The counting of votes for the general election will resume later this morning. With almost half of seats already filled, Sinn Féin has won the highest percentage of first preference votes, but Fianna Fáil is poised to win the most seats.

It was a long night in count centres across the country with some early morning casualties.  

In Limerick County, Fine Gael's Tom Neville lost his seat to independent newcomer Richard O'Donoghue.

In Mayo, Fianna Fáil's Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers lost her seat just after 2am, where former county footballer Alan Dillon held on to a second Fine Gael seat in the constituency.

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Seán Sherlock became the first Labour TD to be elected when the results rolled in from Cork East just before 2am. He was joined by Fianna Fáil's James O'Connor who, at  22, will be the youngest TD in the new Dáil. 

There was an early morning upset in Cork South-West where Holly Cairns of the Social Democrats edged out Fine Gael's Tim Lombard for the final seat.

Earlier, a double victory for Sinn Féin in Donegal topped off what was a historic day for the party. So far it has taken 29 seats. But the impact of its success will be felt far wider, with its massive vote surpluses helping to bring in a number of left-wing TDs.

The Sinn Féin surge is also set to make government formation a complex task with many plots. 

For now, much of the focus is on Fianna Fáil, which is likely to return the most seats. Opinion in that party is divided on what shape the next government should take.

Correct as of 4.30am