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.
But while it may have been the pre-eminent political issue, and one which required full attention, it is far from the most pressing social issue.
Even in the febrile fortnight in the run-up to Saturday's truly historic election, canvassers for Fine Gael were admitting they seemed to have adopted the wrong game plan.
Their talk of managing to avoid a truly catastrophic Brexit consistently fell on deaf ears.
That is because, much to the frustration of the political classes, Brexit remains a rather abstract concept for a lot of voters. They know it's bad, and they have an opinion on the UK's choice. But the simple reality is that it pales into insignificance against the broader and more pressing issues of housing and health.
Voters don't appreciate being scolded for their stupidity by their political masters. The barely concealed irritation displayed by Leo Varadkar whenever he realised people just weren't as interested in the matter was perceived by many observers as another example of a Taoiseach who seemed just that little bit out of step with the public.
Sinn Féin, on the other hand, played a blinder.
It knew what the punters wanted to hear and gave it to them in spades. It knew it had to keep beating the drum on housing and health. Even when Mary Lou McDonald was briefly winded by the various Sinn Féin scandals and historic crimes of some of its members, she consistently returned to the core issues of beds.
In other words, the right to have a bed in a hospital and the right to have a bedroom in a house without some vulture fund doubling the rent overnight and kicking you, literally, to the kerb.
This was always going to be an election that would leave blood on the carpet. The public had become increasingly weary of this government in particular and the broader political establishment in general.
Despite the undoubted - and frequently overlooked - improvements to the economy and the rise in employment to an almost unprecedented level, the anger on the streets which played into Sinn Féin's hands was palpable and justified.
Mr Varadkar's decision to stick with Simon Harris in Health and Eoghan Murphy in Housing may have been a most uncharacteristic display of political loyalty, but it struck many as sheer hubris. That appearance certainly wasn't helped by Mr Harris's repeated declarations that he was perfectly happy with the job he was doing.
In fact, he seemed either oblivious or simply indifferent to the legitimate concerns of patients and their families. The starkest example of the tone-deaf nature of the outgoing government could be seen in the Health Minister's assertion that complaints about the heath service were simply a result of not looking at the correct 'metrics'.
Rightly or wrongly, there appeared to be not so much an empathy gap but an empathy vacuum and Sinn Féin was the one to fill that space.
This leads back to one question - what the hell has happened to Labour? After all, the traditional party of the working classes should have been in prime position to benefit from this disconnect between the people and the government, particularly when the issues were of such concern to its traditional base.
Instead, Sinn Féin, which had endured a rotten time in the presidential election, as well as the locals and Europeans, swooped in to steal its thunder. That some exit polls indicated five out of 10 people who voted for Sinn Féin for the first time did so precisely because of health and housing should be cause for serious rancour within Labour's remaining rank and file.
That Joan Burton lost her seat is hardly a surprise but is also indicative of the general malaise which seems to have struck this once-proud party. Its own admission yesterday that it was unlikely to seek a place at any coalition because it "did not have the mandate to govern" is as close to the waving of the white flag as you're ever going to get.
Labour looked a busted flush going into this election and if it never appeared comfortable or confident of success, why should the voters be expected to support it?
Sinn Féin enjoyed an almost Trumpian surge from voters who, as in the US election, held their nose and voted for someone on the basis that they were the least bad option.
They did so on Saturday largely for the reason that the one party which should have been offering a viable alternative seemed tired and downcast even before the polling stations had opened - its performances in the debates were lacklustre and its canvassing was minimal.
Now the electoral map has changed utterly and we are entering a period of frantic coalition-building - a coalition which, at this stage, is virtually impossible to confidently predict.
If there is one lesson for Labour to absorb from this election, then it is surely to look at Sinn Féin's remarkable resurgence from irrelevance to king-making importance.
But even if it does rediscover its mojo, has it left it too late for the future?
Has it simply handed its traditional place as the third party in this country over to a newly energised and invigorated Sinn Féin?