THE Reform Alliance monster meeting in the RDS next Sunday was originally supposed to evolve into the political equivalent of Come Dine With Me.
Alongside the actual members of the group, a number of high-profile future recruits and allies were supposed to attend to taste the public mood. It hasn't quite worked out that way. Instead of breaking out of the Fine Gael bunker, the Reform Alliance has been pushed even further back in. So who are those that the alliance would have liked or expected to attend and why are they not there?
Who -- Stephen Donnelly
Why -- Reforming independent who has made no secret of his discontent with being an independent.
The Problem -- Liberal views not compatible with Reform Alliance (RA) position.
Who -- Shane Ross
Why -- Similar economic and political reform agenda. Seen, like the RA, as being to the right on economic issues.
The Problem -- Not at ease with views of RA on social issues.
Who -- Katherine Zappone
Why -- Reforming senator who played a key role in reform of Seanad and won a key victory on gay marriage.
The Problem -- Views on gay marriage and adoption not seen to be compatible with the Alliance.
Who -- John Halligan
Why -- Offers a road into the moderate, pragmatic left TDs, such as Catherine Murphy. Keen to set up a political movement.
The Problem -- Utterly different views on social issues.
Who -- Nessa Childers
Why -- Resigned from Labour on broken election pledges.
The Problem -- Views on social agenda incompatible with those of the RA.
Who -- Roisin Shorthall
Why -- Close to Lucinda Creighton after shared resignation experiences. Has expressed growing interest in the possibilities of a new political movement.
The Problem -- Not at ease with right-wing drift of Reform Alliance on economy.
Who -- Michael McDowell
Why -- Previous experience in founding a new party; similar views on reform and the economy.
The Problem -- Mixture of history and karma crossed with constituency rivalry.
Who -- Noel Grealish
Why -- Former PD and durable rural TD, cuter than he appears.
The problem -- Cute enough to not rush his fences on this one.