Labour veteran set to become ninth president

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Veteran Labour politician Michael D Higgins looks certain to be Ireland’s ninth president, party leader Eamon Gilmore has said.

The Tanaiste (deputy prime minister) said it had been an honour to nominate the 70-year-old for the job.

“This is a good day for the Labour Party. Our nominee Michael D Higgins looks pretty certain that he will be elected the ninth president of Ireland,” Mr Gilmore said.

“I’m really happy for him. I’m really delighted that he succeeded.”

According to more than four hours of tallies, Mr Higgins is well in front with about 40 per cent of the vote and is set to succeed Mary McAleese, who served a remarkable 14-year two-term presidency, on November 11.