Irish general election, 1951
146 of 147 seats in Dáil Éireann
74 seats were needed for a majority
Percentage of seats gained by each of the five biggest parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.
The general election of 1951 was caused by a number of crises within the First Inter-Party Government, most notably the Mother and Child Scheme. While the whole affair, which saw the resignation of the Minister for Health, Noël Browne, was not entirely to blame for the collapse of the government it added to the pressure between the various political parties. There were other problems facing the country such as rising prices, balance of payments problems and two farmer TDs withdrew their support for the government because of rising milk prices.
Although the first inter-party government was now coming to an end it had a number of achievements. It proved that the country could be led by a group other than Fianna Fáil. It also provided a fresh perspective after sixteen years of unbroken rule by that party.
The coalition parties fought the general election on their record on government over the previous three years, while Fianna Fáil argued strongly against coalition governments.
|Party||Leader||Seats||±|| % of
|Fianna Fáil||Éamon de Valera||69||+1||46.9||616,212||46.3||+4.4|
|Fine Gael||Richard Mulcahy||40||+9||27.2||349,922||25.8||+6.0|
|Labour Party||William Norton||16||–3||10.9||151,828||11.4||+2.7|
|Clann na Talmhan||Joseph Blowick||6||–1||4.1||38,872||2.9||–2.7|
|Clann na Poblachta||Seán MacBride||2||–8||1.4||54,210||4.1||–9.1|
|Irish Workers' League||Michael O'Riordan||0||New||0||295||0.0||–|
- Fianna Fáil minority government formed.
The election result was inconclusive. Fianna Fáil's support increased by 61,000 votes, however, the party only gained one extra seat. The coalition parties had mixed fortunes. Fine Gael were the big winners increasing to forty seats. The Labour Party patched up its differences with the National Labour Party and fought the election together but in spite of this the party lost seats. Clann na Poblachta were the big losers of the election. Three years earlier the party was a big political threat, but now the party was shattered.
Fianna Fáil had not won enough seats to govern alone. However, the party was able to form a government with the support of Noël Browne, the sacked Minister for Health, and other Independent deputies.
First time TDs
- Philip Brady
- Joseph Brennan
- Patrick Cawley
- Declan Costello
- Patrick Crowe
- Liam Cunningham
- Percy Dockrell
- Peadar Duignan
- Anthony Esmonde
- John Fanning
- Michael ffrench-O'Carroll
- Seán Flanagan
- Colm Gallagher
- James Hession
- Patrick Hillery
- John Lynch
- Peadar Maher
- John Mannion, Snr
- Michael Murphy
- William Murphy
- Denis J. O'Sullivan
- John Esmonde (Retired)
- Mick Fitzpatrick (Lost seat)
- John Friel (Lost seat)
- Patrick Gorry (Lost seat)
- James Kilroy (Lost seat)
- Michael Lydon (Lost seat)
- Michael Óg McFadden (Lost seat)
- Joseph Mongan (Deceased)
- Martin O'Sullivan (Lost seat)
- Robert Ryan (Lost seat)
- Richard Walsh (Retired)
- The Labour Party and the National Labour Party had reunited since the last election. The figures for the Labour party are compared to the two parties combined totals in the previous election.
- "14th Dáil 1951 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, pp1009-1017 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7