Democratic Left Alliance

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Democratic Left Alliance

Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej
LeaderWłodzimierz Czarzasty [de; pl]
Founded1991 (as a coalition)
15 April 1999 (as a party)
Merger ofSdRP, minor parties
Headquartersul. Złota 9 Warsaw
Youth wingSocial Democratic Youth Federation
Membership (2012)36,328[1]
IdeologySocial democracy[2]
Political positionCentre-left
European affiliationParty of European Socialists
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
ColoursRed
Sejm
0 / 460
Senate
0 / 100
European Parliament
3 / 51
Regional assemblies
11 / 552
Website
www.sld.org.pl

Democratic Left Alliance (Polish: Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej, SLD) is a social-democratic[3][4][5] political party in Poland. It was formed in 1991 as an electoral alliance of centre-left parties, and became a single party on 15 April 1999. The SLD has no representation in the Sejm or Senate following the 2015 parliamentary election. The party is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance.

History[edit]

Ideology and support patterns[edit]

The coalition can be classified as left-wing. However, during the 1990s, it managed to attract voters from the pro-market and even right-wing camp.[6] The main support for SLD came from middle-rank state sector employees, retired people, former Polish United Workers Party (PZPR) and All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ)[clarification needed] members and those who were unlikely to be frequent church-goers.[7] The core of the coalition (Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland) rejected concepts such as lustration and de-communization, supported a parliamentarian regime with only the role of an arbiter for the president and criticized the right-wing camp for introduction of religious education into school.[8] The excommunists criticized the economic reforms, pointing to the high social costs, without negating the reforms per se.

Coalition[edit]

SdRP, SDU and some other socialist and social-democratic parties had formed the original Democratic Left Alliance as a centre-left coalition just prior to the nation's first free elections in 1991. In 1999 the coalition became a party, but lost some members.

At the time, the coalition's membership drew mostly from the former PZPR. An alliance between the SLD and the Polish People's Party (PSL) ruled Poland in the years 1993–1997. However the coalition lost power to the right-wing Solidarity Electoral Action in the 1997 election as the right-wing opposition was united this time and because of the decline of support for SLD's coalition partner PSL, though the SLD itself actually gained votes.

Electoral victory[edit]

SLD formed a coalition with Labour Union before the 2001 Polish election and won it overwhelmingly at last by capturing about 5.3 million votes, 42% of the whole and won 200 of 460 seats in the Sejm and 75 of 100 in the Senate. After the elections, the coalition was joined by the Polish People's Party (PSL) in forming a government and Leszek Miller became the Prime Minister. In March 2003, the PSL left the coalition.

Rywin-gate[edit]

By 2004 the support for SLD in the polls had dropped from about 30% to just below 10%, and several high-ranking party members had been accused of taking part in high-profile political scandals by the mainstream press (most notably the Rywin affair: Rywin-gate).

On 6 March 2004, Leszek Miller resigned as party leader and was replaced by Krzysztof Janik. On March 26 the Sejm speaker Marek Borowski, together with other high-ranking SLD officials, announced the creation of a new centre-left party, the Social Democratic Party of Poland. On the next day, Leszek Miller announced he would step down as Prime Minister on 2 May 2004, the day after Poland joined the European Union. Miller proceeded to do so.

Decline after Rywin-gate[edit]

In the 2004 European Parliament election, it only received 9% of the votes, giving it 5 of 54 seats reserved for Poland in the European Parliament, as part of the Party of European Socialists.

Wojciech Olejniczak, the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was elected the president of SLD on 29 May 2004, succeeded Józef Oleksy, who resigned from the post of Polish Prime Minister due to false accusations of links to the KGB.

Opposition: 2005–present[edit]

The 2004 European elections foreshadowed the SLD's huge defeat in the 2005 parliamentary election, in which it won only 11.3% of the vote. This gave the party 55 seats, barely a quarter of what it had had prior to the election. It also lost all of its Senators. In late 2006 a centre-left political alliance called Left and Democrats was created, comprising SLD and smaller centre-left parties, the Labour Union, the Social Democratic Party of Poland, and the liberal Democratic Party – demokraci.pl. The coalition won a disappointing 13% in the 2007 parliamentary election and was dissolved soon after in April 2008. On 31 May 2008, Olejniczak was replaced by Grzegorz Napieralski as SLD leader.

In the 2009 European election the Democratic Left Alliance-Labor Union joint ticket received 12% of the vote and 7 MEPs were elected as part of the newly retitled Socialists & Democrats group.

In the 2011 parliamentary election, SLD received 8.24% of the vote which gave it 27 seats in the Sejm.[9] After the elections, one of the party members, Sławomir Kopyciński, decided to leave SLD and join Palikot's Movement.[10] On December 10, 2011, Leszek Miller was chosen to return as the party leader.

In the 2014 European elections on 25 May 2014, the SLD received 9.4% of the national vote and returned 4 MEPs.

In July 2015 the SLD formed the United Left electoral alliance along with Your Movement (TR), Labour United (UP) and The Greens (PZ) and minor parties to contest the upcoming election.[11][12]

In the 2015 parliamentary election held on 25 October 2015, the United Left list received 7.6% of the vote,[13] below the 8% threshold (electoral alliances must win at least 8% of the vote, as opposed to the 5% for individual parties),[14] leaving the SLD without parliamentary representation for the first time. Indeed, for the first time since the end of Communism, no centre-left parties won any seats in this election.[15]

In 2017, the party withdrew from the Socialist International, while maintaining ties with the Progressive Alliance.[citation needed]

Election results[edit]

Sejm[edit]

Election year # of
votes
% of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Govt?
1991 1,344,820 12.0 (#2)
60 / 460
Decrease 113 Opposition
1993 2,815,169 20.4 (#1)
171 / 460
Increase 111 Coalition
1997 3,551,224 27.1 (#2)
164 / 460
Decrease 6 Opposition
2001 5,342,519 41.0 (#1)
200 / 460
Increase 32 Coalition
As part of the SLD-UP coalition, which won 216 seats in total.
2005 1,335,257 11.3 (#4)
55 / 460
Decrease 145 Opposition
2007 2,122,981 13.2 (#3)
40 / 460
Decrease 15 Opposition
As part of the Left and Democrats coalition, which won 53 seats in total.
2011 1,184,303 8.2 (#5)
27 / 460
Decrease 13 Opposition
2015 1,147,102 7.6 (#5)
0 / 460
Decrease 27 Extra-parliamentary
As part of the United Left coalition, which did not win any seats.

Senate[edit]

Election year # of
overall seats won
+/–
1991
4 / 100
Increase 4
1993
37 / 100
Increase 33
1997
28 / 100
Decrease 9
2001
75 / 100
Increase 47
2005
0 / 100
Decrease 75
2007
0 / 100
Steady
2011
0 / 100
Steady
2015
0 / 100
Steady

Presidential[edit]

Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round
# of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall votes % of overall vote
1990 Supported Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz 1,514,025 9.2 (#4)
1995 Aleksander Kwaśniewski 6,275,670 35.1 (#1) 9,704,439 51.7 (#1)
2000 Supported Aleksander Kwaśniewski 9,485,224 53.9 (#1)
2005 Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (candidate withdrew)
2010 Grzegorz Napieralski 2,299,870 13.7 (#3)
2015 Magdalena Ogórek 353,883 2.4 (#5)

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of
votes
% of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
2004 569,311 9.4 (#5)
5 / 54
Increase 5
2009 908,765 12.3 (#3)
7 / 50
Increase 2
2014 667,319 9.4 (#3)
5 / 51
Decrease 2

Regional assemblies[edit]

Election year % of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1998 31.8 (#2)
329 / 855
2002 24.7 (#1)
189 / 561
2006 14.3 (#3)
66 / 561
Decrease 123
As part of the Left and Democrats coalition.
2010 15.2 (#4)
85 / 561
Increase 19
2014 8.8 (#4)
28 / 555
Decrease 57
2018 6.7 (#4)
11 / 552
Decrease 17

Presidents and Prime Ministers[edit]

Presidents of the Republic of Poland from SLD[edit]

Name Imamge From To
Aleksander Kwaśniewski Aleksander kwasniewski konferencja.jpg 23 December 1995 23 December 2005

Prime Ministers of the Republic of Poland from SLD[edit]

Name Imamge From To
Józef Oleksy JKRUK 20090524 JÓZEF OLEKSY BUSKO IMG 7314.jpg 7 March 1995 7 February 1996
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz Kancelaria Senatu.jpg 7 February 1996 31 October 1997
Leszek Miller Leszek Miller Sejm 2013.JPG 19 October 2001 2 May 2004
Marek Belka Marek Belka NBP.jpg 2 May 2004 31 October 2005

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Polskie partie to fikcja". Archived from the original on 14 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  2. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2015). "Poland". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ José Magone (26 August 2010). Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction. Routledge. p. 457. ISBN 978-0-203-84639-1. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  4. ^ Susanne Jungerstam-Mulders (2006). Post-Communist Eu Member States: Parties and Party Systems. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7546-4712-6. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  5. ^ Dimitri Almeida (27 April 2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. CRC Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-136-34039-0. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  6. ^ The Communist Successor Parties of Central and Eastern Europe by András Bozóki, John T. Ishiyama. M.E. Sharpe, 2002. pp 70-71
  7. ^ The Communist Successor Parties of Central and Eastern Europe by András Bozóki, John T. Ishiyama. M.E. Sharpe, 2002. p. 82
  8. ^ Communist and Post-communist Parties in Europe edited by Uwe Backes, Patrick Moreau. p. 321.
  9. ^ "Elections 2011 – Election results". National Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  10. ^ "Poseł Kopyciński z SLD przeszedł do Ruchu Palikota" (in Polish). .dziennik.pl. 2011-10-20. Archived from the original on 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  11. ^ "Polish left to unite for general election". thenews.pl. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  12. ^ "United Left to unveil programme in mid-August". thenews.pl. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  13. ^ Hubert Tworzecki; Radosław Markowski (2015-11-03). "Did Poland just vote in an authoritarian government?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2016-12-05.
  14. ^ Nardelli, Alberto (2015-10-22). "Polish elections 2015: a guide to the parties, polls and electoral system". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2017-01-09.
  15. ^ Gaeta, Vanessa (2015-10-28). "Left wing is shut out in parliamentary vote in conservative Poland". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2017-03-04.

External links[edit]