Thursday, March 22, 2007


We all know. What do we all know? Nothing. May 18th was repeated so often as the probable date of the election, that it was beginning to be carved like stone in our minds. All those knowing references we made. Bertie will call it as soon as we get back after Easter. He favoured an early election. It would happen on a Friday like it did five years ago.

Well from today, all those theories have well and truly been scuppered. When the Bert wants to listen to advice, he talks to himself in the mirror. We all knew that Sean Haughey would get the leg-up once Ivor got the flick. I knew it so well that I went on the News at One (in my own defence, after being briefed by a very well-placed source) and confidently said that Haughey would be elevated. Half an hour later the Bert announced that Mary Wallace was the chosen one - the same Mary Wallace who had the hump after being demoted by Ahern in 2002.

There you go. These are bytes of what the Bert said today on a Friday poll:

"I think it's open. I listened to the argument the last time and it didn't work the last time. Friday did not work. I was all over Dublin. What people do is get out of the city.
"The polls in the city were very low after 6pm. I know it was a very bad day (the weather was appalling)."

So it's going to be a Thursday. But what Thursday? Definitely not May 17th and it might not even by May 24th but could now be pushing into June. This is what he had to say about it on this morning's doorstep.

"It was always clear that we would come back after Easter and the Dail would sit for a number of weeks."

The maths of this are as follows. They come back from the Easter break on April 24th. What does a number of weeks mean? Two? Three?

Modern campaigns are sharp affairs - lasting three weeks. That means that if it is called on May 1 or May 2, we will have a May 24 poll. However, if it's called a week later, that will push the election back into June.

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