Unidas Podemos (Spanish: [uˈniðas poˈðemos]), formerly called Unidos Podemos (Spanish: [uˈniðos poˈðemos]; English: "United We Can"), is a left-wing electoral alliance formed by Podemos, United Left and other left-wing parties in May 2016, originally to contest the 2016 Spanish general election. The alliance's official pre-agreement was announced on 9 May 2016 after weeks of negotiations.
While campaigning for the 2015 general election, United Left (IU) promoted the creation of, and later joined, the Now in Common (Ahora en Común, AeC) platform, seeking a wide alliance with other left-wing parties. After Podemos rejected invitations to join to what some members of this party called an "acronym soup", heightened after the failure of Catalunya Sí que es Pot in the 2015 Catalan election, the AeC platform gradually lost momentum: its founding members left the project and the brand name was lost. Eventually, the platform turned into the Popular Unity (IU-UPeC) electoral coalition without having fulfilled its initial aspirations.
From 20 April 2016, Podemos and Popular Unity were reported to be in negotiations to form a joint electoral list for upcoming general election aimed at relegating the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) into third place. Leaders from both parties denied that any agreement had been reached, and stated that they "would not do anything until it [the new election] was sure", but confirmed that unofficial talks had begun. More than one hundred intellectuals and artists, including El Gran Wyoming, Antonia San Juan, Carlos Bardem, Fernando Tejero or Luis Tosar, signed a manifesto calling for Podemos, IU and their regional alliances to "join forces" for the coming election. On the other hand, some member parties of IU such as Open Left, led by former IU leader, Gaspar Llamazares, were opposed to the alliance from the beginning.
Among the supporters of such an alliance was one Podemos' founders, Juan Carlos Monedero—who proposed that both parties should come together under the name "Podemos En Común" (Spanish for We Can In Common). Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, also voiced her support for such a pact stating that "I would see as positive that it could be put together, always with respect", her En Comú Podem regional alliance having already seen both parties working together in Catalonia. Valencian Vice President Mònica Oltra had also commented that she would see a Podemos–IU alliance as "good", so as to "make every vote count" and for "six million votes having a correct translation in deputies", in reference to the Spanish electoral system panning IU in the 2015 election.
By 30 April 2016, both Podemos and IU acknowledged that formal coalition talks had started and that, despite differences over the coalition name and the composition of party lists, with discussions continuing throughout the following week. Concurrently, IU submitted its plan for an alliance with Podemos to a membership vote held on 2–4 May, which received 85% of the vote in favour. Despite the ongoing negotiations on 4 May, Podemos and IU leaders took the coalition between both of their parties for granted, setting the People's Party (PP) as their main electoral rival and seeking to marginalise the PSOE. It was reported that both parties intended to formally announce their alliance during the 5th anniversary of the 15-M Movement.
On 9 May 2016 Pablo Iglesias of Podemos and Alberto Garzón of IU officially announced an alliance between their respective parties, with both leaders symbolically sealing their pact through an embrace at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, landmark of the 15-M movement. The pact guaranteed that 1/6 of the candidates obtained by the coalition—as planned and without including the regional coalitions En Comú Podem, En Marea and És el moment—were to be awarded to IU candidates. In addition, the distinct identity of each party was to be preserved. Podemos, IU and Equo put the alliance up to votes from their respective memberships on 10–11 May, all of which overwhelmingly supported the pact.
On 13 May 2016, it was announced that the alliance would be named "Unidos Podemos" (Spanish for United We Can).
Discussions between Podemos and Més per Mallorca (Més) started in the Balearic Islands by late April ahead of a prospective electoral alliance, aiming at forming a "grand coalition of the left" in the islands. Despite initial disagreements over Més's place in the Congress lists, both parties finally reached an agreement on 13 May 2016 to run together in the Balearics under the "Units Podem Més" label (Catalan for United We Can More).
Earlier, on 11 May 2016, Navarrese party Batzarre—from 2011 within the Izquierda-Ezkerra alliance with IU in Navarre—had voted for joining the Podemos–IU alliance. That same day, For a Fairer World (Por un Mundo más Justo, PUM+J), which had previously participated in left-wing alliances such as Ahora Madrid, had announced its intention to join the alliance with 61% of its members favouring the pact. Also joining the alliance was Zaragoza in Common (ZEC), the municipal alliance created for the 2015 municipal election in the city of Zaragoza and which went on to win the city's government.
2016 general election
The results of the alliance between Podemos and IU were "highly disappointing" as Pablo Iglesias said the electoral night, however, the alliance itself was called 'the right path'. Unidos Podemos got 71 seats, the same as in December, losing near 1.1 million votes.
2019 general election
In the April 2019 election, the party lost 29 seats and fell to the 4th place in the Congress of Deputies, below Ciudadanos. In the November 2019 election, the party lost 7 more seats, falling in 4th place, this time below Vox. It entered a coalition government with the PSOE.
2019 European elections
The alliance is mostly dominated by the left-wing Podemos, however there is also far left factions, mostly arising from the United Left. Podemos is the only mainstream party that is seriously questioning the role of the monarchy and the Spanish constitution as it stands. Party leader Pablo Iglesias wants Catalonia to continue as part of Spain, but says his party would respect the will of the 80% of Catalans – according to polls – who want a referendum. The party has called for the release of jailed Catalan leaders on trial in Spain’s Supreme Court. The United Left is a coalition of other leftist parties, however the Communist Party of Spain is the only member party that still runs at the national level.
The Podemos collaboratively written programme for the European elections 2014. Some of the most important policies were:
- Economic: emphasis on public control, poverty reduction and social dignity via a basic income for everyone, it includes lobbying controls and punitive measures against tax avoidance by large corporations and multinational organizations as well as promotion of smaller enterprises.
- Revoking or curtailing the Treaty of Lisbon, abandoning memoranda of understanding, withdrawing from some free trade agreements and promoting referenda on any major constitutional reform.
- Reduction of fossil fuel consumption, promotion of public transport and renewable energy initiatives, reduction of industrial cash crop agriculture and stimulating local food production by small and medium enterprises.
Communist Party of Spain
The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) is the main member of the United Left. In its statutes, the PCE defines its goals as "democratically participate in a revolutionary transformation of society and its political structures, overcoming the capitalist system and constructing socialism in the Spanish State, as a contribution to the transition to socialism worldwide, with our goals set in the realization of the emancipating ideal of communism".
|We Can (Podemos)||—||2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)|
|United Left (IU)||—||2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)|
|Equo (eQuo)||—||2016, 2019 (Apr)|
|Upper Aragon in Common (AltoAragón en Común)||Huesca||2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)|
|Assembly (Batzarre)||Navarre||2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)|
|Popular Unity in Common (UPeC)||—||2016|
|Asturian Left (IAS)||Asturias||2016|
|Building the Left–Socialist Alternative (CLI–AS)||—||2016|
|Castilian Left (IzCa)||Valladolid||2016|
|Participatory Democracy (Participa)||—||2016|
|In Common We Can (ECP)||Catalonia||2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)|
|In Common (Podemos–EU)||Galicia||2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)|
|Valencian style (Podemos–Compromís–EUPV)||Valencian Community||2016|
|En Masse (Podemos–Anova–EU)||Galicia||2016|
|United We Can–More (Units Podem Més)||Balearic Islands||2016|
|Election||Congress||Senate||Leading candidate||Status in legislature|
71 / 350
16 / 208
|Confidence and supply (from June 2018)|
42 / 350
0 / 208
|16||Pablo Iglesias||New election|
35 / 350
0 / 208
|0||Pablo Iglesias||Coalition (PSOE–UP)|
6 / 59
|5||María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop|
6 / 59
0 / 33
4 / 65
2 / 33
7 / 132
8 / 99
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Unidos Podemos.|
- 2015–2016 Spanish government formation
- Opinion polling for the next Spanish general election
- Opinion polling for the Spanish general election, 2016
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