Michael D Higgins new president
The final count for the post of president will continue today at 9 a.m. local time, but it will confirm Michael D. Higgins is the new president of Ireland.
In a dramatic end to the presidential election Michael D. (as he is known in Ireland), the Labour Party candidate, came from 15 points behind frontrunner Seán Gallagher, an Independent, to win.
In an RTE (Irish TV station) debate on Monday, Martin McGuiness of Sinn Féin accused Gallagher of accepting a cheque from a convicted fuel smuggler. Although the accusation was denied it clearly damaged Gallagher’s campaign as he went into damage limitation mode and it gave Michael D. the final added momentum.
First count results gave Michael D. Higgins 39.6% of the vote, Seán Gallagher 28.5% and Martin McGuiness 13.7%. Four other candidates each took less than 10% of the vote. Turnout was 56.11%.