Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen's Fianna Fail party and junior coalition ally the Green Party suffered heavy losses in Friday's elections for local councils, European Parliament and two Irish parliamentary seats.
Here are some economists' views on the government's future:
OLIVER MANGAN, CHIEF BOND ECONOMIST, AIB GLOBAL TREASURY
"The expectation is that it won't trigger an early general election. There has been a very severe fiscal tightening here in 2009 and the government has indicated it would tighten fiscal policy further in 2010. There might be some concern if we had an election or change in government that the appetite for fiscal rectitude might diminish. It's not like Gordon Brown in the UK, (Brian Cowen) is not under the same sort of pressure."
DERMOT O'LEARY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, GOODBODY STOCKBROKERS
"While the drop in support for Fianna Fail and the Greens -- the two government parties -- does not threaten the immediate stability of the government, it does strengthen the opposition's call for a change in the political landscape. The main opposition party, Fine Gael, has promised to call a motion of no-confidence in the government this week. That motion should fail, as the government still has a voting majority, but that majority has now been cut to just three, down from nine at the time of the general election two years ago. Despite this weekend's disappointment, both government parties must carry on with the painful but necessary policy decisions."
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