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Irish general election, 1969

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Template:Politics of the Republic of Ireland The Irish general election of 1969 was held on June 18, 1969. The newly elected 144 members of the 19th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on July 2 when the new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

The general election took place in 42 parliamentary constituencies throughout the Republic of Ireland for 144 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann

Contents

Campaign

The general election of 1969 saw two new leaders of the two main parties fight their firstgeneral election. Jack Lynch of Fianna Fáil became Taoiseach in 1966 and was attempting to win his first election. Liam Cosgrave took charge of Fine Gael in 1965 and was now leading his party into his first election. Brendan Corish was fighting his third general election as leader of the Labour Party.

Fianna Fáil had been in power since 1957 and in spite of media predictions the party was still very popular with the voters. The leader of the party, Jack Lynch, proved to be the party's biggest electoral asset. His quiet, easy-going and reassuring style attracted many new voters to Fianna Fáil. The party had introduced many innovative pieces of legislation during the 1960s and was now looking for a fresh mandate. Fianna Fáil were also helped by a deeply divided opposition.

Fine Gael had internal divisions. There was tension between the older conservative members who wanted to keep the party as it was and the younger deputies who wanted to move the party to the left. The Labour Party on the other hand were predicted to make massive gains. Their slogan "the seventies will be socialist" was popular with Labour supporters, however, Fianna Fáil played the "red card", linking Labour with communism. The tactic worked successfully.

Results

The results were as follows:

Party Leader Seats First Preferences
# of Seats Gain/Loss % of Dáil # of Votes %
Fianna Fáil Jack Lynch 75 +3 52.0   44.6
Fine Gael Liam Cosgrave 50 +3 34.7   33.3
Labour Party Brendan Corish 18 -4 12.5   16.6
Independents 1 -2 0.69   5.5
  144   100.0   100.0

The lack of a pre-election pact between the opposition parties led to a fourth successive election victory for Fianna Fáil. The Labour Party failed to make the big gains it was expected to make and Fine Gael gained a handful of seats. Jack Lynch remained as Taoiseach.

First time TDs

Retiring TDs

See also


Irish General Elections

Irish flag

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