This chapter looks at the election and its aftermath from a historical and comparative perspective. It considers electoral turbulence in general as well as the decline of the two traditionally dominant parties. It shows how Irish voters are now relatively volatile in both historical and comparative terms. The changes that are associated with high levels of electoral volatility have fragmented the party system in a manner common elsewhere. This makes government formation potentially less straightforward as coalition is always necessary. The chapter considers how real these difficulties are, arguing that these stem more from challenges to political identities than from actual policy differences.