November 1982 Irish general election

The November 1982 Irish general election was held on 24 November 1982, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 4 November. The newly elected 166 members of the 24th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 14 December when a new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

November 1982 Irish general election

24 November 1982

165 of 166 seats in Dáil Éireann
84 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
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 81 seats, 47.3% 63 seats, 37.3%
Seats won 75 70
Seat change 6 7
Popular vote 763,313 662,284
Percentage 45.2% 39.2%
Swing 2.1% 1.9%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Dick Spring Tomás Mac Giolla
Party Labour Party Workers' Party
Leader since November 1982 1977
Leader's seat Kerry North Dublin West
Last election 15 seats, 9.1% 3 seats, 2.2%
Seats won 16 2
Seat change 1 1
Popular vote 158,115 54,888
Percentage 9.4% 3.3%
Swing 0.3% 1.0%

Percentage of seats gained by each of the three major parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.

Taoiseach before election

Charles Haughey
Fianna Fáil

Subsequent Taoiseach

Garret FitzGerald
Fine Gael

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


The second general election of 1982 took place just nine months after the first one in February of the same year. While it is not the shortest Dáil, it is unusual because never before had there been three general elections in eighteen months.

The general election was caused by the loss of support of the Independent TD Tony Gregory and the Workers' Party for the Fianna Fáil government. This was due to the government's insistence on introducing substantial budget cuts, which the left-wing Teachta Dála (TDs) could not support. While economic issues dominated the campaign, the parties were weary in having to fight yet another general election.


24th Irish general election 24 November 1982[1][2][3]
Party Leader Seats ± % of
First Pref
% FPv ±%
Fianna Fáil Charles Haughey 75 –6 45.2 763,313 45.2 –2.1
Fine Gael Garret FitzGerald 70 +7 42.2 662,284 39.2 +1.9
Labour Party Dick Spring 16 +1 9.6 158,115 9.4 +0.3
Workers' Party Tomás Mac Giolla 2 –1 1.2 54,888 3.3 +1.0
Democratic Socialist Jim Kemmy 0 New 0 7,012 0.4
Ecology Party 0 New 0 3,716 0.2
Irish Republican Socialist Jim Lane 0 0 0 398 0.0 -0.2
Communist Party Eugene McCartan 0 0 0 259 0.0 0
Independent N/A 3 –1 1.2 38,735 2.3 –0.5
Spoilt votes 12,665
Total 166 0 100 1,701,385 100
Electorate/Turnout 2,335,153 72.9%
  • Fine Gael–Labour Party majority coalition government formed.

Independents include Independent Fianna Fáil (7,997 votes, 1 seat).

After the votes were counted the result was conclusive. Fine Gael recorded its biggest election victory until 2011, coming within five seats of Fianna Fáil; at other times (such as 1977) Fianna Fáil had been twice as big as Fine Gael. The Labour Party had a new leader with Dick Spring. A programme for government was quickly drawn up and Garret FitzGerald of Fine Gael became Taoiseach for the second time. The poor showing for Fianna Fáil resulted in a leadership challenge to Charles Haughey by his opponents within the party. Haughey won the vote of confidence and remained as leader.

Voting summary

First preference vote
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael

Seats summary

Assembly seats
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael

Dáil membership changes

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

  • 5 outgoing TDs retired
  • 1 vacant seat at election time
  • 159 outgoing TDs stood for re-election (also John O'Connell, the outgoing Ceann Comhairle who was automatically returned)
    • 138 of those were re-elected
    • 21 failed to be re-elected
  • 27 successor TDs were elected
    • 18 were elected for the first time
    • 9 had previously been TDs
  • There were 6 successor female TDs, increasing the total by 6 to 14.
  • There were changes in 22 of the 41 constituencies contested

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 Jim Gibbons Fianna Fáil Lost seat M. J. Nolan Fianna Fáil
Desmond Governey Fine Gael Retired Dick Dowling Fine Gael
Cavan–Monaghan No membership changes
Clare Bill Loughnane Fianna Fáil Vacant[4] Taylor-Quinn: Former TD Madeleine Taylor-Quinn Fine Gael
Cork East Joe Sherlock Workers' Party Lost seat Ned O'Keeffe Fianna Fáil
Seán French Fianna Fáil Lost seat Dan Wallace Fianna Fáil
Cork North-Central No membership changes
Cork North-West Thomas Meaney Fianna Fáil Retired Donal Moynihan Fianna Fáil
Cork South-Central Jim Corr Fine Gael Retired Coveney: Former TD Hugh Coveney Fine Gael
Cork South-West No membership changes
Donegal North-East No membership changes
Donegal South-West No membership changes
Dublin Central Michael O'Leary Fine Gael Moved O'Leary moved to Dublin Central, Glenn: Former TD Alice Glenn Fine Gael
Dublin North No membership changes
Dublin North-Central No membership changes
Dublin North-East Ned Brennan Fianna Fáil Lost seat Fitzgerald: Former TD Liam Fitzgerald Fianna Fáil
Dublin North-West No membership changes
Dublin South No membership changes
Dublin South-Central Tom Fitzpatrick Fianna Fáil Lost seat O'Brien: Former TD Fergus O'Brien Fine Gael
Dublin South-East Alexis Fitzgerald Fine Gael Lost seat Joe Doyle Fine Gael
Dublin South-West Larry McMahon Fine Gael Lost seat Michael O'Leary Fine Gael
Dublin West Brian Fleming Fine Gael Lost seat Tomas Mac Giolla Workers' Party
Liam Lawlor Fianna Fáil Lost seat Lemass: Former TD Eileen Lemass Fianna Fáil
Dún Laoghaire Martin O'Donoghue Fianna Fáil Lost seat Monica Barnes Fine Gael
Galway East No membership changes
Galway West Michael D. Higgins Labour Party Lost seat Fintan Coogan Jnr Fine Gael
Kerry North No membership changes
Kerry South No membership changes
Kildare Gerry Brady Fianna Fáil Lost seat Durkan: Former TD Bernard Durkan Fine Gael
Laois–Offaly No membership changes
Limerick East Jim Kemmy Democratic Socialist Party Lost seat Frank Prendergast Labour Party
Limerick West No membership changes
Longford–Westmeath Seán Keegan Fianna Fáil Lost seat Mary O'Rourke Fianna Fáil
Louth Thomas Bellew Fianna Fáil Lost seat Michael Bell Labour Party
Eddie Filgate Fianna Fáil Retired Séamus Kirk Fianna Fáil
Bernard Markey Fine Gael Lost seat Brendan McGahon Fine Gael
Mayo East No membership changes
Mayo East No membership changes
Meath Michael Lynch Fianna Fáil Lost seat Frank McLoughlin Labour Party
Roscommon No membership changes
Sligo–Leitrim John Ellis Fianna Fáil Lost seat McCartin: Former TD Joe McCartin Fine Gael
Tipperary North No membership changes
Tipperary South No membership changes
Waterford Patrick Gallagher Workers' Party Lost seat Donal Ormonde Fianna Fáil
Wexford Lorcan Allen Fianna Fáil Lost seat Avril Doyle Fine Gael
Seán Browne Fianna Fáil Retired John Browne Fianna Fáil
Wicklow Ciarán Murphy Fianna Fáil Lost seat Brennan: Former TD Paudge Brennan Fianna Fáil

See also


  1. "24th Dáil November 1982 General Election". Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  2. "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  3. Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, pp1009-1017 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  4. Loughnane died in October, some weeks before the General Election
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