February 1982 Irish general election

The February 1982 Irish general election to the 23rd Dáil was held on Thursday, 18 February, three weeks after the dissolution of the 22nd Dáil on 27 January by President Patrick Hillery on the request of Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald on the defeat of the government's budget. The general election took place in 41 Dáil constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in Dáil Éireann, the house of representatives of the Oireachtas.

February 1982 Irish general election

← 1981 18 February 1982 Nov 1982 →

166 seats in Dáil Éireann[a]
84 seats needed for a majority
Turnout73.8% Decrease 2.4pp
  First party Second party
Charles Haughey, 1990.jpg
Garret FitzGerald 1975 (cropped).jpg
Leader Charles Haughey Garret FitzGerald
Party Fianna Fáil Fine Gael
Leader since 7 December 1979 1977
Leader's seat Dublin North-Central Dublin South-East
Last election 78 seats, 45.3% 65 seats, 36.5%
Seats won 81 63
Seat change Increase 3 Decrease 2
Popular vote 786,851 621,088
Percentage 47.3% 37.3%
Swing Increase 2.0% Increase 0.8%

  Third party Fourth party
MacGiolla cropped.jpg
Leader Michael O'Leary Tomás Mac Giolla
Party Labour Sinn Féin The Workers' Party
Leader since 1981 1977
Leader's seat Dublin Central N/A
Last election 15 seats, 9.9% 1 seat, 1.7%
Seats won 15 3
Seat change Steady Increase 2
Popular vote 151,875 38,088
Percentage 9.1% 2.3%
Swing Decrease 0.8% Increase 0.6%

Taoiseach before election

Garret FitzGerald
Fine Gael

Taoiseach after election

Charles Haughey
Fianna Fáil

The 23rd Dáil met at Leinster House on 9 March to nominate the Taoiseach for appointment by the president and to approve the appointment of a new government of Ireland. Charles Haughey was appointed Taoiseach, forming the 18th Government of Ireland, a minority single-party Fianna Fáil government.

Campaign edit

The first general election of 1982 was caused by the sudden collapse of the Fine GaelLabour Party coalition government when the budget was defeated. The Minister for Finance, John Bruton, attempted to put VAT on children's shoes. This measure was rejected by Jim Kemmy, a left-wing independent Teachta Dála, and Joe Sherlock of Sinn Féin The Workers' Party. The Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald immediately sought a dissolution of the Dáil. However, while he was with President Patrick Hillery at Áras an Uachtaráin, a number of Fianna Fáil members attempted to telephone the president, urging him not to grant a dissolution. If the president refused a dissolution, FitzGerald would have to resign and the Dáil would have an opportunity to nominate a new Taoiseach – with Haughey hoping to re-enter office. The attempt to contact the President was highly unconstitutional, as the President can only take advice from the Taoiseach. In the event, a dissolution was granted and the general election campaign began.

The campaign was largely fought on economic issues. Spending cuts were a reality for whatever party won, but the scale of the cuts were played down by all parties. Fine Gael proposed to continue the policies that it had been implementing while in office. The Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey dismissed the need for budget cuts when the campaign first began; however, the need for realism soon became apparent, and the party adopted similar policies that involved budget cuts.

Result edit

Election to the 23rd Dáil – 18 February 1982[3][4][5][6]
Party Leader Seats ± % of
First pref.
% FPv ±%
Fianna Fáil Charles Haughey 81 +3 48.8 786,951 47.3 +2.0
Fine Gael Garret FitzGerald 63 –2 38.0 621,088 37.3 +0.8
Labour Michael O'Leary 15 0 9.0 151,875 9.1 –0.8
Sinn Féin The Workers' Party Tomás Mac Giolla 3 +2 1.8 38,088 2.3 +0.6
Sinn Féin Ruairí Ó Brádaigh 0 New 0 16,894 1.0
Irish Republican Socialist 0 New 0 2,716 0.2
Communist 0 0 0 462 0.0 0
Independent N/A 4[a] 0 2.4 46,059 2.8 –0.9
Spoilt votes 14,367
Total 166[a] 0 100 1,678,500 100
Electorate/Turnout 2,275,450 73.8%

Independents include Independent Fianna Fáil (11,732 votes, 1 seat).

Voting summary edit

First preference vote
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael
Sinn Féin (Workers' Party)
Sinn Féin

Seats summary edit

Dáil seats
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael
Sinn Féin (Workers' Party)

Government formation edit

Fianna Fáil formed the 18th Government of Ireland, a minority government.

Fianna Fáil emerged as the largest party and looked most likely to form a government. However, internal divisions within the party threatened Charles Haughey's nomination for Taoiseach. In the end a leadership challenge did not take place, and Haughey was the party's nominee for Taoiseach. Haughey gained the support of the Independent Socialist TD Tony Gregory, the Independent Fianna Fáil TD Neil Blaney and the three Sinn Féin the Workers' Party deputies, and was appointed Taoiseach.

Dáil membership changes edit

The following changes took place as a result of the election:

  • 7 outgoing TDs retired
  • 1 vacant seat at election time
  • 157 outgoing TDs stood for re-election (also John O'Connell, the outgoing Ceann Comhairle, who was automatically returned)
    • 136 of those were re-elected
    • 21 failed to be re-elected
  • 29 successor TDs were elected
    • 21 were elected for the first time
    • 8 had previously been TDs
  • There was 1 successor female TD, who replaced 4 outgoing; thus the total decreased by 3 to 8.
  • There were changes in 26 of 41 constituencies

Where more than one change took place in a constituency the concept of successor is an approximation for presentation only.

Constituency Departing TD Party Change Comment Successor TD Party
Carlow–Kilkenny Tom Nolan Fianna Fáil Lost seat Gibbons: Former TD Jim Gibbons Fianna Fáil
Cavan–Monaghan Kieran Doherty Anti H-Block Vacant[b] Leonard: Former TD Jimmy Leonard Fianna Fáil
Clare Madeline Taylor Fine Gael Lost seat Donal Carey Fine Gael
Cork East Carey Joyce Fianna Fáil Lost seat Michael Ahern Fianna Fáil
Cork North-Central No membership changes
Cork North-West No membership changes
Cork South-Central Hugh Coveney Fine Gael Lost seat Jim Corr Fine Gael
Cork South-West Flor Crowley Fianna Fáil Lost seat Walsh:Former TD Joe Walsh Fianna Fáil
Donegal North-East No membership changes
Donegal South-West James White Fine Gael Retired Dinny McGinley Fine Gael
Dublin Central Alice Glenn Fine Gael Lost seat Tony Gregory Independent
Dublin North No membership changes
Dublin North-Central Noël Browne Socialist Labour Party Retired Richard Bruton Fine Gael
Dublin North-East Liam Fitzgerald Fianna Fáil Lost seat Ned Brennan Fianna Fáil
Seán Loftus Independent Lost seat Maurice Manning Fine Gael
Dublin North-West Hugh Byrne Fine Gael Lost seat Proinsias De Rossa Sinn Féin The Workers' Party
Dublin South No membership changes
Dublin South-Central Fergus O'Brien Fine Gael Lost seat Cluskey:Former TD Frank Cluskey Labour Party
Dublin South-East Seán Moore Fianna Fáil Lost seat Quinn:Former TD Ruairi Quinn Labour Party
Richie Ryan Fine Gael Retired Alexis FitzGerald Jnr Fine Gael
Dublin South-West No membership changes
Dublin West Eileen Lemass Fianna Fáil Lost seat Lawlor:Former TD Liam Lawlor Fianna Fáil
Dún Laoghaire No membership changes
Galway East No membership changes
Galway West Mark Killilea Jnr Fianna Fáil Lost seat Frank Fahey Fianna Fáil
Kerry North No membership changes
Kerry South No membership changes
Kildare Bernard Durkan Fine Gael Lost seat Gerry Brady Fianna Fáil
Laois–Offaly No membership changes
Limerick East Peadar Clohessy Fianna Fáil Lost seat Willie O'Dea Fianna Fáil
Limerick West No membership changes
Longford–Westmeath No membership changes
Louth Paddy Agnew Anti H-Block Retired Thomas Bellew Fianna Fáil
Mayo East No membership changes
Mayo West No membership changes
Meath Brendan Crinion Fianna Fáil Retired Colm Hilliard Fianna Fáil
James Tully Labour Party Retired Michael Lynch Fianna Fáil
Roscommon John Connor Fine Gael Lost seat Liam Naughten Fine Gael
Sligo–Leitrim Joe McCartin Fine Gael Lost seat Matt Brennan Fianna Fáil
Tipperary North Michael Smith Fianna Fáil Lost seat Kennedy:Former TD Michael O'Kennedy Fianna Fáil
Tipperary South Carrie Acheson Fianna Fáil Lost seat Sean Byrne Fianna Fáil
Waterford Billy Kenneally Fianna Fáil Lost seat Patrick Gallagher Sinn Féin The Workers' Party
Wexford Brendan Corish Labour Party Retired Browne:Former TD Seán Browne Fianna Fáil
Wicklow Paudge Brennan Fianna Fáil Lost seat Gemma Hussey Fine Gael

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b c Including John O'Connell (Ind), returned automatically for Dublin South-Central as outgoing Ceann Comhairle, under Art. 16.6 of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 1963, as amended.[1][2]
  2. ^ Doherty died in August 1981 but no by-election had been called by the time of the general election.

References edit

  1. ^ Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1980, s. 1: Amendment of section 14 of Electoral Act 1963 (No. 40 of 1980, s. 1). Enacted on 23 December 1980. Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book.
  2. ^ "23rd Dáil 1982 February: Dublin South-Central". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Election results and transfer of votes in general election (February, 1982) for twenty-third Dáil" (PDF). Houses of the Oireachtas. Dublin Stationery Office. August 1982. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  4. ^ "23rd Dáil February 1982 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  5. ^ "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  6. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. pp. 1009–1017. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.

External links edit

Further reading edit