Irish general election, 1944

Irish general election, 1944
Republic of Ireland
30 May 1944

137 of 138 seats in Dáil Éireann
70 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 69.2%
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Éamon de Valera Richard Mulcahy Joseph Blowick
Party Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Clann na Talmhan
Leader since 26 March 1926 1944 1944
Leader's seat Clare Tipperary Mayo South
Last election 67 seats, 41.9% 32 seats, 23.1% 10 seats, 9.0%
Seats before 67 32 13
Seats won 76 30 9
Seat change Increase9 Decrease2 Decrease4
Percentage 48.9% 20.5% 10.8%
Swing Increase7.0% Decrease2.6% Increase1.8%

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader William Norton James Everett
Party Labour Party National Labour Party
Leader since 1932 1944
Leader's seat Kildare Wicklow
Last election 17 seats, 15.7% N/A
Seats before 12 5
Seats won 8 4
Seat change Decrease4 Decrease1
Percentage 8.7% 2.7%
Swing Decrease7.0% Increase2.7%

Percentage of seats gained by each of the five biggest parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.

Taoiseach before election

Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil

Subsequent Taoiseach

Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil

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.


12th Irish general election 30 May 1944[1][2][3][4]
Party Leader Seats ± % of
First Pref
% FPv ±%
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
Independent N/A 10 0 7.2 94,852 7.8 –0.9
Spoilt votes 12,790
Total 138 0 100 1,203,139 100
Electorate/Turnout 1,816,142 69.2%

First time TDs

Re-elected TDs

Outgoing TDs

See also


  1. "12th Dáil 1944 General Election". Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  2. "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  3. 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.
  4. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, pp1009-1017 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7


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