Coughlan loses seat as Fine Gael move closer to Government

Outgoing Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has become the biggest name to lose her seat in the General Election.

Outgoing Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has become the biggest name to lose her seat in the General Election.

More than a third of the seats for the 31st Dáil have now been filled.

Fianna Fáil is in meltdown, the party could have just 22 or 23 seats, and just one in the capital in outgoing Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

The Tánaiste is the most high-profile casualty, but other political dynasties are about to come to an end - the names Haughey, Andrews, and Hanafin will be gone.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny will not make an overall majority, but a handful of final seats could decide whether he needs Labour or can try and cut a deal with Independents.

Counting in the Dun Laoghaire constituency has been halted after Labour called a full recount which will take place tomorrow morning.

Just before 3pm, Labour's Joan Burton became the first member to be elected to the 31st Dáil.

She has been followed by party leader Eamon Gilmore, a raft of familiar names like Pat Rabbitte and Rosin Shortall, and new faces like Brendan Ryan and Robert Dowds.

The party will finish in second place, and have its best electoral performance in history.

But the country is turning blue - Enda Kenny's election in Mayo, followed by Michael Ring and the party should take two of the remaining three there.

An overall majority it seems is not in sight, but many in the party remain convinced the final seat numbers could see a Government formed without Labour.

Sinn Féin looks set to at least double its seats, while Independents and others, especially those on the left, are having a good day.

In Dublin South, Shane Ross topped the poll, as did Mick Wallace in Wexford, and Joe Higgins and Catherine Murphy make returns to the Dáil.

But the Greens will be wiped out since none of the party's outgoing TD's or candidates will make the cut.

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