It's not a sure thing just yet, but Bertie Ahern is watching the numbers very closely. He's been returned to his seat in a landslide, but Enda Kenny's merry band is picking up the slack, making gains at the expense of the smaller parties. Everyone is dying to see a few snaps of Grandda and the Byrne twins, himself with Rocco and Jay, but Mr. Ahern may not be in much of a mood to pose with the little boys if his position as Taoiseach is not secured.
With counting not yet completed, it also appears that Mary Harney is returning, but the rest of her Progressive Democrat colleagues are taking a drubbing. Pundits are already proclaiming the end of the Fianna Fail - Progressive Democrat coalition, and Ms. Harney will be out of her ministerial post. One has to believe that the consultants and nurses are glad to see the back of her. Michael McDowell, the fearless leader of the PDs, has been deposed by his unhappy constituents, and he's saying he's going to resign from politics. Well, when the people don't want what you're offering, and your party has taken a drubbing, maybe it is time to stand aside and let someone else try their hand.
The Dail will be a dull place without Joe Higgins to rant and rave, spewing his Socialist Party prattle and lambasting the US government. That was always a tough position to take, what with so many emigrants living very comfortably in the US of A and sending money back home to aged parents. Knock on some doors and decry America and the old folks at home won't take kindly to the politician asking for their vote. Then there's all that Celtic Tiger prosperity, and socialism loses its luster when it's your pockets that Mr. Higgins is planning to pick and you know how hard and long you had to work to earn your lovely salary.
With transfers yet to be counted, Enda Kenny is so buoyant that he needs to be tied down like a large helium balloon. He's looking at the seats his lads have gained, and adding them in to the total held by Labour and the Greens, who would coalesce into a merry rainbow of politicians looking to run the nation and elect him Taoiseach if all goes well. If Fianna Fail doesn't pick up a second seat in Dublin, and if no more than two PDs remain, it will look bad for Mr. Ahern and his plan to be taoiseach for a third time. You know what form Mr. Kenny's prayers are taking.
But what if Fianna Fail does come out on top? The PDs are dead in the water, so who would go into government with FF? All those lovely ministerial positions, just waiting to be snapped up by ambitious folks. Could it be Sinn Fein? Never, not in a million years. Maybe some Labourites would be tempted, or the Green Party clan, drawn to higher office and a position with some real impact.
Something old, in the form of Fianna Fail, blended in with something new. The fun just goes on and on.