It now seems certain that Michael D. Higgins, the Labour Party Candidate, will be elected the next President of Ireland.While votes are still being tallied, Higgin’s only real rival has conceded defeat, according to The Telegraph.
It was reported earlier in the day that Higgins was leading the vote, having become favourite to win the election over the past week. Significantly, The Guardian reports he outgunned runner-up Sean Gallagher two to one in the latter’s own home base in Blackrock, County Louth.
The Associated Press reported earlier that Higgins was taking in about 40 per cent of the vote. That’s almost double than his nearest rival.
Having served as Ireland’s first arts and culture minister and being a published poet, Higgins has been dubbed the “poetry” president. In the build up to the election he spoke of the need to maintain and promote a distinct yet inclusive Irish culture.
On his website, Higgins says that he is dedicated to fighting for equal pay for women, access to contraception, divorce and the rights of people with disabilities.
Previously seen as lagging behind Gallagher in the opinion polls, Higgins benefitted from a series of scandals that rocked other presidential candidates during the months preceding the election.
UPDATE: The first official tally confirms Higgins has won.
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