For the 2002 general election, Labour, sensing the unpopularity of Fine Gael, did not enter into a pre-election pact. The election was a disaster for Fine Gael, who lost 23 seats.
The collapse of the vote on this scale saw many high-profile candidates lose their seats. These included Alan Dukes, Nora Owen, Austin Currie, Alan Shatter and Jim Mitchell, the deputy leader of Fine Gael.
Sinn Féin increased its number of seats to five, the Green Party went from two seats to six, while the number of independent deputies increased from six to thirteen.
Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats returned to government. Michael Noonan, leader of Fine Gael, resigned as soon as the election results became clear. The introduction of electronic voting in three constituencies caused much debate.
With electronic voting to be used for the first time in three constituencies, 'The Late Late Show' audience members debate the pros and cons of electronic voting as they see them.
Nearly 40 years after television first covered a general election, the sheer scale on which Irish politics was now being reported is obvious from this report for 'The Week in Politics'.
Radio panel discussion on the Leaders Debate between Michael Noonan and Bernie Ahern
Brian Lenihan of Fianna Fáil tops the poll in Dublin West, and becomes the first candidate elected by electronic voting in Ireland.
Results take longer to emerge from the new electronic counting system than has been originally anticipated. This adds to the tension in the constituencies of Meath and Dublin North.
Candidates give their reaction to the electronic counts on 'Morning Ireland'.
With Fine Gael winning only 31 seats Michael Noonan is left with little choice but to resign as leader of the party.