You know when it's a draw at full-time and then you have a replay? The February election was a draw. There might be one more card to play in extra time, but honestly, I think we're heading for the replay.
It's not ideal but I don't see any problem holding an election with social distancing.
Lots of polling stations are schools - just spread the booths out over different rooms. Where traditional stations are too small, find new ones. How hard can it be?
The Seanad election showed counting is perfectly possible under lockdown.
Knocking on doors to canvass would probably be out, but since so many people moan about that, it won't break anyone's heart. Stick up the posters, send out fliers, phone people up, have all the debates on radio and television as normal. There are no deal-breakers here.
Because I can't see how a government is going to be formed. It's a question of maths. Of the three main parties, no two add up to a majority, three is stupid and the smaller parties are sulking.
The issue is, would an election make any difference?
The party with most to fear is the Greens. I warned them from the start their voters were former Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael supporters who cared about climate change, but were ultimately responsible. They didn't vote Green to indulge the amateur hour we've witnessed, topped this week by an insane threat to Eamon Ryan's leadership.
I'd sit back and laugh at the farce except when it comes to politics I lose my sense of humour. Even if these negotiations end with a programme for government, I don't see it getting past the parliamentary party, never mind the membership.
Even if it did, they'd be threatening to pull out every five minutes.
Everything from now until the moment they reject the deal is a charade.
With this kind of behaviour there is no chance of them retaining those 12 seats. Though, like religious reformists, I expect the purists in the party either don't believe this or don't care. They'd rather a glorious defeat than be sullied by compromise.
Someone should remind them the only party that defended policies like "polluter pays" was Fine Gael on the water charges, which every left-wing party opposed. If Greens want carbon taxes they won't get them with the left.
Then there's Sinn Féin. There's a school of thought that the election was a bizarre freak and there's no way they'd get that vote again. That's possible but I'd be cautious of indulging it too far.
First, Sinn Féin voters might be feeling judged that they voted for a pariah party. It's hard for people to admit they were wrong, so they could double down.
Second, they got so many votes last time, they could take a hit and still bring in second candidates in some constituencies, wiping out hard-left seats.
Third, with warnings that the Covid-19 cheque will have to be written, if I were working class I'd be worried about the future. It'd be an incentive to vote Sinn Féin in the hope they'd protect me from the worst. So, while Sinn Féin's first preference is to ride out austerity once again in opposition, it could retain or even increase seats second time out.
Likewise, Fine Gael has nothing to fear from another election. It had bad luck last time, barely missing out on some seats, and with the Greens vulnerable they could win some of those back. If the Sinn Féin vote dips a little, it could let another few scrape over the finish line.
The middle-class base who dumped Brexit as a priority just got a harsh reminder that competency and responsibility are important traits.
But what about poor Fianna Fáil?
I imagine the likes of Jim O'Callaghan will make a move on Micheál Martin. I feel sorry for Martin, but can't see the party sticking by him. Half of them still want a deal with Sinn Féin.
Perhaps re-energised with a new leader they could make a stab at it. They could count on some voter guilt that people like Timmy Dooley were turfed out in Clare in favour of Sinn Féin's Violet Anne Wynne, who was obliged after her election to walk back from anti-vaccination views. She also agreed to pay €12,000 to a charity after Rural Resettlement Ireland (RRI) took a case against her and her partner seeking that they respond to a claim it issued for €12,126, which was the sum of four years' arrears owed up to June 3, 2016, on a social house. Would 9,000 people really vote for her again?
As for the rest, I don't understand why people vote either for small parties who could go into coalition with a big party you don't like, or Independents at a time when what we need most of all is a national government. But I suppose the bulk of them will hang on. To what end, I've no idea.
We need an opposition but the purpose of an election is to elect governments, not oppositions.
The only way to avoid an election is that enough Independents are assembled to do a deal. Many of them are deeply pragmatic and it's quite possible. I'd certainly give it a try.
But the upshot is, far from attacking the Government for making plans for a socially-distanced election, it would be irresponsible not to prepare for what is now the most likely outcome.