It must've looked like a no-brainer to the Taoiseach. Give the people a gilt-edged opportunity to get rid of a big pile of useless politicians who cost the poor oul' taxpayer 20 million of their hard-earned scoots every year.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, the people looked into their hearts, and like several referendums before this, they said . . . meh. Less than 40pc of them showed up to vote and many of those who did so exercised their franchise out of a sense of duty rather than a burning sense of conviction.
Doubtless there were those who gritted their teeth and opted to save a bunch of politicians they barely knew simply because they were suspicious of the Government's desire to abolish the Seanad.
After all, Paddy likes to know what the story is.
And so, when the dust settled, Enda was rewarded with a meh-ferendum. And a shell-shocked Fine Gael was left with a what-the-hell-just-happened fiasco – a right old WTF-erendum.
At 9.16am on Saturday – a mere quarter-of-an-hour after the boxes were opened – a Bat Signal went up out of the RDS count centre. Labour's Kevin Humphreys saw a blizzard of No votes from Ringsend and decided to announce the nationwide result. "It's a No," he tweeted.
Kevin's early capitulation might've been dismissed as a rash act, but it didn't take long for another grim portent for the Yes campaign to appear on the D4 horizon. By around 10am, the roundy visage of Michael McDowell was orbiting around the count tables in the RDS, beaming like a benign full moon.
"I'm cautiously optimistic," he grinned as he watched the Nil votes materialise from the heap of ballots pouring out of Dublin South East boxes. There was an early hint of the unimpressed mood of the electorate when one ballot was unfolded to reveal 'WEAPON OF MASS DISTRACTION' scrawled in purple marker across the paper.
All around the hall, No votes were emerging helter-skelter. Fine Gael's director of elections, a solemn-faced Richard Bruton, patrolled the tables, tally-sheets in hand. Richard knew what the story was.
There was no buzz of bustling politicians in the count centre. Most of the Yes camp had decamped to the hills. Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald did show up, busily distancing herself and her party from the outcome. "In Dublin, the anti-government sentiment was a clear factor in this result," she reckoned.
And the astonished No supporters headed straight for the main referendum headquarters in Dublin Castle.
"People will think we're gay," giggled a giddy Joe. "I wouldn't do that to Joan," shouted David in a gallant reference to his friend's wife.
A large crew from the Democracy Now campaign staged a victory march through Dublin Castle. It was a decidedly motley bunch, including senators Feargal Quinn, Katherine Zappone and John Crown, Michael McDowell, academic Diarmuid Ferriter, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and now-Independent TD Peter Mathews.
And boy were they happy. "Just look at the day – the sun is shining on democracy, and democracy matters," declared a jubilant Feargal.
Fianna Fail's Micheal Martin, the party's director of elections Niall Collins and senator Darragh O'Brien strolled around, savouring the unusual sensation of being on the winning side of a ballot.
Micheal put the boot into the Government. "The Fine Gael/Sinn Fein campaign faltered because it was based not on substance, but on spin, and they ran out of steam towards the end of the campaign," he said.
Acouple of doleful government TDs watched the celebrations. Fine Gael's Simon Harris tried out some gallows humour. "At least there'll be a Seanad for us to come back to," he sighed.
But few in Fine Gael were in the mood for laughter. Richard Bruton arrived in the late afternoon to do the stations of the cross before the media.
"We fully accept the decision the people have taken," he said.
For the umpteenth time he defended the Taoiseach's decision not to take part in a televised debate. "Political leaders do not engage in head-to-head debates on referenda," he said.
A little while later, Eamon Gilmore declared: "The ideas about reform, I think they should be considered now."
Finally, around 5.30pm, the Taoiseach faced the music. "Sometimes in politics you get a bit of a wallop in the electoral process," he admitted.
But really this was more a boot up the arse than a wallop.
The people said meh. And Fine Gael should step away from the focus groups and start listening to the electorate. Or the people's next response may be a damn sight ruder.