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Irish general election, 1981

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of the Republic of Ireland The Irish general election of 1981 was held on June 11, 1981, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on May 21. The newly elected 166 members of the 22nd Dáil assembled at Leinster House on June 30 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 1981 was the first one of five during the 1980s. The election also saw three new leaders of the three main parties fight their first general election. Charles Haughey had become Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil at the end of 1979, Garret FitzGerald was the new leader of Fine Gael and Michael O'Leary was in charge of the Labour Party.

Charles Haughey and Fianna Fáil seemed extremely popular with the electorate. He had wanted to call the general election for early in the year, however a series of events led to the postponemnet of the election until the summer. By that stage much of the earlier optimism in the party had filtered out. The party still offered a very attractive manifesto, promising the elctorate more spending programmes. Fine Gael also put forward a series of tax-cutting plans. Both the main parties policies seemed completely unrealistic, particularly since the national debt of the country was spiralling out of control.

Results

The results were as follows:

Party Leader Seats First Preferences
# of Seats Gain/Loss % of Dáil # of Votes %
Fianna Fáil Charles J. Haughey 78 -6 47.0   45.3
Fine Gael Garret FitzGerald 65 +22 39.2   36.5
Labour Party Michael O'Leary 15 -2 5.4   9.9
Anti H-Block   2   1.2   3.1
Independents 6 +2 3.01   5.2
  166   100.0   100.0

When the votes were counted the result was inconclusive. Fianna Fáil lost seats as a result of sympathy to the Anti H-Block candidates and the attractive tax proposals of Fine Gael. It was the worst performance for Fianna Fáil in twenty years. A Fine Gael-Labour coalition government came to power with Garret FitzGerald becoming the seventh Taoiseach.

First time TDs

Retiring TDs

See also


Irish General Elections

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