United Left (Spain)

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United Left
Izquierda Unida
General Coordinator Alberto Garzón
Founded April 1986; 32 years ago (1986-04)
Youth wing Área de Juventud de Izquierda Unida
LGBT wing ALEAS
Membership (2016) Increase 72,041[1]
Ideology Communism[2][3]
Eurocommunism
Socialism
Republicanism[2]
Environmentalism[2]
Federalism
Feminism
Political position Left-wing[2] to far-left[4][5][6][7]
National affiliation Unidos Podemos
European affiliation Party of the European Left
European Parliament group European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Colours      Dark red
     Green
Congress of Deputies
8 / 350
5 elected inside Unidos Podemos, 2 inside En Comú Podem and 1 inside En Marea.
Spanish Senate
2 / 266
1 elected inside Unidos Podemos and 1 elected inside En Marea.
European Parliament
4 / 54
Regional Parliaments
20 / 1,268
Local Government (2015)
2,022 / 67,515
(Candidates gained in coalitions or unitary lists[8] not included)
Website
www.izquierda-unida.es

United Left (Spanish: Izquierda Unida [iθˈkjerða uˈniða], IU) is a political coalition that was organized in 1986, bringing together several left-wing and far-left political organizations.[9]

IU was founded as an electoral coalition of seven parties, but the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) is the only remaining integrated member of the IU at the national level.[9] Despite that, IU brings together other regional parties, political organizations, and independents.[9]

Congress seats from 1977 (as PCE) to 2011

History[edit]

United Left logo from 1986. It was composed of the logos of the parties that signed the coalition. It would not be until 1988 that a specific logo for IU would be designed.
Julio Anguita, general coordinator of United Left from 1989 to 1999.

Following the electoral failure of the PCE in the 1982 (from 10% to 4%), PCE leaders believed that the PCE alone could no longer effectively challenge the electoral hegemony of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) on the left.[9] With this premise, the PCE began developing closer relations with other left-wing groups, with the vision of forming a broad left coalition.[9] IU slowly improved its results, reaching 9% in 1989 (1,800,000 votes) and nearly 11% in 1996 (2,600,000 votes). The founding organizations were: Communist Party of Spain, Progressive Federation, Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain, PASOC, Carlist Party, Humanist Party, Unitarian Candidacy of Workers, and Republican Left.

In contrast to the PCE prior to the formation of IU, which pursued a more moderate political course, the new IU adopted a more radical strategy and ideology of confrontation against the PSOE.[3][9] IU generally opposed cooperating with the PSOE, and identified it as a "right-wing party", no different from the People's Party (PP).[3][9]

After achieving poor results in the 1999 local and European elections, IU decided to adopt a more conciliatory attitude towards the PSOE, and agreed to sign an electoral pact with the PSOE for the upcoming general election in 2000.[9] They also adopted a universal policy in favor of cooperating with the PSOE at local level.[9]

Following the election of Cayo Lara as leader in 2008, however, the party has shifted back towards a more confrontational attitude towards the PSOE.[citation needed]

IU currently has around 70,000 members.[10]

Member parties[edit]

Federations of IU[edit]

Leaders[edit]

Name Period Notes
Gerardo Iglesias 1986
Julio Anguita 1986–1999
Francisco Frutos 1999-2001
Gaspar Llamazares 2001–2008
Cayo Lara 2008–2014
Alberto Garzón 2014–present

Electoral performance[edit]

Cortes Generales[edit]

Congress of Deputies
Election Vote % Seats Status Leader
1986 935,504 (#5) 4.63
7 / 350
Opposition Gerardo Iglesias
1989 1,858,588 (#3) 9.07
17 / 350
Opposition Julio Anguita
1993 2,253,722 (#3) 9.55
18 / 350
Opposition Julio Anguita
1996 2,639,774 (#3) 10.54
21 / 350
Opposition Julio Anguita
2000 1,263,043 (#3) 5.45
8 / 350
Opposition Francisco Frutos
2004 1,284,081 (#3) 4.96
5 / 350
Opposition Gaspar Llamazares
2008 969,946 (#3) 3.77
2 / 350
Opposition Gaspar Llamazares
2011 with IP
7 / 350
Opposition Cayo Lara
2015 with UPeC
1 / 350
Opposition Alberto Garzón
2016 with UP
8 / 350
Opposition Alberto Garzón

Senate[edit]

Senate
Election Vote % Seats Leader
1986
0 / 208
Gerardo Iglesias
1989
1 / 208
Julio Anguita
1993
0 / 208
Julio Anguita
1996
0 / 208
Julio Anguita
2000
0 / 208
Francisco Frutos
2004
1 / 208
Gaspar Llamazares
2008
1 / 208
Gaspar Llamazares
2011 with IP
0 / 208
Cayo Lara
2015 with UPeC
0 / 208
Alberto Garzón
2016 with UP
2 / 208
Alberto Garzón

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Election Vote % Seats
1987 1,011,830 (#4) 5.25
3 / 60
1989 961,742 (#4) 6.06
4 / 60
1994 2,497,671 (#3) 13.44
9 / 64
1999 1,221,566 (#3) 5.77
4 / 64
2004 643,136 (#4) 4.15
2 / 54
2009 with LI
2 / 54
2014 with IP
4 / 54

References[edit]

  1. ^ Las bases de IU aprueban su alianza con Podemos para el 26-J por un 84,3%. El Confidencial, 05/05/2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "European Social Survey 2012 - Appendix 3 (in English)" (PDF). European Science Foundation. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Topaloff, L (2012) Political Parties and Euroscepticism, pp192-193
  4. ^ "Podemos teams up with far-left party in election alliance". The Local. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  5. ^ "Spain's Podemos forms election alliance with far-left party". Expatica. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  6. ^ "Européennes : poussée du parti d'extrême gauche Izquierda Unida en Espagne" (in French). LCI. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  7. ^ "Législatives en Espagne: Podemos en phase de devenir le premier parti de gauche?" (in French). RFI. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  8. ^ Like Ahora Madrid, Barcelona en Comú or Marea Atlántica. This lists gained 3,223 town councillors.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Electoral incentives and organizational limits. The evolution of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) and the United Left (IU) (in English)" (PDF). Institute of Political and Social Sciences. 2002. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Entre coalición y partido, la evolución de modelo organizativo en IU, Luis Ramiro Archived March 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Following the tradition of the Spanish left since the formation of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC) in 1936 (when communists and socialists joined forces in Catalunya), IU doesn't have any organization of its own in Catalonia. Until 1998, the referent of IU in Catalonia was Initiative for Catalonia (Iniciativa per Catalunya, now known as IC-V). But IC eventually broke relations with IU. A split in PSUC followed, and a new Catalan alliance, United and Alternative Left (Esquerra Unida i Alternativa, EUiA), was formed as the new Catalan referent of IU.
  12. ^ IU rompe "a todos los efectos" con su federación madrileña. El Diario, 14/06/2015 - 10:48h. Aitor Rivero.
  13. ^ La militancia de IU Madrid elige a Mauricio Valiente y Chus Alonso al frente de la nueva formación. Público, 03/05/2016.

External links[edit]