1923 Irish general election

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1923 Irish general election

← 1922 27 August 1923 Jun 1927 →

All 153 seats in Dáil Éireann
77 seats needed for a majority
Turnout61.3% Decrease 1.2pp
  First party Second party
William Thomas Cosgrave.jpg
Éamon de Valera.jpg
Leader W. T. Cosgrave Éamon de Valera
Party Cumann na nGaedheal Republican
Leader since April 1923 1917
Leader's seat Carlow–Kilkenny Clare
Last election 58 seats 36 seats
Seats won 63 44
Seat change Increase5[a] Increase8[b]
Popular vote 410,695 288,794
Percentage 39.0% 27.4%

  Third party Fourth party
Denis Gorey, 1931.jpg
Tomjohnson (cropped).jpg
Leader Denis Gorey Thomas Johnson
Party Farmers' Party Labour
Leader since 1922 1922
Leader's seat Carlow–Kilkenny Dublin County
Last election 7 seats 16 seats
Seats won 15 14
Seat change Increase8 Decrease3
Popular vote 127,184 111,939
Percentage 12.1% 10.6%

Irish general election 1923.png
Percentage of seats gained by each of the three major parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.

President of the Executive Council before election

W. T. Cosgrave
Cumann na nGaedheal

President of the Executive Council after election

W. T. Cosgrave
Cumann na nGaedheal

The 1923 Irish general election to elect the 4th Dáil was held on Monday, 27 August, following the dissolution of the Third Dáil on 9 August 1923. It was the first general election held since the establishment of the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922. The election was held shortly after the end of the Irish Civil War in May 1923. Many of the Republican TDs, who represented the losing anti-Treaty side, were still imprisoned during and after the election and had committed to not participating in the Dáil if elected.

The 4th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 19 September to nominate the President of the Executive Council and Executive Council of the Irish Free State for appointment by the Governor-General. Cumann na nGaedheal, the successor to the Pro-Treaty wing of Sinn Féin, won the election and formed the government.[1]

Legal background[edit]

It was the first general election fought since the establishment of the Irish Free State and the adoption of the Constitution of the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922. It was contested under the Electoral Act 1923, which increased the seats in the Dáil from 128 to 153, and introduced a franchise of all citizens over the age of 21, without distinction of sex. Lax electoral practices were tightened up by The Prevention of Electoral Abuses Act 1923.[2]


Election to the 4th Dáil – 27 August 1923[3][4][5]
Irish general election 1923.svg
Party Leader Seats ± % of
First pref.
% FPv ±%
Cumann na nGaedheal W. T. Cosgrave 63 +5[a] 41.2 410,695 39.0 +0.5
Republican Éamon de Valera 44 +8[b] 28.7 288,794 27.4 +5.6
Farmers' Party Denis Gorey 15 +8 9.8 127,184 12.1 +4.3
Labour Thomas Johnson 14 −3 9.2 111,939 10.6 −10.7
Businessmen's Party N/A 2 +2 1.3 9,648 0.9 −1.4
Cork Progressive Association N/A 2[c] New 1.3 6,588 0.6 New
National Democratic Party N/A 0 New 0 4,968 0.5 New
Dublin Trades Council P. T. Daly 0 New 0 3,847 0.4 New
Ratepayers' Association N/A 0 ±0 0 2,620 0.2 −0.2
Town Tenants' Association N/A 0 New 0 1,803 0.2 New
Independent N/A 13 +4 8.5 85,869 8.1 +0.3
Spoilt votes 40,047
Total 153 +25 100 1,094,002 100
Electorate/Turnout 1,786,318 61.3%

Most parties made gains, in part because the total number of seats in the Dáil was increased by 25 from 128 to 153.

Voting summary[edit]

First preference vote
Cumann na nGaedheal
Cork Progressive Association

Seats summary[edit]

Dáil seats
Cumann na nGaedheal
Cork Progressive Association

Government formation[edit]

The Republican TDs continued to abstain from the Dáil. Therefore, Cumann na nGaedheal had a majority of seats which were taken in the Dáil and formed the 2nd Executive Council of the Irish Free State on 19 September 1923.

Changes in membership[edit]

First time TDs[edit]

Retiring TDs[edit]

Defeated TDs[edit]



  1. ^ a b Cumann na nGaedheal's results are compared with those of the Pro-Treaty faction of Sinn Féin in the previous general election.
  2. ^ a b Results given for Republicans here are compared to those won by the Anti-Treaty faction of Sinn Féin in the previous election.
  3. ^ Andrew O'Shaughnessy and Richard Beamish were elected under the label of Cork Progressive Association, a group associated with the Businessmen's Party.


  • Department of Local Government and Public Health (July 1924). Memorandum on the conduct of the general election to Dáil Éireann held on the 27th August, 1923 (PDF). Dublin. Retrieved 2 February 2018.


  1. ^ Hopkinson, Michael (1988). Green Against Green: The Irish Civil War. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. p. 262. ISBN 0-7171-3760-0. Despite the absence of many Sinn Féin candidates and workers in jail, the results were surprising good for the Republicans. Cumann na nGaedheal, the newly formed government party, had 63 candidates elected, compared with 44 Republicans.
  2. ^ The Prevention of Electoral Abuses Act 1923 (No. 38 of 1923). Enacted on 8 August 1923. Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 28 February 2020.
  3. ^ "4th Dáil 1923 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  5. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. pp. 1009–1017. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.