1943 Irish general election

The 1943 Irish general election was held on Wednesday, 23 June 1943, having been called on 31 May by proclamation of President Douglas Hyde on the instruction of Taoiseach Éamon de Valera. It took place in 34 parliamentary constituencies for 138 seats in Dáil Éireann the lower house of the Oireachtas (parliament). Fianna Fáil lost its overall majority of seats. The newly elected members of the 11th Dáil assembled on 1 July when Éamon de Valera was re-elected Taoiseach at the head of a minority Fianna Fáil government.

1943 Irish general election

← 1938 23 June 1943 1944 →

138 seats in Dáil Éireann[a]
70 seats needed for a majority
Turnout74.2% Decrease 2.5pp
  First party Second party
Éamon de Valera.jpg
William Thomas Cosgrave.jpg
Leader Éamon de Valera W. T. Cosgrave
Party Fianna Fáil Fine Gael
Leader since 26 March 1926 September 1934
Leader's seat Clare Cork Borough
Last election 77 seats, 51.9% 45 seats, 33.3%
Seats before 77 44
Seats won 67[a] 32
Seat change Decrease10 Decrease12
Popular vote 557,525 307,490
Percentage 41.9% 23.1%
Swing Decrease10.0% Decrease10.2%

  Third party Fourth party
William Norton circa 1927 to 1932.png
Michael Donnellan, circa 1944.jpg
Leader William Norton Michael Donnellan
Party Labour Clann na Talmhan
Leader since 19 July 1932 29 June 1939
Leader's seat Carlow–Kildare Galway East
Last election 9 seats, 10.0% New Party
Seats before 9 N/A
Seats won 17 10
Seat change Increase8 Increase10
Popular vote 208,812 130,452
Percentage 15.7% 9.0%
Swing Increase5.7% New party

Irish general election 1943.png
Percentage of seats gained by each of the three major parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.

Taoiseach before election

Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil

Taoiseach after election

Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil

Because of the state of emergency arising from the Second World War, although the outgoing Dáil did not meet after 26 May, it was not dissolved until 26 June, after the election.[3] Although the Constitution requires the President to dissolve the Dáil before a general election, this procedure was overridden by the General Elections (Emergency Provisions) Act 1943.[4][5][6]

In April the government had proposed to postpone the election by introducing a bill to extend the maximum term of the Dáil from five to six years;[7] however, in the absence of support from the Fine Gael opposition, the bill was withdrawn.[8][9]

The Emergency Powers Act 1939 was in force at the time of the election campaign, and concomitant press censorship affected coverage.


Election to the 11th Dáil – 23 June 1943[10][11][12]
Party Leader Seats ± % of
First pref.
% FPv ±%
Fianna Fáil Éamon de Valera 67[a] –10 48.6 557,525 41.9 –10.0
Fine Gael W. T. Cosgrave 32 –13 23.2 307,490 23.1 –10.2
Labour William Norton 17 +8 12.3 208,812 15.7 +5.7
Clann na Talmhan Michael Donnellan 10[b] New 7.2 130,452 9.8
Monetary Reform Party Oliver J. Flanagan 1 New 0.7 4,377 0.3
Córas na Poblachta Simon Donnelly 0 New 0 3,892 0.3
Ailtirí na hAiséirghe 0 New 0 3,137 0.2
Independent N/A 11 +4 7.3 116,024 8.7 +4.0
Spoilt votes 16,198
Total 138[a] 0 100 1,347,907 100
Electorate/Turnout 1,816,142 74.2%

Voting summaryEdit

First preference vote
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael
Clann na Talmhan

Seats summaryEdit

Dáil seats
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael
Clann na Talmhan
Monetary Reform

Government formationEdit

Fianna Fáil formed the 3rd Government of Ireland, a minority government.

First time TDsEdit

Outgoing TDsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Including Frank Fahy, returned automatically for Galway East as outgoing Ceann Comhairle, under Art. 16.6 of the Constitution and the Electoral (Chairman of Dáil Éireann) Act 1937.[1][2]
  2. ^ Manning (1972) notes that the Clann na Talmhan figure is often listed in error as 14, due to the inclusion of Independent Farmer TDs in the CnaT total.


  1. ^ Electoral (Chairman of Dail Eireann) Act 1937, s. 3: Re-election of outgoing Ceann Comhairle (No. 25 of 1937, s. 3). 1 November 1937. Act of the Oireachtas. Irish Statute Book.
  2. ^ "11th Dáil 1937: Galway East". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Mr. de Valera to be Taoiseach". The Irish Times. p. 1.
  4. ^ "Constitution of Ireland". Irish Statute Book. Article 16.3. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  5. ^ General Elections (Emergency Provisions) Act 1943 (No. 11 of 1943). Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 27 March 2018, Irish Statute Book.
  6. ^ de Valera, Éamon (26 May 1943). "The General Election: Announcement by Taoiseach". pp. Vol.90 No.5 p.19 c.562. Retrieved 27 March 2018. the Dáil will rise to-day. ... It is my intention to advise the President so that on the 31st May he may issue his direction for the holding of a general election. His proclamation may be issued on the 31st May. ... the 22nd June [sic] will be the polling day and then the outgoing Dáil, the present Dáil, would have to be dissolved not later than 8th July. The House is aware that it will be dissolved as soon as the Clerk of the Dáil is able to inform us that he has got returns for all the writs.
  7. ^ "Committee on Finance. - Electoral (Duration of Dáil Eireann) Bill, 1943—Second Stage – Dáil Éireann (10th Dáil)". Oireachtas. 15 April 1943. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Committee on Finance. - Electoral (Duration of Dáil Eireann) Bill, 1943—Bill Withdrawn – Dáil Éireann (10th Dáil) – Vol. 89 No. 18". Oireachtas. 5 May 1943. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  9. ^ Electoral (Duration of Dáil Éireann) Bill 1943 (Bill no. 10 of 1943). Houses of the Oireachtas.
  10. ^ "11th Dáil 1943 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  11. ^ "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  12. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. pp. 1009–1017. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.