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Irish general election, 1982 (February)

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of the Republic of Ireland The Irish general election of February 1982 was held on February 18, 1982, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on January 27. The newly elected 166 members of the 23rd Dáil assembled at Leinster House on March 9 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 first general election of 1982 was caused by the sudden collapse of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government when the budget was defeated. The Minister for Finance, John Bruton, attempted to put VAT on children shoes, a measure which was rejected by some left-wing independent TDs. The Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald, dissolved the Dáil immediately, however, while he was with President Patrick Hillery at Áras an Uachtaráin a number of Fianna Fáil members attempted to ring the President, urging him not to grant a dissolution. If he refused a dissolution FitzGerald would have to resign and Fianna Fáil would be invited to form a government. While the attepmt to contact the President was highly unconstitutional, (the President can only take advice from the Taoiseach) a dissolution was granted and the general election campaign began in earnest.

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 continued its policies that it had been implementing while in office. Charles Haughey of Fianna Fáil dismissed the budget cuts when the campaign first began, however, the reality soon became apparent and the party adopted similar policies that involved budget cuts.

Result

The results were as follows:

Party Leader Seats First Preferences
# of Seats Gain/Loss % of Dáil # of Votes %
Fianna Fáil Charles J. Haughey 81 +3 48.8   47.3
Fine Gael Garret FitzGerald 63 -2 38.0   37.3
Labour Party Michael O'Leary 15 +0 9.0   9.1
Sinn Féin the Workers Party Tomás MacGiolla 3 +3 1.8   2.2
Independents 4 -2 2.4   4.1
Others 0 -2      
  166   100.0   100.0

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 didn't take place and Haughey was the party's nominee for Taoiseach. Haughey gained the support of the Independent TD, Tony Gregory, and the three Workers' Party deputies and was appointed Taoiseach.

First Time TDs

See also


Irish General Elections

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