"The parties read it wrong," said a reflective John Moloney at the Laois-Offaly count centre on Sunday morning.
The Fianna Fáil Director of Elections and former TD said that Fine Gael, in particular, had read it wrong on Brexit. "The exit poll showed that 1 per cent cited Brexit as an issue," he noted.
"People looked very closely at the policies of the two main parties and felt they did not work.
"The people were saying it and particularly the non-government and voluntary organisations.
"The economy was going well and there was full employment and yet we were not taking care of those less well off. That came back to haunt us.
"It's an advantage of those not in power and people felt the need to give them a chance.
"The three issues were homelessness/housing, health and rural crime. We didn't get people to believe we could supply the answers.
"Fianna Fáil had a well organised campaign in Laois and Offaly. It was very obvious from the start and it was reported back to us from canvassers that people wanted change.
"However, they were slow to indicate what sort of change. People this time were led in the main by the political debates at national level and the track records of the parties.
"As a Fianna Fáil person I am very pleased in the total knowledge we have gone out there and put forward policies and our people in view of the attacks from Fine Gael and Sinn Fein that we could not be trusted.
"Fianna Fáil has been actively involved for decades as a mainstream party and that will continue for a very long period."