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Left Candidates from the 1981 General Election March 26, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Left Candidates from ....
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As an election junkie , one the the annoying things, is the classification of Small parties into the ‘Independent’ or ‘others’ bracket. Electionsireland.org is a fantastic resource but often smaller parties are not listed or all of their candidates are not listed, especially from the pre internet age.

I’ll do a series of these posts, each covering a different election.

So I’m going to start with the 1981 General Election and list all the candidates from the Socialist Labour Party, The Socialist Party , the CPI and as many Left leaning Independents as I can.

Socialist Labour Party
Noel Browne -Dublin North Central 5031 votes  **Elected
Michael O’Donoghue -Dublin North East 309 votes
Billy Keegan -Dublin North West 473 votes
Matt Merrigan -Dublin North West 209 votes
Ivor Andreas Nolan -Dublin West  63 votes
Dermot Boucher -Dun Laoghaire 575 votes
John Teehan  -Wexford 447 Votes

Communist Party of Ireland
John Montgomery -Dublin West 202 votes
John Curley -Dublin North Central 156 votes

Socialist Party
Eamonn Farrell -Dublin North West 236 votes
Denis O’Connor -Dublin South 335 votes

SFWP candidates are listed here , Joe Sherlock won a seat for them in Cork East.

That 1981 Election also saw the election of two H-Block TDs and of course Left Independent Jim Kemmy in Limerick.

Amongst other Left leaning Independents who stood were Declan Bree , Tony Gregory, Paddy Healy, Anthony Coffey and Joe Harrington. There was also Liz Noonan who stood on a Gay Rights platform in Dublin South East.


1. Local Yokel - March 27, 2011

Strange that electionsireland.org still have a link to the Sinn Féin website for the SFWP candidates there. For example if you look at the “People” entry for Ted Tynan (http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=3099) it seems he started off as SF, then became SFWP, then reverted back to SF for the next 2 elections before running as WP for those thereafter.


irishelectionliterature - March 27, 2011

Yes , its run on an voluntary basis and is a fantastic resource but does have a few issues with party names.
SFWP would have been the name for the 1981 and the February 1982 Election before the name change to The Workers Party for the November 1982 election.
In a roundabout way I want to complement the Left Archive by being able to put together an electoral history for many of the smaller parties of the Left.
ElectionsIreland is not unique in missing out smaller parties, in that some of the sources from the time do not list them either.


2. Drithleóg - March 27, 2011

er, the WP is not defunct. I’m sure you’re not saying that it is, but just to clarify things in case anyone gets that impression.

In fairness electionsireland.org do a good job with very limited resources.


irishelectionliterature - March 27, 2011

well aware they’re not defunct. just removed the ‘defunct’ bit.
Electionsireland does a fantastic job. I’m just trying to fill in a few gaps that are relevant to here.


3. D_D - March 28, 2011

What jumps out at me from the above is how low the votes were. And this at a time when, from the hindsight of the past couple of decades, the left was supposed to have been in a stronger position.

Of course the vote-getters at the time were the Workers Party. Nevertheless, the radical left was supposed to have had a bigger presence then, certainly socialy if not electorally. In particular, the Socialist Labour Party is sometimes, correctly I believe, perceived as an enviable (and squandered) formation, a forerunner of the ULA, for instance, to which the ULA might aspire.

With one elected TD and votes of 209 and 575 for relatively well known candidates like Mattie Merrigan and Dermot Boucher, who came with a substantial breakaway from the Labour Party, the figures would argue for a tremendous development since 1981- after a period of greater isolation – of the anti-coalition and far left. In electoral terms – not the be all and end all of course – the ULA would seem to have already far surpassed the SLP.


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