Grand coalition on the cards as battle for middle Ireland looms
Now cue a gut struggle between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin may successfully resist immediate pressures within both political organisations to push for an early general election, but a postponement will not conceal the big showdown coming up for dominance of the middle ground in Irish politics.
Simon Coveney has decided for now at least to battle valiantly onwards. But it's unthinkable at this stage that Mr Varadkar can be overtaken in this race to become the leader of the biggest Dáil party and the next taoiseach.