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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020
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Most people in Ireland are really happy with Michael D and want him to stay on as president

The latest poll has shown solid support for the incumbent.

A LARGE MAJORITY of Irish people would like to see Michael D Higgins take on a second term as President of Ireland.

In a poll conducted by Claire Byrne Live/Amárach for TheJournal.ie, 66% of people said they would like to see him serve another seven years in the Áras.

Just one in four people said they’d prefer to see a new face, while 9% did not know.

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Higgins was elected to the highest position in 2011, stating at the time that he would be a one-term president. On Friday, however, he told Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show that he will make an announcement at “the appropriate time”.

He added it was “a great privilege to be President of Ireland”.

I’ve been giving everything I can to it and I’m very happy to do so. Myself and Sabina have received enormous support from people. Yes, I like it.

His first term does not end until 2018 but questions have already started about his intentions. A number of TDs – including Leo Varadkar and Brendan Howlin – have indicated they will support him if he decides to stay on.

He is a popular president, as the poll results indicate, and presidential elections can be expensive affairs for political parties, both factors that will be considered by party leaders before making a decision about whether to run a contestant.

Now 75 years old, Higgins will be 84 by the end of his presidency if he remains in the Phoenix Park.

In 2004, on deciding she wanted to stay for a second term Mary McAleese was returned unopposed.

If all political parties support Higgins, a similar scenario could occur. However, other candidates could still come into play – forcing another election. A person needs to get backing from 20 TDs and senators or four local authorities to run. With the current makeup of the Dáil and Seanad, it is possible that even if the main four parties support Higgins, another candidate could be nominated.

More: Two thirds of people in Ireland support Mother Teresa being made a saint

Read: 66% of people want a referendum on abortion in Ireland

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