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This election was a dark one for Labour - and the future doesn't look any brighter

Ian O'Doherty


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Pause for thought: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin of the Labour Party talks to Fine Gael candidate Catherine Noone at the count. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Pause for thought: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin of the Labour Party talks to Fine Gael candidate Catherine Noone at the count. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

RollingNews.ie

Pause for thought: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin of the Labour Party talks to Fine Gael candidate Catherine Noone at the count. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Well, nobody saw that one coming. Except they did, of course. The last few weeks have seen poll after poll predicting a strong Sinn Féin surge and, like some political equivalent to Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition, the main players affected surprise when it repeatedly showed up.

Of course, neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil should have been surprised. The last four years have seen public confidence in traditional politics, carried out in the old Irish way, falling off a cliff.

Both parties could argue they grudgingly engaged in confidence and supply purely in the cause of the national interest and they would both have a point. After all, Brexit has been the pre-eminent political issue of the last few years.