The next few days are going to be very interesting
The exit polls were released, the ballot boxes were opened and the votes were counted but not many people were expecting what happened yesterday.
We know what happened on the day, but happens next?
Well, the main thing to note is that the main parties and leaders will lay low for a couple of days and quietly look at their possibilities. It will probably be the end of next week before we hear anything in terms of what party may consider to do from here.
The parties don’t want another Election because:
The Dáil will meet on the 10th of March where they will elect the Ceann Comhairle by secret ballot Ceann Comhairle for the first time ever. That will reduce the numbers by one for somebody.
On Monday, there will be a Wexford recount and depending on what happens in Dublin Bay North (the issues with the 700 missed votes) this could go as far as the High Court.
There will still be some of the count centres going tomorrow and it could be tomorrow evening before we have a clear and complete national picture.
It's very likely that Labour won’t go into Government. They need a period of opposition to regroup, particularly because they are a smaller party. Like the other smaller parties who have served in Government, the Greens and the PDs, they need to take their time on the opposition benches.
There won’t be a grand coalition of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, unless they have equality, which would include a rotating Taoiseach. Neither party would get each other through as a junior partner in a respective Ard Fheis.
Without those two, there is no other feasible combination that you would anticipate lasting more than a few months. The only other option beyond that is Fine Gael forming a minority government with support from the opposition benches by Fianna Fail.
Enda Kenny wants to be Taoiseach so there is a possibility they will accept a Fianna Fáil deal where they’ll have an influence on policy and time to create a strategy for the next election, an election which might take place in the next few months.