November and a third general election in Ireland in 18 months.
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.