Landslide Presidential victory for Michael D. Higgins




Big vote for Casey in  Roscommon



Last Friday (October 26th), as expected, Michael D. Higgins became the first President since Éamon de Valera in 1966 to be elected for a second term as President of Ireland following a landslide victory in which he secured 55.8% (822,566) of the vote.  

  Independent candidate Peter Casey, who had caused controversy with comments he made in relation to the travelling community and social welfare recipients in the run-up to the vote, came a distant second with 342,727 votes (23%) despite a late surge.

  There was a 49.33% turnout in Roscommon-Galway where Michael D. Higgins secured 14,246 votes (45.06%) and Peter Casey secured 10,918 votes (34.54%), far ahead of the remaining candidates. Casey did however manage to come out on top at a total of 23 polling booths across the Roscommon-Galway constituency.

  Accepting the “great honour bestowed upon him”, President Higgins said: “The people have made a choice as to which version of Irishness they want reflected at home and abroad.

  “It is the making of hope they wish to share rather than the experience of any exploitation of division or fear”.

  He added: “I will be a president for all the people, for those who voted for me and those who did not.

  “I am so proud of this country, I am proud to be a president for all of you and with all of you, and I look forward with joy and hope to all that we will achieve together”.

  Meanwhile, businessman Seán Gallagher failed to improve on his showing in 2011, securing just 94,514 votes (6.4%) while Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ní Ríadh was fourth on 93,987 (6.3%) with Joan Freeman in fifth with 87,908 (6%) and Gavin Duffy last with 32,198 (2.2%).

  There was a turnout of 43.9% (1,492,338), which was down 12.2% from the 2011 Presidential Election.

  In the blasphemy referendum meanwhile, voters voted 56% in favour of removing the word from the constitution.