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President Michael D Higgins. Photograph by John Kelly.

President Higgins tops Presidential poll in Clare



Outgoing President Michael D Higgins has topped the poll in the Clare constituency.

Returning Officer, Pat Wallace revealed on Saturday afternoon that President Higgins secured 22,639 first preference votes in the first count.

Independent candidate Peter Casey secured 11,722; Séan Gallagher 2,289; Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ni Riadha got 2,186; Joan Freeman 1,969 and Gavin Duffy 617.

The percentage breakdown of the first count is Michael D Higgins: 54.65%; Peter Casey; 28.27%; Séan Gallagher: 5.52%; Liadh Ni Riadha: 5.277%; Joan Freeman: 4.75% Gavin Duffy: 1.489%.

The total Clare electorate was 83,044. The total poll was 41,871 and there were 449 invalid votes giving a total valid poll of 41,422.

Comparisons between the 2018 and 2011 Presidential Elections in Clare make interesting reading. Michael D Higgins, who was proposed by the Labour |Party in 2011, has increased his first preference vote in the county he was reared by 10% from 44.3% to 54.654% while Séan Gallagher has seen his vote slump from 31.4% seven years ago to just 5.52%.

The vote for two different Sinn Féin candidates has halved in the same period. The late Martin McGuinness won 10.5% of the first preference share in 2011 while Liadh Ni Riadha only managed 5.277%.

The distribution for the other candidates was Gay Mitchell, Fine Gael: 6.4%; David Norris, Independent: 3.6%; Dana Rosemary Scallon: 2.1% and Mary Davis: 1.9%


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