‘Happy’ Higgins poised to win presidential election

President-elect Michael D. Higgins with his wife Sabrina at the Dublin Castle count result centre last night. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
President-elect Michael D. Higgins with his wife Sabrina at the Dublin Castle count result centre last night. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Labour Party candidate Michael D Higgins is set to become the State’s ninth president when the results of the election count are confirmed later today.
The result of the second count was announced in the early hours of this morning before counting was adjourned for the night.
Mr Higgins has built a commanding lead ahead of the rest of the field with over 730,000 votes to his name following the elimination and subsequent distribution of Ms Dana Rosemary Scallon and Ms Mary Davis’ transfers.
It became clear early in the day yesterday that Mr Higgins would win the race to the Áras as early tallies showed a significant swing away from erstwhile front-runner Seán Gallagher.
The shift from Mr Gallagher has been largely attributed to his poor performance on RTÉ’s Frontline programme earlier in the week.
Mr Higgins was congratulated by all six other candidates who conceded defeat throughout the day.
Independent Seán Gallagher is expected to finish second, with Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness in third position.

Ms Davis and Ms Scallon were eliminated and after the first count was announced and their transfers were subsequently distributed.

No-one reached the quota following the second count and proceedings were adjourned with the elimination of the lowest candidate Mr Norris.

Counting will resume at 9am today with the distribution of Mr Norris’s transfers.

The result of the second count was announced at 1.35am.

The result of the second count in 40 of the 43 constituencies is:

– Higgins, Michael D: + 29,379 (730, 480)

– Gallagher, Seán: + 24, 437 (529, 401)

– McGuinness, Martin: + 9,581 (250, 611)

– Mitchell, Gay: + 14,036 (127, 357)

– Norris, David: + 7,057 (116, 526)

Dublin Mid West, Waterford and Roscommon/South-Leitrim are still to complete the second count. These will now take place this morning.

The results of the first count are as follows:

– Higgins, Michael D: 701, 101 (39.6 per cent)

– Gallagher, Sean: 504, 964 (28.5 per cent)

– McGuinness, Martin: 243, 030 (13.7 per cent)

– Mitchell, Gay: 113, 321 (6.4 per cent)

– Norris, David: 109, 469 (6.2 per cent)

– Scallon, Dana Rosemary : 51,220 (2.9 per cent)

– Davis, Mary: 48, 657 (2.7 per cent)

The total poll was 1,771, 762. The quota is 885,882.

Once the election count is completed, the count for the referendums on reducing judicial pay and Oireachtas inquiries will begin.

The official turnout in the presidential election was 56.11 per cent. Turnout was highest in Dublin North Central (64.01 per cent) and Dublin South (61.93 per cent). It was lowest in Donegal South-West (48.42 per cent) and Donegal North-East (48.79 per cent).

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