Follow the Counts

Follow the Counts

IT Thu, Oct 27

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  • 08:13
    Good morning to one and all. Welcome to our liveblog of the election count. Eoin Burke-Kennedy here to shepherd you through the ins and outs of the count. As ever, I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments so feel free to drop me a line.
  • 08:24
    Counting in each constituency begins at 9am with the opening of the ballot boxes. Votes for the presidential election will be counted first, followed by counting in the judges’ remuneration referendum and then counting in the inquiries’ referendum. The counting of votes in the referendums will not start until after the result of the presidential ballot. Needless to say, it’s going to be a long weekend.
  • 08:30
    Predicting the times of election results is not an exact science, and having such a large field of candidates is likely to complicate matters. Reliable sources, however, inform me that we should have a strong indication which way it’s going by this evening and possibly a result before midnight.
  • 08:44
    The big question of course is just how badly damaged Sean Gallagher was by last Monday’s Prime Time ambush.  As one pundit put it, the good ship Gallagher has been holed; the question is whether it’s above or below the waterline. Judging by some of the vox pops on RTÉ radio this morning, support for him remains strong in many parts.
  • 08:55
    As in most Irish elections, transfers will be key. Just remember Mary Robinson was behind Brian Lenihan on the first count by 82,000 votes in 1990 but then overtook him on the second count after gaining Austin Currie’s second preferences by a five-to-one margin.
  • 09:01
    And they're off! The counting of votes to elect the State's ninth president has begun.
  • 09:12
    Garda Elaine O' Donoghue stands watch over ballot boxes assembled for the presidential election at Dublin's RDS
    Garda Elaine O' Donoghue stands watch over ballot boxes assembled for the presidential election at Dublin's RDS
  • 09:14
    Lest we forget, we do also have the Dublin West by-election to fill the Dáil seat left vacant by the death of Brian Lenihan. Cllr Patrick Nulty of Labour is the favourite with bookmakers, with the Fine Gael candidate Cllr Eithne Loftus, the second favourite. Cllr Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party is also considered a strong candidate. The Fianna Fáil candidate is Cllr David McGuinness. Sinn Féin candidate Cllr Paul Donnelly is also expected to improve.
  • 09:27
    Voter turnout will, no doubt, be a talking point with most pundits predicting something in the 50s - pretty low, I would of thought, given the rough and tumble of the campaign. Some 47% of the electorate voted in the last Áras poll in 1997.
  • 09:45
    What do our friends in Paddypower bookmakers know that we don’t? They’ve changed the odds on Michael D and Gallagher three times in the last 24 hours. Prior to the count, they had the Labour man at 1/6 to be the next president ahead of Gallagher at 7/2 and McGuinness at 22/1.
  • 09:52
    Early tally from Cork South Central: Michael D – 45.3%, Gallagher – 23.8%, McGuinness 16.2%, Norris – 5.3%, Mitchell – 4.5%, Scallon – 2.6% and Davis – 2.1%. Now there is a health warning with this: only 8 of the 197 boxes have been counted.
  • 09:57
    With 20 boxes open in Longford/Westmeath: Michael D and Gallagher are said to be neck and neck.
  • 10:01
    One of my colleagues is already calling it for Michael D with less than 1 per cent of the boxes open. No prizes for guessing which way he voted.
  • 10:06
    Early tally from Dublin South West: Higgins - 44.62%, Gallagher - 22.13%, McG - 12.15%, Mitchell -  6.8%, Norris - 8.97%,  Davis - 3.02%, Scallan - 2.23% after 29 boxes
  • 10:10
    Early tally from Dublin North West (after 6 boxes): Higgins - 38.7%, McGuinness - 24.5%,  Gallagher - 18.2%, Norris - 11.7%, Mitchell - 2.6%, Davis - 2.6%, Scallon - 1.5%
  • 10:12
    There's no doubt Michael D seems to be polling well at this stage but it's early days.
  • 10:14
    There are reports that in one box in Roscommon town, Mitchell only received four first preference votes. Ouch!
  • 10:26
    Counting gets underway at Dublin's RDS
    Counting gets underway at Dublin's RDS
  • 10:38
    Sean Gallagher's manager Richard Moore tells RTÉ's Pat Kenny the omens are not good. Regarding the infamous TV debate, Moore complained about RTÉ's use of the Sinn Féin tweet. Whatever happens it will go down as one of the greatest acts of political sabotage.
  • 10:42
    Here's our first video of the count from Dublin's RDS:
  • 10:51
    Early tallies: McGuinness to top poll in Monaghan, Gallagher will top in Cavan. However, Michael D polling well across all boxes.
  • 10:55
    Early tally from Dublin North Central: Michael D - 40.5%, Sean Gallagher - 23%, McGuinness - 19.5%, Norris - 10.5%, Mitchell - 5%, Davis - 4%, Dana - 3%.
  • 10:57
    The pro-referendum people in Government  were rude, arrogant and contemptuous of opposing opinions, Noel Whelan tells RTÉ. There seems to have been a great deal of confusion about the referendum votes, not just about the issues but also about how the questions were presented on the ballot. Polling station staff told me yesterday there had been a large number of spoiled votes.
  • 11:05
    Jim Didn't vote for Gallagher but Richard Moore has a point. Pat Kenny reading out a bogus tweet without his background team checking it first was a huge moment in this campaign and questions have to be asked about their competence.
  • 11:11
    Dublin South East tally after 33% of boxes counted: Michael D - 46%, Gallagher  - 16%, McGuinness - 15%, Norris - 12%.
  • 11:15
    Tally from Dublin West by-election after 70% of votes counted: Labour's Nulty - 25.2%, FF's McGuinness - 22%, Socialist Cllr Ruth Coppinger - 20.2%, Fine Gael's Eithne Loftus - 14.8% and SF's Paul Donnelly - 8.2%.Labour Party says its "quietly confident".
  • 11:16
    Senator David Norris has just congratulated Michael D on becoming the next Irish president.
  • 11:18
    Michael D's own constituency of Galway West suggests the Labour man has 60 per cent of the vote - four times that of Sean Gallagher.
  • 11:23
    A general view of the RDS Count centre as ballot boxes were opened this morning
    A general view of the RDS Count centre as ballot boxes were opened this morning
  • 11:24
    Fine Gael's Brian Hayes has conceded his party will not win the seat in Dublin West by-election.
  • 11:24
    pat Regardless of the tweet, the fact that the story was not brought out earlier by the media would suggest that they have questions to answer.
  • 11:27
    In the end, eldlerly voters turned out and Gallagher's implication that Michael D was 'too old' did him no favours, says Newstalk's Marc Coleman.
  • 11:40
    Ronan King from Mary Davis campaign said: "Unfortunately it didn't happen for her". He said she suffered from negative campaigning against her.
  • 11:43
    John O'Keefe from Dana's campaign team said there's no doubt Dana was seen as "a metaphor for the Roman Catholic Church" which counted against her.
  • 11:47
    David Norris campaign spokesman Paul Allen says his candidate "never crumbled" during his run for the Áras. He said the number of apologies coming in from newspapers was "somewhat staggering", adding the media campaign was "very tough".
  • 11:50
  • 11:54
    With almost 50% of boxes in Louth tallied. Michael D - 35%, Sean Gallagher 29%, McGuinness 21%.
  • 11:56
    Dublin West by-election (100% tally): Labour's Nulty - 24.3%, FF's McGuinness - 21.7%, Socialist Party's Coppinger - 21%, FG's Loftus - 14.8%. Strong result for FF.
  • 12:10
    It seems Michael D will be the country's next president if early tallies are anything to go by. From a seemingly unassailable position in the polls last weekend, the Gallagher bandwagon has crashed, spectacularly. McGuinness will most likely outstrip his party’s national vote and return to the North with his head held high. In contrast, Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell has polled dismally, just as the opinion polls predicted. Coupled with a poor showing in the Dublin West by-election and doubt over one of the referendums, this is a bad day for Fine Gael.
  • 12:38
    Tallies from Labour Party and Sinn Fein activists indicate Martin McGuinness and Independent Sean Gallagher could be vying for second place in some Dublin constituencies. Michael D is leading the pack with more than 36 per cent in Dublin North East, with 50% of boxes open. Gallagher is on 22%, with Mr McGuinness close to 20 %.Mr Higgins is thought to be at around 35.5% in Dublin North West. A Sinn Fein tally puts Mr McGuinness at 24.7% in that constituency, with Mr Gallagher trailing on 19.21%.
  • 12:48
    With 53% of boxes open in Cavan-Monaghan: Gallagher is leading with 42%, Michael D and McGuinness in joint second on 21%, Mitchell 8%, Norris 3%, Scallon 3% and Davis 2%
  • 12:50
  • 12:55
    Red C Recall Poll for RTÉ News, 28% of voters switched their first preference in the last 5 days, of whom 58% switched from Gallagher. It's official, Sinn Féin's attack on Gallagher on RTÉ's Prime Time delivered the election to Labour's Michael D.
  • 13:00
    First count in the presidential election will be at 6pm with final count due by 12.30am, according to returning officer in Dublin Castle.
  • 13:07
    Final tally from Dun Laoghaire: Michael D - 51.4%, Gallagher - 18.3%, Norris - 10.3%, McGuinness - 7.5%.
  • 13:10
    Another pic from the RDS count centre in Dublin
    Another pic from the RDS count centre in Dublin
  • 13:32
    Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore pays tribute to Michael D, saying he ran a campaign based on ideas. "I’m quite the certain the next president will be Michael D Higgins and I’d like to send my love and congratulations to Michael D, to Sabina and the rest of the family." However, the Labour leader accepted RTÉ's Frontline programme on Monday had a huge bearing on the outcome. He denied a No vote in the inquiries' referendum would be a rebuff for the Government.
  • 13:33
    On the evidence of early tallies, Davis and Dana are nowhere near qualifying to be reimbursed for their election expenses and may even be eliminated on first count. Candidates who win a quarter of a quota, which in the presidential election amounts to marginally over 12.5% of the vote, are entitled to be reimbursed by the State for election expenses up to €200,000.
  • 13:45
    DJ Norris on the decks
    DJ Norris on the decks
  • 13:49
    Sinn Fein's Aengus Ó Snodaigh sees McGuinness getting between 15-16% of the vote. Sinn Féin won 10% of the vote in February's general election.
  • 14:00
  • 14:10
    Michael D is hoovering up votes in the capital. He's topping the poll in Dublin South East with 53 per cent (with 77% of boxes open) well ahead of Gallagher on 14% with Norris in third on 12% and Mitchell and McGuinness tied on 8%. In Dublin South Central, the Labour man is at 39% (with 75% of boxes open), followed by McGuinness on 18%, Gallagher at 14% with Mitchell and Norris tied at 12%.In Dublin Central, Higgins is at 43.77% with Gallagher on 16.32% and McGuinness very close to him on 16.21%.
  • 14:13
    Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin congratulates Michael D on becoming the next Irish president (notice it's still lowercase p until the inauguration). "His command of global issues and commitment to human rights was significant and I have no doubt that human rights and humanitarian issues will be a significant part of his presidency," Martin said.
  • 14:27
    Brian Hayes's expression sums up the day for Fine Gael
    Brian Hayes's expression sums up the day for Fine Gael
  • 14:42
    According to an official in Dublin Castle, the first count will now be between 7pm and 8pm. Each further count - depending on transfers - will take up to 2 hours. The final result is expected to be announced by returning officer Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile some time after midnight provided there is a clear frontrunner.
  • 14:58
    Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan says Michael D did not expect such a "decisive" victory. Speaking at the count centre in Limerick where Higgins secured almost 50% of first preference votes according to tallies of city boxes, O’Sullivan said today was a “great day for the Labour Party”.
  • 15:12
    Bloomberg says politician-turned-poet Michael D. Higgins is "pretty much certain" to become Ireland's next president.
  • 15:18
    Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has congratulated Michael D Higgins. He said the FG result was poor but not a disaster.
  • 15:28
    RTE's David McCullagh predicts - on the basis of tallies across all 43 constituencies -  Michael D will get around 39-40% of the first preference vote followed by Gallagher on 27-28%, McGuinness on 15% with Mitchell and Norris vying for fourth place, both on 6%. So if this is correct; Higgins and Gallagher have essentially switched places in the polls from last weekend.
  • 15:44
    We have the first official count/final result from Dublin Mid-West: Michael D - 40.3%,  Gallagher - 22.1%, McGuinness - 15.9%, Norris - 10.2%, Mitchell - 6.2%, Davis - 3.1%, Dana - 2%
  • 15:55
    We have the second official count of the day from Dublin South West: Michael D - 40.1%,  Gallagher - 22%, McGuinness - 16.6%, Norris - 8.6%, Mitchell - 6.5%, Davis - 3.1%, Dana - 2.2%
  • 16:05
    Fine Gael’s deputy director of election Frank Flannery acknowledged that its candidate Gay Mitchell  was not what the public was looking for this time around. “I think the reality of the election was that the public wanted a candidate in the office of president almost as similar as they could to the two recent ones who they see as people of stature and people of independence, with the presidency an office in its own right and not related to or not the property of any political party,” he said. “In a way the more closely a candidate was associated with a political party I think the more difficult it was to fit that public profile.”
  • 16:16
    The turnout: Dublin Mid West - 53%, Dublin South West - 52.4%, Kildare North - 56.7%. It looks like we're going to get an overall turnout in the mid to low 50s, substantially less than the 70.1% recorded in February's general election.
  • 16:20
    Third official result of the day - Kildare North: Higgins - 45.8%, Gallagher - 26.9%, McGuinness - 8.8%, Norris - 8.1%, Mitchell - 5.5%, Davis - 2.8%, Scallon - 2.1%
  • 16:36
    Dublin West by-election first official count: Labour's Nulty - 8,665 votes, FF's McGuinness - 7,742, Socialist Party's Coppinger 7,542, FG's Loftus - 5,263. SF's Donnelly 3,173. No candidate has reached the quota of 17,852. A second count has commenced.
  • 16:42
    Fourth count of the day - Dublin West: Higgins - 43.2%, Gallagher - 24.1%, McGuinness - 11.9%, Norris - 10.1%, Mitchell - 5.3%, Davis - 3.3%, Scallon 2%.
  • 16:51
    SF's Gerry Adams says surge in support for Higgins came about following TV debate while Labour leader Eamon Gilmore claims Higgins was turning the tide anyway. Who said politicians can never be impartial?
  • 16:54
    Fifth official result of the day from Dublin South: Higgins - 51.1%, Gallagher - 20%, Norris - 9.8%, Gay Mitchell - 7.3%, McGuinness - 6.5%, Davis - 3.3% and Scallon - 2%.
  • 16:57
    Gallagher concedes defeat to Higgins. In a statement just issued, Gallagher said: "In the last hour I've called Michael D. Higgins to congratulate him on his performance and his success in this election. He will have my full support as president and I sincerely thank him for a positive campaign. His slogan stated that he would be a president to be proud of and I believe he will be that president."
  • 17:03
    The sixth official result of the day comes from Dun Laoghaire: Higgins - 52.5%, Gallagher - 17.7%, Norris - 10.2%, Mitchell - 7%, McGuinness - 6.9%, Davis - 3.5%, Scallon - 2.2%.
  • 17:08
    Labour's Patrick Nulty celebrates his position at the front of the poll in Dublin West byelection.
    Labour's Patrick Nulty celebrates his position at the front of the poll in Dublin West byelection.
  • 17:18
    Donegal North East - first offical count: McGuinness - 32.2%, Gallagher - 28.2%, Higgins - 23.1%, Scallon - 6.7%, Mitchell - 4.9%, Norris - 2.8%, Davis - 2.1%. Good result for Sinn Fein.
  • 17:24
    Press Agency news piece states: "Part-time poet on course to be elected in Irish election, beating an ex-IRA commander and a reality TV star." Colourful?.
  • 17:25
    Dublin North - first official count: Higgins - 44.8%, Gallagher - 25.5%, McGuinness -  10.4%, Norris - 9.8%, Mitchell - 4.4%, Davis - 3.2%, Scallon - 1.8%.
  • 17:40
    Tipperary South - first official count: Higgins - 35.4%, Gallagher -34.1%, McGuinness -  13%, Mitchell - 7.8%, Norris - 4.4%, Scallon - 3%, Davis 2.4%
  • 17:44
    Minister for Justice Alan Shatter congratulates Higgins, claims Mitchell fought a brave campaign but did not "gel with the electorate".
  • 17:49
    We're still waiting for a pic of our president -elect. Where is Mr Higgins? Does anybody know? Presumably, he'll appear for the first official count at Dublin Castle  - due between 7-8pm.
  • 17:57
    Mary Davis has tweeted her congratulations to Higgins, wishing with him "every success for the next 7 years in the Áras".
  • 18:03
    After the second count in the Dublin Mid West byelection four candidates remain,  Patrick Nulty (Labour) remains in the lead with David McGuinness (FF) in second followed by Ruth Coppinger (Socialist Party) and Eithne Loftus (FG)  in fourth place. Roderic O'Gorman (Greens) and Paul Donnelly (Sinn Fein) eliminated.
  • 18:07
    I'm hearing Higgins is on his way to Dublin Castle and that he'll be there shortly. Gilmore has arrived.
  • 18:15
    A garda watches Minister for Justice Alan Shatter on a TV screen at Dublin Castle
    A garda watches Minister for Justice Alan Shatter on a TV screen at Dublin Castle
  • 18:19
    After the third count in the Dublin Mid West byelection: Labour's Nulty - 10,186 votes, Socialist Party's Coppinger 9,368, FF's McGuinness - 8,720, FG's Loftus - 5942. Loftus eliminated. Fourth count underway.
  • 18:28
    Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell congratulates Higgins on election victory. In a statement just released, Mitchell said: "This afternoon I telephoned Michael D. Higgins and congratulated him on his success in becoming the President-elect. Mr Higgins will make an excellent President and his wife, Sabina, will be an excellent first lady. My loyal support is with them and I wish them every blessing for the years ahead."
  • 18:32
    Gilmore concedes Frontline debate and Gallagher's subsequent interviews had a big impact on the campaign but insists Higgins attracted a wide range of support.
  • 18:37
    McGuinness extends congratulations to Higgins on his election victory. He said Higgins will make a fine president. Of his own campaign, McGuinness said: “I am delighted with the strong vote I have received. My message of positive leadership, patriotism and commitment clearly was resonating with tens of thousands of ordinary Irish people."
  • 18:59
    First official count from Mayo: Higgins - 38.1%, Gallagher - 32.2%, McGuinness - 11.7%, Norris - 6.7%, Mitchell - 6.3%, Davis - 2.8%, Scallon - 2.3%
  • 19:07
    Dana Rosemary Scallon congratulates Higgins. She said: "His wife Sabina and his family are a great support to him and I hope that their time is Aras an Uachtaráin will be happy and successful. I’m sure  the supporters in Galway are particularly proud of him at this time."
  • 19:20
    Good evening, Charlie Taylor taking over on the Liveblog from Eoin-Burke Kennedy for the remainder of the night.

    We've a few more results just in:

    Cork North Central: Higgins 37.6%; Gallagher 28.1%; McGuinness 20%; Norris 5.1%; Mitchell 4.7%; Scallon 2.9%; Davis 1.7%

    Dublin North Central: Higgins 46.4%; Gallagher 20.1%; McGuinness 11.2%; Norris 10.5%; Mitchell 5.9%; Davis 3.5%; Scallon 2.5%
  • 19:24
    And a few more results...

    Dublin North West: Higgins 38.8%; Gallagher 20.3%; McGuinness 19.9%; Norris 10.6%; Mitchell 4.4%; Davis 3.7%; Scallon 2.3%

    Clare: Higgins 44.3%; Gallagher 31.4%; McGuinness 10.5%; Mitchell 5.4%; Norris 3.6%; Scallon 2.8%; Davis 1.9%

    Cork South Central: Higgins 45%; Gallagher 24.9%; McGuinness 14.1%; Norris 6.5%; Mitchell 4.7%; Scallon 2.8%; Davis 2%
  • 19:34
    Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has congratulated Michael D Higgins on his victory in what he described as a "milestone election."

    “The very strong performance by Martin McGuinness is confirmation that there is an appetite amongst the Irish people for a real republic based on the values of genuine citizenship," he said.

     “People see Sinn Féin leading the North. They see Sinn Féin as the main opposition party in the Dáil and a significant political force right across Ireland. Martin’s campaign and this election result confirms this beyond any doubt," he added.
  • 19:37
    First official count from Wexford: Higgins 36.2%, Gallagher 33.9%, McGuinness 14.0%, Mitchell 6.0%, Norris 4.8%, Scallon 2.5%, Davis 2.5%
  • 19:39
    First official count from Limerick: Higgins 38.7%; Gallagher 33.5%; McGuinness 10.6%; Mitchell 7.8%; Norris 3.7%; Scallon 3.4%; Davis 2.2%
  • 19:45
  • 19:45
    Here's some video of Eamon Gilmore speaking at the RDS centre

  • 19:50
    A full recount has been announced in the Dublin West byelection with just 18 votes separating runner-up David McGuinness (FF) from third-placed Ruth Coppinger (Socialist Party) after the distribution of Fine Gael's Eithne Loftus's votes. The recount, which was called for by the Socialists, will not affect the overall result of the count.

  • 19:55
    And here's some more results coming in:

    First count from Kerry South: Higgins 36.7%; Gallagher 30.6%; McGuinness 14.9%; Mitchell 7.3%; Norris 3.9%; Scallon 3.9%; Davis 2.7%

    First count from Waterford: Higgins 38.7%; Gallagher 31%; McGuinness 13.6%; Mitchell 5.9%; Norris 5.8%; Scallon 2.9%; Davis 2.2%

    First count from Kerry North-West Limerick:
    Higgins 37.9%; Gallagher 29%; McGuinness 16.8%; Mitchell 6.5%; Norris 3.8%; Scallon 3.7%; Davis 2.2%
  • 19:58
    First count from Wicklow: Higgins 41.6%, Gallagher 28.4%, McGuinness 11.6%, Norris 8.0%, Mitchell 4.8%, Davis 3.1%, Scallon 2.4%
  • 19:58
    Sinn Féin's presidential candidate Martin McGuinness has arrived at the count centre in Dublin Castle
  • 20:02
    First count from Longford-Westmeath: Higgins 35.5%; Gallagher 33.7%; McGuinness 13.1%; Mitchell 7.5%; Norris 4.8%; Scallon 3.4%; Davis 2.1%

    First count from Roscommon-South Leitrim: Gallagher 36%; Higgins 31.8%; McGuinness 14.6%; Mitchell 6.5%; Scallon 4.4%; Norris 3.7%; Davis 3%
  • 20:02
    Former president Mary Robinson has passed on her congratulations to Michael D Higgins this evening.

    "In a unique way, my husband Nick, our family and myself understand the journey that Michael, Sabina and their family have travelled over recent months and the huge commitment he is making to represent the people of Ireland," she said.

    "I wish him every good health and happiness as he sets out to fulfil his vision for the Presidency and builds on the excellent work he has undertaken in his time as a public representative and teacher. He will be enormously supported by the very strong mandate he has received in the election."
  • 20:08
    Here's a photo of Paul Allen (left) and John O'Keeffe (right) the PRs for David Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon respectively engaged in a 'where did it all go wrong' debate at Dublin Castle earlier today. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire
    Here's a photo of Paul Allen (left) and John O'Keeffe (right) the PRs for David Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon respectively engaged in a "where did it all go wrong" debate at Dublin Castle earlier today. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire
  • 20:09
    First count from Carlow-Kilkenny: Higgins 36.7%; Gallagher 33.8%; McGuinness 12.4%; Mitchell 7.7%; Norris 4.8%, Scallon 2.7%; Davis 1.9%
  • 20:26
    Sinn Féin presidential candidate Martin McGuinness has tonight described his involvement in the campaign as "an experience of a lifetime".

    Speaking at Dublin Castle a short time ago he also said his third place showing was a great result for Sinn Féin.

    Asked if the campaign had been tough, Mr McGuinness said the handling of the campaign by his critics had been “an eye opener” for many people all over the Ireland.
  • 20:32
    First count from Galway West: Higgins 57.6%; Gallagher 18.5%; McGuinness 10.7%; Mitchell 4.6%; Scallon 3.5%; Norris 3.3%; Davis 1.8%
  • 20:33
  • 20:42
    First count from Cavan-Monaghan: Gallagher 45.1%; McGuinness 20.6%; Higgins 19.8%; Mitchell 7.1%; Norris 2.8%; Scallon 2.7%; Davis 1.8%
  • 20:47
    Gerry Adams has been heaping more praise on Martin McGuinness this evening. Speaking at Dublin Castle he hailed his party colleague for bringing life to what was initially a "lacklustre campaign."

    “I’m very pleased the Sinn Féin vote was consolidated and that Martin brought out an extra vote across the State,” he said. “Those who were most hostile, Fine Gael, were beaten by Sinn Féin in every constituency.”
  • 20:51
    Michael D Higgins is arriving at the National Count Centre
  • 21:02
    Séan Gallagher has also arrived at the National Count Centre where he was loudly cheered
  • 21:02
    Arriving at Dublin Castle shortly before 9pm, Mr Higgins said he was   “very happy with the vote and the support”.

    He added: “I’m very glad it was so decisive and it will enable me to   be a president for all the people.”

    He thanked the other candidates.
  • 21:08
    The Socialist Party's Joe Higgins is fuming at the "quite outrageous" comments made by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar earlier tonight.

    Mr Varadkar accused the Socialist Party of "wasting time and public money" after it demanded a full recount in the Dublin West byelection.

    The recount was requested after it emerged that just 18 votes separated FF's David McGuinness from third-placed Socialist Party candidate Ruth Coppinger. The recount will not stop Labour candidate Patrick Nulty from taking the seat made vacant after the death of Brian Lenihan
  • 21:13
    First count declaration at Dublin Castle: Mary Davis and Rosemary Dana Scallon are eliminated
  • 21:15
    Here's the votes the candidates got in the first count declaration:

    Higgins 701,101, (39.6%)

    Gallagher 504,964 (28.5%)

    McGuinness 243,030 (13.7%)

    Mitchell 113,321 (6.4%)

    Norris 109,469 (6.2%)

    Scallon 51,220 (2.9%)

    Davis 48,657 (2.7%)
  • 21:31
    More from Michael D at Dublin Castle...

    ''I'm very happy. I'm happy with the vote and the support. I'm very glad that it is so decisive, that the transfers also indicate that it will enable me to be a president for all of the people. I pay tribute to the other candidates for their very long, hard campaign, and they had many good ideas which I will incorporate.''
  • 21:31
    A closer look at the voting figures shows that turnout was highest in Dublin North Central (64.01 per cent) and Dublin South (61.93 per cent). It was lowest in Donegal South-West (48.42 per cent) and Donegal North-East (48.79 per cent).

  • 21:38
    Ahh! Here's defeated candidate Sean Gallagher shaking hands and congratulating Michael D Higgins at the announcement of the first preference votes at the count centre in Dublin Castle a short time ago. Photograph: Julian Behal/PA Wire
    Ahh! Here's defeated candidate Sean Gallagher shaking hands and congratulating Michael D Higgins at the announcement of the first preference votes at the count centre in Dublin Castle a short time ago. Photograph: Julian Behal/PA Wire
  • 21:41
    Séan Gallagher has paid tribute to Michael D Higgins tonight for coming out on top at the end of what he described as “an enduring campaign”.

    Arriving at Dublin Castle with his wife Trish O’Connor, Mr Gallagher said the night was not about him but rather celebrating the victory of Michael D.

    “He has given a lifetime of service to this country and I know he will be an outstanding president,” Mr Gallagher said.

    Asked if he blamed Martin McGuinness - who raised questions about his involvement in Fianna Fail fundraising activities earlier this week – for his drop from top of opinion polls to second in the vote, Mr Gallagher said “tonight is not a night for blame”.
  • 21:44
    Séan Gallagher would not say if he was disappointed with tonight's outcome. The defeated candidate said he hadn't made a decision about whether he would run for political office in the future
  • 21:46
    Lots of people wondering if car trouble was stopping Dana from turning up at the count centre this evening. The good news is she's finally arrived!
  • 21:52
    She may have been late but Dana served up a biting comment on her way in to the count centre.

    The former Eurovision winner said she'd been glad to be part of a "challenging" campaign and said she did not know whether she'd run for president again.

    “I think I might be too old to run for president again. Oh no, maybe not, because I'd still be younger than Michael D. But however, I think, it's really great to have come through a campaign. I think all of the candidates...we all face different challenges.”
  • 22:00
    Here's Dana addressing the media at the count centre. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
    Here's Dana addressing the media at the count centre. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
  • 22:03
    Mary Davis is consoled by a friend after being eliminated earlier this evening. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
    Mary Davis is consoled by a friend after being eliminated earlier this evening. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
  • 22:06
    And here's all the candidates (except Dana) and their partners at the count this evening. Photograph: Julian Behal/PA
    And here's all the candidates (except Dana) and their partners at the count this evening. Photograph: Julian Behal/PA
  • 22:09
    Tweet from RTÉ's Bryan Dobson:  "Áras count - now hearing that 2nd count might not be until 11.30 so count could be suspended to resume in the morning"
  • 22:16
    Ahh! Michael D gets a well-deserved hug from his wife Sabina while Sean Gallagher and his wife Trish look on. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire
    Ahh! Michael D gets a well-deserved hug from his wife Sabina while Sean Gallagher and his wife Trish look on. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire
  • 22:18
    Mary Davis has said she had no regrets about contesting the presidential election.

    Speaking to reporters at Dublin Castle she said the campaign had at times been “dirty” and was more challenging than she expected.

    “I knew going into the campaign that it was going to be difficult,” she said.

    “I didn’t go into the campaign with my eyes closed for sure. It was more challenging at times than I expected. It was a dirty campaign, there’s no doubt about that, you can see that yourselves.”
  • 22:30
    Some centres have completed their second counts including:

    Second count from Tipperary south: Higgins gets  30.1% of Dana/Davis transfers, Gallagher 25.2%,McGuinness 9%, Mitchell 13.2%, Norris 6.8%

    Second count from Limerick city: Higgins gets 30.5% of Davis/Dana transfers, Gallagher 21.5%,McGuinness 8.4%,Norris 8.3%, Mitchell 15.3%
  • 22:37
  • 22:37
    Baffled by what's going on? Here's a short video of 'Irish Times' political correspondent Harry McGee giving his analysis of the first count
  • 22:45
    Latest reports suggest a long night is ahead of us with the returning officer determined to get the full presidential count finished this evening if possible. We're expecing the second count declaration to be made about 11.30pm
  • 22:52
  • 22:52
    Here's some video of Michael D. Higgins arrival at the count centre this evening
  • 22:57
    Here are the second count results from Tipp South and Limerick city after the Dana/Davis transfers:

    Tipperary South: Higgins 37% (+523 votes); Gallagher 35.5% (+438); McGuinness 13.5% (+156); Mitchell 8.5% (+230); Norris 4.8% (+118)

    Limerick City: Higgins 50.8% (+504 votes); Gallagher 23.3% (+355); McGuinness 12.5% (+138); Norris 6.4% (+137); Mitchell 6.3% (+253)
  • 23:00
    Second count from Donegal North East : McGuinness 34.1% (+541 votes); Gallagher 30.6% (+661); Higgins 24.9% (+519); Mitchell 5.8% (+245); Norris 3.2% (+123)
  • 23:01
    The second count declaration is now not expected till at least 12am
  • 23:08
    Second count from Galway East: Higgins 48.1% (+906 votes); Gallagher 30.3% (+665), McGuinness 10.9% (+259), Mitchell 6.9% (+337), Norris 2.8% (+139)
  • 23:16
    Second count from Longford-Westmeath: Higgins 36.9% (+661 votes), Gallagher 35.1% (+646), McGuinness 13.7% (+281),Mitchell 8.3% (+351);, Norris 5.1% (+153)

    Second count from Cork South Central: Higgins 46.4% (+740 votes), Gallagher 26.1% (+605), McGuinness 14.5% (+196), Norris 6.8% (+202), Mitchell 5.4% (+394)
  • 23:24
  • 23:24
    Here's some video footage of Dana arriving at the count centre earlier this evening
  • 23:34
    And the second count results are now coming in thick and fast...

    Second count from Laois-Offaly: Gallagher 39.0% (+810 votes); Higgins 33.0% (+752); McGuinness 13.5% (+279); Mitchell 7.2% (+370); Norris 6.4% (+236)

    Second count from Dublin North East: Higgins 45.9% (+688 votes); Gallagher 22.5% (+529); McGuinness 13.7% (+196); Norris 11% (+218); Mitchell 5.9% (+280)

    Second Count from Meath East: Higgins 39.6% (+537 votes); Gallagher 33.4% (+439); McGuinness 12% (+134); Norris 7.1% (+146); Mitchell 7% (+259)

    Second count from Limerick: Higgins 40.3% (+566 votes); Gallagher 34.9% (+515); McGuinness 11.1% (+184); Mitchell 8.7% (+302); Norris 4.1% (+125)

    Second count from Dublin North West: Higgins 40.5% (+414 votes); Gallagher 21.6% (+339); McGuinness 20.6% (+157); Norris 11.1% (+127); Mitchell 5.3% (+222)

    Second count from Dublin South: Higgins 52.9% (+1,169 votes); Gallagher 21.2% (+723); Norris 10.3% (+295); Mitchell 8.3% (+596); McGuinness 6.8% (+196)

    Second count from Dublin North: Higgins 46.4% (+614 votes); Gallagher 26.6% (+440); McGuinness 10.8% (+160); Norris 10.4% (+205); Mitchell 5.1% (+252)
  • 23:43
    Here's a great resource for those still up and twiddling their thumbs between counts It's a fantastic blog with maps of how well the candidates did in each constitutency
  • 23:56
    28 of 43 constituencies have now been returned
  • 00:08
    We're now looking at 12.30am for a second count declaration...
  • 00:19
    Second count from Donegal South West: Gallagher +683 (34.5%), McGuinness +420 (29.8%),Higgins +542 votes (24.9%), Mitchell +246 (6.1%) Norris +119 (3.4%)

    Second count from Clare: Higgins +745 votes (45.9%), Gallagher +560 (32.6%), McGuinness +202 (11%), Mitchell +265 (6%), Norris +151 (4%)

    Second count from Dun Laoghaire: Higgins +901 votes (54.5%), Gallagher +599 (18.9%), Norris +265 (10.7%),  Mitchell +510 (8.1%), McGuinness +182 (7.3%)
  • 00:23
  • 00:26
    Tweet from RTÉ's David Davin Power
    "Second count due at one. Likely returning officer will call it a night then"
  • 00:40
    Second count for Kerry North - West Limerick: Higgins 13,521 (+574), Gallagher 10,419 (+510), McGuinness 5,954 (+215), Mitchell 2,475 (+254), Norris 1,417 (+116)

    Second count for Dublin South East: Higgins 16,886 (+571), Gallagher 4,497 (+318), Norris 3,738 (+164), Mitchell 2,755 (+269), McGuinness 2,402 (+113)
  • 00:42
    Second count for Galway West: Higgins 29,880 (+910), Gallagher 9,839 (+558), McGuinness 5,665 (+273), Mitchell 2,724 (+398), Norris 1,808 (+148)

    Second count for Mayo: Higgins 22,832 (+2,503),Gallagher 15,125 (+1,755),McGuinness 6,911 (+611), Mitchell 5,744 (+866), Norris 1,711 (+228)
  • 00:43
    Second count for Cork North West: Gallagher 14,794 (+432), Higgins 13,277 (+441), McGuinness 4,470 (+141), Mitchell 3,102 (+266), Norris 1,491 (+111)
  • 00:46
    Second count for Carlow-Kilkenny: Higgins 22,382 (+808), Gallagher 20,531 (+685), McGuinness 7,497 (+240), Mitchell 4,915 (+404), Norris 2,975 (+183)

    Second count for Wexford: Higgins 21,769 (+759), Gallagher 20,489 (+804),McGuinness 8,354 (+242), Mitchell 3,861 (+402), Norris 2,992 (+195)
  • 00:47
    Second count for Dublin Central: Higgins, 12,714 (+447), Gallagher 4,883 (+306), McGuinness 4,631 (+146), Norris 3,762 (+174), Mitchell 1,641 (+249)
  • 00:50
    Latest word is 20 minutes till the second count declaration...although given that we were initially told 11pm don't be surprised it it doesn't happen then
  • 00:52
    Second count for Cavan-Monaghan: Gallagher 26,972 (+822),McGuinness 12,275 (+335), Higgins 12,085 (+614), Mitchell 4,472 (+363), Norris 1,800 (+164)

    Second count for Kildare South: Higgins 12,939 (+492), Gallagher 10,142 (+409), McGuinness 3,687 (+134), Mitchell 2,089 (+123), Norris 1,876 (+195)
  • 00:54
    Further proof that a second count declaration is coming...'Irish Times' journalist Mary Minihan (@minihanmary) has just tweeted that a sound check is taking place at Dublin Castle
  • 00:58
    The latest from the Dublin West byelection is that there's a dead heat between the Socialist Party's Ruth Coppinger and Fianna Fáil's David McGuinness following the recount. Discussions are going on about whether they'll both concede in order to let Labour's Patrick Nulty take the seat left vacant following the death of Brian Lenihan
  • 00:59
    Second count for Cork South West: Gallagher 12,930 (+481), Higgins 12,559 (+512), McGuinness 4,776 (+168), Mitchell 3,353 (+318), Norris 1,634 (+100)
  • 01:07
    Surprise, surprise...the second count declaration has been put back till 1.20am - a total of 39 out of 43 constituencies have now completed the second count
  • 01:09
    Second count for Dublin West: Higgins 16,082 (+543), Gallagher 9,123 (+446), McGuinness 4,419 (+141), Norris 3,821 (+189), Mitchell 2,176 (+260)
  • 01:14
    Second count for Kerry South: Higgins 12,253 (+649), Gallagher 10,168 (+500), McGuinness 4,922 (+199), Mitchell 2,551 (+249), Norris 1,363 (+117)
  • 01:17
    The Socialist Party has offered to accept joint second place with FF in the Dublin West byelection and Fianna Fáil are considering the offer.

    Here's audio of Joe Higgins of the SP discussing the party's decision: (courtesy of @BrianGreene)
  • 01:25
    Most of the 'Irish Times' newsroom has gone home but Kilian Doyle and I are still holding out for the second court
    Most of the 'Irish Times' newsroom has gone home but Kilian Doyle and I are still holding out for the second court
  • 01:28
    Cllr Donall OBrien I would like to know how much a recount costs. They are well within their rights to call for them. I just wonder if it really is needed when nothing can be gained other than a few extra votes. Finishing second or third when they are only handing out gold medals seem irrelevant. I know if I was the candidate I would not call for a recount. But each to their own.
  • 01:36
    Believe it or not the second count declaration is happening now...
  • 01:39
    Second count: David Norris has been eliminated and the count adjourned until tomorrow morning
  • 01:44
    Here's how those transfers worked out:

    Michael D Higgins + 29,379 730,480

    Séan Gallagher 24,437 529,401

    Martin McGuinness + 9,581 250, 611

    Gay Mitchell + 14,036 127, 357

    David Norris + 7,057 116, 526

  • 01:46
    Dublin Mid West, Waterford and Roscommon/South-Leitrim are still to complete the second count but these will now take place tomorrow morning
  • 01:48
    That's all folks....we're going to call it a night now but the liveblog will begin again 9am. Thanks for following and good night.
  • 08:40
    Good morning to one and all and welcome again to our liveblog on the election. Eoin Burke-Kennedy here with all the latest news from the second day of the count.
  • 08:46
    As none of the candidates reached the quota following the second count, which was announced at 1.30am this morrning, the proceedings were adjourned with the elimination of the lowest candidate, Norris. Counting will resume at 9am with the distribution of Norris's transfers. The third count may take anything  up to four hours, judging by the length of time taken over the second count, and Higgins may still be without a quota (885,882) even then. So folks it's going to be a long weekend.
  • 08:54
    The counting of votes in the referendums will not start until after the result of the presidential ballot. I don't think I'm sticking my neck out in predicting a comfortable victory for the Yes side in the vote on reducing judicial pay. However, the referendum on Oireachtas inquiries promises to be a close run thing. Labour Minister Brendan Howlin admitted this morning the vote was likely to go down to the wire.
  • 09:07
    As expected, Labour's Patrick Nulty was confirmed as the winner of the Dublin West byelection in the early hours this morning. Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins had earlier called for a full recount after his party colleague Cllr Ruth Coppinger was eliminated on the fourth count just 18 votes behind second-placed Fianna Fáil councillor David McGuinness. Both candidates were found to have exactly 9,873 votes each after the recount. After consulting the rulebook, the returning officer eliminated Coppinger on the grounds that she had less first preferences votes than McGuinness. The vagaries of STV strike again?
  • 09:26
    The new first citizen of the Republic
    The new first citizen of the Republic
  • 09:40
    Counting has resumed in the presidential election. The third count will see the distribution of Norris's transfers. Higgins is not expected to make the quota of 885,882 even with transfers from Norris so we're likely see Mitchell being eliminated and a fourth count. Higgins is, however, expected to get enough transfers from Mitchell to see him elected. Yesterday evening, officials thought the second count would take about two hours. In the end, it took more than four hours. So we're not expecting the result of the third count until lunchtime.
  • 09:48
    Candidates at the announcement of the first count
    Candidates at the announcement of the first count
  • 10:20
    What they're saying about us abroad: Here's a snapshot

    BBC -
    Labour Party's Michael D Higgins is to become the ninth Irish president after one of the most remarkable comebacks in the state's history.

    Guardian - The poet, peace campaigner and president of Galway United football club Michael D Higgins is poised to become Ireland's next president.

    Le Monde (French) - A poet and former culture minister, Michael D. Higgins, candidate of the ruling Labour Party, is now assured of becoming president of Ireland...The President of the Republic of Ireland is largely symbolic, but the new head of state will take the reins of power in a very difficult economic times.

    Die Ziet (Germany) - The Irish have chosen the 70-year-old Labour politician Michael D. Higgins as its new president. His fiercest opponent was tumbled just before the election.

    New York Times - Michael D. Higgins, a veteran politician and author, was on course Friday to score a come-from-behind win in the race for president of the Irish Republic as his main rivals conceded defeat before the final tallies were counted.
  • 10:41
    Several readers have asked whether Norris won enough votes to have his expenses reimbursed by the State. Candidates who win a quarter of a quota, which in the presidential election amounts to marginally over 12.5 per cent of the vote, are entitled to be reimbursed by the State for election expenses up to €200,000. Norris got 109,469 first preference votes, well short of the 221,470 needed to garner quarter of the quota. So the answer
  • 10:53
    The count centre in Dublin Castle is said to be a ghost town at the moment. Besides a few diligent journalists and Labour Party apparatchiks, there's nobody there. It was a very late night...
  • 11:24
    RTÉ's Marian Finucane Show debating whether to use referenda or referendums. If you hadn't noticed, we've come down on the side of referendums.
  • 11:35
    Minister for Justice Alan Shatter denies he was arrogant in dismissing the advice of former attorneys general on the Oireachtas inquiries referendum. Defending the need for a change to the status quo, Shatter said: "When something goes wrong no one is ever criticised, everything comes down to systemic failure." He also argued that where individual reputation was concerned there were adequate protections, including direct appealability through the courts.
  • 11:42
    Courtesy of Neil Burke-Kennedy
    Courtesy of Neil Burke-Kennedy
  • 11:47
    Labour sources are telling us that party members, campaign workers and volunteers whooped it up at the Radisson Hotel on Golden Lane late into last night. Celebrations were a little more restrained than one might have anticipated, as the party was under the impression the count might go even later into the night than it did, but the delighted president-elect was said to have a spent a good deal of time “working the room” and thanking all of those who helped to catapult him to the top of the poll.

    The Galway United squad, who already know Michael D as their club president, came to join the party and were said to have had a good night, despite losing 4-0 to Airtricity League champions Shamrock Rovers, even posing for a team photo with the president elect.Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, director of election Joe Costello TD and Michael D all addressed the party gathering.
  • 11:51
    Third count likely to be announced in the next half hour, according to officials in Dublin Castle. It's unlikely to bring a result but the fourth count, following the likely elimination of Mitchell, should see Higgins elected as president.
  • 12:21
    Results of third count in presidential election: Higgins 793,128 (+62,648); Gallagher 548,373 (+18,972); McGuinness 265,196 (+12,585); Mitchell 136,309 (+8,952). The surprise is that both Mitchell and McGuinness have been eliminated on the grounds that both their votes added together don't surpass that of Gallagher's. Higgins should now be elected on the next and fourth count which is expected to take up to three hours.
  • 12:37
  • 12:41
    No candidate reached the quota after the third count. Mitchell and McGuinness will now be excluded together, as the total of their votes was lower than the next highest candidate. As expected, president-elect Higgins received the lion's share of transfers, 62,648, when Norris's votes were excluded, bringing his vote to 793,128. Gallagher got 18,972 transfers, resulting in a vote of 548,373. McGuinness got 12,585 transfers, ending up with a final vote of 265,196, while Mitchell took 8,952 transfers, bringing his final vote to 136,309. We're expecting a final result and a new president at around 3pm.
  • 12:59
    Mitchell's final share of the vote (7.7%) - like Norris, Scallon and Davis before him - fell short of the 12.5% needed to claim back expenses.
  • 13:20
    Given that Michael D is president of Galway United and his inauguration will be on November 11th, the same day as the Republic's crucial Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia, might his first sporting engagement as president be Lansdowne Road? Keith Duggan ponders this and other things in his column today.
  • 13:26
    One reader poses an interesting question regarding why Mitchell wasn't eliminated along with Norris after the second count as he could not have caught McGuinness even with all of Norris's transfers. According to our man in Dublin Castle, the answer is that Mitchell still could, statistically speaking, have made the 12.5% needed to claim back his expenses. Norris had to be eliminated as he was in last place.
  • 14:08
    McGuinness has been speaking again about his infamous Prime Time dust up with Gallagher. On RTÉ Radio, the Sinn Fein man claimed the significance of the incident flowed more from Gallagher's reaction than from his attack. However, he admitted the incident was a defining moment in the campaign. Separately, he said he was confident of getting his expenses given his share of the vote.
  • 14:38
    Voting patterns in Thursday's Dublin Mid West byelection provide much food for thought. It can seen as a success for Labour, sign of a resurgent Fianna Fáil or the beginning of anti-Government rumblings. Our political correspondent Harry McGee analyses the result in more detail in today's Irish Times.
  • 14:55
    We're hearing the results of the fourth and final count will be announced shortly after 4pm.  The counting of votes in the referendums may proceed quite quickly as many of the 43 constituencies have already collated their results and are merely waiting for the presidential ballot to end.
  • 15:00
    Not in any way related to our election counts but we're hearing news that veteran entertainer Jimmy Savile has died, aged 84.
  • 15:06
    Jimmy Saville with future president Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, the then chief justice, at a reception in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin in 1968.
    Jimmy Saville with future president Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, the then chief justice, at a reception in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin in 1968.
  • 15:11
    Higgins has passed the quota to be elected president. Our reporter in the Dublin Castle count centre has just confirmed the Labour man surpassed the magic number of 885,882 with something to spare following the distribution of transfers from McGuinness and Mitchell. Announcement expected soon.
  • 15:37
    Labour's Joe Costello (red tie), director of elections for Higgins, with Emmet Stagg and party colleagues as the result of the third count is announced at Dublin Castle this morning.
    Labour's Joe Costello (red tie), director of elections for Higgins, with Emmet Stagg and party colleagues as the result of the third count is announced at Dublin Castle this morning.
  • 15:45
    The number of TDs, gardaí and people in Army uniforms is growing at Dublin Castle, according to our man on the spot. Arrival of president-elect, Taoiseach and final result must be close now.
  • 15:53
    Gallagher and Dana have arrived at Dublin Castle for the announcement of the fourth and final count in the presidential election which is due imminently. Last night, the Cavan man was decidedly reticent on what had happened to his campaign during the final week. I wonder if he'll say more today.
  • 16:23
    Jubilant president-elect Michael D Higgins has arrived in Dublin Castle for the final declaration. Taoiseach Enda Kenny is also in attendance.
  • 16:27
    Results of fourth count in presidential election: Higgins 1,007,104 (+213,976); Gallagher 628,114 (+79,741). Returning officer formally declares Higgins elected as president. Jubilant scenes at count centre in Dublin Castle.
  • 16:31
    Candidates making speeches. First up, Gallagher who extends his congratulations to Higgins. He described the campaign as "challenging and intense". Gallagher insists he brought something new to Irish politics.
  • 16:34
    Mitchell and Davis not in attendance. McGuinness expresses thanks to his voters and wishes Higgins well in the Áras, describing him as a man with "great intellectual capacity and a huge heart".
  • 16:37
    Norris says the ninth president of Ireland will be one of the greatest, describing him as a poet and a visionary with a passionate commitment to social justice. The Senator described Higgins as the first "political millionaire" for getting one million votes.
  • 16:39
    Dana  wishes Higgins "everything that is good in the coming seven years".
  • 16:44
    Higgins making his speech now. President-elect says he will be a president for all the people and will cease to be a member of the Labour Party forthwith, a party which he says, has informed his thinking for more than half a century.  Higgins says his presidency will be guided by the ethos of inclusive citizenship.
  • 16:50
    A jubilant Higgins arrives at Dublin Castle
    A jubilant Higgins arrives at Dublin Castle
  • 16:55
    Mr Higgins said he would seek to implement his mandate with heart and head over the next seven years. He said his mandate was "for an inclusive citizenship which is about equality, participation and respect in a creative society, creative and excellent in everything we Irish do; making an Irishness to be proud of in a real republic".
  • 16:57
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny congratulates president-elect and extends his best wishes on behalf of the absent Gay Mitchell. Fine Gael leader quotes one of Higgins's poem, The Minister's Black Car, and quips the voters have now given him one.
  • 17:00
    Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore congratulates Higgins on becoming the State's first citizen, saying he has been "the heart and soul" of the Labour Party.
  • 17:13
    Counting in the two referendums is underway. The first vote on judges' pay appears to have been comfortably passed by a margin of 80-20, according to early tallies. However, the more contentious referendum relating to Oireachtas inquires appears to be sliding towards the No side. With 8 constituencies declared, only one has passed it. At this early stage, the numbers suggest 54% against and 46% in favour.
  • 17:16
    President-elect Michael D Higgins at the final declaration in Dublin Castle.
    President-elect Michael D Higgins at the final declaration in Dublin Castle.
  • 17:28
    The president-elect is giving a press conference and one of the first questions he was asked was whether he would consider a second term in seven years? His answer . . . no.
  • 17:31
    He said at times he felt the presidential campaign was quite ageist . . . and he also believes he won the televised debates.  Do you agree?
  • 17:35
    Higgins says his first presidential seminar will be focused on young people and the issues facing this group. He said there is a sense of intergenerational solidarity with a shared goal of a better future.
  • 17:37
    President-elect says he will do everything he can to build on the work of President Mary McAleese in developing North-South relations.
  • 17:41
    President Mary McAleese has congratulated Higgins on his election victory, saying it marks an exciting chapter for the global Irish family and the Higgins family.
  • 18:06
    President-elect says "I love our shared island, our shared Ireland and its core decency. I love it for its imagination and its celebration of the endless possibilities for our people…"
  • 18:08
    Higgins tells RTE's Six One he will work to foster inclusion and to assist young people.
  • 18:24
    Not looking good for the inquiries referendum. With 20 constituencies in, all but one - Wexford - have voted against the proposal and counts are showing 54 per cent against to just 46 per cent in favour. This means the likelihood of a recount is receding . . . thankfully.
  • 18:24
    The scene at the Dublin Castle as Michael D Higgins is declared president-elect and is congratulated Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife, Sabina Coyne, and his children. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien/The Irish Times
    The scene at the Dublin Castle as Michael D Higgins is declared president-elect and is congratulated Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife, Sabina Coyne, and his children. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien/The Irish Times
  • 18:39
    Here's a tweet from our Political Correspondent Harry McGee: "Michael D Higgins has quoted Emmanuel Kant. And so has Sabina. A slogan for the new presidency. Yes we Kant."!/harrymcgee
  • 18:45
    A tweet from the Higgins campaign - we've just posted a sound file of Michael D's acceptance speech here.
  • 19:21
    Here's a flavour of the online reaction to Michael D's election: "#Higgins, poet, human rights campaigner, and activist, is #Ireland's ninth president"
  • 19:25
    We are just hearing from Dublin Castle that the judges' pay referendum has been carried, by a margin of over a million votes. No final percentage data to hand yet. No surprise there. Word is another 45 minutes for a result in the second referendum. Stick with us . . we are nearly there.
  • 19:29
    The margin in the judges' pay referendum was, as expected, overwhelming: 79.3 per cent in favour, 20.3 per cent against.
  • 19:33
    If you are looking for a brief overview of the presidential election count you will find it here:
  • 19:47
    Watch Mary Minihan, Deaglán de Bréadún, Joe Costello and Charlie Flanagan discussing the count at Dublin Castle.
  • 20:10
    Our photographer Bryan O'Brien has put together an audio slideshow of the election count.
  • 20:11
    The inquiries referendum has been rejected. More details to follow . . .
  • 20:12
    The No margin was 116,167 votes. No recount folks . .
  • 20:21
    We are hearing the inquiries referendum vote was 928,175 against and 812,008 in favour.
  • 20:24
    Elaine Byrne has tweeted that the Oireachtas Inquiry Referendum has been defeated. NO: 53.3% (928,175) and Yes: 46.7% (812,008). "There will be another, revised, referendum on this". #oiref
  • 20:25
    Victory! . .  tweets Tom McGurk.
  • 20:42
    Our reporter Steven Carroll has pointed that that around 5,000 fewer people voted on the referendum on Oireachtas inquiries than voted in the presidential election.
  • 20:49
    That's all from us folks, Vote 2011 is all wrapped up. The Irish Times will have an election supplement on Monday with detailed results and analysis of the elections and referendums. Thank you and good night.