Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have emerged as the two best-performing parties in the local elections, with more than 280 of the 949 council seats now filled. 

At the time of writing, Fine Gael has won a total of 86 of the 283 seats, taking 23.2% of the first preference vote. 

Fianna Fáil, meanwhile, has won 79 of the 283 seats so far, receiving 22.8% of the first preference votes. 

It has been a disappointing election for Sinn Féin, with the party winning just 14 seats so far and receiving 11.3% of first preference votes. 

That figure represents a 2% increase in Sinn Féin's performance on the last local elections in 2019 but a decrease of 13.2% on their performance in the 2020 general election. 

Elsewhere, Labour has won 16 seats so far, receiving 5.7% of first preference votes, while support for Independent candidates has surged, with Independent candidates claiming 19.6% of the first preference vote compared to 19% in 2019. 

A total of 67 Independent candidates have been elected at the time of writing. 

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said Fianna Fáil has performed "far better than predicted", adding that his party has delivered a "robust performance". 

Minister for Public Expenditure and Fine Gael TD Paschal Donohoe said the election has "shattered" the narrative that Fine Gael is a tired party. 

"Overall, the portrayal that some have offered of Fine Gael as a tired party - that narrative, that claim, has been shattered by the results that we're seeing potentially coming through at the moment," Donohoe said on Saturday. 

"And the other narrative that there's anything inevitable about Sinn Fein being in government - that's been shattered too." 

Donohoe predicted that the Government will "go the full distance" before a general election must be called next March. 

Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin's spokesperson for finance, said the party will "dust themselves down" in the coming days and look at the "lessons that can be learned". 

The party won a historic 24.5% of the first preference vote in the 2020 general election and regularly polled at over 30% over the past four years. 

Counting in the European elections is set to get underway on Sunday, with 14 seats up for grabs across three constituencies.