LABOUR FINE GAEL GREEN PARTY SINN FEIN INDEPENDENTS
IF you are one of the gravity-defying, floating voters who has yet to make up their mind over which box to tick this Friday, why not ignore the promises that are being made on the doorsteps -- by those who bother to knock -- and the results of the thousands of opinion polls, and let your Premier League football team decide which party you should pick.
Chelsea: When times were good and money was no problem, it seemed that their irresistible force would bulldoze everything in its path for years to come. However, since the purse strings have been tightened, their ability has plummeted and they will now be happy with anything other than total obliteration over the coming months.
A charismatic leader was initially popular with many but then began to believe his own hype and became very annoying very quickly. Those who followed him were envious of his timing in deserting a sinking ship and are desperately in need of new young blood.
See also -- Newcastle: They seem to live in their own little world and are thoroughly oblivious to how they are perceived by the public.
Wigan: Crowds deserting in their droves and there seems to be nobody who publicly admits to supporting them.
Arsenal: Seem to be the second favourite team of many people, although this admiration becomes strained when they decide to pick fights for no particular reason. A leader who seems to have a strong ideology with plenty of good people at his disposal but, when it comes to the crunch, the perception is that they will be found out. Always battling to prove they have the substance to match their style.
See also -- Manchester City: Have been the noisy neighbours for quite a while and though they are progressing with lots of big ideas, they might not make it to the promised land just yet.
West Brom: Nice to watch but have a bad habit of being unable to take their chances. Some of their important people lampooned for the sound of their voices.
Manchester United: Have a leader who spent many years trying to see off his detractors but now, finally, are in the position to knock a long-term rival off their f****** perch. Despite the weakness of their opponents, there remains a chance that they won't be able to fully take advantage and might need help from others to reach their goal.
See also -- West Ham: Fears that an uninspiring boss may take them down despite seemingly having plenty of quality at his disposal. Heaves against him ultimately prove unsuccessful.
Tottenham: Hopeful that reasonable European success will finally give them the confidence to achieve on the home front after so many false dawns.
Aston Villa: Have been in among the big boys for the past few years, although some poor policy decisions now leave them struggling to keep their head above water with those who have supported them in the past. Also wasted a lot of money on Ireland.
See also -- Everton: Look to have hit the glass ceiling with the limited success of the past few years likely to be as far as they'll go.
Fulham: Struggle to get out of the shadow of opponents around them and are often seen as something of an irrelevance. Can, however, end up having a big say in important matters.
Wolves: Desperate to get rid of their yo-yo reputation but, despite plenty of good soundbites from those in charge, seem likely to be swallowed up in the final analysis.
Liverpool: Not the feared force that they once were but, with one of their historical talismans now in charge, are inching their way towards respectability. Loyal, passionate and often sensitive support tend not to take criticism well from those who accuse them of living in the past. Economic policies leave plenty to be desired. A historical dislike of blue shirts.
See also -- Birmingham: Plan A involves developing youth and trying to survive with the new blood. If that fails, which it often does, Plan B is get it in the mixer to the big man.
Bolton, Sunderland: A reputation for relying on heavy artillery now easing somewhat as they slowly move towards mainstream thinking with a more softly, softly approach.
Blackpool: Mavericks who look like they'll be quite important after arriving on a wave of euphoria and support before fading into obscurity and back where they belong. Often ridiculed for their lack of convention but can be a thorn in the side of the bigger fish.
See also -- Stoke and Blackburn: Usually unpopular with everybody apart from those who support them fervently. Have their policies that aren't universally liked but which are superbly effective at getting them to their objective. Know their strengths and make no apology if others don't like their methods.