United Left (Spain)

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United Left
Izquierda Unida
General Coordinator Alberto Garzón
Founded April 1986 (1986-04)
Membership 71,578
Ideology Communism[1][2]
Democratic socialism
Republicanism[1]
Environmentalism[1]
Federalism
Political position Left-wing[1]
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
1 / 266
Elected inside the coalition 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[3] 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 political organizations.[4]

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.[4] Despite that, IU brings together other regional parties, political organizations, and independents.[4]

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 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.[4] With this premise, the PCE began developing closer relations with other left-wing groups, with the vision of forming a broad left coalition.[4] 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.[2][4] IU generally opposed cooperating with the PSOE, and identified it as a "right-wing party", no different from the People's Party (PP).[2][4]

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.[4] They also adopted a universal policy in favor of cooperating with the PSOE at local level.[4]

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.[5]

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]

Election Leader Votes  % # Congress Senate Gov't Notes
1986 Gerardo Iglesias 935,504 4.63 5th
7 / 350
0 / 208
No Minor opposition
1989 Julio Anguita 1,858,588 9.07 3rd
17 / 350
1 / 208
No Minor opposition
1993 Julio Anguita 2,253,722 9.55 3rd
18 / 350
0 / 208
No Minor opposition
1996 Julio Anguita 2,639,774 10.54 3rd
21 / 350
0 / 208
No Minor opposition
2000 Francisco Frutos 1,263,043 5.45 3rd
8 / 350
0 / 208
No Minor opposition
2004 Gaspar Llamazares 1,284,081 4.96 3rd
5 / 350
1 / 208
No Minor opposition
2008 Gaspar Llamazares 969,946 3.77 3rd
2 / 350
1 / 208
No Minor opposition
2011 Cayo Lara 1,686,040 6.92 3rd
11 / 350
1 / 208
No Minor opposition
2015 Alberto Garzón 926,783 3.68 5th
2 / 350
0 / 208
No Minor opposition

European Parliament[edit]

Election Candidate Votes  % # Seats
1987 Fernando Pérez Royo 1,011,830 5.25 4th
3 / 60
1989 Fernando Pérez Royo 961,742 6.06 4th
4 / 60
1994 Alonso Puerta 2,497,671 13.44 3rd
9 / 64
1999 Alonso Puerta 1,221,566 5.77 3rd
4 / 64
2004 Willy Meyer 643,136 4.15 4th
2 / 54
2009 Willy Meyer 588,248 3.71 4th
2 / 54
2014 Willy Meyer 1,575,308 10.03 3rd
6 / 54

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "European Social Survey 2012 - Appendix 3 (in English)" (PDF). European Science Foundation. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Topaloff, L (2012) Political Parties and Euroscepticism, pp192-193
  3. ^ Like Ahora Madrid, Barcelona en Comú or Marea Atlántica. This lists gained 3,223 town councillors.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Electoral incentives and organisational 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. 
  5. ^ Entre coalición y partido, la evolución de modelo organizativo en IU, Luis Ramiro Archived March 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ 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 Catalonian alliance, United and Alternative Left (Esquerra Unida i Alternativa, EUiA) was formed as the new Catalonian referent of IU.
  7. ^ IU rompe "a todos los efectos" con su federación madrileña. El Diario, 14/06/2015 - 10:48h. Aitor Rivero.

External links[edit]