Ireland risks hung parliament, impasse after election Friday

Politicians are issuing their final appeals for support ahead of Ireland's election Friday, a contest that could produce a hung parliament and weeks of political uncertainty.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny and Deputy Prime Minister Joan Burton shared a pot of tea at a Dublin riverside restaurant Thursday as they asked voters to keep their five-year-old coalition government in power.

Polls throughout Ireland's unusually short three-week campaign forecast that Kenny's centrist Fine Gael should remain the largest party in parliament. But Burton's left-wing Labour Party faces potential obliteration, with Burton at risk of losing her own Dublin seat.

The most commonly predicted outcome would require Fine Gael to form an unprecedented coalition with its political nemesis, Fianna Fail. Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin both have rejected this idea.