The Irish presidential election of 1945 was held on 14 June 1945. It was Ireland's first contested presidential election. With the decision of the outgoing president Douglas Hyde not to seek a second term, Fianna Fáil decided to nominate its deputy leader, the TánaisteSeán T. O'Kelly as its candidate. Independent republicanPatrick McCartan sought and failed to receive the necessary four nominations from local councils. Expecting that McCartan would fail, the main opposition Fine Gael party decided at the last moment to run a candidate, choosing Seán Mac Eoin. However McCartan finally managed to get a nomination from twenty members of the Oireachtas, producing an unexpected three candidate race.
In the election, O'Kelly as expected won on the second count. However the degree of voting transfers between the two opposition candidates, and O'Kelly's failure to win on the first count, showed the depth of growing opposition to Éamon de Valera's government and the potential that existed for cooperation among various opposition groups. De Valera's government was defeated in the subsequent 1948 general election and replaced by an Inter-Party government from the opposition. In some ways, the First Inter-Party Government born in 1948 was conceived due to the results of the 1945 presidential election.