After strong council gains, SF eyes Dail domination
On the basis of the latest Millward Brown poll, the former political outcasts of the South are poised to become the largest party in the Dail after the next election.
Significantly, the 16 per cent collapse in the FG vote from 36 per cent means that the civil war parties of FG and FF would not win enough seats to form a government.
The extent of voter alienation from these parties is such that at their current support ratings, FF and FG would struggle to win 60 seats between them.
SF could win 26 per cent and the new national structure of "professional councillors'' would win more than 50 seats.
This set of factors allied to the Green Party-style ongoing annihilation of Labour means that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael would find themselves competing to be Sinn Fein's junior partners.
The strength of support for Independents means, however, that a Sinn Fein, Socialist Party, and Independent coalition cannot be ruled out either.