Michael D. Higgins set to lead the way in Kerry

The story here in Kerry is the same as that of the rest of the country with the county voting to send Michael D Higgins back to the Aras.

Indications are that the incumbent will have between 50 and 55% of the vote in Kerry.

Around 8 in ten boxes in the Kerry constituency have been opened in the count centre.

There are 212 boxes and the postal vote to be opened by count staff at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre; proceedings kicked off here at 9 o’clock.

The first count result is expected around teatime.

Sorting the Presidential Election ballot papers from those in the Blasphemy Referendum is continuing.

Doubtful papers will also be identified so they can be adjudicated upon.

Unusually, there are no tallies being carried out here in the count centre in Kerry.

But an unofficial tally is being carried out by journalists spearheaded by Donal Barry and the Tralee Outlook team are being carried out – figures suggest that Michael D Higgins will have between 50 and 55% of the vote, Peter Casey on 30%, Liadh Ni Riada on around 8% and they are followed by Joan Freeman, Sean Gallagher and Gavin Duffy.

These figures come with a larger health warning that normal due to the lack of an accurate tally.

A few examples….

In Ballinskelligs – Higgins 51%, Casey 17.5%, Ni Riada 12%, Gallagher 6.1%, Freeman 5.6%, Duffy 4.2%

In Knocknagoshel – Higgins 45%, Casey 36%, Gallagher 7.9%, Freeman 6.3%, Ni Riada 5.1%, Duffy 1.8%

In Kenmare – Higgins 58.7%, Ni Riada 12.4%, Casey 11.6%, Freeman 8.5%, Gallagher 6.1%, Duffy 1.7%

In Tralee CBS – Higgins 57.5%, Casey 23.5%, Ni Riada 9.4%, Gallagher 3.4%, Freeman 4.7%, Duffy 1%