45% turnout in Kerry for Presidential election

The results of the first count of votes in Kerry in the Presidential election are expected in around an hour’s time (6pm).

There’s been a 45% turnout of eligible voters in the election with a slightly smaller turnout expected in the blasphemy referendum.

Returning officer Pádraig Burke says 45% of a total electorate of 111,777 voted in the election, with a similar, if smaller number, expected to have cast their ballot in the blasphemy referendum.

No count of the referendum will begin until the presidential count is completed.

The 45% turnout in the Kerry constituency compares to around 51% of the electorate who voted in the old Kerry North West Limerick constituency at the last Presidential election in 2011.

No tally was carried out at the count centre today by any political party but journalists tallied around 17% of the total number of 213 boxes, which includes the postal vote.

That tally, which comes with a health warning, shows Michael D Higgins has 50.2% of the vote, Peter Casey with 27.4%, Liadh Ní Riada on 8.3%, Joan Freeman on 6.3%, Sean Gallagher 5.5% and Gavin Duffy on 2.1%.