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Labour Party (Ireland)

Labour Party
Leader Joan Burton, TD
Founder James Connolly,
James Larkin,
William O'Brien
Deputy Leader Alan Kelly, TD
Chairperson Lorraine Mulligan
General Secretary Brian McDowell
Founded 1912 (1912)
Headquarters Bloodstone Building, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2,
Youth wing Labour Youth
Women's wing Labour Women
Ideology Social democracy[1]
Political position Centre-left[2][3]
International affiliation Progressive Alliance,
Socialist International
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colours Red
Dáil Éireann
33 / 166
Seanad Éireann
10 / 60
European Parliament
0 / 11
Local government
51 / 949
Politics of the Republic of Ireland
Political parties

The Labour Party (Irish: Páirtí an Lucht Oibre) is a social-democratic[4][5][6] political party in the Republic of Ireland. The Labour Party was founded in 1912 in Clonmel, County Tipperary, by James Connolly, James Larkin and William O'Brien as the political wing of the Irish Trade Union Congress.[7] Unlike the other main Irish political parties, Labour does not trace its origins to the original Sinn Féin; however, it merged with Democratic Left which does trace its history back to Sinn Féin. At the 2011 general election it gained 37 of the 166 seats in Dáil Éireann, almost double its total of 20 at the 2007 general election, making it the second-largest political party in the 31st Dáil. The Labour Party has served in government for a total of nineteen years, six times in coalition either with Fine Gael alone or with Fine Gael and other smaller parties, and once with Fianna Fáil, giving it the second-longest time in government of Irish parties, next to Fianna Fáil. On 9 March 2011 it became the junior partner in a coalition with Fine Gael for the period of the 31st Dáil.[8] The current party leader is Joan Burton, elected in July 2014 alongside Alan Kelly as deputy leader. Burton is the current Tánaiste (deputy prime minister).

The Labour Party is a member of two Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland..


  • History 1
    • Foundation 1.1
    • Early history 1.2
    • In the Irish Free State 1.3
    • 1940–60 1.4
      • The split with National Labour and the first coalition governments 1.4.1
      • Re-establishment in Northern Ireland 1.4.2
    • Under Brendan Corish, 1960–77 1.5
    • Late 1970s and 1980s: Coalition, internal feuding, electoral decline and regrowth 1.6
    • 1990s: Growing political influence and involvement 1.7
    • Merger with Democratic Left and recent electoral performance 1.8
    • 2007 general election and aftermath 1.9
    • 2009 local and European elections 1.10
    • 2011 general election and aftermath 1.11
    • 2014 local and European elections and Burton Leadership 1.12
  • General election results 2
  • Structure 3
    • Sections 3.1
  • Affiliates 4
  • Leadership 5
    • Party leader 5.1
    • Deputy leader 5.2
    • Seanad leader 5.3
  • Elected Representatives 6
    • TDs and Senators 6.1
      • Members 6.1.1
      • Former members 6.1.2
    • Front Bench 6.2
    • Councillors 6.3
      • 2009–14 6.3.1
      • 2014–present 6.3.2
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10



In 1912, James Connolly, James Larkin and William O'Brien established the Irish Labour Party as the political wing of the Irish Trade Union Congress.[12] This party would represent the workers in the expected Dublin Parliament under the Third Home Rule Act 1914. However, after the defeat of the trade unions in the Dublin Lockout of 1913 the labour movement was weakened, and the emigration of James Larkin in 1914 and the execution of James Connolly following the Easter Rising in 1916 further damaged it.

The Irish Citizen Army (ICA) formed during the 1913 Lockout,[13] was informally the military wing of the Labour Movement. The ICA took part in the 1916 Rising.[14] Councillor Richard O'Carroll, a Labour Party member of Dublin Corporation, was the only elected representative to be killed during the Easter Rising. O'Carroll was shot and died several days later on 5 May 1916.[15] The ICA was revived during Peadar O'Donnell's Republican Congress but after the 1935 split in the Congress most ICA members joined the Labour Party.

The British Belfast Labour Party, which later became the nucleus of the Northern Ireland Labour Party, remained outside the new Irish party.

Early history

In Larkin's absence, D. D. Sheehan's (independent Labour MPs) Irish Land and Labour Association, declined to contest the 1918 general election, in order to allow the election to take the form of a plebiscite on Ireland's constitutional status (although some candidates did run in Belfast constituencies under the Labour banner against Unionist candidates).[17] It also refrained from contesting the 1921 elections. As a result, the party was left out of the Dáil Éireann during the vital years of the independence struggle, though Johnson sat in the First Dáil.

In the Irish Free State

The Anglo-Irish Treaty divided the Labour Party. Some members sided with the Irregulars in the Irish Civil War that quickly followed. O'Brien and Johnson encouraged its members to support the Treaty. In the 1922 general election the party won 17 seats.[16] However, there were a number of strikes during the first year and a loss in support for the party. In the 1923 general election the Labour Party only won 14 seats. From 1922 until Fianna Fáil TDs took their seats in 1927, the Labour Party was the major opposition party in the Dáil. Labour attacked the lack of social reform by the Cumann na nGaedheal government.

In 1923 Larkin returned to Ireland. He hoped to take over the leadership role he had left, but O'Brien resisted him. Larkin sided with the more radical elements of the party and in September that year he established the Irish Worker League.

In 1932 the Labour Party supported Éamon de Valera's first Fianna Fáil government, which had proposed a programme of social reform with which the party was in sympathy. In the 1940s it looked for a while as if the Labour Party would replace Fine Gael as the main opposition party. In the 1943 general election the party won 17 seats, its best result since 1927.

The party was socially conservative, compared to similar European parties, and its leaders from 1932 to 1977 (William Norton and Brendan Corish) were members of the Knights of Saint Columbanus.[18]


The split with National Labour and the first coalition governments

The Larkin-O'Brien feud still continued, and worsened over time. In the 1940s the hatred caused a split in the Labour Party and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. In 1944 O'Brien left with 6 TDs and founded the National Labour Party. James Everett was the leader of National Labour Party. O'Brien also withdrew the ITGWU (Irish Transport and General Workers Union) ( from the Irish Trade Unions Congress and set up his own congress. The split damaged the Labour movement in the 1944 general election. It was only after Larkin's death in 1947 that an attempt at unity could be made.

After the 1948 election National Labour had 5 TDs - James Everett, Dan Spring, James Pattison, James Hickey and John O'Leary. National Labour and Labour (with 14 TDs) both entered the first inter-party government, the leader of National Labour became Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. In 1950, the National Labour TDs rejoined the Labour Party.

From 1948–1951 and from 1954–1957 the Labour Party was the second-largest partner in the two inter-party governments. William Norton, the Labour Party leader, became Tánaiste on both occasions. During the first inter-party government he served as Minister for Social Welfare, while during the second inter-party government he served as Minister for Industry and Commerce. See First Inter-Party Government and Second Inter-Party Government.

In 1960 the Labour leader Brendan Corish described the party's programme as 'a form of Christian socialism'.[19]

Re-establishment in Northern Ireland

During this period the party stood for elections in Northern Ireland, after a split in the Northern Ireland Labour Party when Paddy Devlin helped re-establish the party in Belfast, the party did win seats in the Westminster Parliament (Jack Beattie[20][21] MP for West Belfast 1951)[22] and Stormont Parliament in the Belfast area as well as in district council elections (Falls, Belfast City Council by election 1956, Gerry Fitt 1958 Council Elections). Activity declined greatly after Gerry Fitt, then the party's sole Stormont MP, left the party to form the Republican Labour Party in 1964, with the party's last known contest being two seats on Newry and Mourne District Council at the 1973 local elections.[23]

Under Brendan Corish, 1960–77

In 1960 Brendan Corish became the new Labour Party leader. As leader he advocated and introduced more socialist policies to the party. In 1972, the party campaigned against membership to the European Economic Community (EEC).[24] Between 1973 and 1977, the Labour Party formed a coalition government with Fine Gael. The coalition partners lost the subsequent 1977 general election. Corish resigned immediately after the defeat.

Late 1970s and 1980s: Coalition, internal feuding, electoral decline and regrowth

In 1977 shortly after the election defeat members grouped around the Liaison Committee for the Labour Left split and formed the short-lived Socialist Labour Party. From 1981 to 1982 and from 1982 to 1987, the Labour Party participated in coalition governments with Fine Gael. In the later part of the second of these coalition terms, the country's poor economic and fiscal situation required strict curtailing of government spending, and the Labour Party bore much of the blame for unpopular cutbacks in health and other public services. The nadir for the Labour party was the 1987 general election where it received only 6.4% of the vote. Its vote was increasingly threatened by the growth of the Marxist and more radical Workers' Party particularly in Dublin. Fianna Fáil formed a minority government from 1987 to 1989 and then a coalition with the Progressive Democrats.

The 1980s saw fierce disagreements between left and right wings of the party. The more radical elements, led by figures including Militant Tendency and their internal newspaper, were expelled. These expulsions continued during the early 1990s and those expelled, including Joe Higgins, went on to found the Socialist Party.

1990s: Growing political influence and involvement

In 1990 Mary Robinson became the first President of Ireland to have been proposed by the Labour Party, although she contested the election as an independent candidate, she had resigned from the party over her opposition to the Anglo Irish Agreement. Not only was it the first time a woman held the office but it was the first time, apart from Douglas Hyde, that a non-Fianna Fáil candidate was elected. In 1990, Limerick East TD Jim Kemmy's Democratic Socialist Party merged into the Labour party and in 1992 Sligo–Leitrim TD Declan Bree's Independent Socialist Party also joined the Labour Party (in May 2007 Declan Bree resigned from the Labour Party over differences with the Leadership[25]).

At the 1992 general election the Labour Party won a record 19.3% of the first preference votes, more than twice its share in the 1989 general election. The party's representation in the Dáil doubled to 33 seats and, after a period of negotiations, the Labour Party formed a coalition with Fianna Fáil, taking office in January 1993 as the 23rd Government of Ireland. Fianna Fáil leader Albert Reynolds remained as Taoiseach, and Labour Party leader Dick Spring became Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

After less than two years the government fell in a controversy over the appointment of Attorney General, Harry Whelehan, as president of the High Court. The parliamentary arithmetic had changed as a result of Fianna Fáil's loss of two seats in by-elections in June, where the Labour Party itself had performed disastrously. On the pretext that the Labour Party voters were not happy with involvement with Fianna Fáil, Dick Spring withdrew his support for Reynolds as Taoiseach. The Labour Party negotiated a new coalition, the first time in Irish political history that one coalition replaced another without a general election. Between 1994 and 1997 Fine Gael, the Labour Party, and Democratic Left governed in the 24th Government of Ireland. Dick Spring of the Labour Party became Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs again.

Merger with Democratic Left and recent electoral performance

The Labour Party presented the 1997 general election, held just weeks after spectacular electoral victories for the French Socialist Party and British Labour Party, as the first ever choice between a government of the left and one of the right, but the party, as had often been the case following its participation in coalitions, lost support and lost half of its TDs. Labour's losses were so severe that while Fine Gael gained seats, it still came up well short of the support it needed to keep Bruton in office. This, combined with a poor showing by Labour Party candidate Adi Roche in the subsequent election for President of Ireland led to Spring's resignation as party leader.

In 1997

  • Official Website
  • Labour Youth - Youth section

External links

  • Paul Daly, Ronan O'Brien and Paul Rouse, eds. (2012). Making the Difference? The Irish Labour Party 1912–2012. Cork: The Collins Press.  

Further reading

  1. ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Harry Charles Katz; Wonduck Lee; Joohee Lee (2004). The New Structure of Labor Relations: Tripartism and Decentralization. Cornell University Press. p. 17.  
  3. ^ Brigid Laffan; Jane O'Mahony (6 October 2008). Ireland and the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 142.  
  4. ^ a b "Party Constitution". 20 May 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Dimitri Almeida (27 April 2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. CRC Press. pp. 71–.  
  6. ^ Richard Collin; Pamela L. Martin (2012). An Introduction to World Politics: Conflict and Consensus on a Small Planet. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 218–.  
  7. ^ "Labour's proud history". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "FG and Labour discuss programme for government".  
  9. ^ "Participants". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Socialist International - Progressive Politics For A Fairer World". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Parties". Party of European Socialists. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  12. ^  
  13. ^ "The Irish Citizen Army : Labour clenches its fist!". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "History - 1916 Easter Rising - Profiles - Irish Citizen Army". BBC. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Richard O'Carroll T.C. (1876-1916)". Richard O'Carroll T.C. (1876-1916). Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  16. ^ a b  
  17. ^ "Election Results of 14 December 1918". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  18. ^ Michael O'Leary Interview (6 December 2009). "The age of our craven deference is finally over". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  19. ^ Paul Bew, Ellen Hazelkorn and Henry Patterson, The Dynamics of Irish Politics (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1989), p. 85
  20. ^ Bardon, Jonathan (1992). A History of Ulster. Belfast: The Black Staff Press. p. 523.  
  21. ^ "Election History of John (Jack) Beattie". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  22. ^ Dr Nicholas Whyte. "A brief history of Northern Ireland Westminster Elections". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  23. ^ The Local Government Elections 1973-1981: Newry and Mourne, Northern Ireland Elections
  24. ^ "Death of a Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy.". Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  25. ^ "Declan Bree resigns from Labour". 16 May 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2011. ; Bree, Declan. "DECLAN BREE RESIGNS FROM LABOUR PARTY". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  26. ^ Steven King on Thursday, Steven King, Belfast Telegraph, 17 December 1998
  27. ^ "The 1993 Local Government Elections in Northern Ireland". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  28. ^ Lanson Kelly (25 January 1999). "Red rose shapes up to future by Liam O'Neill". Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  29. ^ "Labour rift ahead of leader vote". Irish Independent. 26 August 2007. 
  30. ^ "Labour and Gilmore enjoy significant gains in popularity". The Irish Times. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  31. ^ Doyle, Kilian (2 February 2011). "Kenny leads Fine Gael to win as Fianna Fáil vote collapses". The Irish Times. 
  32. ^ "Minister's resignation increases fears over budget cuts".  
  33. ^ "Strike three: Broughan finds himself back outside the tent".  
  34. ^ "Labour TD votes against Vat measure".  
  35. ^ "Roisin Shortall resigns as junior health minister".  
  36. ^ "Labour chairman Keaveney votes against Government".  
  37. ^ a b "Heffernan defies Labour whip on Bill".  
  38. ^ a b "MEP Nessa Childers resigns from Parliamentary Labour Party".  
  39. ^ "Patrick Nulty resigns from Labour Party".  
  40. ^ "Penrose welcomed 'back into Labour fold' by Gilmore". 7 October 2013. 
  41. ^ "The decision of Eamon Gilmore to step down as Labour Party leader gives the Labour Party the opportunity to take a new direction in the aftermath of the local and European election results:". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  42. ^ a b "Need to govern with more heart, says Joan Burton".  
  43. ^ 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.
  44. ^ One councillor also resigned his seat as well as party membership which meant that the seat reverted to the Labour Party.
  45. ^ - Note 22 Labour Councillors were co-opted but one subsequently resigned from the party leaving a net figure of 21.
  46. ^ "Parliamentary Labour Party". The Labour Party. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 


See also

At the 2014 local elections Labour lost more than half of local authority seats; 51 councillors were elected. The disastrous election result led to the resignation of party leader Eamon Gilmore.


The Party ran 190 candidates in the 2014 elections,[46] which consisted of about 75 who were elected in 2009, 21 co-optees and 91 new candidates.

By the time immediately prior to the 2014 elections, this has been reduced to 120 - the borough and town council seats have been abolished, and 12 city and county councillors (as well as 16 borough and town councillors) had resigned from the Party, leaving the Party with only 120 seats on city and county councils.[44] The figure of 120 outgoing councillors included 21 co-optees[45] and 99 who were elected in 2009. Of these approximately 24 members elected in 2009 retired at the 2014 election.

The Labour Party won 231 seats in the 2009 local elections (132 city and county council seats and 99 borough and town council seats): see Irish local elections, 2009.



Front Bench

Since the 2011 general election, 5 TDs, 1 Senator and 1 MEP have resigned or been expelled from the PLP. They are:

Former members

As of October 2015 there 43 members of the PLP: 33 TDs and 10 Senators.


The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) is the section of the party that is made up of its members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and of the European Parliament. The chairperson of the PLP is Jack Wall.

TDs and Senators

Elected Representatives

Name Period Panel
Michael Ferris 1981–89 Agricultural Panel
Jack Harte 1989–93 Labour Panel
Jan O'Sullivan 1993–97 Administrative Panel
Joe Costello 1997–2002 Administrative Panel
Brendan Ryan 2002–07 National University of Ireland
Alex White 2007–11 Cultural and Educational Panel
Phil Prendergast 2011 (acting) Labour Panel
Ivana Bacik 2011–present University of Dublin

Seanad leader

Name Period Constituency
Barry Desmond 1982–89 Dún Laoghaire
Ruairi Quinn 1989–97 Dublin South–East
Brendan Howlin 1997–2002 Wexford
Liz McManus 2002–07 Wicklow
Joan Burton 2007–14 Dublin West
Alan Kelly 2014–present Tipperary North

Deputy leader

Name Period Constituency Years as Tánaiste (if applicable)
Thomas Johnson 1917–27 Dublin County
Thomas J. O'Connell 1927–32 Mayo South
William Norton 1932–60 Kildare 19481951; 195457
(Government of the 13th Dáil and 15th Dáil)
Brendan Corish 1960–77 Wexford 197377
(Government of the 20th Dáil)
Frank Cluskey 1977–81 Dublin South–Central
Michael O'Leary 1981–82 Dublin North–Central 1981Feb. 1982
(Government of the 22nd Dáil)
Dick Spring 1982–97 Kerry North Nov. 198287; 199297
(Government of the 24th Dáil, 23rd Government of Ireland and 24th Government of Ireland)
Ruairi Quinn 1997–2002 Dublin South–East
Pat Rabbitte 2002–07 Dublin South–West
Eamon Gilmore 2007–14 Dún Laoghaire 2011–14
(Government of the 31st Dáil)
Joan Burton 2014–present Dublin West 2014–present
(Government of the 31st Dáil)

The following are the terms of office as party leader and as Tánaiste:

Party leader


  • Labour Party Lawyers Group
  • Association of Labour Teachers
  • Labour Social Services Group

Socialist Societies Affiliated to the Party:

The Irish Labour Party constitution makes provision for both Trade Unions and Socialist Societies to affiliate to the party. There are currently eleven Trade Unions affiliated to the Party:


Within the Labour Party there are different sections:


As a party with a constitutional commitment to democratic socialism[4] founded by trade unions to represent the interests of working class people, Labour's link with unions has always been a defining characteristic of the party. Over time this link has come under increasing strain, with most craft based unions based in the public sector and Irish Congress of Trades Unions having disaffiliated since the 1950s. The remaining affiliated unions are primarily private sector general unions. Currently affiliated unions still send delegates to the National Conference in proportion to the size of their membership. Recent constitutional changes mean that in future, affiliated unions will send delegations based on the number of party members in their organisation.

For many years Labour held to a policy of not allowing residents of Northern Ireland to apply for membership, instead supporting the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The National Conference approved the establishment of a Northern Ireland Members Forum but it has not agreed to contest elections there.

The Labour Party is a membership organisation consisting of Labour (Dáil) constituency councils, affiliated trade unions and socialist societies. Members who are elected to parliamentary positions (Dáil, Seanad, European Parliament) form the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). The party's decision-making bodies on a national level formally include the Executive Board (formerly known as the National Executive Committee), Labour Party Conference and Central Council. The Executive Board has responsibility for organisation and finance, with the Central Council being responsible for policy formation - although in practice the Parliamentary leadership has the final say on policy. The Labour Party Conference debates motions put forward by branches, constituency councils, party members sections and affiliates. Motions set principles of policy and organisation but are not generally detailed policy statements.


Election Seats won ± Position First Pref votes % Government Leader
17 / 128
17 3rd 132,565 21.3% Opposition Thomas Johnson
14 / 153
3 4th 111,939 10.6% Opposition Thomas Johnson
1927 (Jun)
22 / 153
8 3rd 143,849 12.6% Opposition Thomas Johnson
1927 (Sep)
13 / 153
9 3rd 106,184 9.1% Opposition Thomas Johnson
7 / 153
6 3rd 98,286 7.7% Opposition (supported FF Minority Gov't) Thomas J. O'Connell
8 / 153
1 4th 79,221 5.7% Opposition (supported FF Minority Gov't) William Norton
13 / 138
5 3rd 135,758 10.3% Opposition (supported FF Minority Gov't) William Norton
9 / 138
4 3rd 128,945 10.0% Opposition William Norton
17 / 138
8 3rd 208,812 15.7% Opposition William Norton
8 / 138
9 4th 106,767 8.8% Opposition William Norton
14 / 147
6 3rd 115,073 8.7% Coalition (FG-LP-CnP-CnT-NLP) William Norton
16 / 147
3[43] 3rd 151,828 11.4% Opposition William Norton
19 / 147
3 3rd 161,034 12.1% Coalition (FG-LP-CnT) William Norton
12 / 147
7 3rd 111,747 9.1% Opposition William Norton
16 / 144
4 3rd 136,111 11.6% Opposition Brendan Corish
22 / 144
6 3rd 192,740 15.4% Opposition Brendan Corish
18 / 144
4 3rd 224,498 17.0% Opposition Brendan Corish
19 / 144
1 3rd 184,656 13.7% Coalition (FG-LP) Brendan Corish
17 / 148
2 3rd 186,410 11.6% Opposition Brendan Corish
15 / 166
2 3rd 169,990 9.9% Coalition (FG-LP) Frank Cluskey
1982 (Feb)
15 / 166
3rd 151,875 9.1% Opposition Michael O'Leary
1982 (Nov)
16 / 166
1 3rd 158,115 9.4% Coalition (FG-LP) Dick Spring
12 / 166
4 4th 114,551 6.4% Opposition Dick Spring
15 / 166
3 3rd 156,989 9.5% Opposition Dick Spring
33 / 166
18 3rd 333,013 19.3% Coalition (FF-LP) Dick Spring
17 / 166
16 3rd 186,044 10.4% Opposition Dick Spring
20 / 166
3 3rd 200,130 10.8% Opposition Ruairi Quinn
20 / 166
3rd 209,175 10.1% Opposition Pat Rabbitte
37 / 166
17 2nd 431,796 19.5% Coalition (FG-LP) Eamon Gilmore

General election results

On 4 July 2014, Joan Burton won the leadership election, defeating Alex White by 78% to 22%.[42] On her election, she said that the Labour Party "would focus on social repair, and govern more with the heart".[42] Burton is the first woman to lead the Labour Party.

On 26 May 2014, Gilmore resigned as party leader after Labour's poor performance in the European and local elections. According to Labour Youth Chairperson and Labour Party Executive Board member Ciarán Garrett: "Now more than ever the core values of the labour movement are needed to construct a fairer, stronger, more sustainable Ireland from the ashes of austerity. Labour must begin to deliver on these values if it is to avoid electoral annihilation in 2016."[41]

2014 local and European elections and Burton Leadership

Labour has lost seven members of the parliamentary party since the 2011 general election. On 15 November 2011 Willie Penrose resigned over the closure of an army barracks in his constituency.[32] On 1 December 2011 Tommy Broughan lost the party whip after voting against the government in relation to the Bank Guarantee Scheme.[33] On 6 December 2011 Patrick Nulty lost the party whip after voting against the VAT increase in the 2012 budget.[34] On 26 September 2012 Róisín Shortall resigned as Minister of State for Primary Care and lost the party whip after conflict with the Minister for Health James Reilly.[35] On 13 December 2012 Colm Keaveney lost the party whip after voting against the cut to the respite care grant in the 2013 budget.[36] Senator James Heffernan lost the party whip in December 2012 after voting against the government on the Social Welfare Bill.[37] MEP Nessa Childers resigned from the parliamentary party on 5 April 2013, saying that she "no longer want to support a Government that is actually hurting people",[38] and she resigned from the party in July 2013. In June 2013, Patrick Nulty and Colm Keaveney resigned from the Labour Party.[39] Willie Penrose the parliamentary Labour Party in October 2013.[40]

In October 2011 the Labour Party's candidate, Michael D. Higgins was elected as the 9th President of Ireland. On the same day, Labour's Patrick Nulty won the Dublin West by-election, making the Labour Party the first government party in Ireland to win a by-election since 1982.

At the 2011 general election, Labour received 19.4% of first preference votes, and 37 seats.[31] Since 9 March 2011, it is the junior partner in a coalition government with Fine Gael for the period of the 31st Dáil.[8] Eamon Gilmore was appointed as Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

On 11 June 2010, a poll by MRBI was published in The Irish Times which, for the first time in the history of the state, showed the Labour Party as the most popular, at 32%, ahead of Fine Gael at 28% and Fianna Fáil at 17%. Eamon Gilmore's approval ratings were also the highest of any Dáil leader, standing at 46%.[30]

The most recent Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore

2011 general election and aftermath

At the 2009 European Parliament election held on the same day, the Labour Party increased its number of seats from 1 to 3, retaining the seat of Proinsias De Rossa in the Dublin constituency, while gaining seats in the East constituency with Nessa Childers, and in the South constituency with Alan Kelly. This was the first time in history that Labour equalled the amount of seats held in Europe by either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael.

At the local elections of 5 June 2009, the Labour Party added to its total of council seats, with 132 seats won (+31) and gained an additional two seats from councillors joining the party since the election. On Dublin City Council, the party was again the largest party, but now with more seats than the two other main parties combined. The Labour Party's status as the largest party on both Fingal and South Dublin councils was also improved by seat gains.

2009 local and European elections

On 6 September 2007, Eamon Gilmore was unanimously elected leader of the Labour Party, being the only nominee after Pat Rabbitte's resignation.

On 23 August 2007, Pat Rabbitte resigned as Labour Party leader. He stated that he took responsibility for the outcome of the recent general election, in which his party failed to gain new seats and failed to replace the outgoing government.

In the 2007 general election the Labour Party failed to increase its seat total and had a net loss of 1 seat, returning with 20 seats. Fine Gael, the Labour Party, the Green Party and independents did not have enough seats to form a government. Pat Rabbitte resisted calls to enter negotiations with Fianna Fáil on forming a government. Eventually, Fianna Fáil entered government with the Progressive Democrats and the Green Party with the support of independents.

Rabbitte's strategy was favoured by most TDs, notably Deputy Leader Labour Youth and the ATGWU, who opposed the pact on political and tactical grounds. Nevertheless, the strategy proposed by Rabbitte was supported by approximately 80% of conference delegates.

Prior to the 2004 local elections, Party Leader Pat Rabbitte had endorsed a mutual transfer pact with Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny. Rabbitte proposed the extension of this strategy, named "the Mullingar Accord" after a meeting between Rabbitte and Kenny in the County Westmeath town, at the 2005 Labour Party National Conference.

2007 general election and aftermath

In the 2004 elections to the European Parliament, Proinsias De Rossa retained his seat for the Labour Party in the Dublin constituency. This was the Labour Party's only success in the election. In the local elections held the same day, the Labour Party won over 100 county council seats, the first time ever in its history, and emerged as the largest party in Dublin City and Galway city.

Quinn resigned as leader in 2002 following the poor results for the Labour Party in the 2002 general election. Former Democratic Left TD Pat Rabbitte became the new leader, the first to be elected directly by the members of the party.

The launch was held in the Pillar Room of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.[28]

[27] elected for a party he could no longer seek election for. limbo This left Gerry Cullen their councillor in Dungannon Borough Council in a state of [26]

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