This was the election that nobody wanted: nine months after the last one, a third general election within 18 months was called. A number of independents and the Workers' Party withdrew support for the Government after a series of budgetary cuts.
The economy continued to dominate election issues, and campaigning was particularly difficult for the cash-strapped and campaign-weary parties.
Fianna Fáil returned 75 seats while Fine Gael recorded its biggest election return with 70 and formed a new coalition with Labour, who had returned 16 seats.
When Garret Fitzgerald used the train as his mode of transport at the start of his campaign, it reflected the poor state of the Irish economy and the party coffers.
Pat Kenny describes the growing importance of computers in the television presentation and analysis of election results.