Michael D. Higgins received more than half the vote according to exit polls

Exit polls in Ireland are showing that Michael D. Higgins will be re-elected as President of Ireland.

According to exit polls conducted by Red C for RTÉ, Higgins clinched a healthy 58% of the vote.

Perhaps surprisingly, in second place was Peter Casey with roughly 21% of the vote.

Read More: Michael D Higgins holds Presidential lead ahead of Ireland’s elections

Reporters were keen to remind the public that these are only exit polls and not official results. The exit polls include a margin of error of about 4%.

For the exit polls, 3,474 people were interviewed on a random basis outside 138 polling stations around Ireland between 7 am and 9:30 pm. Polls officially closed at 10 pm.

The official count of votes will commence on Saturday morning, with the official result expected before the end of the weekend.

Read More: Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins deserves another term

Should Higgins be officially re-elected, which is looking likely, he joins Eamon de Valera as the only other Irish president to be elected to a second term by ballot box.

RTÉ announced the results of the exit polls on the Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy:

RTÉ's David McCullagh takes a look at the RTÉ/Red C Exit poll on the Presidential Election with Ryan Tubridy on tonight's Late Late Show pic.twitter.com/BTOBREsI2J

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 26, 2018

The exit polls also surveyed the result of the blasphemy referendum which was also being voted upon today. Red C found that 71% supported the change, with 26% voting against, and 2% saying they didn’t vote.

Did you expect Michael D. Higgins to be re-elected as President of Ireland? Let us know in the comments!