Irish general election, 1992


Irish general election, 1992

The Irish general election of 1992 was held on Wednesday, 25 November 1992, almost three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 5 November. However, after difficulties in forming a government the newly elected 166 members of the 27th Dáil did not assemble at Leinster House until 4 January 1993. A new Taoiseach and government were not appointed until 12 January 1993.

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

Campaign

The general election of 1992 was precipitated by the collapse of the Fianna FáilProgressive Democrats coalition government. Allegations of dishonesty at the Beef Tribunal forced Desmond O'Malley and his party to part ways with Albert Reynolds's Fianna Fáil. Both Albert Reynolds and John Bruton of Fine Gael were fighting their first general election as leader of their respective parties. For Reynolds it would be his only election as leader. The campaign went very poorly for Fianna Fáil with Reynolds's support dropping by 20%.

Many political pundits had predicted that Fianna Fáil would not be re-elected and that a "Rainbow Coalition" involving Fine Gael, the Labour Party and possibly Democratic Left. John Bruton, the leader of Fine Gael, had problems of his own. Opinion polls showed that if a "Rainbow Coalition" came to power, Dick Spring of the Labour Party was seen as a better potential Taoiseach than Bruton. The possibility of a rotating Taoiseach was also hinted at in the media.

The big winner of the campaign was Dick Spring and the Labour Party. They distanced themselves completely from Fine Gael and fought an independent line. During the campaign Spring made very little comment about what the party would do after the election, however, he did say that if the Labour Party was part of a coalition he would have to be granted a turn as Taoiseach.

The election also saw Moosajee Bhamjee (Labour Party) become the first Muslim Teachta Dála (TD).

Result

Irish Election Summary Begin
ordinal = 27th
year = 1992
prevelecyear = 1989
Irish Election Summary Party
party = Fianna Fáil
leader = Albert Reynolds
seats-prev = 77
dail%-prev = 46.6
seats-diss = N/A
dail%-diss = N/A
seats = 68
dail% = 41.2
seats-chg = -9
dail%-chg = -5.4
votes-prev = 731.4
%-prev = 44.1
votes = 674.6
% = 39.1
%-chg = -5.0
Irish Election Summary Party
party = Fine Gael
leader = John Bruton
seats-prev = 55
dail%-prev = 33.3
seats-diss = N/A
dail%-diss = N/A
seats = 45
dail% = 27.3
seats-chg = -10
dail%-chg = -6.0
votes-prev = 485.3
%-prev = 29.3
votes = 422.1
% = 24.5
%-chg = -4.8
Irish Election Summary Party
party = Labour Party (Ireland)
leader = Dick Spring
seats-prev = 15
dail%-prev = 9.1
seats-diss = N/A
dail%-diss = N/A
seats = 33
dail% = 20.0
seats-chg = +18
dail%-chg = +10.9
votes-prev = 156.9
%-prev = 9.5
votes = 333.0
% = 19.3
%-chg = +9.9
Irish Election Summary Party
party = Progressive Democrats
leader = Desmond O'Malley
seats-prev = 6
dail%-prev = 3.6
seats-diss = N/A
dail%-diss = N/A
seats = 10
dail% = 6.1
seats-chg = +4
dail%-chg = +2.4
votes-prev = 91.0
%-prev = 5.5
votes = 80.7
% = 4.7
%-chg = -0.8
Irish Election Summary Party
party = Democratic Left (Ireland)
leader = Proinsias De Rossa
seats-prev = 0
dail%-prev = 0
seats-diss = 6
dail%-diss = 3.6
seats = 4
dail% = 2.4
seats-chg = -2
dail%-chg = -1.2
votes-prev = N/A
%-prev = N/A
votes = 47.9
% = 2.8
%-chg = N/A
Irish Election Summary Party
party = Green Party (Ireland)
leader = "none"
seats-prev = 1
dail%-prev = 0.6
seats-diss = 1
dail%-diss = 0.6
seats = 1
dail% = 0.6
seats-chg = +0
dail%-chg = +0
votes-prev = 24.8
%-prev = 1.5
votes = 24.1
% = 1.4
%-chg = -0.1
Irish Election Summary Party
party = Workers Party (Ireland)
leader = Tomás Mac Giolla
seats-prev = 7
dail%-prev = 4.2
seats-diss = 1
dail%-diss = 0.6
seats = 0
dail% = 0
seats-chg = -1
dail%-chg = -0.6
votes-prev = 82.2
%-prev = 4.9
votes = 11.5
% = 0.6
%-chg = -4.3
Irish Election Summary Oth
seats-prev = 1
dail%-prev = 0.6
seats-diss = 1
dail%-diss = 0.6
seats = 0
dail% = 0
seats-chg = -1
dail%-chg = -0.6
votes-prev = 30.1
%-prev = 1.8
votes = 41.8
% = 2.4
%-chg = +0.6
Irish Election Summary Inds
seats-prev = 3
dail%-prev = 1.8
seats-diss = N/A
dail%-diss = N/A
seats = 4
dail% = 2.4
seats-chg = +1
dail%-chg = +1.3
votes-prev = 54.7
%-prev = 3.3
votes = 47.9
% = 2.8
%-chg = +0.5
Irish Election Summary CC
seats-prev = 1
dail%-prev = 0.6
seats-diss = 1
dail%-diss = 0.6
seats = 1
dail% = 0.6
seats-chg = 0
dail%-chg = 0
Irish Election Summary End
seats-vac = 0
dail%-vac = 0.0
totseats-prev = 166
totseats = 166
totseats-chg = 0
totvotes-prev = 1656.4
totvotes = 1683.6

When the votes were counted the picture was clear. Fianna Fáil had its worst performance since 1927, winning less than 40% of the vote. Fine Gael, in spite of predictions of success, actually lost 10 seats. The Labour Party recorded its best ever result and effectively held the balance of power. As mathematically a "Rainbow Coalition" was out of the question, Spring had to enter into coalition with Fianna Fáil, or force another election. The coalition deal proved very unpopular with many of Labour's supporters, because Dick Spring had campaigned heavily against Fianna Fáil and particularly Albert Reynolds. As a result of the coalition, Albert Reynolds was elected Taoiseach with over 100 votes, the biggest majority by any Taoiseach in modern Irish history.

Following a number of scandals in 1994, particularly over the beef industry, the Labour Party left the coalition and, after negotiations, formed the "Rainbow Coalition" with Fine Gael and Democratic Left on 15 December 1994 as three by-election gains had by now made it possible [ [http://www.electionsireland.org/results/general/byelectiondail.cfm Dáil Éireann By Elections 1918–2005] (ElectionsIreland.org)] This was the first and to date, only occasion in Irish political history that a party had left a governing coalition and gone into government with opposition parties without first holding an election.

eats won

Dáil membership changes

The following changes took place as a result of the election:
* 11 outgoing TDs retired.
* 155 TDs stood for re-election.
** 126 of those were re-elected.
** 30 failed to be re-elected.
* 41 successor TDs were elected
** 33 were elected for the first time.
** 8 had previously been TDs.
* There were 10 successor female TDs, increasing the total number by 7.

Outgoing TDs are listed in the constituency they contested in the election. For some, such as John Stafford, this differs from the constituency they represented in the outgoing Dáil. Where more than one change took place in a constituency the concept of successor is an approximation for presentation only.

ubsequent By-elections

The following TDs were elected for the first time in subsequent by-elections:
* Michael Ring
* Kathleen Lynch
* Mildred Fox
* Cecilia Keaveney
* Brian Lenihan, Jnr

Two other by-elections returned previous TDs:
* Eric Byrne
* Hugh Coveney

ee also

* Members of the 27th Dáil
* Government of the 27th Dáil
* Ministers of State of the 27th Dáil
* Members of the 20th Seanad

References


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