United Left (Spain)

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United Left
Izquierda Unida
General CoordinatorVacant
FoundedApril 1986 (as coalition)
2 November 1992 (as party federation)
Youth wingÁrea de Juventud de Izquierda Unida
LGBT wingALEAS
Membership (2019)Increase 29,506[1]
IdeologyCommunism[2]
Socialism[2]
Republicanism[3]
Political positionLeft-wing to far-left[4][5]
National affiliationPlural Left (2011–2015)
Popular Unity (2015–2016)
Unidas Podemos (2016–2023)
Sumar (since 2023)
European affiliationParty of the European Left
International affiliationIMCWP
European Parliament groupThe Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL
Colours  Red
Congress of Deputies
5 / 350
Spanish Senate
0 / 266
European Parliament
1 / 59
Regional Parliaments
10 / 1,268
Local Government
1,678 / 67,515
Website
izquierdaunida.org

United Left (Spanish: Izquierda Unida [iθˈkjeɾðawˈniða], IU) is a federative political movement in Spain that was first organized as a coalition in 1986, bringing together several left-wing political organizations, most notably the Communist Party of Spain.[6]

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.[6] Despite that, IU brings together other regional parties, political organizations, and independents.[6] It currently takes the form of a permanent federation of parties.

Congress seats from 1977 (as PCE) to 2011

IU took part of the Unidas Podemos coalition and the corresponding parliamentary group in the Congreso de los Diputados between 2016 and 2023. Since January 2020, it participated for the first time in a national coalition government, with one minister. For the 2023 general election, IU took part of the Sumar platform.[7]

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.[6] With this premise, the PCE began developing closer relations with other left-wing groups, with the vision of forming a broad left coalition.[6] 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.[8][6] IU generally opposed cooperating with the PSOE, and identified it as a "right-wing party", no different from the People's Party (PP).[8][6]

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.[6] They also adopted a universal policy in favor of cooperating with the PSOE at local level.[6]

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.[9]

Composition[edit]

Party Notes
Communist Party of Spain (PCE)
Living Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC viu) Formed in 1997
The Dawn Marxist Organization (La Aurora (OM)) Joined in 1998
Republican Left (IR) Left in 2002, rejoined in 2011
Unitarian Candidacy of Workers (CUT) Left in 2015, rejoined in 2018
Feminist Party of Spain (PFE) Joined in October 2015, expelled in February 2020 due to stances on transgender rights.
Humanist Party (PH) April–July 1986
Carlist Party (PC) Expelled in 1987
Progressive Federation (FP) Left in December 1987.
Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE) Left in 1988.
Socialist Action Party (PASOC) Dissolved in 2001
Anti-capitalist Left (IA) Joined in 1995, left in 2008
Coalition for Melilla (CpM) Joined in 2008, left in 2013
Open Left (IzAb) Formed in February 2012, left in December 2018.

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 2008–2016
Alberto Garzón 2016–2023

Electoral performance[edit]

Cortes Generales[edit]

Cortes Generales
Election Leading candidate Congress Senate Gov.
Votes % # Seats +/– Seats +/–
1986 Gerardo Iglesias 935,504 4.6 5th
7 / 350
3
0 / 208
0 Opposition
1989 Julio Anguita 1,858,588 9.1 3rd
17 / 350
10
1 / 208
1 Opposition
1993 2,253,722 9.6 3rd
18 / 350
1
0 / 208
1 Opposition
1996 2,639,774 10.5 3rd
21 / 350
3
0 / 208
0 Opposition
2000 Francisco Frutos 1,263,043 5.4 3rd
8 / 350
13
0 / 208
0 Opposition
2004 Gaspar Llamazares 1,284,081 5.0 3rd
5 / 350
3
1 / 208
1 Confidence and supply
2008 969,946 3.8 3rd
2 / 350
3
1 / 208
0 Opposition
2011 Cayo Lara with Plural Left
7 / 350
5
0 / 208
1 Opposition
2015 Alberto Garzón with Popular Unity
2 / 350
5
0 / 208
0 New election
2016 with Unidos Podemos
8 / 350
6
2 / 208
2 Opposition (2016–18)
Confidence and supply (2018–19)
Apr-2019 with Unidas Podemos
5 / 350
3
0 / 208
2 New election
Nov-2019 with Unidas Podemos
5 / 350
0
0 / 208
0 Coalition (PSOEUP)
2023 with Sumar
5 / 350
0
0 / 208
0 Coalition (PSOESumar)

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Election Leading candidate Votes % # Seats +/–
1987 Fernando Pérez Royo 1,011,830 5.3 4th
3 / 60
1989 961,742 6.1 4th
4 / 60
1
1994 Alonso Puerta 2,497,671 13.4 3rd
9 / 64
5
1999 1,221,566 5.8 3rd
4 / 64
5
2004 Willy Meyer 643,136 4.1 4th
2 / 54
2
2009 with The Left
2 / 54
0
2014 with Plural Left
4 / 54
2
2019 Sira Rego with UPCE
2 / 54
2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Los partidos se atribuyen ocho veces más militantes de los que admiten pagar cuotas. Público, 28/07/2019.
  2. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Spain". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  3. ^ "European Social Survey 2012 - Appendix 3 (in English)" (PDF). European Science Foundation. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Européennes : poussée du parti d'extrême gauche Izquierda Unida en Espagne". 25 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Espagne : Podemos s'allie avec l'extrême gauche pour les législatives". 10 May 2016.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ RTVE.es (2023-06-09). "IU alcanza un acuerdo con Sumar para concurrir juntos a las elecciones". RTVE.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  8. ^ a b Topaloff, L (2012) Political Parties and Euroscepticism, pp192-193
  9. ^ Entre coalición y partido, la evolución de modelo organizativo en IU, Luis Ramiro Archived March 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ IU rompe "a todos los efectos" con su federación madrileña. El Diario, 14/06/2015 - 10:48h. Aitor Rivero.
  12. ^ 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]