There can be no doubt this seismic political earthquake stems, to a large degree, from the Government's failure to solve the housing and homelessness crisis.
Experts consistently highlighted the widening crisis from 2014 onwards, and pointed out the flawed approach in housing policies. But the Fine Gael-led Government ploughed on and refused to listen to our analysis and solutions.
Policies worsened the crisis, such as Nama selling off land to vultures, and giving tax breaks to Real Estate Investment Trusts and 'cuckoo fund' landlords who have pushed out first-time buyers and bought up huge swathes of apartments as build-to-rent.
Its social housing policy was illogical. It claimed 11,000 social homes were provided last year, but only 2,000 new homes were actually built. Most social housing was sourced from the private rental sector, adding to rental pressures and removing homes for purchase.
It refused to accept the scale and depth of this social emergency. The lives of an entire Generation Rent have been stunted, unable to move out, start a family, stuck in commuting hell, forced to emigrate.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were out of touch with Generation Rent, offering no change in direction in housing.
The two parties competed with proposals for home ownership subsidies such as help-to-buy and deposit schemes - but these are meaningless to those unable to get a deposit from the bank of mum and dad, and leave the average family unable to compete with cuckoo investors for the limited supply of new housing.
But this wasn't just a protest vote against Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. It was a vote for a fundamental change in our approach to housing, from being narrowly viewed as an investment asset and commodity to what it should be - a home.
Sinn Féin, the Greens and others on the left proposed alternative policies which offered a new vision for housing. For example, they proposed a major expansion of a new form of public housing, drawing on the Vienna Cost Rental model and including affordable home ownership.
This means that instead of stigmatised social housing restricted to very low-income households, it would be available to low and middle-income workers and professionals, who would pay a rent or mortgage based on their income.
This would revolutionise our housing system as it would deliver quality, long-term renting and affordable home ownership - as in many European countries.
Gardaí, teachers, nurses, artists, architects, IT and retail workers could live and work in mixed income communities in our cities and towns, and avoid socially and environmentally unsustainable commutes.
They proposed that public land should be used solely for this new public affordable housing.
The reality is that 30,000 of these public affordable and sustainable homes need to be built every year for the next decade.
A new dedicated state Homes Building Agency is needed to build, in partnership with local authorities, housing associations and co-operatives. It should design and build zero carbon homes and undertake the deep retro-fitting of social and private housing for people who cannot afford it, as part of a socially just transition.
That is what substantive change in housing would look like.
Sinn Féin showed through the rent freeze that it proposed to stand up to vested interests causing the housing crisis, such as landlords charging unaffordable rents. But Fine Gael opposed it, Fianna Fáil obfuscated, and then pointed to the Constitution as a barrier.
The Green Party also proposed a major windfall tax on land rezoning profits, indicating it was willing to challenge the land hoarders.
On the proposal for a referendum to insert the right to housing into the Constitution, the Greens, Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Labour and PBP all supported it.
This demonstrated they were willing to make a fundamental shift, and do what the UN rapporteur on the right to housing has advocated - insert the right to affordable, secure, decent housing into our Constitution and legislation.
This has been needed to provide a guiding principle for housing policy for governments and an obligation to solve homelessness. However, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil opposed it.
The contrast between the parties wedded to a failed approach and broken housing system and those offering real change could not have been clearer.
In this election, the public have asserted that they do not accept children growing up in hotels and family hubs as normal. They want an end - not just reduction - to homelessness. They want a rights-based society in which we prioritise investment in solving societal crises such as housing and homelessness, rather than cutting taxes.
The challenge for the newly elected political system is how it will deliver on the promise to solve the housing crisis.
Whatever government is formed must listen to the clear message from the electorate that a profound change is required in housing, and it must implement the policies that can actually solve this crisis.
Rory Hearne is a lecturer in social policy at Maynooth University