In a series of major research notes and projections published this morning, the economists said Fine Gael and Labour will fall short of the minimum 79 seats they need to secure the slimmest of majorities in the next Dáil.
“Predictions are that the Coalition will fall six seats short of the wining post for the barest of majorities.
"They will look to the likes of Renua and Social Democrats to bridge the gap,” said Philip O’Sullivan, chief economist at Investec Ireland.
Mr O’Sullivan projects Fine Gael will have 63 seats, Labour 10 seats, Fianna Fáil 35 seats, and Sinn Féin 25 seats.
Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland has told its clients Fine Gael will win 61 seats, Labour will win 13 seats, Fianna Fáil will have 34 seats, Sinn Féin will secure 29 seats, while Independents and other parties will have 22 seats.
“The performance of the Labour Party will determine the ultimate outcome of the election,” said Cantor in its detailed general election research, called ‘Labour Pains’.
“Fifteen seats or more and the coalition will be re-elected; 10 seats or fewer and the outcome of the election is more uncertain. We anticipate the current coalition to be returned with support from a small number, four to seven, of independents.
"Anything more than seven calls into question the potential stability of the Government over the medium term.”
Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Merrion Capital, said the Coalition is going to fall short.
He predicts Fine Gael will have 65 seats, Labour will win 11 seats, Fianna Fáil will have 35 seats and Sinn Féin will secure 28 seats.
The relatively rosy domestic economic outlook, despite the potential international risks facing the economy, will mean the looming election is one that all parties will savour winning, said Mr McQuaid.
In a major analysis, Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy Stockbrokers, and David Farrell, professor of politics at UCD, will say today that polls suggest Fine Gael and Labour will fall short of a majority by five to 20 seats.
“Our central view is a small shortfall will allow a looser coalition with Independent candidates and/ or new parties Renua and Social Democrats.
"However the polls are very uncertain,” according to Davy.
Bookie Paddy Power predicts Fine Gael will win 63 seats, Fianna Fáil will win 34, Labour will have 12, and Sinn Féin will get 24 seats.
It also sees 25 seats shared between Independent candidates and small parties.
On the next taoiseach, Enda Kenny is at his shortest odds yet of 1/18.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is on 10/1, while Fine Gael frontbenchers Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are both at 14/1.
Boyle Sports projects Fine Gael will win about 60 seats, Fianna Fáil will secure around 32 seats, Sinn Féin will win about 23, and Labour will secure 10 seats.
“We are happy to lay away at a Fine Gael/ Labour government at 4/1 as they would need to gain a lot of ground to get a majority between them before the election,” said Boyle spokesman Liam Glynn.