The Government has comfortably won a confidence motion in the Dáil, with support from Independent TDs and some deputies who are outside their parliamentary parties.

The margin of victory was 85 TDs in favour of the Government and 66 against.

It was clear from Sunday night that the Government had the numbers to win this confidence motion.

During the debate, Taoiseach Micheál Martin had accused Sinn Féin of cynicism, aggressive populism and dishonesty.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald returned the serve, saying the Coalition was "out of touch, clearly out of ideas and now out of time".

In the end, four TDs who had left the parliamentary parties of the Coalition backed the Government: Marc MacSharry, Joe McHugh, Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello.

Four Independent TD also voted with the Government: Michael Lowry, Cathal Berry, Peter Fitzpatrick and Seán Canney.

Sinn Féin had been urging Independent TDs to back its no-confidence motion and to trigger a general election.

The party said the Government has failed to deliver on health, housing and has not adequately addressed the rising cost-of-living.

The debate ended on a sour note - Fine Gael's Bernard Durcan said he had contracted Covid-19 but strongly criticised Sinn Féin for refusing to pair his vote.

Sinn Féin said they do not pair on confidence votes but wished Deputy Durcan the best with his recovery.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin earlier gave a wide-ranging defence of his administration's performance to date, and accused Sinn Féin of cynicism, aggressive populism and dishonesty.

Mr Martin moved a motion that the Dáil has confidence in the Government, prompted by Sinn Féin's plan to present a no-confidence motion this evening.

He welcomed what he called a debate "between those who believe in tackling problems, and those who believe in exploiting them" by taking "cynical and populist politics" to a new level.

Ms McDonald had told the Dáil that change is needed now more than ever.

The Government is "out of touch, clearly out of ideas and now out of time", she said, and accused the Taoiseach of having "scrambled" to get a majority to win the confidence motion.

She said that the Government "is coming apart at the seams" and called on it to "go now".

Mr Martin addressed issues ranging from climate change to Covid-19, from hospital beds to the housing crisis, and from the war in Ukraine to the cost-of-living crisis in his opening statement to the Dáil.

Pointing to the Government's handling of the pandemic, he said that Ireland scored in the global top three for Covid resilience.

If Ireland had performed at the EU average, 4,500 more people would have died - had it mirrored the level of the UK's performance, 5,500 more people would have died, he said.

He also thanked the other party leaders in the "successful" coalition.

The Taoiseach pointed to his determination upon taking office to meet "the unmet challenge of the Good Friday Agreement", and subsequently to establish the all-island dialogues.

In his speech, Mr Martin repeatedly cited criticisms made by Sinn Féin of his Government, and dismissed them as being dishonest and misleading, and repeatedly referenced "cynical" moves by the opposition.

He also accused them of consistently adopting "anti-EU positions".

Responding to the housing challenge, he said that constructions and completions "are up". And he said that Ireland had led from the front "on the humanitarian side" in relation to the war in Ukraine.

Ms McDonald said the Government had failed across the board, but she targetted its performance on housing, healthcare and the cost of living crisis.

"Each of these failures individually would warrant sacking the lot of you", she said. "Three strikes and you're out", she added. "Done, dusted".

The threat of poverty is now real for middle income families, she said, accusing the Government of "bull-headed stubbornness" in refusing to introduce an emergency budget. 'Generation Rent' get to look at new apartments, but not to live in them, she said.

"A vintage Fianna Fáil move if ever there was one" was how she described the shared equity scheme, prompting murmurs of support from her party colleagues.

"This housing disaster is an affront" and "was created by you", she told the Taoiseach.

When so many needing healthcare are forced to live in "agony and stress", she asked how can anyone defend the confidence of the Government.

She told independent TDs to stop propping up a failing Government.

Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik said she has never had confidence in the Government, and called on it to go.

She said that the coalition parties had failed to deliver, including the Green Party, which she said shares many of the Labour Party's aspirations.

But it had been unable to push its coalition partners to deliver on climate targets, she added.

She called the lack of any mention of climate in the Sinn Féin no-confidence motion as a "strange omission", and criticised the tone of "mock outrage, and mock anger" in the debate, insisting that she wants to be constructive.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said that the housing crisis was caused by policy choices made by successive governments "all of which have included Fine Gael".

The possibility of almost a third of retirees facing income poverty is "some legacy" for this administration, she said, citing an ESRI report.

And the "rush to the door" of HSE executives "doesn't fill you with confidence that the Department of Health is in control", Deputy Murphy added.

"Once you had the numbers it completely changed" in the Oireachtas, she said, "like a light switch", noting that there had been more co-operation under the minority administration.

"And I believe that was a big mistake", as the "Government has taken control of the agenda", Deputy Murphy said.

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy accused the Government of representing those who are profiting off the cost-of-living crisis, rather than low and middle income families.

He said that people want an election now to "kick out Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael", and, in an "historic" move, vote in a government which does not include either of those two "capitalist" parties.

And he called for parties on the left to rule out coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, but to form an "eco-socialist" front.

Richard Boyd Barrett said investors are making a fortune "just sitting on empty properties", and energy companies are making record profits.

"So they're doing well", he said, while rents spiral and people are being "absolutely crushed".

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that Sinn Féin had committed a "tactical error" by allowing the Government to show it had the support needed to run its full term.

He said this meant that there is no prospect of a Sinn Féin-led administration this year or next, "or the year after that".

"This is a good Government, one that I believe is doing good work", Mr Varadkar added, as he brought the Government's confidence motion to a close.

"All change isn't good", he said, especially Sinn Féin's "radical change, for the worse for the majority of people".

"Sinn Féin takes the economy for granted. It simply doesn't understand how it works", he said, and this would mean that "the cake would be smaller", resulting in "less for everyone".

The Dáil voted on the motion this evening, with 85 TDs supporting the Government and 66 against.

Rolling updates on the confidence motion

Additional reporting by Laura Fletcher.