Fine Gael adviser says we have witnessed a "massive fracture of the political system"

Mark Mortell is a public relations director and long-time associate of Enda Kenny

Fine Gael adviser says we have witnessed a "massive fracture of the political system"

26/2/2016 Voting in General Election. (Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie)

Fine Gael adviser Mark Mortell says we have witnessed a "massive fracture of the political system".

This, he says, may signal a move to a more 'continental' model of politics, with a more clearly defined left/right divide.

He also admitted to Newstalk Breakfast that the picture emerging from the exit polls is "really, really, disappointing", with Fine Gael on track to get around 25-26% of first preferences.

This, Mortell predicts, will result in a seat haul in the "mid-to-late 40s...  far, far short of what we would have been hoping to hit".

But the public relations director and long-time associate of Enda Kenny says you've "got to take what the people say and live with the consequences".

He doubts however that Kenny's leadership will be at stake, despite Ivan's insistence that many in Fine Gael are deeply unhappy with his decision not to hold the general election in November.

Mortell also questioned Ivan's claim that gaffes about 'whingers' and Patrick McNulty cost significant votes in the final days of the campaign, but accepted the 'chaos vs stability' question posed by Fine Gael might have been unwise.

Political instability is a major concern for Mortell, who believes such political volatility benefits no one.

But the votes are not yet counted, he says, and parties will be waiting until Sunday or Monday before making any big decisions - though there is "a risk" of another election before the year is over.