Fintan O’Toole: Post-election urgency needed as voters run out of patience

Time not on side of electorate in terms of housing and health

In the general election exit poll, housing was by far the biggest issue for people under 35; health drew level with it for those between 35 and 50; and for the 50- and 60-somethings, health was far ahead of housing. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

In the general election exit poll, housing was by far the biggest issue for people under 35; health drew level with it for those between 35 and 50; and for the 50- and 60-somethings, health was far ahead of housing. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

If I had to sum up in one word why the centre cannot hold in Irish politics, it would be: biopanic. I’ve just used a phrase from WB Yeats but here’s another one: “ ‘And time runs on,’ he said,/ ’And the night grows rough.’ ”

Time is running on for very many Irish voters and accordingly the night has grown rough for the once-invincible duopoly of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. This is not just a political phenomenon – what makes it so profound is that it is also biological. Body clocks are ticking and their alarms are going off.

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