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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Michael D Higgins has been elected President of Ireland for a second term. 

The incumbent president was re-elected with 822,566 first preference votes, the public overwhelmingly backing him to serve another seven years in the post.

His 55.8% of the vote is just shy of the record 56.3% achieved by Éamon DeValera in 1959.

Peter Casey has become a massive side-story of the day after surging from the bottom of the polls to take second place. 

And let’s not forget the blasphemy referendum – which looks to be passed by an almost 2:1 majority. 

Here’s how the day played out.

Let’s start with the exit polls from last night. The Irish Times poll results were:

  • Michel D Higgins – 56%
  • Peter Casey – 21%
  • Liadh Ní Riada – 8%
  • Sean Gallagher – 7%
  • Joan Freeman – 6%
  • Gavin Duffy – 2%

An RTÉ exit poll had similar results:

Source: RTÉ News

If these polls are correct, the vote for Michael D Higgins could be the largest ever first preference vote in a presidential election.

In the hours after the exit polls were released Gavin Duffy was the only one to acknowledge them. 

People responding to his comments last night gave him credit for his campaign and his “dignified” response to the expected results.

The exit poll results suggest that Michael D Higgins will be elected on the first count.

We’ll have the first boxes opened from 9am this morning at the 28 count centres across the country. The first job will be to determine the quota – the number of votes required to be elected president is 50% of the total valid poll plus one vote.

Seven years ago, Higgins reached the quota and was elected after the fourth count.

Source: presidentialelection.ie

For more on how the count will work, read this from our reporter Rónán Duffy.

There has been a lot of discussion overnight about the man expected to come in second place. Peter Casey surged from 1% just two weeks ago to an expected 21% if the exit polls are accurate.

During that time, Casey was accused of racism for several comments he made about the Travelling Community.

This jump in support after the controversial comments is likely to be the major talking point today. 

The exit polls for the blasphemy referendum are suggesting a significant Yes vote.

Source: RTÉ News

Remember if these results are accurate, the Constitution will be changed to remove the offence of blasphemy. 

Let’s talk about turnout. 

crowd Source: Giphy

The previous presidential election in 2011 had a turnout of 56.1%. It looks to be quite a bit lower than that this time around.

Some polling stations in Dublin at 7.30pm yesterday were reporting it to be in the mid-30s. 

Commentators have predicted a turnout of under 50% nationally. More than 3.2 million people were entitled to vote yesterday. 

Our reporter Cónal Thomas is at the Convention Centre in Dublin – he told us counting is just about to get underway.

Source: Cónal Thomas/TheJournal.ie

Source: Cónal Thomas/TheJournal.ie

The first appearance by Peter Casey this morning on Newstalk with Pat Kenny. He said his campaign team asked him to pull out of the race after the first week of campaigning.

He said the vote is just a “little blip in the road”. He’s promised to campaign heavily to create mandatory retirement at the age of 80 for politicians.

Casey also ruled out running for local elections as “that’s too much hard work”.

We’re going to take quite a long time, probably till lunchtime to decide what to do next.

Referring to the exit polls showing President Micheal D Higgins has won the election Casey said: “By the way this isn’t over yet.”

Source: Newstalk

On his comments about Travellers during the election campaign: “I regret not coming down harder on Martin Collins – he’s the person responsible for showing leadership at Pavee Point, he’s a disgrace.”

When asked whether he felt like he had stoked up anti-Traveller sentiment, he responded: “I brought to the fore something that was there already.”

We’ve been hearing from our reporter Cónal Thomas, who is at the Convention Centre in Dublin. He said counting kicked off at 9am sharp and “is going at a steady clip”.

“There are over 200 (217 to be exact) counters here today checking ballot papers. Boxes still being opened.”

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty has been speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about his party’s candidate Liadh Ní Riada.

He said he is disappointed about the exit poll results, but he thinks Sinn Féin made the right call.

Doherty also said that one feature Ní Riada introduced to the debate was discussion about Irish unity. He said there were discussions in the debates that would have have happened without her participation.

Peter Casey back on the radio again there – this time with RTÉ. When asked whether he thought his comments about the Traveller Community gave him that last minute bump, he said: “No, absolutely not.”

He said those comments had “nothing to do with” his surge in popularity.

It was the fact that I pointed out that middle Ireland, people who get up in the morning and get out to work, they’re just feeling tired. They’re feeling nobody is listening to them.

Source: RTÉ News

He has indicated that this isn’t the last we will be seeing him him. He won’t be drawn on whether he’ll run in the next general election but he said he will do something that “makes a difference”.

Kathleen Lawrence of Pavee Point has been speaking to Morning Ireland. She, not surprisingly, disagrees with Casey’s view on how he managed to move into second place.

“There is no way he would have jumped from 1% to 20% without making those comments about Travellers and people on welfare. It’s a very worrying development in Irish politics that he used negative election stuff from America and brought it to Ireland – and used the race card,” she said.

kathleen Kathleen Lawrence said it was disheartening to see the exit poll results. Source: RTÉ News

All he has done is made the country more divisive.

Lawrence said it was “disheartening” to see the jump in support after Casey’s comments.

I am very proud to be Irish but also very proud to say I’m an Irish Traveller. It’s a shame and a disgrace that he feels it’s okay to turn around and say we shouldn’t be recognised for who we are.

She said the media needs to realise that it “can be manipulated” into giving space to anti-Traveller rhetoric “just by giving the news”.

Early indications are that the exit polls are spot on. And that turnout is as low as we’ve been expecting…

 

 

Kathryn Hayes in Limerick has found a few spoiled votes…

Speaking to our reporter Aisling O’Rourke this morning, Martin Collins of Pavee Point said he totally rejected Peter Casey’s comments.

“I am jubilant that Michael D Higgins has been re-elected as a President who has symbolised inclusion equality and respect during his term in office.”

“The people have spoken and said racism division and hatred has no place in the Irish democratic process. It will not be tolerated.”

The Pavee Point spokesperson, responding to Casey’s personal attack on him this morning, said he has “represented his community at national and international level for several decades and will continue to do so”.

Early tallies have placed Donegal as a possible outlier, but counting has only been going on for two hours. 

Just to add to the spoiled votes, our reporter Cónal Thomas at the Convention Centre in Dublin said he’s been told of others with “Bobby Sands” and “Gemma O’Doherty” on them.

O’Doherty, of course, had hoped to gain enough local authority support to make it onto the ballot but was unsuccessful. 

Michael D Higgins’ campaign team are obviously happy campers today.

Annie Hoey told RTÉ that the team is “seeing what we were hoping to see” 

She credited his success to his “inclusive, diverse” campaign. 

Hoey also said that on the doorsteps, people were not raising issues like Áras expenses, rather they were “talking about what a strong leader he is”. 

This is a curious trend popping up in a few places across the country:

Cónal has the latest tally from Dublin South-Central, where Higgins is at 63% with 40% of boxes open. 

Some different results in other areas of the country, however.

 

Cónal has also give us some more detail about spoiled votes: 

“At the bottom of each clipboard sits the ‘spoiled votes’ box where markers tick off how many invalid votes have been counted.

With just over two hours of counting complete, we’re told that so far we’ve had a “Gemma O’Doherty” and a handful of “No abortion” messages scrawled across ballot papers.

“Bobby Sands” has featured too here this morning as have some, we’re told, “tastefully” drawn male body parts.

“Dustin the Turkey” is always a feature on election days, one counter tells us.

“Another says they have seen anti-traveller comments written above Peter Casey on the ballot paper.”

More than half the boxes in Cavan/Monaghan are open now and Michael D Higgins is in the lead, followed by Peter Casey:

No tallies in Mayo unfortunately but indications are that Higgins is the frontrunner there too:

And we have 60% of boxes open in Wicklow:

Our reporter Nicky Ryan is at Dublin Castle. Possibly the only person at Dublin Castle if this photo is anything to go by:

It will get much busier there later though, and Nicky will be bringing us the latest, as will our political reporter Christina Finn who will be shortly joining him there.

Activist Eileen Ní Fhloinn, writing for TheJournal.ie today, says this is “a worrying time for Travellers”.

“Is every fifth person I meet a Traveller hater?” she asks.

My community was once welcomed into communities, we brought our tinsmith skills, our poetry, our stories and songs. Sadly Irish society changed; it has become obsessed with wealth and property and that property is worth more than the life of any Traveller. 

Read more from Eileen here.

Gavin Duffy, speaking to Newstalk’s Pat Kenny, acknowledged that as a candidate he “didn’t perform”. 

He also said that having four business people in the race, three of them former reality TV stars, “diluted the votes”. 

Duffy however insists he doesn’t think his media training business which provides coaching services will suffer as a result of his performance. 

Micheál Martin has told Newstalk that Michael D Higgins was the dominant personality in the election.

He said that the Peter Casey vote surge represents a dissatisfaction with housing rural Ireland, broadband, and young people’s access to education.

There’s no point having an election for the sake of it… if you think the incumbent is doing a good job.

On Peter Casey’s success considering the last post put his popularity at 1%, Martin said: “It goes to show you can’t trust opinion polls.”

When asked whether he would welcome Peter Casey as a Fianna Fáil candidate in the future, he said: “I don’t see him joining Fianna Fáil”.

Peter Casey in an earlier interview said he was considering joining a political party, or forming his own. 

 

When he was pushed to answer whether Casey would be welcome in the party.  Martin said “No.”

“We need to see the policy issues: this morning he said that he was a socialist and capitalist in the one sentence.”

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, speaking to RTÉ’s Marian Finucane, said she believes the party “fielded the best candidate in the election”. 

She also spoke of how Liadh Ní Riada brought discussions to this campaign that would not have been there if she had not taken part:

“It would be irresponsible not to talk about Irish unity. I dearly wish for unionists to be part of that conversation.”

Image from iOS Mary Lou McDonald speaking to reporters at the Covention Centre in Dublin earlier. Source: Cónal Thomas/TheJournal.ie

When asked whether she would be blamed for Ní Riada’s poor performance, she said:

“I’m tempted to be flippant and say I get the blame for everything.”

Gemma O’Doherty has weighed in on the voters who wrote her name on their ballots.

We’ve just heard from the Convention Centre that there were 20 ballot papers with her name written on them in one box from Terenure in South Dublin alone.

Tallies in Donegal are still showing strong support for Peter Casey – stronger than for Michael D Higgins:

Seán Gallagher has released a statement congratulating Michael D Higgins.

With 80% of the boxes tallied in Wicklow, 63% have voted for Michael D Higgins, and 17% for Peter Casey.

In a distant third is Liadh Ní Riada on 5.8%, Seán Gallagher is on 6%, Joan Freeman is on 5.3% and Gavin Duffy is on 2.1%.

“More spoilt votes than votes for Gavin Duffy.” Oh dear.

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has been asked about Peter Casey’s intention to either join a political party or set up his own. 

“If there’s an application winding its way in, he needn’t bother,” Howlin told reporters. 

All of the boxes in Clare are open now – though not all are counted yet – and Micahel D Higgins is a 55.6% while Casey is in second place with 31.6%

We should not forgot that there was a second vote yesterday – on whether to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution – so let’s talk about that.

The count centres are focusing on the presidential vote count at the moment, so only have very early tallies on the blasphemy referendum vote. But the Irish Times exit poll last night has the referendum passing by 69% to 31% while the RTÉ exit poll has it passing by 71% to 29%.

To help voters decide, we had a debate in TheJournal.ie office earlier in the week between campaigners on either side of the debate.

One of those people was Colum Kenny, emeritus professor of communications at DCU and a former member of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and our reporter Nicky Ryan caught up with him this afternoon at Dublin Castle.

Kenny, who had been advocating for a No vote, said he was “not very surprised” by the exit poll results.

Source: Sam Boal

He was encouraging people to vote against removing blasphemy from the Constitution because he “felt it was a move by the government to show they were doing something”.

I think the referendum is the minimal you can do to look like you’re doing something.

He said he believes there are “far more serious issues that need to be attended that make this country look far more backward”.

“It’s an excuse for not tackling bigger issues like control of schools and the health service by denominational institutions,” he said. “More in relation to freedom of expression, defamation law and the way it’s used by the rich and powerful to chill free speech. And the cost of law to assert any rights citizens have.”

“Let’s not kid ourselves that this is a great, progressive day. “

Atheist Ireland members are celebrating already as it looks like they will have a comfortable win:

In a statement last night, the association thanked everyone who had campaigned for nearly a decade to make this referendum happen.

“If the exit polls are accurate, this will be a great result for freedom of religion, belief, and speech, and for Irish politics based on integrity instead of nods and winks.

“We will have removed a medieval crime, that was added to our constitution in 1937, and crowbarred into our statute books a decade ago.

“Our laws will be able to protect people from harm, not protect ideas from criticism, and our media outlets will no longer have to self censor themselves.”

Speaking to Newstalk, former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD was asked whether the decision to run a candidate was a strategic error by Mary Lou McDonald.

“It was the right thing to contest the election and Liadh, who I know, was an exemplary candidate,” Adams said.

Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Louth TD said that he felt a “sense of irrelevancy” among voters in his area yesterday but that party activists must also take responsibility for not getting the Sinn Féin vote out.

“I’m also acknowledging that we who are active in Louth and East Meath, we failed to get the vote out.”

Now is as good a time as ever to talk about whether the candidates will get their campaign money back. 

Source: tenor

If the exit polls are correct, only Michael D Higgins and Peter Casey are likely to get their expenses back.

Candidates can recoup a maximum of €200,000 of their expenses from the State.

But in order to do so, each candidate needs to get a quarter of the quota in that particular election at any stage during the count. That’s 12.5% of the total unspoiled votes. 

How the candidates funded their campaigns:

  • Independent Senator Joan Freeman was given €120,000 from an old friend and businessman Des Walsh to fund her campaign.
  • Millionaires Seán Gallagher, Gavin Duffy, and Peter Casey funded their presidential campaigns through their own private funds.
  • Liadh Ní Riada was funded by her party, Sinn Féin.
  • Michael D Higgins, who received €70,000 in funding from his former party, Labour, also started an online campaign for costs such as posters and leaflets.

Peter Casey has arrived at Dublin Castle where there was a large media scrum waiting to speak with him:

He wants an apology from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for criticising him during the campaign and for asking voters to “send a message” to Casey. 

You can watch the full media briefing on our Facebook page.

In the latest twist, Nama has just issued a statement in response to something Peter Casey said in media interviews. 

He claimed that Nama owns Stardust nightclub fire site. The National Asset Management Agency says otherwise:

“Some media outlets are reporting comments by Mr Peter Casey today that Nama has an involvement in a property on the site of the Stardust disaster. 

“Nama has never had any involvement with this property. “

Gavin Duffy has arrived at Dublin Castle

“It was hard if you were somebody who wanted to talk about the challenges that we’re facing in our society,” he tells reporters. “It was hard to find the space to do that, but I can only accept the blame for that myself.”

He said he acknowledges that he didn’t do enough to connect with the people of Ireland.

Duffy, whose share of the vote is predicted to be around the 2% mark, has said he has no regrets about running.

“The first thing I want to say is the people have spoken and they’ve spoken very very clearly with a large mandate, we’ll learn later on it could be a historic mandate for my president and your president Michael D Higgins. And I want to wish him all the best and extend every good wish to him. 

“For myself, I am disappointed when you contest and you don’t really compete. But no regrets, genuinely. I think the issues that I’ve raised, and I accept the blame here, if they didn’t resonate with the public it’s perhaps that I’m slightly ahead of where the public concerns are around the changes in society.”

Our reporter Cónal Thomas has been given a peek at some of the spoiled votes from Dublin North West. 

Can you spot the one that says “Would prefer Bertie 2025?”. Keep an eye out for the voter who brought their own red pen along too, so they could scrawl ‘None of the above’.

We have a second declaration – in Cork South Central:

Here’s where the results stand now, with the two declarations we have so far:

Michael D Higgins received 47% of the vote in Offaly, while Peter Casey for 31%. Behind him was Sean Gallagher on 9%. 

Here are the results so far, with four constituencies delcared :

Reports suggesting extremely low turnout in some areas: 

Peter Casey said during his campaign said he did not see it necessary to designate Travellers a separate ethnic status.

But in Ireland, this is fact – Traveller ethnicity was officially recognised in the Dáil in March 2017. 

A year and a half on from this historic event, our reporter Gráinne NíAodha spoke to campaigners, who said that while it was a big step, it was not “a magic wand”. 

We have some more declarations – in Cork North Central, Donegal and Meath East:

 

Strong support for Higgins in Dublin, with 70% of the Dún Laoghaire constituency backing him.

He also received 66.2% in Dublin South West:

Lest we forget about blasphemy referendum, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan wants us to know he’s delighted with the exit poll projections. 

He also wants to draw our attention to his new profile photo:

Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada was just speaking to RTÉ. She said she wants now to see Michael D Higgins lead a discussion on a united Ireland and she is “confident he will do that”.

The said the rally she did in Belfast was the high point of her campaign. 

Seán Gallagher has also made an appearance at Dublin Castle, telling reporters “democracy has spoken”:

With half (20/40) of the Constituencies now reporting, this is the percentage first preference for the candidates. 

Michael D Higgins above 55% with Peter Casey approaching 24%.

image (4)

The results are coming in quickly now, with Limerick City, Cork North-West and Wicklow coming in the past few moments. 

PastedImage-8086

 

PastedImage-54982

PastedImage-2723

0397 Sean Gallagher_90556928 Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Some more from Seán Gallagher, who has said that he is “disappointed that the vote is not higher”.

“Like everything in my life I participate and then I move on – I learn the lessons I can and then continue to participate best I can,” aid Gallagher. “

The 2011 runner up said he didn’t decide to run until August and he got the feedback from local authorities that they would support him.

But he also laid some of the blame on the fact it was such a short election, when seven years ago he had five months to prepare for the election and build momentum.

He said that there was a failure to get the electorate engaged in the election, and that the candidates were “facing an incumbent who has half a century of political life behind him”. “It was very difficult for anyone to break through of that,” he said.

He added that he wishes President Higgins and his wife Sabina well.

Asked if it mattered that he was one of three Dragons’ Den stars in the race, he said “you can only participate with whoever else is in the race”.

Regarding his previous run, he said that Ireland was in a different place then with different issues.

He said that the high point of his campaign was the launch of his campaign in Cavan, and the low point was “just hearing the result”.

Speaking of Gallagher, here’s the result from his home turf, where he almost squeezed into second place.

But not quite.

PastedImage-25072

Hello. Gráinne here taking over the Liveblog for a moment.

We’ve an update from a number of constituencies: Dublin Fingal, Dublin Rathdown and Dublin West.

Fingal Source: grainne

Dublin Rathdown Source: grainne

Dublin West Source: grainne

Joan Freeman has released a statement saying that she’s disappointed, but added that Michael D Higgins will “will continue to be a great ambassador for this country”.

She also said that “This campaign made me fall in love with Ireland all over again.”

Another few constituencies in: Kildare South, Galway West, Cork North-West, and Limerick County.

We’ve 30 out of 40 constituencies in so far. Hold on to your seats.

Sligo Leitrin Source: grainne

Kildare South Source: grainne

galway wesht Source: grainne

Cork NOrth West Source: grainne

Limerick County Source: grainne

Another two in: Louth and Longford-Westmeath.

Gavin Duffy performed stronger in Louth than the national average; while Casey performed lower than average here.

Michael D Higgins performed lower than average in Longford-Westmeath.

Louth Source: grainne

Longford Source: grainne

Dublin South Central is in: Higgins gets 65% while Casey is on 13.7%.

Higgins has received a very strong vote from Dublin.

Dublin South Central Source: grainne

 

Clare results are in. There are just five constituencies left to go…

Clare Source: grainne

We’ve heard that the Radisson Blu Hotel on Golden Lane is preparing for celebrations of Michael D Higgins’ win as we speak. Stay tuned.

20181027_175430 Source: Rónán Duffy

Liadh Ní Riada has thanked her supporters and said that Sinn Féin’s campaign has ensured “that there was no coronation & that a united Ireland” was on the agenda.

The Carlow-Kilkenny results are in – that’s a 52% result for Higgins and 28.2% for Casey. Ní Riada got 4.9%

Carlow Kilk Source: grainne

Hello, Rónán Duffy now here for this evening, I’ll be bringing you the last constituency results as they come in. Let’s hope it’s not too long.

There’s just four left to go. 

Scratch that, we’re down to three left. And it’s a whopper for Michael D Higgins.

Dublin Bay South goes for the incumbent by greater than seven in ten.

image (7)

PastedImage-88677 Source: RTÉ.ie

Peter Casey is on RTÉ’s Six One News speaking about his result.  He says the support he received was because of a variety of reasons. 

“The result I received has come from the ordinary person who gets up for work and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he tells Caitríona Perry.

Pushed on whether he will run for office again in Ireland, Casey is non-committal but insists he’s not going away: 

I defintely will be staying involved, defintely. 

PastedImage-97387 Source: RTÉ

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is also reacting to the results now. He describes it as a “historic” win for Michael D Higgins.

“What’s certain now is he’s ahead of the poll in every constituency in in the country and it’s a very strong endorsement of Michael D Higgins,” Varadkar states. 

He is asked about Peter Casey’s vote but says “it’s important not to lose sight of who’s won here”.

“In terms of Peter Casey’s vote there were different elements to it, certainly some of it was anti-Traveller sentiment and I can’t condone that, but some of it was people making a protest at various different things and when people register a protest, whether it’s on the streets or in the ballot box the government has to listen to that,” Varadkar says.

The Taoiseach also says that the exit poll result, which puts Fine Gael at 13 percentage points ahead of Fianna Fáil, does not put him the mood for a general election. 

The latest result is in.

It’s from Dublin Bay North and shows Higgins’ result at above the national result and Casey’s below.

image (8)

The Taoiseach may have told people not to vote for him, but he’s come face-to-face with Peter Casey this evening.

Casey that is who’s used Varadkar’s “people who get up early” line a lot today.

Newstalk’s Sean Defoe snapped the moment they met this evening.

Here’s more from the Taoiseach.

He notes that Enda Kenny’s government recognised Traveller ethnicity but that they “never thought for a second that that was the end of it”, he says that education is vital.

If you’re wondering about the blasphemy referendum, which exit polls have predicted will pass comfortably, you’ll have to wait for anything official.

The counting on the referendum has to wait because the presidential election has priority and will be concluded first before formal results of the referendum come in.

Once the presidential count is concluded though, referendum results could come quickly as many constituencies will have them started, or even completed, before the presidential result is official. 

But they’re very likely to hold over on announcing anything until tomorrow.

Michael D has arrived at Dublin Castle for his big moment. We’ll have a video coming up soon….

MICHAEL D HIGGINS HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF IRELAND WITH 55.8% OF THE VOTE

PastedImage-68356 Source: RTE

PastedImage-16999 Source: RTE

Higgins is now speaking:

“I accept that mandate with humility but also with excitement,” he says.

He says that the Presidency of Ireland draws its strengths from its mandate, and that the President represents Ireland “in all its strengths and vulnerabilities”.

In his victory speech, Michael D Higgins also thanks “his great partner in public life” Sabina.

“I will also represent your voice, Ireland’s voice, in challenges that are global,” Higgins says, referencing climate change and Brexit. 

“We are in a time of transformation… Ireland is in a new independent space where new possibilities can emerge,” Higgins says 

“We must also face the future with inclusion and creativity,” he says, referencing the 1919 centenary celebrations next year. 

I will be a President for all the people, for those who voted for me and for those who did not because I love this country.

He done good.

2575 Michael D_90557379 (1) Sabina Higgins congratulates her husband Michael D Higgins on his re-election. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Dublin Castle is now hearing concessions speeches from the defeated candidates.

Here are the final results. Higgins 822,566 votes is the biggest number of first preference votes ever received in a presidential election. 

PastedImage-97423 Source: TheJournal.ie

It’s now confirmed that, this has been the lowest turnout in Irish presidential election history.

The turnout for the presidential election was 43.87%, with 1,492,338 casting a vote, resulting in 1,473,900 valid votes. The Irish electorate comprises of 3,229,672 people.

The lowest turnout had been in 1997, when 47.6% of the electorate or around 1.26 million people voted, and Mary McAleese won.

We’ve put together some more details about past turnouts since the first presidential vote eighty years ago

Another confirmation, and this one bad news for one of the candidates.

Gavin Duffy’s 2.2% of the vote makes his first preference share the lowest ever by a candidate for the presidency. Less than Mary Davis and Dana in 2011.

In this election and the previous two, there has been a greater number of candidates contesting for the presidency, diluting the vote and making smaller votes more likely.

But unfortunately for Duffy, his vote share is the lowest.  

Spare a thought for Michael Nugent and his colleagues from Atheist Ireland who are waiting patiently for a result of the blasphemy referendum. Literally, judging by this photo.

On that, the returning officer will be announcing the results at any point in the next hour or so. 

This liveblog is finishing up now, so we won’t be writing about it here. 

But we are still collating all the results of the blasphemy referendum as they come in. At present 13/40 constituencies have reported their results, with the Yes vote leading by just under 2:1. 

So make sure to keep an eye here for the result.

PastedImage-94851 Source: TheJournal.ie

So with that blasphemous update we’ll bid you goodnight. 

Michael D Higgins is president again for seven more years, join us tomorrow for all the reaction.

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