Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party

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Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party
Leader Fabian Picardo
Founded 1978 (1978)
Preceded by Gibraltar Democratic Movement[1]
Headquarters Suite 16, 3 Watergardens, Waterport Road, Gibraltar
Ideology Social democracy[2][3]
Political position Centre-left
National affiliation alliance with Liberal Party of Gibraltar
International affiliation none
European affiliation none
European Parliament group Party of European Socialists (2004–09)
Colours Red, White
Gibraltar Parliament
7 / 17
Politics of Gibraltar
Political parties
Coat of Arms of the Government of Gibraltar.svg
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The Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party (GSLP) is a social-democratic[2] political party in Gibraltar. The GSLP is the oldest surviving active political party in Gibraltar. Its grass roots are based in the trade union movement, as its founder and former leader Joe Bossano was the District Officer of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU).[4] The party has been led since 2011 by Fabian Picardo.


The TGWU during Bossano's tenure was instrumental in achieving parity with the United Kingdom for all workers in Gibraltar. Bossano left the Integration with Britain Party in 1975 and founded the Gibraltar Democratic Movement (GDM), which contested the 1976 election winning four seats in the House of Assembly. The GDM became the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party in 1978 and obtained one seat, that of Bossano, in the 1980 election. At the elections of 1984, the GSLP capitalized on the Gibraltarian discontent about the way the British Government was handling the future of the Gibraltar Royal Navy dockyard, opposing the transfer of the docks to Appledore International (which involved the loss of about 400 jobs), and winning seven of the fifteen seats of the Assembly.[5] The party was eventually in Government from 1988 to 1996.

In April 2011, Joe Bossano retired as party leader and he was replaced by Fabian Picardo.


Founder of the GSLP, Joe Bossano.

Like all the other parties in Gibraltar, the GSLP supports self-determination for Gibraltar and opposes any moves toward joint British–Spanish sovereignty. The party has historically been more hardline in its attitude towards Spain's claim to the sovereignty of Gibraltar, refusing to include the subject of sovereignty in any discussions dealing with normal day to day cooperation between Gibraltar and Spain, than the Gibraltar Social Democrats, who veer towards a more conciliatory stance[citation needed]. The party has strong member and personal ties with the UK Labour Party with many prominent members having been involved with the Labour Party while in the United Kingdom. The GSLP also endorsed the Labour Party at the 2014 European Parliament elections as it had done on previous European elections.[6]

The party strongly supports Gibraltar's territorial integrity, in particular seeks pursuit of the recognition of the full twelve mile limit to Gibraltar Territorial Waters as is the case with other British overseas territories, and considers Spain's violations of the current three mile limit of territorial waters as "a hostile and unfriendly act".[7]

The party does not consider Gibraltar to have been decolonised by the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006, and has a policy of continued participation at all United Nations venues where Gibraltar is discussed including the Special Committee on Decolonization until such time as the decolonisation of Gibraltar is recognised by the UN and the achievement of a new international status for Gibraltar as a full self-governing territory under the British Crown.[8]


In the 1992 elections to the Gibraltar House of Assembly, the party won 73.1%% of the popular vote and 8 seats.

In the 1996 elections to the Gibraltar House of Assembly, the party won 42.95% of the popular vote and 7 seats.

In the 2000 elections to the Gibraltar House of Assembly, the party won (in Alliance with the Liberals) 40.6% of the popular vote and 7 seats.

In the 2003 elections to the Gibraltar House of Assembly, the party won (in Alliance with the Liberals) 39.7% of the popular vote and 5 seats.

In the 2007 elections to the Gibraltar Parliament, the party won (in Alliance with the Liberals) 45.49% of the popular vote and 7 seats.

In the 2011 elections to the Gibraltar Parliament, the party won (in Alliance with the Liberals) 48.88% of the popular vote and 10 seats (7 GSLP, 3 Libs) and formed the new Government of Gibraltar.

In the 2013 by-election to the Gibraltar Parliament, following the death of Housing Minister Charles Bruzon (GSLP), the GSLP candidate Albert Isola won 49.84% of the popular vote and won the seat.

The GSLP was represented in the European Parliament by Glyn Ford MEP[9] of the PES Group during the 6th European Parliament term, however Ford later lost his seat in the 2009 European elections.

The GSLP supports and endorses the UK Labour Party during European parliament elections.

Election results[edit]

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of seats won
1992  ? 73.1% Increase
8 / 17
1996 60,626 58.2% Decrease
8 / 17
2000  ? 40.6% Decrease
7 / 17
2003  ? 39.7% Decrease
5 / 17
2007 70,397 45.49% Increase
7 / 17
2011 85,414 Increase 48.88% Increase
10 / 17

Party leaders[edit]

# Leader Tenure Notes
1 Joe Bossano, MP 1978-April 2011 Chief Minister of Gibraltar from 1988-1996
2 Fabian Picardo, MP April 2011-present Chief Minister of Gibraltar from 2011-present


External links[edit]