United Left (Spain)

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United Left
Izquierda Unida
General Coordinator Cayo Lara
Founded April 1986 (1986-04)
Merger of Communist Party of Spain
Communist Youth Union of Spain
Open Left
Republican Left (part)
Revolutionary Workers' Party
Feminist Party of Spain
Membership 71,578
Ideology Democratic socialism
Republicanism[1]
Communism[1][2]
Environmentalism[1]
Federalism
Political position Left-wing[1]
European affiliation Party of the European Left
European Parliament group European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Colours      Dark red
     Green
Congress of Deputies
2 / 350
Spanish Senate
0 / 266
European Parliament
4 / 54
Regional Parliaments
20 / 1,268
Local Government (2011)
3,223 / 67,611
(Candidates gained in coalitions or unitary lists[3] not included)
Website
www.izquierda-unida.es
Politics of Spain
Political parties
Elections

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

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).

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]

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

Election results[edit]

Congress of Deputies and Senate[edit]

Election Congress of Deputies Senate Rank Government Leader
Votes  % ±pp Seats won +/− Seats won +/−
1986 935,504 4.6% Increase0.6
7 / 350
Increase3
0 / 208
±0 #5 Opposition Gerardo Iglesias
1989 1,858,588 9.1% Increase4.5
17 / 350
Increase10
1 / 208
Increase1 #3 Opposition Julio Anguita
1993 2,253,722 9.6% Increase0.5
18 / 350
Increase1
0 / 208
Decrease1 #3 Opposition Julio Anguita
1996 2,639,774 10.5% Increase0.9
21 / 350
Increase3
0 / 208
±0 #3 Opposition Julio Anguita
2000 1,263,043 5.5% Decrease5.0
8 / 350
Decrease13
0 / 208
±0 #3 Opposition Francisco Frutos
2004 1,284,081 5.0% Decrease0.5
5 / 350
Decrease3
0 / 208
±0 #3 Gov't support Gaspar Llamazares
2008 969,946 3.8% Decrease1.2
2 / 350
Decrease3
0 / 208
±0 #3 Opposition Gaspar Llamazares
2011 1,686,040 6.9% Increase3.1
11 / 350
Increase9
0 / 208
±0 #3 Opposition Cayo Lara
2015 923,133 3.7% Decrease3.2
2 / 350
Decrease9
0 / 208
±0 #5 To be determined Alberto Garzón

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Election Votes  % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Candidate
1987 1,011,830 5.3% New
3 / 60
Increase3 #4 Fernando Pérez Royo
1989 961,742 6.1% Increase0.8
4 / 60
Increase1 #4 Fernando Pérez Royo
1994 2,497,671 13.4% Increase7.3
9 / 64
Increase5 #3 Alonso Puerta
1999 1,221,566 5.8% Decrease7.6
4 / 64
Decrease5 #3 Alonso Puerta
2004 643,136 4.2% Decrease1.6
2 / 54
Decrease2 #4 Willy Meyer
2009 588,248 3.7% Decrease0.5
2 / 54
±0 #4 Willy Meyer
2014 1,575,308 10.0% Increase6.3
6 / 54
Increase4 #3 Willy Meyer

Local councils[edit]

Local councils
Election Votes  % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
1987 1,399,364 7.2% Decrease1.3
2,315 / 65,577
Decrease214 #4 Gerardo Iglesias
1991 1,579,097 8.4% Increase1.2
2,614 / 66,308
Increase299 #3 Julio Anguita
1995 2,589,780 11.7% Increase3.3
3,493 / 65,869
Increase879 #3 Julio Anguita
1999 1,387,900 6.5% Decrease5.2
2,295 / 65,201
Decrease1,198 #3 Julio Anguita
2003 1,394,871 6.1% Decrease0.4
2,198 / 65,510
Decrease97 #3 Gaspar Llamazares
2007 1,217,030 5.5% Decrease0.6
2,034 / 66,131
Decrease164 #3 Gaspar Llamazares
2011 1,437,061 6.4% Increase0.9
2,249 / 68,230
Increase215 #3 Cayo Lara
2015 999,647 4.5% Decrease1.9
2,029 / 67,611
Decrease220 #4 Cayo Lara

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
  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]