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Irish general election, 1987

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of the Republic of Ireland The Irish general election of 1987 was held on February 17, 1987, four weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on January 20. The newly elected 166 members of the 25th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on March 10 when a new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout the Republic of Ireland for 166 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.

Contents

Campaign

The general election of 1987 was precipitated by the withdrawl of the Labour Party from the Fine Gael led government on January 20, 1987. The reason was a disagreement over budget proposals. Rather than press on with the government's agenda the Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, Garret FitzGerald, decided to dissolve the Dáil. An unusually long period of four weeks was set for the campaign. It was hoped that the electorate would warm to Fine Gael's budget proposals during the campaign.

Fianna Fáil's campaign involved the refusal to make any definite comments, however, they attempted to convince the electorate that the country would be better under Fianna Fáil. Charles Haughey's attitude towards Northern Ireland and the Anglo-Irish Agreement were all attacked. However, the campaign was more or less fought on economic issues.

The Labour Party decided against any pre-election pact before the election, particularly with Fine Gael. While a new political party, the Progressive Democrats, seemed to achieve huge support and surpass Labour as the third biggest political party in the Dáil. Although the party had grown out of Fianna Fáil it actually took seats from Fine Gael.

Results

The results were as follows:

Party Leader Seats First Preferences
# of Seats Gain/Loss % of Dáil # of Votes %
Fianna Fáil Charles J. Haughey 81 +6 48.8   44.2
Fine Gael Garret FitzGerald 51 -19 30.7   27.2
Progressive Democrats Desmond O'Malley 14 +14 8.4   11.9
Labour Party Dick Spring 12 -4 7.2   6.5
Workers' Party Tomás MacGiolla 4 +2 2.4   3.8
Independents 4 +1 2.4   6.4
  166 0 100.0   100.0

In spite of the opinion polls suggesting otherwise, Fianna Fáil once again failed to win an overall majority. However, the party was able to govern as a minority government and Charles J. Haughey was back for his third and final time as Taoiseach. The Fianna Fáil government from 1987 until 1989 was the last time a single party formed a government in the Republic of Ireland. The new party, the Progressive Democrats, did exceptionally well on their first outing, becoming the third biggest party in the Dáil. Fine Gael lost many seats, mostly to the PDs. The Labour Party failed to make any huge impact, with its leader, Dick Spring, almost losing his seat.

First time TDs

Retiring TDs

See also


Irish General Elections

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