Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia

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Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia

Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya
Founded23 July 1936 (1936-07-23)
Dissolved1997 (1997)
Merger ofCatalan Federation of the PSOE
Communist Party of Catalonia
Socialist Union of Catalonia
Proletarian Catalan Party
Merged intoInitiative for Catalonia
Succeeded byLiving Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia
Youth wingUnified Socialist Youth of Catalonia (1936-1970)
Communist Youth of Catalonia (1971-1992)
Women's wingWomen's Democratic Movement
Political positionFar-left
International affiliationComintern (1936-1943)
Trade union affiliationWorkers' Commissions (CCOO)

The Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (Catalan: Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya, PSUC) was a communist political party active in Catalonia between 1936 and 1997. It was the Catalan referent of the Communist Party of Spain and the only party not from a sovereign state to be a full member of the Third International.


The PSUC was formed on 23 July 1936 through the unification of four left-wing groups; the Catalan Federation of Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), the Partit Comunista de Catalunya (Communist Party of Catalonia, the Catalan branch of the Communist Party of Spain, PCE), the Unió Socialista de Catalunya (Socialist Union of Catalonia) and the Partit Català Proletari (Proletarian Catalan Party). Burnett Bolloten estimates that at unification, the party numbered some 2,500 members.[1] Nine months later, the party ranks had swollen to 50,000 members.[2]

PSUC foundation poster
PSUC Civil War poster

The PSUC played a major role during the days of the Second Spanish Republic and the Spanish Civil War, and was the only regional party affiliated to the Comintern. The PCE did not organize in Catalonia, but saw PSUC as its Catalan referent. This setup has been replicated by other Catalan communist groups. The setup is somewhat similar to the relation between the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union of Bavaria.

The PSUC became the major defender of the Catalan capitalist classes against working-class collectivization efforts advocated by the rival National Confederation of Labour and Workers' Party of Marxist Unification, organizing 18,000 tradesmen and artisans into the Catalan Federation of Small Businessmen and Manufacturers (GEPCI).[3]

In Francoist Spain, the PSUC was outlawed and remained active clandestinely and in exile. The PSUC was the largest opposition party in Catalonia and upon Spain's transformation into a democratic state and constitutional monarchy, it became a mass party.

In 1977, during the Spanish transition to democracy, the PSUC was legalized. Gradually, the PCE and the PSUC started going in separate directions: PSUC became involved in Iniciativa per Catalunya (IC), and gradually ceased functioning as a separate party. When PSUC was completely submerged into IC in 1997, a splinter group refounded the party as PSUC viu (Living PSUC). PSUC viu became the new referent of PCE in Catalonia.

Electoral performance[edit]

Parliament of Catalonia[edit]

Date Votes Seats Status Size
# % ±pp # ±
1980 507,753 18.8% Opposition 3rd
1984 160,581 5.6% –13.2 Red Arrow Down.svg19 Opposition 4th
1988 209,211 7.8% +2.2 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Opposition *
1992 171,794 6.5% –1.3 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Opposition *
1995 313,092 9.7% +2.8 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 Opposition **

Cortes Generales[edit]

Election Leader Votes % # Seats[4] Outcome Notes
Congress Senate
1977 Antoni Gutiérrez Díaz 558,132 18.31 #2
8 / 47
0 / 16
UCD minority
1979 Antoni Gutiérrez Díaz 512,792 17.38 #3
8 / 47
0 / 16
UCD minority
1982 Francisco Frutos 158.553 4.61 #4
1 / 47
0 / 16
PSOE majority
1986 Antoni Gutiérrez Díaz 123,912 3.91 #4
1 / 47
0 / 16
PSOE majority Within Union of the Catalan Left (UEC)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bolloten, Burnett (1991). The Spanish Civil war: Revolution and counterrrevolution. University of North Carolina Press. p. 397.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Bolloten 1991, p. 399
  3. ^ Bolloten 1991, p. 396
  4. ^ Catalan seats only.