Poll shows surprise surge for Peter Casey | Ireland

27 Octobre, 2018, 15:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • President Michael D Higgins casts his vote with his wife Sabina for the Presidential Election at St Mary’s Hospital Phoenix Park this morning

Counting begins today in Ireland's presidential election, which looks set to see the incumbent Michael D Higgins easily re-elected.

The biggest surprise in RTÉ's nationwide survey was Peter Casey with 20.7 per cent of first preferences.

The results also indicate that the Sinn Fein MEP, Liadh Ni Riada, received 7.4% of the vote, while Senator Joan Freeman got 6.3% and the businessman and former Dragons' Den investor, Sean Gallagher, got 5.5%.

The results of both polls, which were published at 10pm as polling stations across the country closed, indicate that Gavin Duffy secured the lowest number of votes at 2%.

In terms of this, voters are being asked whether to remove or retain Article 40.6 of the Constitution which makes blasphemy an offence.

Unofficial figures from polling stations, suggested that as of this lunchtime, turnout is much less than the last vote, the referendum to repeal the eighth amendment back in May.

RTE's exit poll found that 71.1% said they had voted Yes and that 26.3% had voted No, while the Irish Times poll predicted that 69% had backed the proposal and 31% had voted against the change.

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Opinion polls throughout the campaign consistently placed Mr Higgins as the favourite to win, despite being plagued by questions over presidential expenses.

Mr Higgins defended the use of the jet by suggesting he was advised he could not receive a police escort north of the border.

Mr Casey faced calls to withdraw after he claimed Travellers were simply people camping on someone else's land and that Ireland's recognition of them as members of an ethnic minority was "a load of nonsense".

It appears there is a disconnect among some young voters to this election, with one officer at the northside school telling the Leader that during May's referendum, there were far more youngsters coming in early to vote. He was elected in 2011.

If re-elected, the 77-year old will become the fifth Irish president to serve for two terms.

Four presidents - Sean T O'Kelly, Eamon de Valera, Patrick Hillery and Mary McAleese - served for 14 years.

A result is expected this evening, or by early Sunday at the latest.

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