The Irish Parliamentary Party Pledge

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The Irish Parliamentary Party Pledge

30 June 1892 (instituted in 1885)

The careful selection of parliamentary candidates and the payment of salaries to needy members were two of the central pillars on which the Irish Parliamentary Party was erected by Parnell between 1882 and 1885. The third pillar was the party pledge, introduced in 1885, which required all members to maintain their independence of the other parties at Westminster and to vote as a compact bloc on all questions that arose in parliament. The adoption of the pledge brought the tight discipline that Home Rule MPs had often escaped in the past.

SEE ALSO Electoral Politics from 1800 to 1921; Home Rule Movement and the Irish Parliamentary Party: 1870 to 1891; Parnell, Charles Stewart; Politics: 1800 to 1921—Challenges to the Union

I pledge myself that in the event of my election to parliament, I will sit, act, and vote with the Irish Parliamentary Party ; and if at a meeting of the party, convened upon due notice, specially to consider the question, it be determined by resolution, supported by a majority of the Irish party, that I have not fulfilled the above pledges, I hereby undertake to resign my seat.

Davit MSS, Library of Trinity College, Dublin; reprinted in Irish Historical Documents, 1172–1922, edited by Edmund Curtis and R. B. McDowell (1943), pp. 281–282.