Parties ready for election they claim won't happen
Candidates approached, committees established and strategies drafted over fears of a snap vote, writes Philip Ryan
They keep telling us there's no election coming. Sure, isn't the confidence and supply agreement going great? Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have never worked so well together. It's going so well Micheal Martin might decide to renew the deal and allow Leo Varadkar to govern for another two years. Not bloody likely. And if he did, he wouldn't last much longer as Fianna Fail leader.
The fact is all political parties are in campaign mode. They have been for a while now. Trust between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael plummets with every pedantic row over policy or ham-fisted political controversy. They can barely stand each other at this stage. Meanwhile, the other parties and Independents are looking on in nervous anticipation of being forced from their cosy Leinster House offices and back on to the doorsteps.
Most TDs will tell you they have been preparing for the next election since they saw the numerical Dail mess they were presented with by the electorate last year. Pavements are being regularly pounded and doors anxiously knocked on by TDs eager to hold on to their jobs. They should be doing this whether an election is looming or not.