Fianna Fail Nostalgia Fine Gael Stability Labour Change Green Party Survival Sinn Fein Credit
What Taoiseach Brian Cowen said: "I have always said that the genius of the Good Friday Agreement is that we agreed to go on a journey together, without predetermining the destination in advance."
What he meant: Channelling attention to one of the outstanding achievements of Fianna Fail-led governments, Mr Cowen harked back to past glories in a bid to accentuate a more positive legacy.
Fine Gael Stability
What Enda Kenny said: "High taxes kill jobs. We will keep taxes -- particularly income taxes -- down."
What he meant: Playing for economic stability and certainty -- this was a pointed message for Fine Gael's likely bedfellows in Labour, who favour higher taxes.
What Eamon Gilmore said: "It is clear that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are comfortable with each other's policies."
What he meant: Ramping up allegations that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are part of 'old politics' and that Labour represents new thinking, new ideas.
Green Party Survival
What John Gormley said: "It is very important we have strong representation of the Green Party in the next government."
What he meant: Pleading for an avoidance of political wipeout as the Greens prepare for a massive battle to retain six seats on just 2pc support.
Sinn Fein Credit
What Caoimhghin O Caolain said: "The election of Pearse Doherty set in train the events that have now resulted in the fall of this Government."
What he meant: Trying to take credit for forcing the Donegal by-election, which put the Government's majority under increased pressure -- and linking that increased political instability to the calling of an early general election.