Newly re-elected President Higgins tops the poll in Mayo — but Casey comes a strong second

President Higgins topped the poll in Mayo

President Higgins topped the poll in Mayo

Newly re-elected President Michael D Higgins was by far and away the top choice for those who voted in last Friday's presidential election in the county.

The incumbent received just shy of 50 per cent of the first preference vote in Mayo, with 20,642 number ones marked beside his name on the ballot paper, giving him 49.8 per cent of the valid poll in the constituency.

This was an 11.5 per cent increase on his 2011 first preference vote in the county, although he only saw an actual increase of 321 votes from the election result seven years ago.

This is because the 2018 turnout was down 11,033 from the 53,627 that turned out in 2011, with the total number of votes cast amounting to 42,027 with a total valid poll of 41,434.

The candidate beaten by Higgins into second place in the 2011 election, Sean Gallagher, who also ran again, saw his share of the poll in Mayo go from 25.2 per cent in 2011 to 5.4 per cent this time around, as controversial candidate Peter Casey emerged from the pack to become President Higgins' strongest challenger in Mayo and nationwide.

In Mayo Casey received 12,850 first preference votes to give him a 31 per cent share of the vote, putting him well ahead of the next most popular candidate on the ballot paper, Independent Senator Joan Freeman, who got 2,663 first preference votes or 6.4 per cent of the poll.

Gallagher saw his personal vote fall from 13,371 to 2,235 - while there was a major reduction in the number of those who voted, it was a serious slide in popularity for the business man. He still fared better than the Sinn Fein candidate, Liadh Ní Riada, who received just 2,107 votes, while Gavin Duffy came in bottom of the poll, with just 937 people giving him a first preference vote.

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