Sinn Féin could increase its Dáil seat numbers by between 10 and 15, cementing their place as the third large party in Irish politics.
The extent of the surge has led to early calls from within Fianna Fáil for them to open discussions with Mary Lou McDonald's party about government formation.
— McConnellDaniel (@McConnellDaniel) February 9, 2020
Even though Micheál Martin has ruled out any coalition deal with Sinn Féin, Carlow-Kilkenny TD John McGuinness has said all options must be considered.
Incredibly, in constituencies throughout the country where the party suffered major losses in last year's local elections, Sinn Féin candidates are not only topping the poll, some are coming back with up to two quotas.
Robert Troy tells @JoeFinneganShow that responsible thing to do is look at policies and talk to all parties (including sf)— Johnny Fallon (@jonnyfallon) February 9, 2020
Ms McDonald's party is topping the poll in constituencies across the country and it looks as though the vast majority of Sinn Féin's candidates are going to be elected.
The party is up on the exit poll with most of the tallies across the country done.
At least 37 of the 42 Sinn Féin candidates are in serious contention for a seat.
As an illustration of how strong the swing to Sinn Féin is, final tallies show that Sinn Féin is set to take a Dáil seat in Roscommon for the first time in 102 years.
Arriving at the RDS count centre Sinn Féin President @MaryLouMcDonald says the party have already spoken to @greenparty_ie @SocDems and Solidarity-PBP about forming a Government without @FineGael and @fiannafailparty #iestaff pic.twitter.com/wxMqG7Bioh— Elaine Loughlin (@Elaine_Loughlin) February 9, 2020
To illustrate the disruptive nature of the Sinn Féin surge, the final tally in Dublin Bay North put Denise Mitchell on 30% of first preferences, Fine Gael minister Richard Bruton on 16% and Aodhan O Riordain of Labour on 11%. Ms Mitchell was tipped to lose her seat less than two weeks ago.
In Dublin North-West Fine Gael TD, Noel Rock, has told the Irish Examiner about the prospect of keeping his seat there.
"It was always going to be a big ask," Mr Rock said adding that his election is "indecisive".
"Sinn Féin became a natural home for people who were disaffected by the performances in housing and health."
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