Presidential election: Dublin city turnout 40.91% and county lower
Lowest turnout in capital was Dublin Central where just 31.08% of voters went to the polls
Overall turnout in Dublin city was 40.91 per cent shortly before close of polls.
Dublin Bay North followed tradition with the highest turnout of 53.37 per cent.
Dublin South Central was next highest of the city constituencies with 46.49 per cent, while just 36.83 per cent of voters went to the polls in Dublin Bay South.
Dublin North West has a turnout of 36.77 per cent. The lowest turnout in the city constituencies was in Dublin Central where just 31.08 per cent of voters went to the polls.
Voter turnout is expected to be well below 50 per cent for the presidential election and blasphemy referendum.
As polls drew to a close, turnout in the Dublin city area was 36.77 per cent while in county Dublin the turnout was estimated at 40 per cent.
One of the lowest turnouts was in Jobstown, Dublin where just 9.1 per cent of voters had turned out by 9pm.
The Kill O’The Grange/Blackrock area of south county Dublin showed 47.23 per cent by 9.15pm closely followed by Malahide in North county Dublin where 47.1 per cent of voters went to the polls.
Polling was at 25 per cent in City West Educate Together school in West Tallaght at 9.15pm and at 25.6 per cent in Tyrrelstown in West Dublin.
Voter turnout for the presidential election will not reach the 56.11 per cent level achieved in 2011 and is expected to be well below the abortion referendum turnout of 64.13 per cent.
At 9pm on Friday, there was a turnout of around 40 per cent in Finglas in north Dublin, with just slightly higher figures recorded on the city’s south side.
There was no power at a polling station in Clontarf, Dublin, where dedicated voters were using lights from their mobile phones to mark their preferences an hour before polls closed.
Turnout was lower elsewhere in the country, with 33 per cent recorded in St Mary’s boys national school in Monaghan town at 9pm.
National turnout may be even less than the 46.7 per cent of the electorate who voted in 1997 when Mary McAleese was elected as one of five candidates.
Concerns have also been raised that the turnout in the blasphemy referendum may be even lower.
Awareness of the referendum to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution is regarded as low and in a number of polling stations officials reported people asking what the issue was about and some voters refused to accept the ballot paper.
Further concerns were raised in Tyrrelstown in west Dublin about voters being able to cast their ballot. This follows the closure of a polling station located in one of the schools over concerns about structural issues.
Labour TD for the area Joan Burton called on the Dublin Sheriff’s Office to put up notices to alert voters to a change of venue because the lack of notice had contributed to a low turnout.
“The polling station was due to be in the Tyrrelstown community centre. The centre is however closed, along with two schools, due to building risks announced earlier in the week.
“There are no notices on the roads leading up to the centre, on roundabouts or even in the local shops. There is just one small notice on the gate of the campus informing voters that their polling place has been moved to a neighbouring school, Le Chéile Secondary School.”
Turnout at lunchtime never rose higher than the 18 per cent it hit on Ailesbury Road in Dublin.
The number of voters going to the polls increased somewhat in the afternoon but remained much lower than at the same time during the abortion referendum in May.
North inner city Dublin was at just 10 per cent turnout by 6pm but at 31 per cent in Terenure.
Turnout hit 34 per cent in Bray, Co Wicklow, and had reached 35 per cent by 5.30pm in Whitehall in Dublin. But in Sligo turnout was down at just 8 per cent in parts of the county while in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, it hit 25 per cent.
In Greencastle, Co Donegal, where presidential candidate Peter Casey voted, the turnout was 20 per cent by teatime while in the Midlands the turnout average 25 per cent.
In Galway city at 6pm turnout was estimated at 25 per cent.
In Mayo turnout had doubled by 4pm from mid-morning, but it was from a low base.
In Castlebar it averaged 9 per cent at 11.30am but hit 18 per cent by 4pm and rose to 21 per cent by 6pm.
Ballyhaunis voter turnout hit 20 per cent by late afternoon while in Ballina it rose to just over 20 per cent by teatime.
Polling in Cork was also slow with polling stations in both the city and county constituencies reporting low turnouts throughout the day. In the Cavan-Monaghan constituency, turnout was only at 20 per cent by teatime.
Polling stations opened at 7am on Friday on the mainland and will remain open until 10pm to give people the opportunity to cast their ballot.
The Irish Times published an exit poll on Friday evening which indicated that Michael D Higgins would remain as President and the referendum on blasphemy would be passed.
Turnout in wealthier areas is higher than in working-class neighbourhoods, according to the estimates for Dublin Bay South.
Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys said: “It seems the more affluent the area the higher the turnout.”
Mr Humphreys said the turnout for those on the supplementary register was very low in the Dublin area.
Returning officers believe that the holding of polls on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend may also have an impact, with no major increase in turnout expected at teatime because voters may be away.
The last presidential election was held on Thursday, October 27th, 2011.
Presidential candidate Seán Gallagher attended a polling station in Greystones, Co Wicklow, with his wife Trish to vote in the election early on Friday morning, while Mr Higgins cast his vote in St Mary’s Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar voted at Scoil Thomáis, Castleknock in Dublin.
Six candidates are vying for the highest office in the State: the incumbent, Mr Higgins; Senator Joan Freeman; Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada and three businessmen – Mr Gallagher, Gavin Duffy and Mr Casey.
The electorate is also being asked on the ballot paper whether or not they want to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution.
Voting got under way on 12 islands off the coast of counties Donegal, Mayo and Galway on Thursday.
Turnout percentages ranged from 4 per cent to 50 per cent, with Mayo islanders appearing to be the among the most engaged and Donegal voters least so.
Count staff will begin sorting and collating the ballot papers at count centres across the country from 9am on Saturday.
A result is expected by Saturday evening, or by early Sunday at the latest.
– Additional reporting from PA