147 seats in Dáil Éireann[a]
74 seats needed for a majority
Percentage of seats gained by each of the five biggest parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.
This election was the first election since the declaration of the Republic of Ireland on 18 April 1949 under the terms of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, which automatically forced Ireland's withdrawal from the British Commonwealth.
The 1951 general election was caused by a number of crises within the First Inter-Party Government, most notably the Mother and Child Scheme. While the whole affair – which saw the resignation of the Minister for Health, Noel Browne – was not entirely to blame for the collapse of the government, it added to the disagreement between the various political parties. There were other problems facing the country, such as rising prices and balance-of-payments problems. Two farmer TDs withdrew their support for the government because of rising milk prices.
Although the First Inter-Party Government was now coming to an end, it had a number of achievements. It proved that the country could be led by a group other than Fianna Fáil. It also provided a fresh perspective after sixteen years of government by that party.
The coalition parties fought the general election on their record over the previous three years, while Fianna Fáil argued strongly against coalition governments.
|Election to the 14th Dáil – 30 May 1951|
|Fianna Fáil||Éamon de Valera||69[a]||+1||46.9||616,212||46.3||+4.4|
|Fine Gael||Richard Mulcahy||40||+9||27.2||349,922||25.8||+6.0|
|Clann na Talmhan||Joseph Blowick||6||–1||4.1||38,872||2.9||–2.7|
|Clann na Poblachta||Seán MacBride||2||–8||1.4||54,210||4.1||–9.1|
|Irish Workers' League||Michael O'Riordan||0||New||0||295||0.0||–|
The election result was inconclusive. Fianna Fáil's support increased by 61,000 votes; however, the party only gained one additional seat. The coalition parties had mixed fortunes. Fine Gael were the big winners increasing to forty seats. The Labour Party had reunited in 1950, when the National Labour Party had merged back into the party but in spite of this, the party lost seats. Clann na Poblachta was the big loser of the election. Three years earlier the party had been a big political threat but now the party was shattered.
Fianna Fáil did not enough seats to govern alone. However, the party was able to form a minority government with the support of Noel Browne, the sacked Minister for Health, and other Independent deputies.
Changes in membershipEdit
- Philip Brady
- Joseph Brennan
- Patrick Cawley
- Declan Costello
- Patrick Crowe
- Liam Cunningham
- Percy Dockrell
- Peadar Duignan
- Anthony Esmonde
- John Fanning
- Michael ffrench-O'Carroll
- Seán Flanagan
- Colm Gallagher
- James Hession
- Patrick Hillery
- John Lynch
- Peadar Maher
- John Mannion Snr
- Michael Pat Murphy
- William Murphy
- Denis J. O'Sullivan
- Including Frank Fahy (FF), returned automatically for Galway South as outgoing Ceann Comhairle, under Art. 16.6 of the Constitution and the Electoral (Chairman of Dáil Éireann) Act 1937.
- The Labour Party and the National Labour Party had reunited since the previous election. The figures for the Labour Party are compared to the two parties' combined totals in the previous election.
- Electoral (Chairman of Dáil Éireann) 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.
- "14th Dáil 1951: Galway South". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
- "14th Dáil 1951 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. pp. 1009–1017. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.