On 17 February 1987, the fourth general election of the 1980s was held.
On 17 February 1987, the fourth general election of the 1980s was held. Labour had withdrawn from coalition over budgetary issues, and the Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald, dissolved the Dáil.
A new party, The Progressive Democrats, fought the election for the first time. The PDs formed in 1985 and, led by former Fianna Fáil minister Dessie O'Malley, won 14 seats to become Ireland's third biggest party.
Fine Gael won only 50 seats, losing a lot of support to the PDs. Labour won 12 seats, with party leader Dick Spring just holding onto his seat. Despite having only 81 seats, Fianna Fáil formed a minority government, with Charles Haughey elected as Taoiseach.