The victory of two independent candidates in the recent bye-elections in Ireland spells trouble for the established parties there, especially with an election in the offing likely to be late 2015 or early 2016.
Put simply, a winter of discontent is likely as beleaguered Irish taxpayers find themselves digging ever deeper to get Ireland Inc. out of debt.
Ireland is not unique in that regard, but the fulmination in the public domain over newly introduced water charges in particular seems to at the very core expressing a belief that enough is enough.
Sure the Celtic Tiger collapsed, and sure Europe and the financial press has patted Ireland on the head for recovering as best it can while absorbing massive debts.
But Joe Public has had quite enough of carrying the burden, and the new water charges seem to be the final straw.
Amazing for an island with so much rain, but Ireland has a severe water shortage with antiquated equipment used to provide it.
The government established a new organization, Irish Water, to oversee the next generation of water needs -- a necessary step.
But like many unelected bodies Irish Water has quickly become a public relations nightmare for the government, with large salaries, guaranteed bonuses and no attempt to explain to the public what its mission is other than warning them to pay up or else.
It was the water charges that resulted in the big upset in Dublin the recent by-election there last week when an anti-water charges campaigner won in a massive upset by urging people not to pay.
Sinn Fein, in particular, was left gobsmacked, outflanked on the left by the very issue they thought would bring them victory.
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny has been facing internal opposition as well a public disquiet over the water issue which is serving as a convenient scourge to beat politicians with.
The fact that tens of thousands walked in protest at the water charges on Saturday in Dublin shows how deep an issue it has become in the public mind.
At this point, the Irish people appear to have more than enough of water charges and the extra crushing taxes that have placed many of them in perpetual financial plight.
Trying to balance repaying debts and keeping people solvent was always a tough task for a government, but now the impact of cuts and tax increases has really begun to bite. The Irish government viewed from afar had done a excellent job straightening out the country's finances, but clearly up close John Q Public has had enough of the hair shirt.
There is a long winter ahead with these issues sure to be even more prominent. What happens next will be very interesting to watch.
The lessons of the two by-elections are that the voters are in a mutinous mood, and they’re increasingly turning to independents and one-issue candidates to reflect that anger.
Where that will leave politics after the next election is anyone’s guess. What is clear is that the old establishment parties and even a revived Sinn Fein have much to be concerned about.