Live minute-by-minute coverage of Ireland's presidential election results

Massive bets on Micheal D. Higgins to become the next Irish president have made him almost an unbackable 1-6  on bookmaker Paddy Powers website, meaning a six dollar bet wins a total of $7.

Higgins has gone from 1-2 to 1-6 in just a few hours, reflecting strong support. He is the Labor Party candidate who trailed throughout the final week, but may well have made a dramatic late recovery.

Meanwhile, second favorite Sean Gallagher has gone out to 7/2 with the bookmakers, reflecting the belief  that his disastrous showing in the final debate may have crippled his candidacy.

Sinn Fein’s Matin McGuinness is in third place, far behind at 22-1 with bookmakers, reflecting some backing for him, in from 25-1.

Live minute-by-minute coverage of Ireland's presidential election results

It is not known if the late money for Higgins is from parties who are monitoring the polling day data or because most punters now believe Gallagher did terminal damage to his campaign.

Gallagher stumbled when asked to explain a $7,000 dollar check allegedly paid to him for a Fianna Fail fundraiser. He had denied that he handled any funding for his former party who are now in the doldrums after getting much of the blame for Ireland’s fiscal crisis.

Paddy Powers states betting support for Gallagher had “literally evaporated since Monday night’s live TV debate.”

Polling has been slower in Dublin than the rest of the country says one campaign worker who  spoke to Irish Central. The overall turnout is expected to be around 50 per cent, far behind a general election which had a 70 per cent turnout in the most recent one.