Green Party leader John Gormley tonight ruled out a snap general election after the Government suffered a devastating showing in opinion polls.
Despite warnings from party chairman Dan Boyle over the lifespan of the Fianna Fáil/Green coalition, the Environment Minister rejected calls for a vote.
“I think the odds are against an early election,” Mr Gormley said.
“But it’s very clear that there are a number of important decisions to be made, not least the Lisbon Treaty; Nama legislation; and renegotiation of the Programme for Government.
“These are all very important matters that will decide the future direction of this country.”
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny vowed he was ready for election at any time.
“I said last year when the Taoiseach (Brian Cowen) was appointed that he should seek a mandate from the people that didn’t happen and all over the country people refer to this on a regular basis,” Mr Kenny said.
“The problems facing our country are not within the capacity of any one individual.”
Further polls over the next two days are expected to bring more damaging assessments of the Government’s performance.
Mr Boyle had said there was a 40:60 possibility of a snap election in the next six months, even though another vote is not scheduled until 2012.
He also stressed the Government would find it difficult making it to January under the pressures of cleaning up the banking system and sorting the public finances.
Mr Gormley added: “Clearly the poll is very disappointing. I suppose it is to be expected under the circumstances because people out there are feeling the pain.
“We have rising unemployment and there is a real lack of certainty in terms of people’s futures.
“But it’s up to the Government now to give people that certainty, to get back on the road to recovery and to get us back on a real trajectory of sustainable economic growth.
“That is possible if we take the steps that are really necessary at this stage - and we intend doing that.”