Even someone as jaded about Irish politics as me has to admit to being fascinated by the possibility of Labour emerging as the largest party, as recent polls continue to suggest. The possibility throws up an absolute rake of questions:
1. Given that Labour is disliked by a large number of centre-right voters, could a consistent lead in the polls start to drive worried centre-right voters to the most effective centre-right party in the country, Fianna Fail? After all, a vote for FG may merely be a vote for a Labour Taoiseach. What would happen to FG as a junior partner in a majority left govt? Its centre-right voters would surely start shifting to FF, leading to a genuine right-left divide in Irish politics as FG disintegrates.
2. If FG comes second, and FF third, will FF negotiate with both FG and Labour? Wouldn’t it be milk-out-your-nose funny if FG ended up having to do a deal with FF?
3. Better still, wouldn’t it just plain wet-your-pants funny if FG lost its SEVENTH election in a row, this time to Labour?