Pressure is growing for President Michael D. Higgins to seek a second successive seven-year term in office.

A poll in the Irish Times had a majority of voters, 58 percent, saying he should seek a second term.

Higgins, 75, has held the office since 2011. He will be 77 if he seeks to be returned again and almost 85 at the end of the second term.

During the 2011 campaign Higgins said he would not seek a second term. However, over the past year he has declined to rule it out.

In the history of the office only one incumbent president, Éamon de Valera in 1965, fought for re-election. All others were returned unopposed.

Fianna Fail’s attitude would be pivotal in determining whether an election is required if Higgins opts to seek a second term.

Some believe Higgins would be difficult to defeat. Others, acknowledging he has performed well, firmly believe he should be opposed in a second run.

Limerick City TD Willie O'Dea, believes Fianna Fail has no choice but to contest in 2018.

“It is very early in the process and we have had no discussion. But my own personal view is that we should contest the presidency. The circumstances in 2011, when we did not contest, were unique, and things are different now,” O’Dea said.

In the Irish Times poll, 36 percent said Higgins should not seek a second term and six percent had no opinion.

His biggest backing came from Labour supporters, and there was strong support among Fine Gael and Independent voters.

The strongest opposition came from Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail voters.