FG takes three Dublin South seats
Independent Senator Shane Ross was elected on the first count in the Dublin South constituency, where Fine Gael won three seats and Labour one.
Mr Ross received 17,075 first preference votes and was elected with a surplus of almost 5,000. He polled almost 25 per cent of first preference votes.
Fine Gael's Olivia Mitchell and Alan Shatter were returned and newcomer Peter Mathews also won a seat even though the party polled just 36 per cent of first preference votes. All three were elected on the eight count with Mr Mathews and Mr Shatter failing to reach the quota of 12,108.
Labour's Senator Alex White was second past the post. He was elected on the sixth count following the elimination of his running mate Aidan Culhane, who he received 3,796 transfers from taking his total to 14,203.
Fianna Fáil failed to win a seat here for the first time in some 50 years. Its candidate Senator Maria Corrigan was the last candidate to be eliminated. Ms Corrigan polled some 10 per cent of first preference votes but ended up some 1,500 votes short of Mr Shatter’s tally.
Former Green Party minister Eamon Ryan failed to hold his seat and was eliminated on the seventh count. Mr Ryan said the public had used its democratic right and chosen to punish Fianna Fail and the Green Party after their term in government.
Six candidates were eliminated after the second count. They were Eamon Zaidan (Ind), Raymond Patrick Whitehead (Ind), Jane Murphy (CSP), Budhima Hussein Hamed (Ind), Gerard P Dolan (Ind) and John Anthony Doyle (Ind).
Nicola Curry of the United Left Alliance was eliminated on the third count and Sinn Féin candidate Sorcha Nic Cormaic fell on the fourth.
Mr Ross was hoisted into the air by his supporters when his election was announced. He said he had received a good response on the doorsteps but that the resounding nature of the result exceeded his expectations.
“We got more votes than Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil,” he said. “What does that tell you? There is a strong message there…People saw me as a vehicle to put an end to tribal politics.”
Mr Ross said he was determined to see an end to cronyism in Irish politics as rapidly as possible, to introduce a system where politicians legislate rather than devote themselves to local issues and to campaign for a referendum on the EU-IMF bailout.
“I think that is absolutely essential if we are going to go back to Europe to renegotiate the deal. I don’t think we can go back without the Irish people having rejected it.”