The accidental winner: Even a month ago, it wouldn't have seemed likely that Fianna Fail's Maria Corrigan or Charlie McConalogue would be in with a shot, but there they are in the final shake-up. Independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan (above) is also on the brink of winning a seat.
And there will be others wondering how they did it. The vote hoover: The title of biggest vote getter in the country is up for grabs with Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern's departure. Fine Gael's objective will be to ensure none of their heavy-hitters are up there because it will mean the vote management has failed.
But still keep an eye on Michael Noonan (above), Phil Hogan and James Reilly. The last chance salooners: Fail to get elected this time and SF's Mary-Lou McDonald (above) will be ditched like a sack of spuds next time. Also among those who will have to pack it in if they can't make it this time are Labour's Michael McCarthy, Colm Keaveney and Dominic Hannigan, FG's John-Paul Phelan, Paschal Donohoe and Frances Fitzgerald and SF's David Cullinane and Dessie Ellis.
The dark horse:
Every election throws up its surprise results of candidates who come from nowhere to take a seat. By their nature, they can't be identified in advance. . . or else they wouldn't be dark horses. Keep an eye on senior, sitting TDs being taken out by their new, young running mates.