The Nightmare at Number 31
And they're off. There's a real sense that today's the day the election got underway in earnest.
The cross party unity of the referendum campaign gave way to shadow boxing while the Assembly was still sitting. Now, the gloves are off.
Both party strategists and pundits are poring over maps of Wales trying to divine how a few thousand votes here and a few thousand there might affect the final outcome after May 5th.
The Labour leader Carwyn Jones made his contribution to that at this morning's press conference - in the new look snazzy Transport House in Cardiff - with some very interesting and pretty optimistic comments about their take on the outcome.
He believes that a "comfortable working majority" is possible for his party - that's the optimistic bit - but here's the interesting bit.
"If we have 31 AMs we will try to form a government," he said. "If we get a majority of one, a majority of two, a majority of three then that's government territory."
Note that word "try". If they are to get that majority, then it's more likely that it will be around the 31 seat mark - which could be the nightmare result for virtually everybody. Here's why.
If Labour wake up on May 6th with 31 seats, then based on current thinking within the party, all talk of coalitions will be off the table.
Mr Jones has known for some time that in those circumstances, his party will expect him to govern alone. Based on little other than the look on his face when he talks about the number 31, I think it's fair to say that it doesn't fill him personally with wild enthusiasm.
But there are siren voices within the party completely opposed to a deal with Plaid, some even if he finds himself in a minority. Any attempted deal after Labour had won a majority would spark virtual civil war within the party.
But why consider a coalition at all in those circumstances? Because day to day, and over a five year term, governing with 31 seats is a tough ask, a potential nightmare, even. With an organised opposition, it means ministers are stuck in Cardiff Bay, and a single snubbed, disgruntled or even poorly Labour backbencher would leave key votes on a knife edge. We've been there before.
This time, the opposition parties would be highly unlikely to offer a Presiding Officer and deputy from within their ranks just in order to boost Labour's majority to a more workable level.
There's a danger that the party could get bogged down in horse trading to get votes through the Senedd rather than focusing on what Mr Jones has said would be his overriding priority in government - public service delivery and reform.
But what of an alternative government? Barring defections from Labour, then a resurrected rainbow of Plaid, Tories and Liberals could only muster 29 seats between them. Does a minority rainbow sounds like a stable government to you? Me neither. Should UKIP or the Greens win a list seat this time round then that would add yet another factor into the mix.
Even if Carwyn Jones could persuade his party that 31 isn't actually a "workable" majority, it's far from clear whether he'd find Plaid Cymru willing coalition partners in order to deliver stable government in those circumstances. The questions "why" and "what's in it for us" will echo in the corridors of Plaid HQ as much as among the party's membership.
As for the Lib Dems, if they were "unpalatable" or was it "inedible" for Labour in 2007 (and no one was ever quite sure which was which), then the coalition deal in Westminster will surely mean they're even further off the menu now in 2011.
All of which leaves us where? Well, the nightmare at number 31 for Carwyn Jones is that he spends the next five years being forced to nurse that miniscule majority. A rainbow is off the agenda so there's no point in a confidence vote for the opposition parties, who would be more likely to alternate between guerilla tactics and taking goodies where they can get them.
The days of the massive One Wales majority will seem like a distant memory. Labour may be dreaming of sitting at the top table alone after May's election - but with 31 seats, might they find their fare, ooh, I don't know - a pretty unpalatable or even inedible prospect?