Many years ago, a wise and respected member of the Labour Party once shared with me his theory that Fianna Fail could not survive two terms in opposition. He came to this conclusion because he felt that FF had so many members who were not attracted to the party for ideolgical or even historical reasons but because it was where the power was, and once FF could not deliver power over a long period, those people would eventually scuttle elsewhere, most likely into Fine Gael, cash in hand, desperately trying to buy their way into the affections of their new masters.
Fine Gael have to be very careful about this, because it will be very easy for a new deputy, flush from victory, to find himself surrounded with ex-FF Latchycos (One of the great Irish words) offering to buy National Draw tickets, etc, and suddenly FG is infested (and that is the right word) with the bastards. And as Jack Lynch, Des O’Malley, George Colley and Bobby Molloy discovered, once they’re in, they’ll overrun the place.
Curiously, the lack of power will suddenly leave FF as the clean party. Who’d a thunk it?