The latest opinion poll in Ireland will have sent shivers down the backs of leading Fianna Fail politicians. The poll showed the party in third place, behind the Labor Party, for the first time in history. If an election were held now the party would almost certainly lose power and would be wiped out in major metropolitan areas. What a turnaround it has all been. Opposition leader Enda Kenny of Fine Gael was looking at a bleak five years out of power when he lost the last election. However, the extraordinary economic events since have catapulted him into the driving seat when it comes to the next election. When that election will be held is key. Cowen will delay as long as possible, but the minority Green Party is already under severe pressure to leave the government to save their own skins. Paddy Power, the Dublin bookie, is already betting that an election will happen this year, with odds of just barely over even money being offered. It is quite a turnaround for the books.

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