First national count result expected after 7pm

First count results in the Presidential election are expected to start coming in from around the country in the next hour or so.

First national count result expected after 7pm

First count results in the Presidential election are expected to start coming in from around the country in the next hour or so.

A national first count result - which will show Michael D Higgins on course to be the ninth President of Ireland - is expected to be declared between 7pm and 8pm tonight.

The first count in the Dublin West by-election is also due with Labour's Patrick Nulty expected to win out, but only after a fight with Fianna Fáil and the Socialist Party.

Counting of the two referendums will not happen until tomorrow with some suggestions the plan to give the Oireachtas more powers of investigation could be in trouble.

As tallies continue to pour in from around the country the clearest picture has emerged in the capital, where Mr Higgins is on track to be victorious in every one of Dublin's 12 constituencies.

He has a margin of two to one in places like Dublin North, Dublin North East and North West, and it's 51% to Seán Gallagher's 18% in Dun Laoghaire.

Dublin South Central - home to Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell - he's only managed 1 in 8 votes there - Michael D Higgins getting about 40% there.

And the Labour candidate will be victorious in the Cork City constituencies, though the county will be a bit more of a battle.

Limerick City will see him get almost half of all votes, while on his home patch of Galway West he has secured two out of every three votes.

Mr Gallagher should win out in a few constituencies - his native Cavan being one, while other midlands ones could also see him ahead - though not enough to make up the difference.

Martin McGuinness is expected to be the poll topper in Donegal North East.

A full national first count declaration - once all 43 constituencies have reported - will be delivered here later this evening, sometime between 7pm and 8pm.

3.35pm update: RTÉ news has the first count in from Dublin Mid-West with Michael D Higgins well in front at 40.3% against Gallagher's 22.1% (OTHERS: MMcG 15.9 - DN 10.2 - GM 6.5 - MD 3.1 - DRS 2)

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