The most significant result of the Meath East by-election is confirmation that the polls are correct and that SF are now the third biggest party in Ireland in terms of popular support. Labour will probably stay in government but there is very little chance that they will run on a coalition platform at the next general election? That means FF and FG will need new suitors for any prospective coalition after an election that is likely to be a dead heat between FF and FG. Transfers will be vital.
Will SF do a deal with FF?
I believe SF will not be able to resist FF overtures even if it means the "kiss of death" because the alternative is permanent opposition with little or no input into policy making and no politician wants that. We are likely to see increasing cooperation between FF and SF election workers with unofficial transfer agreements between local candidates or requests for transfers as we saw in Meath East.
'Sinn Fein can we have your votes please,' Fianna Fail under fire over Meath-East transfers plea - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
Would you as a SF voter preference FF if:
(a) you were asked to do so by the SF party as part of a national preference agreement with FF?
(b) you were asked to do so by the local SF candidate as part of a local preference agreement with FF?
(c) of your own volition if you thought tactical voting would ensure the best outcome for the SF candidate?