New set-ups have potential to take votes from main parties
The rise and fall in support for Independents shows how volatile the electorate can be, writes Jody Corcoran
When voters go to the polls this year or next, it looks more likely than ever that they will be faced with a bewildering range of options to form the next government.
In the old days it was all rather simple: Fianna Fail or Fine Gael with Labour thrown in and/or a handful of Independents to make up the numbers.
In more recent times, the Progressive Democrats filled the gap and on one occasion the Greens, in both instances with the support of Independents, ultimately to the damage of the smaller and more ideologically driven parties.