Count Gist: And in the End, the transfers you give....

Count Gist: And in the End, the transfers you give....

It's Day 2 of the Count and we are into the realm of hilarity as the losing parties- who have never both lost the same election- struggle to come to terms with what's happened.

The numbers have settled down and we know what the Dáil looks like.

The trick now is to work out what the Government might look like.

Fine Gael are in their tent, sulking like mighty Achilles, if Achilles was a third-placed ancient Greek, who'd just been booed off the battlefield. Their position, as expressed to a number of journalists anonymously, can be summed up as 'Scum voters. Let's see your SF save you now.'

Fianna Fáil is having a public internal breakdown at, effectively, losing again. One faction wants to do a deal with SF to get back into power but knows it would risk destroying the party. The other faction knows it would destroy the party and thinks it might do better in another election. Only one of these factions involves Micheál Martin becoming Taoiseach so, hint, that's the one that's going to win.

Sinn Féin owns this town. One seat off FF's result, but with the largest vote, its main effort will be to demonstrating it can bring the change it was put in to deliver. Oh, and addressing eruptions of coverage for witnessed explosions of 'Up the Ra' out of candidates. There will be a few problems as it struggles to fill all the new PA jobs, everyone having basically been elected. One candidate went on holiday for two weeks during the campaign and still came back to electoral success. It may well be that some of those taking their seats are piles of inanimate objects in trenchcoats, but for the time being, as long as they can roll through the voting lobby for a Mary Lou Taoiseach they'll be left alone. Expect eejitry over the next few weeks as they encounter microphones for the first time.

Oh, the numbers. The numbers. They dance like sugar plum fairies in everyone's mind, digits constantly pairing and dividing, always trying to reach the magic majority of 81.

With FG sulking in its tent, SF have decided to take the lead. Phoning around all the parties of the left to have a chat. Leaving messages for Brendan Howlin. But the numbers mean even the broadest left coalition would need to govern as a minority Government supported by one of the other big parties. And the reality is FF must get back into power, while FG must get SF out of power. So, nope.

Next, FF+SF+AnyLeft party. This works on the numbers. Hell, chuck in an extra left party for the fun of it. This would be the long-held dream of Labour party members past, the Left Led coalition. They just always imagined they'd be leading it.

With FF a minority in that lineup, there's no reason to think it has any automatic claim on the Taoiseach's job. Except FF would sooner eat a bowl of rat's anus' rather than see that happen. But, like Dick Spring before them, SF may extract a high price to leave the bauble of leadership with Micheál.

Also: Danny Healy-Rae issued an apology for any offence it might have taken to his statement the previous day that The Planet can go to Hell.
You know you've had a good count day when you wake up the next morning and have to issue an apology to The Planet.

Go on then, scuzzball electorate, get out.