The weekend’s Irish election delivered one of the first electoral bombshells of the year, with the surging left-wing party Sinn Féin now angling to form a coalition government.
Although the election result delivered immense heartache to Ireland’s traditional centrist rivals, there was another, more intimate result that captured the hearts and minds of Irish voters.
As candidates were announced before the general election, it was revealed that Holly Cairns, a candidate for the Social Democrats, was running against her partner, Fianna Fáil’s Christopher O’Sullivan in Cork South-West.
So what did the duelling hearts think of their looming electoral showdown?
“Even though I knew him being added to the ticket was a possibility, now that it’s happened, I feel a bit like I’m in a badly written rom-com,” Cairns told Irish newspaper The Echo.
“Obviously, we get on like a house on fire personally. All’s fair in love and war. Bring it on.”
Following a fiercely contested campaign, and in a result seemingly pulled from the script of a Hollywood blockbuster in the making, both Cairns and O’Sullivan were elected to the Dáil (Ireland’s lower house) in a last-gasp result.
— Noel Baker (@noelbaker1) February 10, 2020
While O’Sullivan appeared a sure lock by placing second in the vote, Cairns needed the eighth and final count to leapfrog the third-placed candidate and seal a best-case result for the couple.
“It doesn’t quite feel real yet, but it feels great,” Cairns told the Irish Examiner.
While there was no love lost following this surmountable obstacle in their relationship, it might be best to check back in five years, when Ireland is next expected to return to the polls.