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Irish presidential election, 1966

Irish presidential election, 1966

← 1959 1 June 1966 1973 →
Turnout 65.3%

  Eamon de Valera c 1922-30.jpg No image.png
Nominee Éamon de Valera Tom O'Higgins
Party Fianna Fáil Fine Gael
Popular vote 558,861 548,144
Final percentage 50.5% 49.5%

President before election

Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil

Elected President

Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil

The Irish presidential election of 1966 was the fifth election in Ireland and was held on 1 June 1966. Incumbent president Éamon de Valera, 83 and with a rapidly deteriorating eyesight, standing for Fianna Fáil was narrowly re-elected, with Fine Gael candidate Tom O'Higgins coming within 1% (or 10,718 votes) of defeating de Valera.

Nomimation process

Under Article 12 of the Constitution of Ireland, a candidate for president may be nominated by:

On 27 April, the Minister for Local Government made the order for the presidential election, with noon on 10 May as the date for nominations, and 1 June as the date of polling.[1] Eoin "the Pope" O'Mahony, who had sought and failed to be nominated in 1959, tried again, unsuccessfully. He had the support of North Tipperary County Council.[2]

As president, Éamon de Valera had the right to nominate himself for a second term, but he chose to be nominated by Fianna Fáil, the party he had led from 1926 until his election in 1959.[3] Then Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach Seán Lemass had urged de Valera not to retire, as he had been considering.[4] De Valera's campaign manager was Charles Haughey, later to become Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach.[3]

Fine Gael nominated Tom O'Higgins, who had served as a TD since 1948, and was 49 at the time of the election. Gerard Sweetman served as his election director.[5]

De Valera did not campaign, and to maintain balance, RTÉ chose not to cover the campaign of O'Higgins either.[3]

Result

Irish presidential election 1966[6]
Candidate Nominated by % 1st Pref Count 1
Éamon de Valera Oireachtas: Fianna Fáil 50.5 558,861
Tom O'Higgins Oireachtas: Fine Gael 49.5 548,144
Electorate: 1,709,161   Valid: 1,107,005   Spoilt: 9,910 (0.9%)   Quota: 553,503   Turnout: 65.3%
Popular vote
De Valera
50.5%
O'Higgins
49.5%
Results by constituency
Constituency De Valera O'Higgins
Votes % Votes %
Carlow–Kilkenny 21,332 53.3 18,725 46.7
Cavan 12,542 50.2 12,431 49.8
Clare 19,992 64.2 11,132 35.8
Cork Borough 18,129 48.5 19,281 51.5
Cork Mid 17,532 48.0 19,015 52.0
Cork North-East 21,204 51.2 20,175 48.8
Cork South-West 11,590 46.9 13,131 53.1
Donegal North-East 13,540 60.2 8,967 39.8
Donegal South-West 12,781 54.2 10,804 45.8
Dublin County 9,842 45.0 12,016 55.0
Dublin North-Central 20,300 41.4 28,676 58.6
Dublin North-East 10,202 42.2 13,995 57.8
Dublin North-West 13,954 44.9 17,149 55.1
Dublin South-Central 10,554 40.0 15,841 60.0
Dublin South-East 14,764 42.8 19,692 57.2
Dublin South-West 19,656 44.5 24,554 55.5
Dún Laoghaire and Rathdown 13,869 37.7 22,945 62.3
Galway East 20,621 56.4 15,951 43.6
Galway West 11,793 60.6 7,674 39.4
Kerry North 11,334 55.7 9,016 44.3
Kerry South 11,083 55.9 8,759 44.1
Kildare 16,022 52.1 14,705 47.9
Laois–Offaly 19,046 48.7 20,075 51.3
Limerick East 17,002 53.4 14,822 46.6
Limerick West 13,719 57.2 10,262 42.8
Longford–Westmeath 14,951 50.4 14,740 49.6
Louth 13,519 54.0 11,523 46.0
Mayo North 9,878 55.0 8,096 45.0
Mayo South 12,598 48.9 13,161 51.1
Meath 13,368 57.5 9,891 42.5
Monaghan 11,700 50.6 11,408 49.4
Roscommon 15,655 51.7 14,646 48.3
Sligo–Leitrim 13,251 50.6 12,918 49.4
Tipperary North 12,589 55.2 10,209 44.8
Tipperary South 19,300 58.4 13,745 41.6
Waterford 13,334 55.0 10,913 45.0
Wexford 15,268 50.1 15,203 49.9
Wicklow 11,047 48.1 11,898 51.9
Total 558,861 50.5 548,144 49.5

References

  1. ^ "Presidential election". The Irish Times. 28 April 1966. 
  2. ^ "O'Mahony still seeks nomination". The Irish Times. 29 April 1966. 
  3. ^ a b c Ryan, Ray (20 August 2018). "How Dev almost lost the 1966 presidential election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  4. ^ "Why Lemass urged de Valera to stay". The Irish Times. 10 May 1966. 
  5. ^ "Presidential nomination papers handed in". The Irish Times. 11 May 1966. 
  6. ^ "Presidential Elections 1938–2011" (PDF). Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. p. 26. Retrieved 25 August 2018.