It is entirely possible that all three major parties in Ireland could each poll around 27% a piece come the next general election. This would be due to the incumbency and name recognition factor benefiting FF and FG even if the polling as it currently shows meant that Labour were more attractive as a party but they lacked the local organisations to canvass and hadn’t got the right mix of candidates in some constituencies.
If they each got 27% dead on (which they probably won’t, but I’m going to use it for illustrative purposes) FF and FG would still finish ahead of Labour in terms of seats due to the usual seat bonus and also the likely presence of existing left inclined reps in some of the target constituencies. FG would probably end up ahead of FF due to Labour transfers trending that bit more to them rather than FF, and FF losing out cos pretty much no one from any party was transferring to them at all. This scenario could see FG on 55, FF on 50 and Labour on 45. with 16 seats divided primary between Sinn Fein and Mé Fein TDs. Those are estimates and it could even be worse for FF and that bit better for Labour and SF.
For Labour to get close to 50 seats they need to win one in at least every constituency and then in at least half a dozen cases win two seats or more. the latter is considerably more likely than the former. In the Donegal’s for example SF are more likely to be elected with Labour transfers than the other way around and or the likes of Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan could be just the sort of new style Mé Fein candidate that would appeal in Longford. There are probably a dozen or more constituencies where Labour has to go from under 5% to 20% to claim a seat and while that certainly can happen, it probably won’t happen consistently in every constituency. For every 3 seater where they got 25% and topped the poll, they’d get 15% and be the last man standing without a seat.
With that sort of result, don’t be surprised to see FF offer to support a Labour Taoiseach for a fixed period (3 years) provided some broad i.e vague budgetary strategy was adhered to while they choose a new leader and rebuilt, and for FG to tear itself apart after failing to make gains that appeared to be theirs for the taking.