Business Minister Heather Humphreys has acknowledged that Fine Gael is "in line" to lose some seats.
"An outcome of this poll means we're in line to pick up some new seats, as well I suppose as lose some."
But she said the party "had a very good campaign and the exit poll is proof of that".
The Ipsos-MRBI poll suggests the most fractured political landscape in recent memory.
It is 22% all around with the three largest parties in the country all tied.
The exit poll of more than 5,300 people shows Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil all on 22% support.
But Minister Humphreys told Newstalk Breakfast: "We have made ground over the last week... and according to this poll, Fine Gael are the biggest party going into count day".
Asked what may have affected their result, she said: "There was an appetite for change, but change can mean different things to different people.
"No one could paint a picture of what change looked like.
"For me, the fundamental drivers of change are a stable economy, and obviously Brexit and the ensuing free-trade agreement will have a big impact on that"
She added: "Parties have loosely promised change without defining what it means and they benefitted from that".
Asked about going into government, she said: "Fine Gael is ready to go into government with any party - with the exception of Sinn Féin.
"Sinn Féin's policies are miles apart from ours and they came forward with a manifesto that I believe was not costed".