or making voting mandatory. Having a minimum required turnout is most common, from small voting scenarios to large, in company/organisation board meetings and some government houses this is known as "having quorum".
Putting aside Brexit as a specific issue. Is the consent of 38% of the country's population sufficient to initiate massive legal and constitutional change? I certainly don't think so.