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Page "History of the Republic of Ireland" ¶ 33
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Fianna and Fáil
Coalitions are typically formed of two or more parties always consisting of one of the two biggest parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and one or more smaller parties or independent members of parliament.
Ireland has had consecutive coalition governments since the 1989 general election, excluding two brief Fianna Fáil minority administrations in 1994 and 2011 that followed the withdrawal of their coalition partners from government.
Before 1989, Fianna Fáil had opposed participation in coalition governments, preferring single-party minority government instead.
Irish coalition governments have traditionally been based on one of two large blocs in Dáil Éireann: either Fianna Fáil in coalition with smaller parties or independents, or Fine Gael and the Labour Party in coalition, sometimes with smaller parties.
The only exception to these traditional alliances was the first Government of the 27th Dáil, comprising Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party, which ruled between 1993 and 1994.
The Government of the 31st Dáil, though a traditional Fine Gael – Labour coalition, resembles a grand coalition, due to the collapse of Fianna Fáil to third place among parties in Dáil Éireann.
Canada, Ireland, and Portugal had right-wing political parties that defied categorization: the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada ; Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Progressive Democrats in Ireland ; and the Social Democratic Party of Portugal.
In the past Dublin city was regarded as a stronghold for Fianna Fáil, however following the Irish local elections, 2004 the party was eclipsed by the centre-left Labour Party.
* Dick Roche ( Fianna Fáil, Ireland )
* Máire Geoghegan-Quinn ( Fianna Fáil, Ireland ): European Commissioner for Science and Research
Fine Gael is generally considered to be more on the political right in comparison to its more centrist rival, Fianna Fáil, but Fine Gael has never governed Ireland without the Labour Party, a social-democratic party on the centre-left of Irish politics.
This strategy was criticised by Fianna Fáil Minister for Children, Barry Andrews.
At the 2009 Local elections held on 5 June 2009, Fine Gael won 556 seats, surpassing Fianna Fáil which won 407 seats, and making Fine Gael the largest party of local government nationally.
Lowry, currently an independent TD, supported the Fianna Fáil – Green Party government in Dáil Éireann until March 2011.
Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party, more commonly known as Fianna Fáil () is a centrist to centre-right Irish republican and conservative political party in Ireland, founded on 23 March 1926.
Historically, Fianna Fáil has been seen as to the left of Fine Gael and to the right of the Labour Party and is generally seen as a classic " catch all " populist party-representing a broad range of people from all social classes with the belief in the coincidence of economic growth and social progress.
Fianna Fáil has led governments including parties of the centre-left ( Labour and the Green Party ) and of the centre-right ( the now-defunct Progressive Democrats ) and is often seen as a pragmatic party of the establishment.
Since the formation of the first Fianna Fáil government on 9 March 1932, the party has been in power for 61 of the last 79 years.
Fianna Fáil joined the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party on 16 April 2009, and has sat in its associated Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament since the 2009 European elections.
Although the posts of leader and party president of Fianna Fáil are separate, with the former elected by the Parliamentary Party and the latter elected by the Ardfheis ( thus allowing for the posts to be held by different people, in theory ), in practice they have always been held by the one person.
The chart below shows a timeline of Fianna Fáil leaders and the Presidents of the Executive Council and Taoiseach.
The left bar shows all the leaders of Fianna Fáil, and the right bar shows the corresponding make-up of the Irish government at that time.

Fianna and won
After the inaugural presidency of Douglas Hyde, who was an interparty nominee for the office, the nominees of the Fianna Fáil political party won every presidential election until 1990.
In June, 1927, a general election was held in which de Valera's new party, Fianna Fáil, won many seats on an abstentionist platform.
In an era when democratic governments formed in the aftermath of the First World War were moving away from democracy and towards dictatorships, the Free State under Cosgrave remained unambiguously democratic, a fact shown by his handing over of power to his one-time friend, then rival, Éamon de Valera, when de Valera's Fianna Fáil won the 1932 general election, in the process killing off talk within the Irish Army of staging a coup to keep Cosgrave in power and de Valera out of it.
The act won him the leadership of the Fianna.
He served two terms in the presidency, and, though widely seen as a somewhat lacklustre President, he was credited with bringing stability and dignity to the office, and he won widespread admiration when it emerged that he had withstood political pressure from his own Fianna Fáil party during a political crisis in 1982.
On the day of the vote Fianna Fáil won 45. 5 %.
In 1932, Fianna Fáil won power in the Free State, remaining in government for 16 uninterrupted years.
This cast doubts on Lynch and his ability to win a general election, however, he proved his critics wrong in the 1969 general election when Fianna Fáil won its first overall majority since Éamon de Valera in 1957, and Lynch proved himself to be a huge electoral asset for the party.
However, when the election took place the coalition was swept out of office by Fianna Fáil which won an unprecedented twenty seat Dáil majority and over 50 % of the first preference votes.
Fianna Fáil won the election, however, Ahern reneged on this promise to Reynolds due to poor election results in his constituency and the change in the political situation in Northern Ireland.
He joined Fianna Fáil on its foundation in 1926 and was elected as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Kildare constituency at the June 1927 general election, only to lose that seat in the 1932 general election, which Fianna Fáil won.
He supported George Colley for Taoiseach in the Fianna Fáil leadership contest of 1979, but after Colley's opponent Charles Haughey won out, Haughey still retained Burke in his government position.
Fianna Fáil won unexpected second seats in many Dublin constituencies, in particular.
Although the Progressive Democrats never again won more than 10 seats in the Dáil, they formed coalition governments with Fianna Fáil during the 26th Dáil ( 1989 – 92 ), the 28th Dáil ( 1997 – 2002 ), the 29th Dáil ( 2002 – 07 ) and the 30th Dail ( 2007 – 09 ).
* The re-election of the Fianna Fáil – Progressive Democrats government, the first occasion since 1969 when an Irish government won re-election.
This meant it won fewer seats than Fianna Fáil, Labour, Progressive Democrats or the Greens in Dublin.
In 1932, Fianna Fáil entered government in coalition with the Labour Party, but a year later they won an absolute majority.
Fianna Fáil's political dominance was broken in 1948-51 and in 1954-1957, when coalitions led by Fine Gael ( descendants of Cumann na nGaedheal ), and including the Labour Party and Clann na Poblachta won elections and formed the government.
The political result of this crisis was the fall of the Cowen government and a shattering defeat for Fianna Fáil in the Irish general election, 2011, in which the party won just 17 % of the vote and retained only 20 out of its 71 seats in the Dáil.
While Fine Gael's decline had been halted, its future was still in doubt, at least until the non Fianna Fáil parties realised they had won a majority.

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