Then the pollster Sean Donnelly (who does private polling for FF) appeared on Vincent Browne last night and publicly predicted 76 seats for FF. There is no gain for Donnelly in exaggerating FF fortunes. In fact, if anything, I would say that he's actually play them down.
Since the TV debate last week (see my own blog verdict from immediately afterwards setting out the five reasons Bertie had won) I believed FF had regained the initiative, and thought that they would limp home (predicting some kind of arrangement with the Greens that would depend on independents and would be minority!).
Blair limped home for a third time. But he had Iraq. And BertieGate, whatever it was, wasn't Iraq. It took a long time for FF to put that behind them but in the last week they pummelled FG and Labour with negative campaigning, bluster, biffing, and a couple of porkie pies (the 3%/97% one was the most egregious).
Whatever, it will be an incredible victory. At this moment of time, the PDs look like they are on the verge of extinction. FG will salvage a fair deal of pride. It looks glum for Labour. The Greens and SF will make marginal rises but as RTE David Davin Power said last week:
"When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled."