IF a week is a long time in politics then the next few years in Kerry will seem like an eternity to Kerry's politicians. The publication of the Constituency Commission's report last week has utterly transformed the political landscape of the county and the next general election is set to be a political bloodbath in the new five seat constituency.
While the last few elections in Kerry have been relatively dull affairs, bar a few high profile losses, the next general election, whenever it may be, will be anything but.
Kerry's change from two separate constituencies, each with three Dail seats, to a single constituency with five Dail seats has been expected for a long time and had appeared a certainty after the publication of the first census figures. In fact it had been assumed that a five seat Kerry constituency would be in place ahead of the last general election and the decision to maintain the status quo and lump a large chunk of Limerick into north Kerry came as a huge surprise to many - not least the voters and politicians of West Limerick, many of whom were none too happy with the change.
The six sitting TDs and the political parties will surely have anticipated the possibility of a change to five seats but now that it has actually happened there is much cause for anxiety in Kerry's political circles.
Dynasties and TDs who were previously in virtually unassailable positions now find their flanks exposed and their seats hanging in the balance.
Going into the next general election the only certainty in Kerry is that if all the current TDs run one will lose his seat. Where that loss will occur will likely remain a mystery right until the last ballot is counted.
Anyone with even the slightest interest in Kerry politics should find the next few years fascinating. The TDs and parties will be forced out of their comfort zones and obliged to do battle in areas where they previously had little or no presence. We can expect many interesting personal battles as our six TDs scramble to avoid being the last man standing in the ultimate political game of musical chairs.
Politics is often described as a bloodsport. In Kerry it's now truly dog eat dog. Whatever happens we're all in for a very interesting few years.