The Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald is set to contact other party leaders in the coming hours with a view to government formation.
The party looks set to top the poll in a number of constituencies.
While a number of candidates who lost their council seats just seven months ago look set to enter the Dáil.
Pearse Doherty, who is set to top the poll with a huge vote in Donegal, discusses what is next for the party.
"There are people who voted for, in the majority, for a different type of politics outside of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
"So that's our job, we are obviously the lead party of that.
"And that's why Mary Lou [McDonald], in the next couple of hours, is going to be phoning the party leaders to start that conversation in relation to 'can we actually form a government, can we deliver on a programme for government that delivers on the big issues' that we dealt with during the election.
"The real change that people want.
"We won't know that until obviously those discussions take place - but also until all of the seats are filled".
He told Jonathan Healy: "There is now an opportunity for real change here, and a change possibly without those two parties involved.
"Those conversations will begin - so let's just not suggest that it's Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
"There's actually quite a number of other parties who I think are going to do very well".
"We will contact all political parties and all the smaller parties to look and see if there is a programme for government that can be discussed".
Speaking earlier, Dublin Mid-West candidate Eoin Ó Broin said Sinn Féin is ready to "be in government tomorrow".
"What we've said throughout the campaign is we want to be in government, and we want to be in government to deliver real change on the all of the key issues we campaigned on.
"Obviously we have to get through today, and get our seats and candidates elected.
"But once we start contacting the parties we'd be looking to discuss with all of them around restoring the pension age to 65, building 100,000 public houses, proper investing in universal healthcare... and obviously progressing towards a referendum on Irish unity.
"Anybody who wants to talk about that kind of progressive, positive change we're in the business of wanting to talk about them and form a government".