Fine Gael must up its game and may yet have to kiss and make up with Fianna Fáil
It's quite puzzling. Imagine on the day that Fine Gael and Labour came to power, somebody had said then that three or four months from the next election, the economy would be the fastest-growing in Europe, unemployment would drop to single digits, the fiscal crisis would be largely sorted, the Troika would be gone and the final Budget would match anything from the McCreevy era.
You'd have thought: "Game over, the Coalition will be returned with another landslide." The kitchen sink has been thrown at the Irish electorate in the shape of a giveaway Budget. But it hasn't had the desired impact.
The Government is still short of where it needs to be in order to get re-elected. Fine Gael up two points to 30pc is at a three-year high. But at 7pc, according to a Red C poll, the Labour leadership must be relieved they dug their heels in on a November election. Despite the scenario outlined at the outset, the Coalition is continuing to struggle.