Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Irish general election, 2002
|Before||After||+/-||% of Dáil||# of Votes||%|
|Fianna Fáil||Bertie Ahern||73||81||+8||48.8||41.5|
|Fine Gael||Michael Noonan||54||31||-23||18.7||22.5|
|Labour Party||Ruairí Quinn||20||20||0||12.0||10.8|
|Progressive Democrats||Mary Harney||4||8||+4||4.8||4.0|
|Green Party||Trevor Sargent||2||6||+4||3.6||3.8|
|Sinn Féin||Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin||1||5||+4||3.0||6.5|
|Socialist Party||Joe Higgins||1||1||0||0.6||0.8|
The general election was significant for six major reasons:
- The re-election of the Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrat government, the first occasion since 1969 when an Irish government won re-election;
- The meltdown in Fine Gael support, which saw the main opposition party drop from 54 to 31 seats, lose all but two seats in Dublin, and several prominent members, including
- The electoral success of Sinn Féin, which increased its seat number from 1 to 5.
- The failure of the Irish Labour Party, contrary to all expectations, to increase its seat total.
- The success of the Green Party, which increased its TDs from two to six, including its first TD outside of the capital, Dublin.
- The election of a large number of independent candidates.
- Being the first time electronic voting machines were used in an Irish election. They were used in two constituencies, Dublin West and Dublin North.
In the immediate aftermath of the election, Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan announced his resignation from the leadership. All other potential leaders having lost their seats, Enda Kenny was chosen as the new leader. Later in the year, Ruairí Quinn stepped down as leader of the Labour Party. He was replaced by Pat Rabbitte.
The 2002 election results provide little comfort for those who would like to see an alternative government in the lifetime of this Dáil. The non-government parties are fragmented and have major policy differences, and Fianna Fail can continue in government (with the support of independent TDs) even if the Progressive Democrats withdraw.
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