The morning after the earthquake before – the summary so far
The top ten things we have learned from the General Election 2016 count so far
Published 27/02/2016 | 22:30
Following counting across the country into the early hours, more than half the seats have been filled – 91 of 158.
The most recent results have come from Cork East where Labour's Sean Sherlock, Fine Gael's David Stanton and Fianna Fáil's Kevin O'Keeffe were elected on count eight in the last hour.
A total of 18 constituencies have completed counting.
Another 21 have been adjourned and some will restart between 9am and 11am today.
Wexford has adjourned its count until 10am on Monday morning. Only 52 votes separate the lower two candidates in Wexford. A full recount is to take place on Monday from 10am after a request from Sinn Féin.
The Government parties have experienced heavy losses at the polls today but there has been successes on other fronts.
Here are the top ten things we have learned from the General Election 2016 count so far:
1. Ministerial office will not save you
The stage is set for some high-profile departures as Ministers have been eliminated and tallies indicate more are to follow.
Communications Minster Alex White was first to go, former Justice Minister Alan Shatter followed while Minister Jan O’Sullivan and Junior Ministers Kathleen Lynch and James Reilly look like the could be in serious trouble.
2. Labour need a serious overhaul
It has been a bad day at the office for Labour. Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin admitted that the party “had to rebuild.”
The demise will be hard to stomach as the Party Leader Joan Burton had to fight for her seat.
3. The slowest count centre has become the fastest
Laois was the first constituency to finish counting after holding the title of one of the slowest count centres.
The county used to be part Laois-Offaly, but has since lost two seats which has appeared to have made all the difference.
4. Gender quotas have worked
It appears gender quotas have worked – especially in parties experiencing growth.Fianna Fáil looks likely to have the most women added to their parliamentary party.
Anne Rabbitte, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, Fiona O’Loughlin, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor and Mary Butler are looking certain to be elected and Catherine Ardagh, Niamh Smyth and Lisa Chambers are all in contention.
5. Green Party can be forgiven
Voters appear to have forgiven the Green Party after their 2011 wipe-out, though progress is small. Eamon Ryan has a good chance Dublin Bay South and Catherine Martin has been elected in Dublin South.
6. Support for Independents is growing
Shane Ross was the first elected TD in country and was soon joined by Sean Canney in Galway East, Michael Lowry in Tipperary and Denis Naughten in Roscommon. Growth for independents set to continue as counting drags on into Monday.
7. Mick Wallace can’t take support for granted
Mick Wallace’s drop in support was the biggest shock to the Independent brand. The Wexford TD looks to be in a struggle for the last seat after topping the polling last time out in 2011.
8. The Social Democrats have made fine debut performance
For General Election first timers the Social Democrats have done well. They were the first party to return all their sitting TDs and Dublin candidate Gary Gannon has done well even if he fails to get elected.
9. Others will make a move for power
Health Minster Leo Varadkar has said he will expect other parties to make a move as the parties now look at their coalition options as Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin did not rule out doing a deal with Fine Gael entirel yesterday.
10. Fine Gael’s second best election
Tallies and opinion polls suggest Fine Gael will register their second most number of TDs. However, the 2016 will feel like a defeat after the high of 2011.