1922 Irish general election

← 1921 16 June 1922 1923 →

All 128 seats in Dáil Éireann
65 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Michael Collins 1921.jpg
Éamon de Valera.jpg
Leader Michael Collins Éamon de Valera
Party Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty)
Leader since 1922 1917
Leader's seat Cork Mid, etc. Clare
Seats won 58 36
Popular vote 239,195 135,310
Percentage 38.5% 21.8%

  Third party Fourth party
Denis Gorey, 1931.jpg
Leader Thomas Johnson Denis Gorey
Party Labour Farmers' Party
Leader since 1922 1922
Leader's seat Dublin County Carlow–Kilkenny
Seats won 17 7
Popular vote 132,565 48,718
Percentage 21.3% 7.8%

Irish general election 1922.png
Percentage of seats gained by each of the three major parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.

Chairman of the Provisional
Government before election

Michael Collins
Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)

Chairman of the
Provisional Government after election

Michael Collins
Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)

The 1922 Irish general election took place in Southern Ireland on Friday, 16 June 1922. The election was separately called by a resolution of Dáil Éireann on 19 May[1] and by an order of the Provisional Government on 27 May.[2] The body elected was thus both the Third Dáil and provisional parliament replacing the parliament of Southern Ireland, under the provisions of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty to elect a constituent assembly paving the way for the formal establishment of the Irish Free State. From 6 December 1922, it continued as the Dáil Éireann of the Irish Free State.

The election was held under the electoral system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.[3] It was the first contested general election held in the jurisdiction using the STV system. The election was held in the 128 seats using the constituencies designated to the Southern Ireland House of Commons in the Government of Ireland Act 1920.


In the 1921 elections, Sinn Féin had won all seats in uncontested elections, except for the four in the Dublin University constituency. On this occasion, however, most seats were contested. The treaty had divided the party between 65 pro-treaty candidates, 57 anti-treaty and 1 nominally on both sides. To minimise losses due to competition from other parties, Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins worked out a pact approved on 20 May 1922.[4] They agreed that the pro-treaty and anti-treaty factions would fight the general election jointly and form a coalition government afterwards. The sitting member would not be opposed by the other faction. This pact prevented voters giving their opinions on the treaty itself, especially in uncontested seats. However, the draft Constitution of the Irish Free State was then published on 15 June, and so the anti-treaty Sinn Féin group's 36 seats out of 128 seemed to many to be a democratic endorsement of the pro-treaty Sinn Féin's arrangements.[citation needed] Others[who?] argued that insufficient time was available to understand the draft constitution, but the main arguments and debates had already been made public during and after the Dáil Treaty Debates that had ended on 10 January 1922, nearly six months before.

Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, opposed the Pact as undemocratic, and made a long statement on 31 May.[5] He was responsible at the time for steering the transitional arrangements between the Provisional Government and the government of the United Kingdom in the period between the ratification of the Treaty and the creation of the Irish Free State.

Despite the Pact, the election results started the effective division of Sinn Féin into separate parties. The anti-Treaty TDs then boycotted the new Dáil, even though they had requested, negotiated and approved the terms of the Pact. This boycott gave uncontested control to the pro-treaty members of Sinn Féin, and so enabled W. T. Cosgrave to establish the Second Provisional Government. The First Executive Council of the Irish Free State was appointed on 6 December 1922 on the nomination of this Dáil.


Election to the 3rd Dáil – 16 June 1922[6][7][8]
Irish general election 1922.svg
Party Leader Seats ± % of
First pref.
% FPv ±%
Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Michael Collins 58 N/A 45.3 239,195 38.5 N/A
Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Éamon de Valera 36 N/A 28.1 135,310 21.8 N/A
Labour Thomas Johnson 17 New 13.3 132,565 21.3 New
Farmers' Party Denis Gorey 7 New 5.5 48,718 7.8 New
Businessmen's Party 1 New 0.8 14,542 2.3 New
Ratepayers' Association 0 New 0 2,617 0.4 New
Independent N/A 9 N/A 7.0 48,638 7.8 N/A
Spoilt votes 19,684
Total 128 100 641,271 100
Electorate/Turnout 1,430,104 62.5%

Many seats were won unopposed; 17 by Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin, 16 by Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin and 4 by independents.

Voting summary

First preference vote
Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty)
Ratepayers Association

Seats summary

Assembly seats
Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty)


Out of a valid poll of 621,587 votes, the pro-Treaty faction of Sinn Féin won 239,195 votes and the anti-Treaty faction won 135,310 votes. The other parties and independents (see above) all supported the Treaty and secured a further 247,080 votes.[9]

The vote was seen as significant in several ways:

Further, the anti-Treaty candidates had taken part in an election in line with Article 11 of the Treaty, even though they had argued that it was flawed, being partitionist. Their pro-Treaty opponents argued that this revealed that their anti-Treaty stance was opportunist, and not principled. Article 11 of the Treaty had limited such an election to the constituencies of the formative Free State, and specifically excluded constituencies in Northern Ireland, yet the anti-Treaty argument was that the Dáil represented the whole island of Ireland.

Government formation

Within 12 days, on 28 June 1922, as a result of the tensions between pro- and anti-Treatyites, the Irish Civil War broke out, when the Provisional Government's troops began a bombardment of the Anti-Treaty IRA's occupation of the Four Courts, Dublin. The Dáil had been due to convene on 1 July, but its opening was prorogued on 5 occasions, meeting on 9 September 1922.[10]

Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, leaders of two separate but co-operating administrations, had respectively been killed and had died in August. On 9 September 1922, W. T. Cosgrave, leader of the pro-Treaty Sinn Féin TDs, was elected as President of Dáil Éireann and formed the 5th Ministry of Dáil Éireann.[11]

On 6 December 1922, on the establishment of the Irish Free State, Cosgrave was nominated by the Dáil to the position of President of the Executive Council, and was appointed by the Governor-General Tim Healy. He formed the 1st Executive Council of the Irish Free State.[12]

Change in membership

As each constituency was a multi-seat contest, rows represent changes in the constituency as a whole, rather than between individual TDs.

Constituency Former TD Party Cause New TD Party
Carlow–Kilkenny Edward Aylward Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Patrick Gaffney Labour
James Lennon Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Denis Gorey Farmers' Party
Cavan Paul Galligan Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Retired Walter L. Cole Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
Cork Borough Donal O'Callaghan Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Robert Day Labour
Cork East and North East Séamus Fitzgerald Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated John Dinneen Farmers' Party
Thomas Hunter Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Michael Hennessy Businessmen's Party
Cork Mid, North, South, South East and West Seán MacSwiney Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Michael Bradley Labour
Seán Nolan Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Thomas Nagle Labour
Patrick O'Keeffe Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Defeated Daniel Vaughan Farmers' Party
Dublin County Séamus Dwyer Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Defeated Darrell Figgis Independent
Frank Lawless Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Died April 1922 Thomas Johnson Labour
Margaret Pearse Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated John Rooney Farmers' Party
Dublin Mid Kathleen Clarke Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Alfie Byrne Independent
Philip Shanahan Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Laurence O'Neill Independent
Dublin South Constance Markievicz Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Myles Keogh Independent
Cathal Ó Murchadha Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated William O'Brien Labour
Galway Liam Mellows Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Thomas J. O'Connell Labour
Kildare–Wicklow Erskine Childers Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Hugh Colohan Labour
Art O'Connor Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated James Everett Labour
Domhnall Ua Buachalla Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Richard Wilson Farmers' Party
Leix–Offaly Patrick McCartan Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Defeated William Davin Labour
Longford–Westmeath Joseph McGuinness Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Died May 1922 Francis McGuinness Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
Lorcan Robbins Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Defeated John Lyons Labour
Louth–Meath Justin McKenna Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) Defeated Cathal O'Shannon Labour
Monaghan Seán MacEntee Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Retired Patrick MacCarvill Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty)
National University Ada English Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated William Magennis Independent
Tipperary Mid, North and South Patrick O'Byrne Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Daniel Morrissey Labour
Waterford–Tipperary East Eamon Dee Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated John Butler Labour
Frank Drohan Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Resigned Jan 1922 Daniel Byrne Farmers' Party
Nicholas Phelan Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated John Butler Labour
Wexford Seán Etchingham Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Michael Doyle Farmers' Party
James Ryan Sinn Féin (Anti-Treaty) Defeated Daniel O'Callaghan Labour

Change in affiliation

TD who contested 1922 election under a different affiliation to 1921.

Constituency Outgoing TD Party in 1921 Party in 1922
Wexford Richard Corish Sinn Féin Labour

See also


  1. ^ "STATEMENT BY ARMY OFFICERS. - DECLARATION OF ELECTION. – Dáil Éireann (2nd Dáil)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 19 May 1922. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  2. ^ A Proclamation Declaring the Calling of a Parliament in Ireland, Michael Collins, Dermot O'Hegarty, 27 May 1922
  3. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. p. 990. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.
  5. ^ Hansard 31 May 1922 – Churchill's statement
  6. ^ "3rd Dáil 1922 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  8. ^ Nohlen & Stöver 2010, p. 1009.
  9. ^ Younger, Calton (1968). Ireland's Civil War. London: Muller. p. 304.
  10. ^ "PROCLAMATIONS. - SUMMONING AND PROROGUING OF PARLIAMENT – Dáil Éireann (3rd Dáil)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 9 September 1922. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  11. ^ "PROCLAMATIONS. - SUMMONING AND PROROGUING OF PARLIAMENT – Dáil Éireann (3rd Dáil)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 9 September 1922. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  12. ^ "ELECTION OF PRESIDENT – Dáil Éireann (3rd Dáil)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 6 December 1922. Retrieved 19 March 2022.