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. While they could not solve the economic problems facing the country, they could provide fresh ideas.