The 2011 general election saw a huge shift in Irish politics. Fianna Fáíl suffered their worst defeat in history, while Fine Gael and Labour each secured their best successes before going into government together. Sinn Féin and the United Left Alliance parties also made considerable gains, as did independent candidates, and the Green Party was banished from the Dáil entirely, with the loss of all of their seats.
The changed political scene left commentators wondering what further changes would take place in subsequent general elections, as well as the presidential election later in the year and the local and European elections in 2014. The first change to take place in the Dáil happened later on in the year with the untimely death of the former Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan. The first (and so far only) by-election of the 31st Dáil would take place in Dublin West.
Dublin West, 27 October 2011
Outgoing TD: Brian Lenihan, Fianna Fáil (died 10 June 2011)
Elected: Patrick Nulty, Labour
Meath East, 27 March 2013
Outgoing TD: Shane McEntee, Fine Gael (died 21 December 2012)
Elected: Helen McEntee, Fine Gael