FG takes three seats in Dublin South
Independent Senator Shane Ross was elected on the first count in 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 some 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 won 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 elected on the sixth count following the elimination of his running mate Aidan Culhane. He received 3,796 transfers from Mr Culhane, taking his total to 14,203.
Fianna Fáil failed to win a seat here for the first time in some 50 years. It's candidate Senator Maria Corrigan was the last to be eliminated. Ms Corrigan polled some 10 per cent of first preference votes,
Former Green Party minister Eamon Ryan failed to hold his seat and was eliminated on the seventh count. Before being eliminated, Mr Ryan accepted it would be “a big ask” to win the constituency’s last seat having polled 4,929 first preference votes.
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.”