When the Labour and the Progressive Democrats parties both suffered heavy seat losses in the 1997 general election, the independent candidates and small parties benefited.

Presenter Miriam O'Callaghan gives the background to the success of small parties and independents in the recent election.

'Prime Time' reporter Mike Milotte profiles successful candidates in the 1997 general election from minority parties or those who contested the election independently. Michael Lowry, Joe Higgins, Jackie Healy Rae, Mildred Fox, Harry Blaney, Thomas Gildea and Tony Gregory are shown in their various count centres and are interviewed briefly after they are elected.