Now the results are in, some questions for the coming week's ducking and diving in the Smokefree rooms around Bellamy's and the Beehive that might be answered by week's end:
Can the Greens bear to be left outside cabinet? But can Labour afford to have then inside cabinet? Could they really be trusted with Energy and Transport? What trophy policies can Labour accept without frightening the horses?
Will Peter Dunne really do anything to be close to power?
When will the Maori Party know the minds of its members, given that their series of consultation hui will only start on Wednesday? And will this tardiness help to make the Maori Party's four seats irrelevant to the final coalition calculations?
If Labour can cook up a deal for Winston to support them, how long before he spits the dummy?
With the possible combinations that Labour can cook up offering such slim and insecure majorities, can Labour afford to contribute the Speaker this time? Might this mean that Clem Simich might have to do something, for the first time in his parliamentary career?
Will Helen just be satisfied with the achievement of a historic third term, even if it proves to be an impotent one in terms of the Labour agenda?
There are presently 300,000 New Zealanders receiving a State benefit. How many more will there be at the end of this term? Will this Government last three years? And when does Kofi Annan retire?
And the final question: Has anyone really minded not having a real government for the last fortnight? How long before the outrage begins again?