Pat Rabbitte says Labour is the "only social democrat party in Ireland"

The former Labour leader also dismissed last year's election of Jeremy Corbyn as British labour leader

Former leader of the Labour Party Pat Rabbitte hit out at the Social Democrats, saying his party were the "only social democrat party in Ireland".

He dismissed the seven month-old party as a convenient grouping for Roisin Shorthall, Catherine Murphy and Stephen Donnelly - all of whom have been re-elected.

"The Labour Party is more than three TDs coming together for the purposes of a convenient flag for an election", he said, pointing out its activity in 35 of Ireland's 40 constituencies.

When asked by George Hook if Labour should look towards their British counterparts - who elected Jeremy Corbyn last year in a wave of hard-left support - Rabbitte was far from enthusiastic.

"I think that's the worst decision that ever was made by a major party", he said of Corbyn's appointment.

He said British Labour, unlike his party, had a "realistic expectation" of being in government, and were the party in waiting, so did not need to take the risk of turning left.

It will take time for Labour to rebuild, he admitted, after a disastrous performance that will see them with only a handful of remaining TDs.

However, Rabbitte insisted "there is no other route" for social democracy in Ireland. Alluding to Fianna Fáil's impressive performance, he said the Irish electorate was clearly "forgiving". 

Newstalk's Political Editor Shane Coleman offered some advice, saying Labour should follow Fianna Fáil's recent strategy of a patient and steady rebuilding progress.

With Alan Kelly in with a good chance in Tipperary, Coleman said his seat could give the huge boost of pushing Labour past up to the seven seats required for speaking rights in the Dáil - a measly but important achievement for the party.

Live from @ElectionNT