13: General Election 2002
In the lead-up to 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.