1954 Irish general election

← 1951 18 May 1954 1957 →

147 seats in Dáil Éireann[a]
74 seats needed for a majority
Turnout76.5% Increase 1.2pp
  First party Second party Third party
 
Éamon de Valera.jpg
Gen. Richard Mulcahy cropped.jpg
William Norton circa 1927 to 1932.png
Leader Éamon de Valera Richard Mulcahy William Norton
Party Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Labour
Leader since 26 March 1926 1944 1932
Leader's seat Clare Tipperary South Kildare
Last election 69 seats, 46.3% 40 seats, 25.8% 16 seats, 11.4%
Seats before 67 42 15
Seats won 65 50 19[a]
Seat change Decrease2 Increase8 Increase3
Percentage 43.4% 32.0% 12.1%
Swing Decrease2.9% Increase6.2% Increase0.7%

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
CnaT
Seán MacBride circa 1947.jpg
Leader Joseph Blowick Seán MacBride
Party Clann na Talmhan Clann na Poblachta
Leader since 1944 1946
Leader's seat Mayo South Dublin South-West
Last election 6 seats, 2.9% 2 seats, 4.1%
Seats before 6 2
Seats won 5 3
Seat change Decrease1 Increase1
Percentage 3.8% 3.1%
Swing Increase0.9% Decrease1.0%

Irish general election 1954.png
Percentage of seats gained by each of the five biggest parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.

Taoiseach before election

Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil

Taoiseach after election

John A. Costello
Fine Gael

The 1954 Irish general election was held on Tuesday, 18 May 1954 to elect the 15th Dáil. The newly-elected members assembled at Leinster House on 2 June when the new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

The general election took place in 40 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 147 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.

Campaign

The general election of 1954 was caused by the loss of an overall majority for the ruling Fianna Fáil party in the Dáil. Rather than be voted down on a vote in the Dáil, Éamon de Valera decided to call a general election and let the people decide.

Fianna Fáil had the most to lose, their campaign concentrated on providing political stability for the next five years. They also put forward strong arguments against coalition governments. However, this would not suffice when the country's economy was worsening and unemployment and emigration were increasing.

On the other hand, the opposition parties of Fine Gael, the Labour Party and the other minor parties offered the electorate an alternative to three years of Fianna Fáil rule.

Result

Election to the 15th Dáil – 18 May 1954[3][4][5][6]
Irish general election 1954.svg
Party Leader Seats ± % of
seats
First pref.
votes
% FPv ±%
Fianna Fáil Éamon de Valera 65 –4 44.2 578,960 43.4 –2.9
Fine Gael Richard Mulcahy 50 +10 34.0 427,031 32.0 +6.2
Labour William Norton 19[a] +2 12.9 161,034 12.1 +0.7
Clann na Talmhan Joseph Blowick 5 –1 3.4 51,069 3.8 +0.9
Clann na Poblachta Seán MacBride 3 +1 2.0 41,249 3.1 –1.0
Sinn Féin Margaret Buckley 0 New 0 1,990 0.1
National Action 0 New 0 1,430 0.1
Young Ireland 0 New 0 1,037 0.1
Irish Workers League Michael O'Riordan 0 0 0 375 0.0 0.0
Independent N/A 5 –9 3.4 70,937 5.3 –4.3
Spoilt votes 12,730
Total 147[a] 0 100 1,347,842 100
Electorate/Turnout 1,763,209 76.5%

Voting summary

First preference vote
Fianna Fáil
43.36%
Fine Gael
31.98%
Labour
12.06%
Clann na Talmhan
3.82%
Clann na Poblachta
3.09%
Others
0.36%
Independent
5.31%

Seats summary

Dáil seats
Fianna Fáil
44.22%
Fine Gael
34.01%
Labour
12.93%
Clann na Talmhan
3.40%
Clann na Poblachta
2.04%
Independent
3.40%

Government formation

Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Clann na Talmhan formed the Second Inter-Party Government, a minority government, dependent on the support of Clann na Poblachta.

Changes in membership

First time TDs

Outgoing TDs

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Including Patrick Hogan (Lab), returned automatically for Clare as outgoing Ceann Comhairle, under Art. 16.6 of the Constitution and the Electoral (Chairman of Dáil Éireann) Act 1937.[1][2]

References

  1. ^ Electoral (Chairman of Dail Eireann) Act 1937, s. 3: Re-election of outgoing Ceann Comhairle (No. 25 of 1937, s. 3). 1 November 1937. Act of the Oireachtas. Irish Statute Book.
  2. ^ "15th Dáil 1954: Clare". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Election results and transfer of votes in general election (May, 1954) for fifteenth Dáil and bye-elections to fourteenth Dáil (1951-1954)" (PDF). Houses of the Oireachtas. Dublin Stationery Office. February 1955. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  4. ^ "15th Dáil 1954 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  6. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. pp. 1009–1017. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.