As counting continues in the General Election, the Fianna Fáil party has so far won 59 out of 166 Dáil seats, representing 41% share of the vote.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, topped the poll in his Dublin Central constituency while Mary Harney is the only Progressive Democrat candidate to be elected so far.

With all first counts completed, Fine Gael has won 28 seats, Labour 11, the Greens three and Sinn Féin two.

Independents Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae have also been elected, the latter subject to a recount. Read full story

The Progressive Democrat leader, Michael McDowell, has said he will resign from politics after losing his seat in Dublin South East. Read full story

Joe Higgins, leader of the Socialist Party, has also lost his seat. Apart from being leaders of their respective parties, Mr McDowell and Mr Higgins were also arguably the best performers in the 29th Dáil.

Neither will be members of the 30th Dáil, both losing in the squeeze being felt by all the smaller parties as Fianna Fáil holds steady and Fine Gael wins back more or less all the seats it lost five years ago.

The PDs have now lost their leader, the deputy leader and their president, with only Mary Harney, who has been elected in Dublin Mid-West, and Noel Grealish who is looking good in Galway West, looking like returning to the Dáil.

After a roller-coaster election campaign, the count has thrown up more than its share of surprises.

After looking in reach of an overall-majority early in the day, Fianna Fáil's final total has been revised downwards, with Fine Gael winning a seat from them in Cork South West, and almost certainly in Dublin North East.

Enda Kenny is refusing to give up on the chance of being Taoiseach. Read the full story

However, it is clear Bertie Ahern remains in the driving seat.

But with Fianna Fáil's preferred coaltion partner, the PDs, looking like returning just two TDs, Mr Ahern may fall a few seats short.

A number of constituencies remain in play - in Dublin North Central, Ivor Callely could yet be caught by Independent Finian McGrath for the final seat.

Until the final seat is decided, the shape of the next Government will not be clear - a number of options are still potentially in play, depending on Fianan Fáil's final tally - with the PDs and perhaps some Independents; with the Greens; or indeed with Labour.

And all the time, Fine Gael are saying - do not rule out the Rainbow.

There are twists and turns still to come.

Attention is already turning to the formation of the next Government, with the Minister for Education Mary Hanafin ruling out a Fianna Fáil coalition with Sinn Féin.

She said an arrangement with the Greens or Labour was possible, as both of those parties must be 'sick' of being in Opposition.