2002 Irish general election

← 1997 17 May 2002 2007 →

166 seats in Dáil Éireann[a]
84 seats needed for a majority
Turnout62.6% Decrease 3.3pp
  First party Second party Third party
 
Bertie Ahern 2006 (cropped 2).jpg
Michael Noonan (official portrait).jpg
Ruairi Quinn 2011 cropped.jpg
Leader Bertie Ahern Michael Noonan Ruairi Quinn
Party Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Labour
Leader's seat Dublin Central Limerick East Dublin South-East
Last election 77 seats, 39.3% 54 seats, 27.9% 17 seats, 12.9%
Seats before 73 54 20[b]
Seats won 81 31 21[a]
Seat change Increase 4 Decrease 23 Increase 4
Popular vote 770,748 417,619 200,130
Percentage 41.5% 22.5% 10.8%
Swing Increase 2.2% Decrease 5.4% Decrease 2.1%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Mary Harney cropped.jpg
Trevor Sargent 2006 headshot.jpg
Gerry Adams, 1997.jpg
Leader Mary Harney Trevor Sargent Gerry Adams
Party Progressive Democrats Green Sinn Féin
Leader's seat Dublin South-West Dublin North N/A[c]
Last election 4 seats, 4.7% 2 seats, 2.8% 1 seat, 2.6%
Seats before 4 2 1
Seats won 8 6 5
Seat change Increase 4 Increase 4 Increase 4
Popular vote 73,628 71,470 121,020
Percentage 4.0% 3.8% 6.5%
Swing Decrease 0.7% Increase 1.0% Increase 3.9%

Taoiseach before election

Bertie Ahern
Fianna Fáil

Taoiseach after election

Bertie Ahern
Fianna Fáil

The 2002 Irish general election to the 29th Dáil was held on Friday, 17 May, just over three weeks after the dissolution of the 28th Dáil on Thursday, 25 April by President Mary McAleese, at the request of the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. The general election took place in 42 Dáil constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in Dáil Éireann, the house of representatives of the Oireachtas, with a revision of constituencies since the last election under the Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1998.

The 29th Dáil met at Leinster House on Thursday, 6 June to nominate the Taoiseach for appointment by the president and to approve the appointment of a new government of Ireland. Bertie Ahern was re-appointed Taoiseach, forming the 26th Government of Ireland, a majority coalition government of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats.

Overview

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The general election was significant for a number of reasons:

Fine Gael

The most noticeable feature of the election was the collapse in Fine Gael's vote. It suffered its second worst electoral result ever (after the 1948 general election), with several prominent members failing to get re-elected, including:

The party's losses were especially pronounced in Dublin, where just three TDs (Richard Bruton, Gay Mitchell and Olivia Mitchell) were returned, fewer than Fianna Fáil, Labour, the Progressive Democrats or the Greens. The reasons for the drop in support for Fine Gael are many and varied:

In the immediate aftermath of the election, Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan announced his resignation from the leadership and Enda Kenny was chosen as the new leader in the subsequent election.

Results

Party Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Labour Party Sinn Féin Progressive Democrats Green Party Socialist Party
Leader Bertie Ahern Michael Noonan Ruairi Quinn Gerry Adams Mary Harney Trevor Sargent Joe Higgins
Votes 41.5%, 770,748 22.5%, 417,619 10.8%, 200,130 6.5%, 121,020 4.0%, 73,628 3.8%, 71,470 0.8%, 14,896
Seats 81 (48.8%) 31 (18.7%) 20 (12.7%) 5 (3.0%) 8 (4.8%) 6 (3.6%) 1 (0.6%)
81 8 15 31 20 6 5 1
Fianna Fáil PDs Inds Fine Gael Labour Party Green Party Sinn Féin

Vote Share of different parties in the election.

  Fianna Fáil (41.5%)
  Fine Gael (22.5%)
  Labour Party (10.8%)
  Sinn Féin (6.5%)
  Green Party (3.8%)
  Socialist Party (0.8%)
  Other (10.1%)
Election to the 29th Dáil – 17 May 2002[3][4][5]
Irish general election 2002.svg
Party Leader Seats ± % of
seats
First pref.
votes
% FPv ±%
Fianna Fáil Bertie Ahern 81 Increase8 48.8 770,748 41.5 Increase2.2
Fine Gael Michael Noonan 31 Decrease23 18.7 417,619 22.5 Decrease5.4
Labour Ruairi Quinn 21[b][a] Increase4 12.7 200,130 10.8 Decrease2.1
Sinn Féin Gerry Adams 5 Increase4 3.0 121,020 6.5 Increase4.0
Progressive Democrats Mary Harney 8 Increase4 4.8 73,628 4.0 Decrease0.7
Green Trevor Sargent 6 Increase4 3.6 71,470 3.8 Increase1.0
Socialist Party Joe Higgins 1 Steady 0 0.6 14,896 0.8 Increase0.1
Christian Solidarity 0 Steady 0 0 4,741 0.3 Decrease0.2
Workers' Party Seán Garland 0 Steady 0 0 4,012 0.2 Decrease0.2
Socialist Workers N/A 0 Steady 0 0 3,333 0.2 Increase0.1
Independent N/A 13 Increase7 7.8 176,305 9.5 Increase2.6
Spoilt votes 20,707
Total 166[a] 0 100 1,878,609 100
Electorate/Turnout 3,002,173 62.6%

Independents include Independent Health Alliance candidates (12,296 votes, 1 seat) and Independent Fianna Fáil (6,124 votes, 1 seat).

Voting summary

First preference vote
Fianna Fáil
41.48%
Fine Gael
22.48%
Labour
10.77%
Sinn Féin
6.51%
Progressive Democrats
3.96%
Green
3.85%
Socialist
0.80%
Others
0.65%
Independent
9.49%

Seats summary

Dáil seats
Fianna Fáil
48.80%
Fine Gael
18.67%
Labour
12.05%
Progressive Democrats
4.82%
Green
3.85%
Sinn Féin
3.61%
Socialist
0.60%
Independent
7.83%

Government formation

Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats formed 26th Government of Ireland, a majority coalition government. As of 2022 it is the only coalition government in Irish politics to have been returned after a general election.

Dáil membership changes

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

Outgoing TDs are listed in the constituency they contested in the election. For some, such as Marian McGennis, 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.

Constituency Departing TD Party Change Comment Successor TD Party
Carlow–Kilkenny John Browne Fine Gael Retired Nolan – Former TD M. J. Nolan Fianna Fáil
Cavan–Monaghan Andrew Boylan Fine Gael Lost seat Paudge Connolly Independent
Clare Brendan Daly Fianna Fáil Lost seat James Breen Independent
Donal Carey Fine Gael Lost seat Pat Breen Fine Gael
Cork East Paul Bradford Fine Gael Lost seat Sherlock – Former TD Joe Sherlock Labour Party
Cork North-Central Liam Burke Fine Gael Retired Lynch – Former TD Kathleen Lynch Labour Party
Cork North-West Michael Creed Fine Gael Lost seat Gerard Murphy Fine Gael
Cork South-Central Deirdre Clune Fine Gael Lost seat Dan Boyle Green Party
Cork South-West P. J. Sheehan Fine Gael Lost seat Denis O'Donovan Fianna Fáil
Donegal North-East Harry Blaney Ind. Fianna Fáil Retired Niall Blaney Ind. Fianna Fáil
Donegal South-West Tom Gildea Independent Retired Gallagher – Former TD Pat "the Cope" Gallagher Fianna Fáil
Dublin Central Jim Mitchell Fine Gael Lost seat Mitchell – FG Deputy Leader. Fitzpatrick – Former TD Dermot Fitzpatrick Fianna Fáil
Former TD (took McGennis' seat) Joe Costello Labour Party
Dublin Mid-West Austin Currie Fine Gael Lost seat Currie – Former Presidential candidate Paul Gogarty Green Party
New constituency, new seat John Curran Fianna Fáil
Dublin North Nora Owen Fine Gael Lost seat Owen – Former Minister for Justice Jim Glennon Fianna Fáil
Dublin North-Central Derek McDowell Labour Party Lost seat Finian McGrath Independent Health Alliance
Dublin North-East Michael Joe Cosgrave Fine Gael Lost seat Seats reduced from 4 to 3
Dublin North-West Proinsias De Rossa Labour Party Retired Seats reduced from 4 to 3
Dublin South Alan Shatter Fine Gael Lost seat Shatter – Fine Gael Front Bench member Eamon Ryan Green Party
Dublin South-Central Ben Briscoe Fianna Fáil Retired Michael Mulcahy Fianna Fáil
Marian McGennis Fianna Fáil Lost seat McGennis prev held Dublin Central Aengus Ó Snodaigh Sinn Féin
Dublin South-East Frances Fitzgerald Fine Gael Lost seat McDowell – Former TD Michael McDowell Progressive Democrats
Dublin South-West Brian Hayes Fine Gael Lost seat Seán Crowe Sinn Féin
Chris Flood Fianna Fáil Retired Charlie O'Connor Fianna Fáil
Dublin West Liam Lawlor Independent Retired Burton – Former TD Joan Burton Labour Party
Dún Laoghaire David Andrews Fianna Fáil Retired Barry Andrews Fianna Fáil
Seán Barrett Fine Gael Retired Fiona O'Malley Progressive Democrats
Monica Barnes Fine Gael Retired Ciarán Cuffe Green Party
Galway East Michael P. Kitt Fianna Fáil Lost seat Joe Callanan Fianna Fáil
Ulick Burke Fine Gael Lost seat Paddy McHugh Independent
Galway West Bobby Molloy Progressive Democrats Retired Noel Grealish Progressive Democrats
Kerry North Denis Foley Independent Retired Tom McEllistrim Fianna Fáil
Dick Spring Labour Party Lost seat Spring – Former Leader of the Labour Party Martin Ferris Sinn Féin
Kerry South No membership changes
Kildare North No membership changes
Kildare South Alan Dukes Fine Gael Lost seat Dukes – Former Leader of Fine Gael Seán Ó Fearghaíl Fianna Fáil
Laois–Offaly Tom Enright Fine Gael Retired Olwyn Enright Fine Gael
Charles Flanagan Fine Gael Lost seat Tom Parlon Progressive Democrats
Limerick East Desmond O'Malley Progressive Democrats Retired Former leader of the Progressive Democrats Tim O'Malley Progressive Democrats
Eddie Wade Fianna Fáil Lost seat Peter Power Fianna Fáil
Limerick West Michael Finucane Fine Gael Lost seat John Cregan Fianna Fáil
Longford–Roscommon Seán Doherty Fianna Fáil Retired Michael Finneran Fianna Fáil
Louis Belton Fine Gael Lost seat Mae Sexton Progressive Democrats
Albert Reynolds Fianna Fáil Retired Reynolds – Former Taoiseach Peter Kelly Fianna Fáil
Louth Brendan McGahon Fine Gael Retired Fergus O'Dowd Fine Gael
Michael Bell Labour Party Lost seat Arthur Morgan Sinn Féin
Mayo Jim Higgins Fine Gael Lost seat Higgins – Former Chief Whip Jerry Cowley Independent
Tom Moffatt Fianna Fáil Lost seat John Carty Fianna Fáil
Meath John V. Farrelly Fine Gael Lost seat Damien English Fine Gael
Sligo–Leitrim Matt Brennan Fianna Fáil Retired Jimmy Devins Fianna Fáil
Gerry Reynolds Fine Gael Lost seat Marian Harkin Independent
Tipperary North Michael O'Kennedy Fianna Fáil Retired Máire Hoctor Fianna Fáil
Tipperary South No membership changes
Waterford Austin Deasy Fine Gael Retired John Deasy Fine Gael
Brendan Kenneally Fianna Fáil Lost seat Ollie Wilkinson Fianna Fáil
Westmeath Mary O'Rourke Fianna Fáil Lost seat Donie Cassidy Fianna Fáil
Wexford Hugh Byrne Fianna Fáil Lost seat Tony Dempsey Fianna Fáil
Michael D'Arcy Fine Gael Lost seat Liam Twomey Independent
Ivan Yates Fine Gael Retired Paul Kehoe Fine Gael
Wicklow No membership changes

A summary of the cross-party seat transfers is:

Lost by To Seats Won by From Seats
Fine Gael (23) Fianna Fáil 7 Fianna Fáil (9) Fine Gael 7
Progressive Democrats 4 Independent 2
Sinn Féin 1 Independent (7) Fine Gael 5
Independent 5 Labour Party 1
Labour Party 2 Fianna Fáil 1
Green Party 4 Progressive Democrats (4) Fine Gael 4
Labour Party (3) Sinn Féin 2 Sinn Féin (4) Fine Gael 1
Independent 1 Labour Party 2
Independent (3) Fianna Fáil 2 Fianna Fáil 1
Labour Party 1 Green Party (4) Fine Gael 4
Fianna Fáil (2) Sinn Féin 1 Labour Party (3) Fine Gael 2
Independent 1 Independent 1

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d Including Séamus Pattison (Lab), returned automatically for Carlow–Kilkenny as outgoing Ceann Comhairle, under Art. 16.6 of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 1992.[1][2]
  2. ^ a b Democratic Left, which won 4 seats in 1997, merged with the Labour Party in 1999.
  3. ^ Adams sat as the abstentionist MP for Belfast West in the UK Parliament; Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (TD for Cavan–Monaghan) was leader of the party in the Dáil.

References

  1. ^ Electoral Act 1980, s. 36: Re-election of outgoing Chairman of Dáil (No. 23 of 1980, s. 36). Signed on 23 December 1980. Act of the Oireachtas. Irish Statute Book.
  2. ^ "29th Dáil 2002: Carlow–Kilkenny". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  3. ^ "29th DAIL GENERAL ELECTION May, 2002 Election Results and Transfer of Votes" (PDF). Houses of the Oireachtas. Archived from the original on 10 June 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  4. ^ "29th Dáil – General Election: 17 May 2002". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  5. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. pp. 1009–1017. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.

Further reading