But while politicians begin their feverish talks, and the public express anger over the apparent inadequacies of some polling stations, PR agencies should view the result with caution.
‘For general PR agencies, this result poses real dangers,' said PRCA director-general Francis Ingham. ‘Let's not be in denial - all three main parties have taken a swipe at PR. They've threatened to slash public sector PR and marketing spend, or even to ban public sector spending on what we'd otherwise see as normal government activity. The risk is that good government takes second place to good political positioning, and that in the anticipation of a second election in 2010, the parties decide to make PR their punch bag of choice.'
The only bright spark could be for lobbyists, he believed. ‘For lobbyists, this is probably a brief, golden age of fresh opportunity, as clients wrestle to understand how the system operates - intellectually to cut through the decision-making morass that is minority or coalition government.'