165 of 166 seats in Dáil Éireann
84 seats needed for a majority
Percentage of seats gained by each of the five biggest parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.
The 1987 Irish general election was held on Tuesday, 17 February, four weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 20 January. A continuing crisis over public finance had led to the collapse of Garret FitzGerald's coalition government and the dissolution. The subsequent national election led to the establishment of another coalition government, under Charles Haughey. The newly elected 166 members of the 25th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 10 March when a new Taoiseach and a Fianna Fáil minority government were appointed.
The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.
The general election of 1987 was precipitated by the withdrawal of the Labour Party from the Fine Gael-led government on 20 January 1987. The reason was a disagreement over budget proposals. Rather than attempt to press on with the government's agenda, the Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, Garret FitzGerald, decided to dissolve the Dáil. An unusually long period of four weeks was set for the campaign. It was hoped that the electorate would warm to Fine Gael's budget proposals during the campaign.
Fianna Fáil's campaign involved a refusal to make any definite commitments; however, it attempted to convince the electorate that the country would be better under Fianna Fáil. Charles Haughey's attitudes toward Northern Ireland and the Anglo-Irish Agreement were both attacked. However, the campaign was mostly fought on economic issues.
The Labour Party decided against any pre-election pact, particularly with Fine Gael. The Progressive Democrats (PD), founded only two years earlier, surpassed Labour as the third-biggest political party in the Dáil. Although the majority of the PD party consisted of Fianna Fáil defectors, it mainly took seats from Fine Gael.
|Election to the 25th Dáil – 17 February 1987|
|Fianna Fáil||Charles Haughey||81||6||48.8||784,547||44.1||1.1|
|Fine Gael||Garret FitzGerald||51||19||30.1||481,127||27.1||12.1|
|Progressive Democrats||Desmond O'Malley||14||14||8.4||210,583||11.8||–|
|Workers' Party||Tomás Mac Giolla||4||2||2.4||67,273||3.8||0.5|
|Sinn Féin||Gerry Adams||0||New||0||32,933||1.9||–|
|Democratic Socialist||Jim Kemmy||1||1||0.6||7,424||0.4||0|
|Communist Party||Eugene McCartan||0||0||0||725||0.0||0|
Independents include Independent Fianna Fáil (7,720 votes, 1 seat) and the Tax Reform League (3,832 votes).
In spite of the opinion polls suggesting otherwise, Fianna Fáil once again failed to win an overall majority. However, it was able to form a minority government and Charles Haughey was back for his third and final spell as Taoiseach. The Fianna Fáil government of 1987 to 1989 was the last time to date that a government composed only of members of one party has been formed in Ireland. The Progressive Democrats did exceptionally well in their first general election, becoming the third-biggest party in the Dáil. Fine Gael lost many seats, mostly to the PDs. The Labour Party fell to its lowest share of the vote since 1933, but managed to salvage 12 seats, more than expected, including that of its leader Dick Spring, who saved his seat by just four votes.
The following changes took place as a result of the election:
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||Dick Dowling||Fine Gael||Retired||Martin Gibbons||Progressive Democrats|
|Cavan–Monaghan||John Conlan||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Andrew Boylan||Fine Gael|
|Clare||Sylvester Barrett||Fianna Fáil||Retired||De Valera – former TD||Síle de Valera||Fianna Fáil|
|Cork East||Myra Barry||Fine Gael||Retired||Sherlock – former TD||Joe Sherlock||Workers' Party|
|Cork North-Central||Toddy O'Sullivan||Labour Party||Moved||O'Sullivan moved to Cork South-Central||Máirín Quill||Progressive Democrats|
|Cork North-West||No membership changes|
|Cork South-Central||Gene Fitzgerald||Fianna Fáil||Retired||John Dennehy||Fianna Fáil|
|Hugh Coveney||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Batt O'Keeffe||Fianna Fáil|
|Eileen Desmond||Labour Party||Retired||O'Sullivan moved from Cork North-Central||Toddy O'Sullivan||Labour Party|
|Cork South-West||No membership changes|
|Donegal North-East||No membership changes|
|Donegal South-West||Cathal Coughlan||Fianna Fáil||Vacant||Mary Coughlan||Fianna Fáil|
|Dublin Central||Tom Leonard||Fianna Fáil||Retired||Dermot Fitzpatrick||Fianna Fáil|
|Alice Glenn||Independent||Lost seat||Glenn was elected as an FG TD in 1982||John Stafford||Fianna Fáil|
|Dublin North||Nora Owen||Fine Gael||Lost seat||G. V. Wright||Fianna Fáil|
|Dublin North-Central||No membership changes|
|Dublin North-East||Maurice Manning||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Pat McCartan||Workers' Party|
|Dublin North-West||No membership changes|
|Dublin South||Nuala Fennell||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Anne Colley||Progressive Democrats|
|Niall Andrews||Fianna Fáil||Retired||Tom Kitt||Fianna Fáil|
|Dublin South-Central||John O'Connell||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Mary Mooney||Fianna Fáil|
|Dublin South-East||Joe Doyle||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Michael McDowell||Progressive Democrats|
|Dublin South-West||Michael O'Leary||Fine Gael||Retired||Chris Flood||Fianna Fáil|
|Dublin West||Liam Skelly||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Patrick O'Malley||Progressive Democrats|
|Eileen Lemass||Fianna Fáil||Retired||Lawlor – former TD||Liam Lawlor||Fianna Fáil|
|Dún Laoghaire||Liam T. Cosgrave||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Geraldine Kennedy||Progressive Democrats|
|Galway East||No membership changes|
|Galway West||Fintan Coogan Jnr||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Higgins – former TD||Michael D. Higgins||Labour Party|
|Kerry North||Tom McEllistrim||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Jimmy Deenihan||Fine Gael|
|Kerry South||Michael Moynihan||Labour Party||Lost seat||John O'Donoghue||Fianna Fáil|
|Kildare||Joseph Bermingham||Labour Party||Retired||Emmet Stagg||Labour Party|
|Laois–Offaly||Oliver J. Flanagan||Fine Gael||Retired||Son of outgoing TD||Charles Flanagan||Fine Gael|
|Limerick East||Tom O'Donnell||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Clohessy – former TD||Peadar Clohessy||Progressive Democrats|
|Frank Prendergast||Labour Party||Lost seat||Kemmy – former TD||Jim Kemmy||Democratic Socialist Party|
|Limerick West||William O'Brien||Fine Gael||Retired||John McCoy||Progressive Democrats|
|Longford–Westmeath||Gerry L'Estrange||Fine Gael||Retired||Henry Abbott||Fianna Fáil|
|Louth||Pádraig Faulkner||Fianna Fáil||Retired||Dermot Ahern||Fianna Fáil|
|Mayo East||No membership changes|
|Mayo West||Paddy O'Toole||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Jim Higgins||Fine Gael|
|Meath||Jim Fitzsimons||Fianna Fáil||Retired||Noel Dempsey||Fianna Fáil|
|Roscommon||No membership changes|
|Sligo–Leitrim||Joe McCartin||Fine Gael||Lost seat||John Ellis||Fianna Fáil|
|Tipperary North||David Molony||Fine Gael||Retired||Michael Lowry||Fine Gael|
|Tipperary South||No membership changes|
|Waterford||Edward Collins||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Martin Cullen||Progressive Democrats|
|Donal Ormonde||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Brian Swift||Fianna Fáil|
|Wexford||Michael D'Arcy||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Brendan Howlin||Labour Party|
|Wicklow||Godfrey Timmins||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Joe Jacob||Fianna Fáil|
|Paudge Brennan||Fianna Fáil||Retired||Dick Roche||Fianna Fáil|