1918 General Election

The 1918 General Election saw the overwhelming defeat of the Irish Parliamentary Party (IIP) led by John Dillon by Sinn Fein. After the mass internment and executions of the 1916 Easter Rising, Sinn Fein, having been founded by Arthur Griffith, adopted new and more radical policies after Eamon De Valera was elected leader at the 1917 Ard Fheis. With the Representation of the People Act 1918 the Irish electorate of 700,000 tripled to nearly two million. This gave voting rights to women over 30 years of age and men over 21 or military men over 19. Those voting rights were in evidence at the final results; Sinn Fein won 73 seats out of 105.   

These electoral handbills are from the Papers of Desmond and Mabel Fitzgerald (UCDA P80) and show what language and rhetoric was being used to incite people to vote in the 1918 General Election.   

UCDA P80/13 (4) and (5) - Electoral handbills in support of [Desmond] Fitzgerald’s candidature for the Pembroke constituency.