Home > Electoral history, Irish politics > Historic votes for Taoiseach

Historic votes for Taoiseach

Enda Kenny is due to be nominated by the Dáil for appointment as Taoiseach by the President with the largest ever mandate from TDs. The largest to date has been the vote Albert Reynolds received in January 1993, with 102 votes to 60, on the formation of a coalition of 67 Fianna Fáil and 33 Labour, and with the support of Independents Johnny Fox and Neil Blaney. Enda Kenny should expect at least 113 of 165, between 76 Fine Gael, 37 Labour, less the Ceann Comhairle from one of these parties, but with the added support of Independents such as Noel Grealish.

For those interested in the history of Dáil alliances, this spreadsheet details the votes for and against the candidates for Taoiseach by parties and Independents in each Dáil. I divided these first by Dáil and then in the last two sheets, summarised the support or opposition other parties have given to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Tomorrow also looks likely to be the first time since 1932 that Fianna Fáil will decide not to propose a candidate for Taoiseach. There were quite a few occasions that Fine Gael proposed no candidate, or that there was no vote on the Fine Gael candidate because an outgoing Fianna Fáil government was returned, so the Fianna Fáil list is more comprehensive.

These do show a few interesting features, such as that Labour did not oppose Fianna Fáil in the vote until 1944, or the support the Progressive Democrats gave Fine Gael in 1989 and 1992, both coalitions that could have become standard had numbers fallen otherwise. Or the shifting support of James Dillon (TD 1932–69) and Noël Browne (TD 1948–54, 1957–65, 1969–81) for the nominees of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the former of whom was to become Fine Gael leader in 1959.

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