Polling Station Opens As Identity Of Next President Looms

Voting in the Presidential Election began at 7am this morning and will continue until 10pm.

Two referenda, on judicial pay and Oireachtas investigations, are also being voted on, as is the Dublin West by-election following the death of former Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan earlier this year.

Just over 3.1 Million people are entitled to vote in the two elections and the two referenda.

The electorate will be asked to choose their top three candidates for the presidency in order of their preference while the referendum are based on a yes or no answer. Voters in Dublin West will also use the single transferable vote system. 

That is every Irish citizen over the age of 18 who is included on the Register of Electors or the Supplementary Register.

Most people should have received a polling card by now, but even if you have not you are still entitled to vote as long as you are registered.

However, you may be asked for identification at your local polling station.

Acceptable forms of identification include a passport, driving licence, an employee or student identity card with a photograph, or a bank or credit union book showing an address in the constituency.

You can also use a cheque book or card, a credit card, or a birth or marriage certificate, if you also have another document showing you live in the constituency.

Higgins Scrambles for Unemployed Vote

Despite various polls reporting that Seán Gallagher is set to be the next President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is unconvinced of his main rival’s predicted success on Thursday. Speaking during a Grafton Street canvass earlier this weekend, Higgins retorted that “voters are now looking for substance” (and this is evidently something he feels he possesses by the bucket load), when faced with criticism concerning his current popularity with electoral voters.

Michael D. went on to admit that he and Gallagher stand for very different things, and made a second attempt to discredit his competition by asking the nation to remember where he has been for the past 15 years and then to consider what Gallagher has been doing; in short, making light of Gallagher’s non-political background.

Throughout his address to the public, Higgins also segregated the unemployed by stating that those who are currently not working should vote for him and implied that his reasoning for this is that they are akin to him because he is, “somebody who has never had a share, somebody who has never had a company…I have never had transactions in business. I am 100 miles from the Celtic Tiger”.

Randomly, in a last ditch attempt to try and claw some of his lost votes back from the country, Michael D. Higgins went on to stress his level of fluency in the Irish language, as though this may endear voters to him.

Higgins’ undignified outburst comes alongside news that in three separate opinion polls carried out and reported on in the Sunday Business Post, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Independent today, Higgins and Gallagher are now in a two-horse race; a two-horse race in which Gallagher is destined to win.

It would appear that Higgins’ last hope of securing presidential victory, is to cash in on second preference transfers from his competitors. The poll which was carried out by the Sunday Independent showed that he may be in receipt of up to 35% of David Norris’ second preferences, 43% of Gay Mitchell’s and 35% of Martin McGuinness’. A poll led by Quantum backed up Higgins’ transfer success opportunity by revealing that he leads with 32%, in comparison with Gallagher’s 20%.

Mary Robinson proved that it is possible to succeed in a presidential campaign even if you are not the forerunner, when we saw her win the 1990 election, despite only securing 39% of the popular vote compared with Brian Lenihan’s 45%. Her transfer success in that vote, is something which Higgins’ needs to remember if he is to keep his spirits up until the end of the week.