There were surprises in every part of the State
Plenty of shocks as Fine Gael is punished and Labour fights for its life, writes Shane Coleman
What a truly extraordinary election. Scratch that. It's been 40 extraordinary elections. Almost every one of the constituencies has thrown up surprises. Some more than others. Who would have thought Fianna Fail would be in the shake-up for three seats in Carlow-Kilkenny? Or that it could win two seats in Cork North-West? Or that it would likely win four out of seven seats in Kildare, like it did in 2007?
At the time of writing, much is still to be decided, but there is no doubt about the patterns that are emerging. Regardless of how the final numbers shape up, Fianna Fail and Micheal Martin have had an incredible election result.
To break 40 seats, as it seems likely to do, wasn't predicted by too many. Independents and 'others' have also had a fantastic result.