Irish general election, 1944
|Percentage of seats gained by each of the five biggest parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.|
The Irish general election of 1944 was held on 30 May 1944, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 9 May. The 138 newly elected members of the 12th Dáil assembled on 9 June when the new Taoiseach and government were appointed. The outgoing Fianna Fáil government won re-election, and achieved an overall majority.
The general election took place in 34 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 138 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann. The election was fought while the Emergency Powers Act 1939 was still in force.
The general election of 1944 was caused by a defeat for the ruling Fianna Fáil government on the second reading of the Transport Bill. The Taoiseach Éamon de Valera, decided to call a snap general election, just one year after the last. It was a campaign that Fianna Fáil needed to have a more comfortable position in the Dáil, however, the campaign was not wanted by the opposition parties.
Fianna Fáil fought the election on its record in government and also in the hope of securing a fresh mandate for its policies. During the campaign Fine Gael put forward the proposal of forming a coalition government with the Labour Party and Clann na Talmhan, however, this was ridiculed by Fianna Fáil as untenable. A split in the Labour movement meant that the party was by no means ready to fight an election, and the results showed this.
Due to the fractured nature of the opposition, Éamon de Valera's tactic of calling a snap general election had succeeded, as it had in 1933 and 1938.
|Party||Leader||Seats||±|| % of
|Fianna Fáil||Éamon de Valera||76||+9||55.1||595,259||48.9||+7.0|
|Fine Gael||Richard Mulcahy||30||–2||21.8||249,329||20.5||–2.6|
|Clann na Talmhan||Joseph Blowick||9||–1||6.5||122,745||10.1||+0.3|
|Labour Party||William Norton||8||–9||5.8||106,767||8.8||–6.9|
|National Labour Party||James Everett||4||New||2.9||32,732||2.7||–|
|Monetary Reform Party||Oliver J. Flanagan||1||0||0.7||9,856||0.8||+0.5|
|Ailtirí na hAiséirghe||0||0||0||5,809||0.5||+0.3|
- Fianna Fáil majority government formed.
First time TDs
- Thomas Brennan
- Harry Colley
- Eamonn Coogan
- Walter Furlong
- Michael Lydon
- Patrick McAuliffe
- John S. O'Connor
- Mary Ryan
- Patrick Shanahan (December 1945 by-election)
- John A. Costello
- Frank Loughman
- Peter O'Loghlen
- Eamonn O'Neill
- Laurence Walsh
- Richard Walsh (Regained seat)
- Ernest Benson (Lost seat)
- W. T. Cosgrave (Retired)
- John Esmonde (Lost seat)
- Timothy Linehan (Lost seat)
- Jeremiah Ryan (Retired)
- Richard Stapleton (Lost seat)
- "12th Dáil 1944 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
- "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
- Manning (1972) notes that the Clann na Talmhan figure is often listed in error, due to the inclusion of Independent Farmer TDs in the CnaT total.
- Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, pp1009-1017 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
- Manning, Maurice, 1972. Irish Political Parties: An Introduction. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-7171-0536-6