Irish Republican News · October 28, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Michael D Higgins set to claim Presidency
Michael D Higgins set to claim Presidency
michaeldhiggins.jpg

Labour veteran Michael D Higgins is likely to win the 26-County Presidential election over independent Sean Gallagher with the help of transfers from a strongly placed Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, according to early tallies of votes coming in from constituencies across the State.

Higgins appears to be polling strongly across Ireland, particularly in the West, reaching over 40% in Limerick and around 60% in his home constituency of Galway West.

After twenty boxes, Higgins is in the lead at 34% of the vote in Louth, a county which should have been a Gallagher stronghold. Gallagher is in second place in his home county at 29%, ahead of Martin McGuinness on 24%.

In Carlow-Kilkenny, the race is closer with Gallagher and Higgins closely matched at 34%, with McGuinness said to be polling around 17%.

Higgins was ahead of Gallagher in some Roscommon boxes, a non-traditional Labour area, and seemed to be performing better than expected in other rural areas, such as Longford/Westmeath.

One box watcher in Dublin said Higgins was “romping home” in the capital, and over 40% in Meath East. The only place Gallagher was reported to be ahead is in Donegal South.West, where he is reaching 32% to 29% for Higgins with McGuinness at 22%.

In Wicklow, with 11% of boxes open, Higgins is ahead of Gallager by 36% to 32%, with McGuinness polling at 15%. That estimate appears to closely match the trend across much of the country.

Many pundits are now suggesting Higgins is certain to win, with transfers from Martin McGuinness to carry the left-of-centre Labour candidate into Aras an Uachtarain by the time counting is complete tomorrow.

OTHER VOTES

Very early indications on the constitutional referendums suggest that the referendum to allow parliamentary inquiries is likely to be rejected, with some boxes in Dublin 3 to 1 against, and a couple of reports from rural areas suggesting a close decision.

In contrast, the referendum allowing cuts to judges’ pay is likely to be passed.

In the Dublin West by-election, it is still too close to call, with the Labour candidate Patrick Nulty apparently ahead at 27%, with Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger at 21% in the first boxes open.

Sinn Fein’s Paul Donnelly is said to be at 7.5%, but his transfers could yet move the Socialist head of Nulty in the final shake-up. Fianna Fail’s David McGuinness appears to have polled surprisingly well at around 20%, and his transfers could also allow Fine Gael to make a challenge for the seat.

Further results here as they come in. A first count result from the Presidential election is expected late this evening.

© 2011 Irish Republican News