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Sunday 18 March 2018

Michael D claims an overall victory in all four provinces


MichaeL D Higgins will enter Aras an Uachtarain with an overwhelming mandate from all four provinces, winning 35 of the 43 constituencies in the presidential election and completing a clean sweep in Dublin.

Sean Gallagher won seven constituencies and Martin McGuinness topped the poll in one -- Donegal North-East.

Mr Gallagher led the poll after the first count in Laois-Offaly, where he has a strong family connection through his mother Anne, who was born in Tullamore; and in Cork North-West, the home constituency of his wife Trish, who comes from Kanturk.

Mr Gallagher also topped the poll in Cork South-West, Roscommon-South Leitrim, Tipperary North, his native Cavan-Monaghan and Donegal South-West, where the local Fianna Fail machine strongly supported him.

But Mr Higgins won overall victory in all four provinces.

His top vote was received in Galway West where he received nearly six out of 10 votes cast (57.6 per cent) in a constituency where he began his political career more than four decades ago.

But his performance in Dublin was also stunning. He received 53.5 per cent in Dublin South-East, 51 per cent of the first preference vote in Dublin South and 52.5 per cent in traditionally liberal Dun Laoghaire, the base of Labour leader Eamon Gilmore.

Even in the heartland of Fianna Fail, home of Bertie Ahern's Drumcondra mafia, it was Mr Higgins who was the clear winner with 44 per cent of the vote in Dublin Central

He also topped the poll with 39 per cent in Dublin South-Central where Mr McGuinness secured 16 per cent of the vote ahead of Mr Gallagher (15 per cent). The total collapse of the Fine Gael campaign was starkly shown in the home constituency of Gay Mitchell, where he polled just over 12 per cent.

Labour's Director of Elections Joe Costello said Mr Higgins won every constituency in the capital "hands down" and that the party was extremely proud.

Sunday Independent

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