The result of the second count was announced in Dublin Castle just after 1.30am.
The first count took 12 hours; the second took four-and-a-half.
It will take some time yet before Mr Higgins is finally elected Ireland’s ninth President.
He took a commanding lead on the first count, with 39.6% of the vote.
After the second count, which saw the distribution of the votes of the two lowest candidates (Mary Davis and Dana Rosemary Scallon), he is on just over 730,000 votes, still 155,000 votes short of the quota.
Count centres around the country will distribute Senator David Norris’ 116,000 votes this morning.
However, that will not be enough to elect Labour candidate Higgins, so at least one more count will be required, with the distribution of Gay Mitchell’s votes and possibly those of Sinn Fèin`s Martin McGuinness as well.
Higgins closest rival Sean Gallagher admitted defeat yesterday evening, congratulating the Galway native in the process.
Once Higgins election is confirmed, the count in the two Constitutional referendums will begin.