Irish presidential election, 2018

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Irish presidential election, 2018

← 2011 26 October 2018

  Peter-casey.jpg JoanFreemanPetaHousePressPack.jpg
Nominee Peter Casey Gavin Duffy Joan Freeman
Party Independent Independent Independent

  Seán Gallagher portrait.jpg President Higgins's visit FINIRISH BATT HQ, Lebanon (cropped).jpg Liadh Ní Riada.jpg
Nominee Seán Gallagher Michael D. Higgins Liadh Ní Riada
Party Independent Independent Sinn Féin

Incumbent President

Michael D. Higgins
Independent



The Irish presidential election of 2018 will take place on Friday, 26 October.[1] President Michael D. Higgins, who was elected in 2011, is seeking re-election.[2][3] This will be the first time since the 1966 election that an incumbent president will face a contest for a second term, and the first occasion on which an incumbent president nominating themselves for re-election has been opposed, as Éamon de Valera was nominated by Fianna Fáil when he sought re-election in 1966. It is also the first election with two candidates who contested the previous election.

The election will be held on the same date as a referendum on blasphemy.[4][5]

Procedure[edit]

Presidential elections are conducted in line with Article 12 of the Constitution[6] and under the Presidential Elections Act 1993, as amended.[7]

On 28 August, Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government signed the order to the presidential election, specifying the nomination period as between 10 a.m. on 30 August and 12 noon on 26 September 2018. The election will take place on Friday 26 October, between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m.[1] The inauguration for the next presidential term will take place at noon on 11 November.

To stand for election as president, candidates must:

  • be a citizen of Ireland
  • be at least 35 years of age
  • be nominated by:
    • at least twenty of the 218 serving members of the Houses of the Oireachtas (parliament), or
    • at least four of the 31 county or city councils, or
    • themselves, in the case of an incumbent or former president who has served one term.

If a member of the Oireachtas or a County or City council nominate more than one candidate, only the first nomination paper received from them will be deemed valid.[7]

All Irish citizens entered on the current electoral register are eligible to vote.[6]

Under the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2011, there is a spending limit by each candidate of €750,000. Candidates who are elected or who reach 12.5% of the vote on their elimination are entitled to a reimbursement of expenses up to €200,000.[8]

Candidates[edit]

Confirmed candidates
Name Party Nominated by Office or occupation
Peter Casey[9] Independent City and County Councils Businessman
Gavin Duffy[10] Independent City and County Councils Businessman
Joan Freeman[11] Independent City and County Councils Senator (2016–present)
Seán Gallagher[11] Independent City and County Councils Businessman
Michael D. Higgins[2][3] Independent Self-nomination President (2011–present)
Liadh Ní Riada[12] Sinn Féin Oireachtas: Sinn Féin MEP for South (2014−present)

Michael D. Higgins[edit]

On 10 July 2018, current president Michael D. Higgins declared that he would nominate himself as a candidate for the presidential election.[2][3] Higgins had said in 2011 that he intended to serve one term only, but changed his mind over the course of his term.[13] A spokesperson for the Labour Party said in August 2017 that they would support Higgins for a second term; he had served as a Labour TD and senator between 1981 and 2011 and had been nominated by Labour Oireachtas members at the 2011 presidential election.[14] On 26 June 2018, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the party would back Higgins for a second term as president were he to run again.[15] On 11 July, the Fine Gael parliamentary party announced its support for Higgins as president.[16] Higgins also has the support of Independent ministers Katherine Zappone and John Halligan.[17][18]

Higgins's website and social media accounts became active on 17 September, having been dormant since his inauguration in November 2011.[19]

Peter Casey[edit]

Peter Casey is a businessman from Derry who formerly appeared on a television series, Dragons' Den.

Gavin Duffy[edit]

Gavin Duffy is a businessman from Kildare and has been a dragon on Dragons' Den since it first broadcast in 2009.[20]

Joan Freeman[edit]

Joan Freeman founded Pieta House, a suicide intervention charity, in 2006.[21][22] She served as its director until 2014. In 2016, she was nominated by the Taoiseach as a member of Seanad Éireann, sitting as an Independent.

Seán Gallagher[edit]

Seán Gallagher is a businessman from Monaghan who came second in the 2011 presidential election.[23] He was a dragon investor in the first three seasons of Dragons' Den.

Liadh Ní Riada[edit]

With 28 Oireachtas members (22 TDs and six Senators), Sinn Féin can nominate a candidate without needing additional nominations from independents, as they had required in 2011. Liadh Ní Riada, MEP since 2014, was confirmed as the Sinn Féin candidate on 16 September.[24]

Nomination process[edit]

The following local authorities have passed resolutions, either supporting a particular candidate, or not to nominate any candidate. Candidates need the support of at least four local authorities to be a candidate in the election.

Name Occupation Resolutions Councils
Peter Casey Businessman 4 Kerry,[25] Clare,[26] Limerick,[27] Tipperary[9][28]
Gavin Duffy Businessman 4 Meath, Carlow, Wicklow, Waterford[29]
Joan Freeman Senator 4 Cork City,[26] Fingal,[30] Galway County,[11] Galway City[31]
Seán Gallagher Businessman 5 Roscommon,[11] Mayo,[11] Leitrim,[32] Wexford,[33] Cavan[34]
Gemma O'Doherty Journalist 1 Laois[35]
No candidate 12 Dublin City,[36] Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown,[37] Louth,[38] Kilkenny,[37] Monaghan,[37] Offaly,[37] South Dublin,[39] Westmeath[37], Kildare[35], Cork County, Donegal, Longford

Also seeking a nomination from local authorities are: Norma Burke,[36] William Delaney, Patrick Feeney, John Groarke, Patrick Melly, Marie Goretti Moylan, Sarah Louise Mulligan, James Smyth[11], David Doucette,[40] and John O'Hare.[41] Kevin Sharkey had been seeking a nomination, but withdrew in favour of Gemma O'Doherty.[42]

Senator Gerard Craughwell had said that he would seek the nomination if Higgins were otherwise to be unopposed.[43][44] However, in July he announced that he would not contest the presidential election, in light of Sinn Féin's decision to run a candidate.[45] He also cited the financial costs of running for the presidency as a factor in his decision not to contest the election.[46]

Despite Fianna Fáil backing the incumbent Michael D. Higgins, a few of the party's Councillors urged the leadership to nominate Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív, but he declined to allow his name to proceed as he would risk his party membership.[47]

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice had tried to gather the support of other Independent TDs and Senators to support a candidate, but was unsuccessful. Nineteen were willing to be involved in his effort to find a candidate, one short of the twenty required to nominated someone.[48]

Opinion polls[edit]

Date Source Polling Agency Casey Duffy Freeman Gallagher Higgins Ní Riada
16 September 2018 The Sunday Business Post[49] RED C 1% 6% 3% 15% 67% 7%[a]
  1. ^ Figure for "Sinn Féin candidate". Poll was conducted before Ní Riada's candidacy was unveiled.


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Minister Murphy makes Presidential Election Order". Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c Bardon, Sarah; Kelly, Fiach (10 July 2018). "Michael D Higgins confirms he will seek second term". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c Lehane, Micheál (10 July 2018). "Michael D Higgins to seek second term as president". RTÉ News. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  4. ^ Bardon, Sarah (23 June 2018). "President tells Government of intention to seek second term". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 June 2018. 
  5. ^ McMorrow, Conor (5 September 2018). "Referendum on place of women in the home deferred". RTE.ie. Retrieved 5 September 2018. 
  6. ^ a b Article 12 of the Constitution of Ireland. "Constitution of Ireland". Irish Statute Book. Attorney General of Ireland. October 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Presidential Elections Act 1993" (PDF). Irish Presidential Election. Presidential Returning Officer. Retrieved 21 September 2018. 
  8. ^ "Electoral (Amendment) Act 2011". Irish Statute Book. Attorney General of Ireland. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 
  9. ^ a b "Peter Casey secures nomination to contest presidency". RTÉ News. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018. 
  10. ^ Brophy, Daragh (14 September 2018). "Businessman Gavin Duffy becomes fourth official candidate in presidential race". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Freeman and Gallagher both secure nominations for Áras bids". RTÉ News. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018. 
  12. ^ "Sinn Féin nominates Liadh Ní Riada to contest the Presidential Election". RTÉ. 16 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018. 
  13. ^ Fitzgerald, Cormac (25 September 2017). "Over 75% of people want Michael D to serve a second term as president". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 
  14. ^ McEnroe, Juno; McConnell, Daniel (24 August 2017). "Labour would back Michael D Higgins in Áras run". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 July 2018. 
  15. ^ Doyle, Kevin (26 June 2018). "Fianna Fáil to support Michael D Higgins if he runs for second term as President". Irish Independent. 
  16. ^ Bardon, Sarah (11 July 2018). "Fine Gael to canvass for Michael D Higgins in election campaign". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 July 2018. 
  17. ^ Bardon, Sarah (2 July 2018). "Katherine Zappone backs President Higgins for a second term". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  18. ^ Quinn, Trevor (3 July 2018). "Waterford TD John Halligan is backing President Michael D Higgins for a second term in office". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  19. ^ McQuinn, Cormac (18 September 2018). "President Michael D Higgins back on Twitter as he kicks off Áras re-election campaign". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 September 2018. 
  20. ^ "Gavin Duffy confirms he wants to run for presidency". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 July 2018. 
  21. ^ Bardon, Sarah (5 July 2018). "Joan Freeman may be seeking nomination to run for presidency". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  22. ^ Ryan, Philip (6 July 2018). "'Darkness into Light' campaign founder seeks nomination for the Áras". Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  23. ^ "Seán Gallagher to seek nomination for Presidential Election". RTÉ News. 29 August 2018. 
  24. ^ "Sinn Féin nominates Liadh Ní Riada to contest the Presidential Election". RTÉ. 16 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018. 
  25. ^ "Peter Casey receives first council nomination for presidential race". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  26. ^ a b "Public Notice Presidential Election 2018 Nomination of Candidates" (PDF). Presidential Election 2018. 21 September 2018. 
  27. ^ O'Carroll, Sinead (18 September 2018). "Peter Casey receives 3rd council nomination... needs one more to make the ballot paper". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 18 September 2018. 
  28. ^ "Peter Casey receives two presidential endorsements". RTÉ News. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  29. ^ "Public Notice Presidential Election 2018 Nomination of Candidates" (PDF). Presidential Election 2018. 21 September 2018. 
  30. ^ "Public Notice Presidential Election 2018 Nomination of Candidates" (PDF). Presidential Election 2018. 21 September 2018. 
  31. ^ "Public Notice Presidential Election 2018 Nomination of Candidates" (PDF). Presidential Election 2018. 18 September 2018. 
  32. ^ "Public Notice Presidential Election 2018 Nomination of Candidates" (PDF). Presidential Election 2018. 17 September 2018. 
  33. ^ "Public Notice Presidential Election 2018 Nomination of Candidates" (PDF). Presidential Election 2018. 12 September 2018. 
  34. ^ "Public Notice Presidential Election 2018 Nomination of Candidates" (PDF). Presidential Election 2018. 19 September 2018. 
  35. ^ a b "O'Doherty gets presidential endorsement from Laois council". RTÉ News. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018. 
  36. ^ a b Pollak, Sorcha (13 September 2018). "Dublin City Council votes not to endorse candidate as Áras race turns farcical". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  37. ^ a b c d e Ó Cionnaith, Fiachra (17 September 2018). "Nearly 25% of councils decline to nominate presidential candidate". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 21 September 2018. 
  38. ^ "Presidential round up: 18 local authorities decisions so far". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  39. ^ Gleeson, Colin (20 September 2018). "Presidential hopeful Sarah Louise Mulligan ejected from Dublin meeting". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 September 2018. 
  40. ^ "Special meeting of Fingal County Council to consider Presidential nomination requests". Irish Examiner. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  41. ^ "Presidential election hopefuls to seek Tipperary Co. Council nomination tomorrow". The Nationalist. 17 September 2018. 
  42. ^ "Kevin Sharkey pulls out of Presidential race". Irish Examiner. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  43. ^ Finn, Christina (15 August 2017). "Running for president of Ireland is not something I would do willy-nilly, but we need a contest". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 16 September 2017. 
  44. ^ Dunne, Seán (15 August 2017). "Senator to run against Higgins to ensure election for presidency". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 September 2017. 
  45. ^ "Craughwell will not contest Presidential Election". RTÉ News. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018. 
  46. ^ Murray, Sean. "Gerard Craughwell says he's not running for the presidency because he can't afford it". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 23 July 2018. 
  47. ^ Ó Cionnaith, Fiachra (7 September 2018). "Éamon Ó Cuív quit race over Fianna Fail threat". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  48. ^ McGee, Harry (19 September 2018). "Independent TDs and Senators fail to agree on presidential nomination process". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 September 2018. 
  49. ^ "Latest polls suggest President Higgins on course for landslide re-election". Irish Independent. 16 September 2018. 

External links[edit]