Coleman: Ten reasons why this election is different

More women, more social media, more Enda Kenny?

The election campaign is now finally in full swing and with that, we are going to see a lot more of our favourite politicians over the next few weeks.

However, this won't be like every other Election.

Newstalk's Political Editor, Shane Coleman has put together a list of the things that are different about this Election.

1. This is the first election where Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael could be below 90 seats combined.

Last time because of the FF collapse the two parties were at 96 combined, one of the lowest ever. The record low before was FF’s first election in 1927 (91 seats), but as recently as 2007, it was as high as 129 seats.

2. This is the first election where FG and Labour can credibly argue they left the country in a far better place than they found it.

In 1977 and 1987 in particular, they were unlucky in the economic cycle. They’ve got the bounce of the ball this time though.

3. The fragmented nature of the vote

There could be more than 10 political parties represented in the next Dáil. It’s very possible no one party will win more than 55 seats.

4. The Gender Quota.

As of now 153 of the 500 candidates declared are women. That’s double the 15% of 2011.

5. If the bookies are right – though the latest opinion poll does raise a doubt - there is no alternative Taoiseach to Enda Kenny.

He’s 1-11 with the bookies, the next nearest is Micheál Martin at 12-1. That’s the highest odds ever for a leader of the opposition by a country mile.

6. Fianna Fail is not the dominant party going into this election for the first time since 1933.

7. It’s the first ‘stability versus chaos’ themed election since 1948

Fianna Fail warned ‘Fianna Fáil or doom’ to which Independent James Dillon – who would end up in cabinet after the election – responded ‘Doom be damned’. For the record ‘doom’ won as a five party – plus independent – inter-party government replaced FF.

8. If we exclude the 1922 general election – when the party was split between pro and anti treaty - it’s the first election that the leader of Sinn Féin could potentially be Taoiseach since independence.

In practice, Gerry Adams won’t be Taoiseach, but in theory it is possible.

9. It’s one of the shortest campaigns ever

At just 20 days (excluding Sundays and the day the election was called).

10. It’s the first campaign in which social media will be a big player

The Taoiseach announced the election date on twitter after all.