Ireland's incoming leader will now begin sizing up options for a new government after his Fine Gael party made an historic election breakthrough.
Enda Kenny looks on course to form a coalition with Labour and vowed to complete tricky negotiations within days.
His centre-right party secured a resounding success - its best ever at the polls - as rivals Fianna Fail were routed in a massive outpouring of voter anger over the recession and taxpayer bills for the banking crisis.
The new Dail parliament will also see a significant Independent bloc spearheaded by former Senator Shane Ross and developer Mick Wallace.
A strong left-wing influence also emerged with Sinn Fein on course to treble its vote to 15 seats led by poll topping party president Gerry Adams in Louth and TDs from the Socialist Party.
Former coalition party the Greens were wiped out with none of their sitting TDs returned.
Mr Kenny vowed not to waste any time pulling together a strong and stable government and then to force Europe's hand on renegotiation of the 85 billion euro IMF/EU loan deal.