There was a time when Eoghan Murphy could not be kept away from the sea.

There was that swim in the Irish Sea with the Canadian Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna.

Then after a lengthy Cabinet meeting at Derrynane, Co Kerry in 2018 he made his way to the beach to immerse himself in the Atlantic.

However, the tumultuous waters of the Housing Ministry ultimately cast his once soaring career in a different direction.

For all that it wasn't beyond salvage, but the 39-year former politician conceded today that he had in recent months lost interest in being a TD.

He leaves behind a constituency that will serve as a barometer of people's views on how the Government has handled the pandemic.

Some in the coalition believe that if there is an certain buoyancy in the air around July then it might be a good time to hold the by-election in Dublin Bay South.

The majority view, however, is that it is most likely to take place in the autumn with the deadline set for November.

It is an intriguing contest with Fine Gael, on paper at least, the party best placed to hold the seat.

This is because it won just under 28% of the first preference votes there last year.

But it's not that simple of course, even if governments have since 2011, a slightly better record at winning by-elections.

Fine Gael must choose between former TD Kate O'Connell and Councillor James Geoghegan.

The party's organisation on the ground will pick the candidate.

Early indications are that James Geoghegan has the edge on that front notwithstanding Kate O'Connell winning 6,424 first preference votes in the last election.

Then there are the Greens and the possibility that party chairperson Hazel Chu will get to run in the party leader's constituency.

All this just weeks after the Green Party endured much internal turmoil following Hazel Chu's decision to run as an Independent in the Seanad by-elections.

The Green Party Deputy Leader backed that candidacy but was somewhat circumspect when talking about who might represent the party in this election.

Ultimately though it is a matter that will be decided by the local party organisation.

Fianna Fáil look likely to select one of their local councillors: Deirdre Conroy or Claire O'Connor.

However, the Taoiseach's comments on the matter were noteworthy.

Micheál Martin spoke about by-elections having a longer-term importance for candidates rather than just the prospect of an immediate win.

Labour's Ivana Bacik has already announced her intention to run and would be seen as high-profile candidate in what was once a party stronghold.

However, despite a long-standing record as a successful campaigner, a Dáil seat has so far proved elusive for the senator, college lecturer and barrister.

Sinn Féin could select former MEP and current Senator Lynn Boylan to contest the by-election.

While the Social Democrats and People Before Profit will pick their candidates in the next few weeks.

The outcome of this election won't define this Government's time in office, but it will reveal much about how voters view the coalition parties.

It's a poll that won't be ignored.