Irish president wins 2nd term with 55.8% amid low turnout
LONDON — Michael Higgins handily won a second term as Ireland’s president Saturday, capturing every constituency in an election that was marked by low turnout.
The 77-year-old Higgins received 55.8 percent of the vote in Friday’s vote, which was contested by six candidates.
The Irish Independent newspaper estimated that turnout was less than 45 percent, the lowest ever for a presidential election.
“The presidency belongs not only to any one person but to the people of Ireland,” Higgins said.
Voters also overwhelmingly backed removing the offence of blasphemy from the Irish constitution. It was the latest in a series of measures that have seen the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country step back from the religion’s influence over government.