Coughlan and Blaney support helps Cowen to confidence win

The Fianna Fáil party will today begin picking up the pieces after a bruising leadership challenge which saw Brian Cowen survive as leader, and Michael Martin resign as Foreign Affairs Minister.

The Taoiseach will now consider a replacement for Michael Martin who's pledged to support the party, and says he will remain loyal to the government in the run in to the election.

But pressure's mounting now to name a date for the polling day - with Opposition parties describing the Government as "discredited, dysfunctional and now divided".

Green Ministers will meet with to Brian Cowen later to demand clarity on how long the Government will last for and to push for an actual polling date.

Government Chief Whip John Curran has admitted that it could well be after St. Patrick's Day before the Government is dissolved: