Under the Anglo-Irish treaty, the Irish Free State was established as a semi-independent territory under the British Crown. It comprised 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties, with the remaining six counties (which were predominantly nationalist) part of the United Kingdom. Sinn Féin, the Irish Republicans, wanted full independence and repudiated the treaty, despite its narrow approval by the Irish electorate. This created such tension between the pro and anti-treaty supporters that it erupted into a civil war (1922–23). After the execution and imprisonment of several prominent Republican members, a general election was held on 27 August 1923. The pro-Free State party won with 40 per cent of the votes. Sinn Féin supporters, many of whom were in prison and unable to vote, won 27 per cent of the vote. From 1926, the Irish Republicans formed a political party called Fianna Fáil, which was continuously in office from March 1932–February 1948.
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