Even if they wanted to do so, the latest polls indicate that the new numbers simply will not add up pairwise to produce any kind of hybrid with an overall majority, even allowing for the margins of sampling error.
The answer may be a government embracing all parties. If some parties will not get into bed with others, they might as well all get into bed together. As Bismarck famously said, politics is the art of the possible. We can expect some changes in the occupancies of the various leadership benches.
An all party government would pick the cream of all parties. An Economic Management Council of Michael Noonan, Michael McGrath, Pearse Doherty, and Shane Ross would be the ultimate brains trust and think tank.
The Constitution states that “Dáil Éireann shall meet within 30 days from polling day.” If, after two weeks of convoluted wrangling, no resolution looks like producing a working government, then the President might be the best person to step in, break the brinkmanship and act as honest broker.
History teaches us that the electorate turn cynical when bigger parties make shady deals to find the magic glue to hold the splinters together.