The best, worst and weirdest moments ...
The floating into government award for best party effort:
Fine Gael's campaign was so slick it bored us to tears. No major cock ups, no major gaffes -- Enda Kenny's teaching pension aside -- just the five-point plan. The most exciting it got was when Enda called the plan the "plean cuig pointe" in the TG4 debate.
- The floating without a paddle award for worst party effort:
Labour had no alternative to shoving Gilmore in front of the cameras and he was reduced to nibbling at Inda's heels, launching attack ads to make sure he gets into the scratcher of State after the election.
- The floating over a quota award for best personal campaign:
From telling Joan Burton she was engaging in "magic bean" economics, to his response to Brian Lenihan's claim that FG's figures didn't add up ("Ah, they do"), and his demolition job on Labour's attack ads -- Michael Noonan was on top form.
- The float on by award for worst personal campaign:
'Pithy' Pat Rabbitte -- the man who licks every syllable that passes his lips -- started the campaign by getting into a sexism row and ended it by getting trumped by Noonan in debates. He got mixed up on his party's policy on water charges too. No amount of quips can get you out of those performances.
- The 'did you hear about that shagger?' award for spin doctor of the campaign:
Nobody does it better than Big Phil Hogan, who released the FG plan to scrap ministerial severance payments on the morning of the FF manifesto launch. Micheal Martin was caught unawares, reacted slowly and allowed the story drag on.
- Stunt of the campaign:
The two crusties who bawled Enda Kenny out of it at an otherwise dull town hall meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon will forever hold a place in our hearts. Amid the blue rinsed hordes of blueshirts, Terry Ghusto, Bobby Channels and their 'The Twits'- style overgrown beards entertained us no end.
- Gaffe of the campaign:
For consistency, it has to be Jurry Adams, whose grasp of economics and southern issues was a constant source of fun. For standout gaffe, it's Eamon Gilmore's "it's Frankfurt's way or Labour's way". That shot Gilmore's credibility as a possible Taoiseach.
- Best slogan:
'Let's Get Ireland Working' from Fine Gael. It, like, works on so many levels. Like getting people back to work, getting politics working, getting the machine of State working. Deep man.
- Worst slogan:
'Gilmore for Taoiseach' was redundant even before the posters went up, and became embarrassing as the FG machine motored ahead.
- Er, we didn't mean for that to happen moment of the campaign:
Even though we've bestowed him with the 'did you hear about that shagger award', this goes to Phil Hogan for causing a stink when he tried to shut down FG's opening press conference.
- The Fianna Fail award for irrelevance during the campaign:
What is this Fianna Fail you speak of?