How the count operates and quota is calculated
Published 28/10/2011 | 05:00
•Votes counted in all 43 constituencies across the country.
•Results communicated to the central count centre in Dublin Castle.
•Quota is calculated by the national returning officer, Riona Ni Fhlanghaile.
•The quota is the number of votes needed to be elected.
•The President must reach 50pc + 1 of the total valid votes cast to be elected.
•In the 1990 presidential election the quota was 787,326 votes, and in 1997 the quota was 634,919 votes.
•Owing to the large number of votes required to be elected, it is unlikely that any candidate will reach the 50pc + 1 quota on the first count.
•After the first count is announced, the returning officer will instruct centres across the country to eliminate the candidate or candidates with the lowest number of votes.
•The important point is the decision on who to eliminate is based solely on the combined national vote -- not an individual local vote.
•A candidate might do very well in a particular constituency, but if they have the lowest vote nationally, they are eliminated.