SHANE ROSS HAS paid tribute to his team and supporters, after becoming the first TD elected to the 32nd Dáil this afternoon.
The Independent Alliance incumbent reached the quota in Dublin Rathdown after the second count, having been just 73 votes off after count one.
The quota of 10,275 was passed after Alan Daveron’s votes were transferred on his elimination.
Ross was elected with 10,411 votes.
There are now two seats up for grabs in Dublin Rathdown, with Fine Gael’s Alan Shatter and Josepha Madigan in the hunt, along with the Green Party’s Catherine Martin and Fianna Fáil’s Mary White.
Labour’s Alex White looks set to be another casualty of the party’s horror election.
Independent TD Peter Mathews has also lost his seat and has been eliminated.
Ross was quickly joined by Dáil mainstays, Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald and Fianna Fáil’s Seán Fleming as the first elected TDs.
New face Eoin Ó Broin from Sinn Féin was also elected after the first count in Dublin Mid-West.
Speaking alongside his grandson Edward at the National Basketball Arena count centre, in Tallaght, Ross put his win down to the desire for change among the electorate, along with a well-run ground campaign by his team.
“It’s undoubtedly true that in the constituency they are looking for radical reform.
“This was a vote not just against the government it was a positive vote for ‘let’s do something radical, let’s do something different’.”
With other members of his Independent Alliance doing well elsewhere in the country, Ross said he hoped his group would be in a “pivotal position” in the next Dáil, and that they intended to “absolutely insist” that whatever government is formed implements their programme.
Established last year by Ross, Michael Fitzmaurice and a number of other high-profile independents, the Independent Alliance has adopted several common principles, but says a Dáil voting whip won’t be imposed on members.
With reporting by Daragh Brophy.