165 of 166 seats in Dáil Éireann
84 seats needed for a majority
Percentage of seats gained by each of the three major parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.
The February 1982 Irish general election was held on Thursday, 18 February, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 27 January. The newly elected 166 members of the 23rd Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 9 March when a new Taoiseach and 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 first general election of 1982 was caused by the sudden collapse of the Fine Gael–Labour Party coalition government when the budget was defeated. The Minister for Finance, John Bruton, attempted to put VAT on children's shoes. This measure was rejected by Jim Kemmy, a left-wing independent Teachta Dála, and Joe Sherlock of Sinn Féin the Workers' Party. The Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald immediately sought a dissolution of the Dáil. However, while he was with President Patrick Hillery at Áras an Uachtaráin, a number of Fianna Fáil members attempted to telephone the President, urging him not to grant a dissolution. If the President refused a dissolution, FitzGerald would have to resign and Fianna Fáil would be invited to form a government. The attempt to contact the President was highly unconstitutional, as the President can only take advice from the Taoiseach. In the event, a dissolution was granted and the general election campaign began in earnest.
The campaign was largely fought on economic issues. Spending cuts were a reality for whatever party won, but the scale of the cuts were played down by all parties. Fine Gael proposed to continue the policies that it had been implementing while in office. The Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey dismissed the need for budget cuts when the campaign first began; however, the need for realism soon became apparent, and the party adopted similar policies that involved budget cuts.
|Election to the 23rd Dáil – 18 February 1982|
|Fianna Fáil||Charles Haughey||81||+3||48.8||786,951||47.3||+2.0|
|Fine Gael||Garret FitzGerald||63||–2||38.0||621,088||37.3||+0.8|
|Sinn Féin – The Workers' Party||Tomás Mac Giolla||3||+2||1.8||38,088||2.3||+0.6|
|Sinn Féin||Ruairí Ó Brádaigh||0||New||0||16,894||1.0||–|
|Irish Republican Socialist||0||New||0||2,716||0.2||–|
Independents include Independent Fianna Fáil (11,732 votes, 1 seat).
Fianna Fáil emerged as the largest party and looked most likely to form a government. However, internal divisions within the party threatened Charles Haughey's nomination for Taoiseach. In the end a leadership challenge did not take place, and Haughey was the party's nominee for Taoiseach. Haughey gained the support of the Independent Socialist TD Tony Gregory, the Independent Fianna Fáil TD Neil Blaney and the three Sinn Féin the Workers' Party deputies, and was appointed Taoiseach.
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||Tom Nolan||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Gibbons: Former TD||Jim Gibbons||Fianna Fáil|
|Cavan–Monaghan||Kieran Doherty||Anti H-Block||Vacant||Leonard: Former TD||Jimmy Leonard||Fianna Fáil|
|Clare||Madeline Taylor||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Donal Carey||Fine Gael|
|Cork East||Carey Joyce||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Michael Ahern||Fianna Fáil|
|Cork North-Central||No membership changes|
|Cork North-West||No membership changes|
|Cork South-Central||Hugh Coveney||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Jim Corr||Fine Gael|
|Cork South-West||Flor Crowley||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Walsh:Former TD||Joe Walsh||Fianna Fáil|
|Donegal North-East||No membership changes|
|Donegal South-West||James White||Fine Gael||Retired||Dinny McGinley||Fine Gael|
|Dublin Central||Alice Glenn||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Tony Gregory||Independent|
|Dublin North||No membership changes|
|Dublin North-Central||Noël Browne||Socialist Labour Party||Retired||Richard Bruton||Fine Gael|
|Dublin North-East||Liam Fitzgerald||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Ned Brennan||Fianna Fáil|
|Seán Loftus||Independent||Lost seat||Maurice Manning||Fine Gael|
|Dublin North-West||Hugh Byrne||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Proinsias De Rossa||Sinn Féin the Workers Party|
|Dublin South||No membership changes|
|Dublin South-Central||Fergus O'Brien||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Cluskey:Former TD||Frank Cluskey||Labour Party|
|Dublin South-East||Seán Moore||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Quinn:Former TD||Ruairi Quinn||Labour Party|
|Richie Ryan||Fine Gael||Retired||Alexis FitzGerald Jnr||Fine Gael|
|Dublin South-West||No membership changes|
|Dublin West||Eileen Lemass||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Lawlor:Former TD||Liam Lawlor||Fianna Fáil|
|Dún Laoghaire||No membership changes|
|Galway East||No membership changes|
|Galway West||Mark Killilea Jnr||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Frank Fahey||Fianna Fáil|
|Kerry North||No membership changes|
|Kerry South||No membership changes|
|Kildare||Bernard Durkan||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Gerry Brady||Fianna Fáil|
|Laois–Offaly||No membership changes|
|Limerick East||Peadar Clohessy||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Willie O'Dea||Fianna Fáil|
|Limerick West||No membership changes|
|Longford–Westmeath||No membership changes|
|Louth||Paddy Agnew||Anti H-Block||Retired||Thomas Bellew||Fianna Fáil|
|Mayo East||No membership changes|
|Mayo West||No membership changes|
|Meath||Brendan Crinion||Fianna Fáil||Retired||Colm Hilliard||Fianna Fáil|
|James Tully||Labour Party||Retired||Michael Lynch||Fianna Fáil|
|Roscommon||John Connor||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Liam Naughten||Fine Gael|
|Sligo–Leitrim||Joe McCartin||Fine Gael||Lost seat||Matt Brennan||Fianna Fáil|
|Tipperary North||Michael Smith||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Kennedy:Former TD||Michael O'Kennedy||Fianna Fáil|
|Tipperary South||Carrie Acheson||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Sean Byrne||Fianna Fáil|
|Waterford||Billy Kenneally||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Patrick Gallagher||Sinn Féin the Workers Party|
|Wexford||Brendan Corish||Labour Party||Retired||Browne:Former TD||Seán Browne||Fianna Fáil|
|Wicklow||Paudge Brennan||Fianna Fáil||Lost seat||Gemma Hussey||Fine Gael|