The people have demanded change. Now the parties must figure out how to implement it
After the storm comes... the squall. The winds of change blew right across the country in this general election. The rulebook about demographics, geography and loyalty was thrown out the window.
Never before, and perhaps never again, will we see such a result.
In virtually every constituency in the country, new TDs have been elected with enormous votes that would have been unfathomable a month ago.
The political system will be reeling from this tumult for some time to come.
And yet it doesn't answer the questions: what does change mean and what next?
Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Fine Gael are separated by only a few seats.
Fianna Fáil has taken a battering, Fine Gael has taken a hammering and both need time to catch breath and figure out what to do next.
The Civil War parties are taking a step back and letting Mary-Lou McDonald make the first moves in trying to make sense of the new alignment in politics.
The path to power is already mapped out by senior figures who this newspaper has spoken to.
And McDonald is not wasting any time.
Sinn Féin is reaching out to the other parties to seek their views on coalition.
The numbers simply don't add up for the so-called left-led government. But that doesn't mean it can't provide the foundations for a new coalition.
A majority government will need Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil's input. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has stated his party is heading for opposition. It's a reasonable conclusion to adopt that the party of government for the last nine years has no mandate to govern.
Fianna Fáil is giving Sinn Féin the opportunity to see what it can muster.
Sinn Féin is immediately appointing a negotiating team. They have a lot of experience in this area from their participation in the Northern Ireland peace process. They know when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away and when to run.
McDonald will seek to get the Green Party and Social Democrats on board with her first before approaching Micheal Martin about forming a government.
The Labour Party will also be contacted but Brendan Howlin has indicated an unwillingness to deal with Sinn Féin and other party figures think it's too soon for them to be going into government again. The scars of the last time are still painful.
Howlin has his chance to get on board, if he wants.
People Before Profit will be given every opportunity to come on board, but the chances of them agreeing to anything are slim. When nothing other than revolution and socialist utopia is satisfactory, it's a high bar to meet.
Sinn Fein will try to get the backing of Eamon Ryan and Roisin Shortall with tempting offers around core policies.
The Greens will be offered the climate change portfolio and the chance to introduce their policies.
The Social Democrats get to take health and the chance to implement the Sláintecare plan.
Sinn Fein will take the housing portfolio.
Everybody takes their area of speciality.
A solution to the rent freeze can be found within legal limits to provide certainty to renters for a set period of time.
The principle of Sinn Féin's housing policy, wanting to revert to the State supplying homes to the masses, is not all that far away from traditional Fianna Fáil policy, which Martin himself has been pointing to.
The position of Taoiseach would be on the table, the Irish Independent understands. McDonald might even have the backing of the Greens and Social Democrats to become Taoiseach.
The tradition and convention in this country is for the largest party to provide the Taoiseach. But that was when it was obvious from the numbers which was the largest party.
What if the larger numbers of TDs within a coalition wanted McDonald over Martin?
The chances of Martin entering a coalition with Sinn Féin and not being Taoiseach would be non-existent.
It's a handy bargaining chip. But it would be yielded in negotiations with Fianna Fáil - at a price.
Martin can, of course, be Taoiseach, but he'd be giving up other roles in government.
The Finance Minister's job would also be up for grabs.
And what of Sinn Féin's exclusively self-interested policies, linked to their all-Ireland agenda?
The unity referendum within five years can be watered down to a Citizens Assembly on the future of the island of Ireland and a working group within the Department of the Taoiseach to look at how it would all work.
The independent review of the Special Criminal Court by a senior judge wouldn't have to lead to its abolition, but might actually come up with some recommendations on how to improve its workings.
While perhaps agreement can be reached on housing, health and climate change, economics will be another matter.
The tax and expenditure commitments Sinn Féin, in particular, are the major stumbling block.
McDonald's party would have to compromise significantly on the estimated €22bn package on the table.
Clear commitments and delivery on housing and health are what their voters will want to see to avoid disappointment.
And here there are actually a lot of areas of broad agreement between the parties and a booming economy providing the resources to provide action.
What's clear is Confidence and Supply will not be utilised again. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are scapegoating the arrangement for their current woes. In reality, there was nothing wrong with deal in principle, it was the way it was utilised in practice.
Fine Gael had power without having the authority to do anything with it. Fianna Fáil was both influential in the exercise of government but also in opposition too. Neither side wanted the accord to be too successful, for fear of the other side getting the credit.
In the 100th anniversary of the first sitting of the Dáil, the national parliament was treated with disdain by the very two parties who claim ownership the legacy of our founding fathers. The 'do-nothing Dáil' was left devoid of the necessary impetus to make an impact. A Fine Gael TD flew around Europe for the past two years working on political campaigns elsewhere, with the blessing of his party leader and none of his colleagues batted an eyelid.
Fianna Fáil TDs voted for each other casually, pushed each others buttons, in defiance of their Constitutional duty to the people and it was all a bit of craic.
In both cases, the public were appalled when the parties got caught out.
No wonder they weren't rewarded when Confidence and Supply became associated with such lax and lazy attitudes.
New Politics had a very old school feeling to it. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil seemed to be the last ones to realise the Civil War had ended.
When the music stopped in this general election, they quite literally found they had no seats.
The next government, whatever shape it takes, will not be built around similar structures. You're either in or you're out.
The Green Party and Social Democrats are in the invidious position now of needing to show they too recognise the public mood for change.
The Greens have quadrupled their seat numbers and the Social Democrats have trebled their numbers of TDs.
But they were also helped along by Sinn Fein's surpluses.
The alternative for Fianna Fáil and the smaller parties - another general election - isn't all that appealing.
The parties that stand to lose the most from a general election where there are more Sinn Féin TDs on the ticket are the beneficiaries of the transfers from McDonald's excess of votes: People Before Profit, the Greens and Social Democrats.
Still licking their wounds, Martin's party is left with an identity crisis.
Fine Gael can pivot right to being the party of low taxation, fiscal rectitude, socially progressive and pro-European integration, in line with any number of their Christian Democratic sister parties in northern Europe. The days of being a catch-all, wide appeal party may be over for Fine Gael, but there is still a significant cohort of about a fifth of the electorate who would still support such a party into the future and the opportunity to build further.
Fianna Fáil is stuck in the middle, with Martin arguing it is the party of the working classes, while also seeking votes across all social tiers.
In this general election, the coping classes of the squeezed middle moved to Sinn Féin.
This was traditional Fianna Fáil territory in decades gone by. People affected by quality of life issues, around housing, health, childcare, transport and education.
Sinn Féin spotted these people were up for grabs, allowing them to break out of their working class base, and went for it.
Ordinary people identified with Pearse Doherty's criticism of lack of progress in halting the rise in insurance costs and Eoin Ó Broin's advocacy for housing.
Change in this general election means making progress on the ills of society to match the development of the economy.
The parties that find a way to get our society to keep pace with our economy will be on to a winner with the voters. But the electorate don't tend to be very forgiving when politicians go back to them without solutions.
The people have spoken. Now it's up to the politicians to figure out exactly what it is that they have said.