Former Prime Minister Brian CowenGoogle Images

An Irish general election will most likely not take place until March of 2011, due to a tense standoff between between the two ruling parties Fianna Fail and the Greens.

On Thursday the Irish press reported that the two coalition parties had argued on the day the Irish Budget was presented on Tuesday over the smaller Green party's demands that legislation on corporate donations, waste levies, animal welfare and climate change be brought into operation before the general election.

Fianna Fail Transport Minister Noel Dempsey told the Greens that pushing the legislation through would preclude the early election the Greens were looking for.

Fianna Fail reportedly want to extend the lead-in time to a general election as long as possible. The Greens reportedly want the election to be over and done with before Saint Patrick’s Day at the latest. A spokesperson for the Greens has indicated it will pull back from its original demand for a general election by the end of January.