With election speculation having reached fever pitch in recent days and some ministers getting very enthusiastic about the idea, the Taoiseach had little choice but to put to rest the notion that we will be joining our British neighbours in going to the polling stations this side of Christmas.

Firstly at the weekly meeting of Fine Gael ministers, then at the Cabinet meeting and then by convening a press conference at Government Buildings, Leo Varadkar's message was clear: It would not be in the national interest to hold an election at this stage of the Brexit process.

This dashed the hopes of some of the more optimistic members of his party. There was a certain logic in their thinking that this would be an opportune time for Fine Gael to face the real test of public opinion.

Firstly, there was the afterglow of what was widely perceived to have been the Government's skillful handling of the process that resulted in the British government and the EU coming to an agreement on Brexit, albeit one that is yet to be ratified by the House of Commons.

Then there was what many in Fine Gael saw as damage inflicted on Fianna Fáil by the controversy over how some of its TDs voted for each other in the Dáil. And then there was the temptation of avoiding four by-elections expected to take place on 29 November.

But these were all party political arguments, reasons why an election now would be good for Fine Gael – rather than good for the country. In order to call a snap election, the Taoiseach would need to have made a compelling case that it was something more than just an opportunistic power grab.

It is hard to see how he could have found such a justification when faced with the variables presented by the UK general election, which is scheduled for 12 December. Huge uncertainty over who will form and lead the next UK Government means huge uncertainty remains over Brexit.

The election could, for example, result in a scenario where the Brexit Party under Nigel Farage held the balance of power. That would put a no-deal Brexit right back into play. Or, as the Taoiseach pointed out, there could be a new government led by a new prime minister who might want to re-open negotiations for a softer Brexit.

What would happen if any of these scenarios were to come to pass with no Government at the wheel here? The Taoiseach pointed out that this country has a recent history of inconclusive election results.

Having Government formation talks taking place here, which could last weeks or months, at what could be a "crucial or potentially dangerous time" for this country would not be in the national interest, Leo Varadkar said.

This chimes with what Fianna Fáil is saying publicly. Its spokesperson on finance Michael McGrath said it was time to "hold our nerve and keep a steady ship" and hold an election once there is some resolution to the Brexit process.

"Who knows what a British general election will throw up on December 12th?" he asked. "I think we need to hold our nerve and we need to see this through.

"There is no deal until it is approved by the House of Commons and anything can happen yet. So we need to provide stability, see the country what is a very challenging period."

Both parties have their own reasons, both political and practical, behind their preferences for when an election should be. And those factors will come in to play in the months ahead.

But with both parties having now made such a strong link between stability during the Brexit process and the national interest, either side would want to have a very good reason to bring around an election while Brexit is still in play.