United Left (Spain)

United Left (Spain)
United Left
Izquierda Unida
General Coordinator Cayo Lara Moya
Founded April 1986
Headquarters C/Olimpo 35, Madrid
Membership 71,578
Ideology Communism,
Democratic socialism,
Political position Left-wing
European affiliation Party of the European Left
European Parliament Group European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Official colours Green, red
Local Government
2,646 / 68,221
Regional Parliaments
43 / 1,214
Congress of Deputies
1 / 350
Spanish Senate
1 / 264
European Parliament
1 / 50
Politics of Spain
Political parties

The United Left (Spanish: Izquierda Unida, IU) is a political coalition that was organized in 1986 as several political organisations opposed Spain joining NATO. It was formed by a number groups of leftists, greens, left-wing socialists and republicans, but was dominated by the Communist Party of Spain (PCE). The left-wing Carlist Party and Humanist Party were also founding members of the coalition but they parted ways in 1987.

Congress seats from 1977 (as PCE) to 2008



After the electoral fall of the PCE in 1982 (from 10% to 3%), IU slowly improved its results reaching 9% in 1993 (1,800,000 votes) and nearly 11% in 1996 (2,600,000 votes). From 1999 it went into decline, with its support slipping to 5% in 2000. In that election it signed a pact with the Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE).

From 1986 to 1999, its leader was the general secretary of the PCE, Julio Anguita, followed by Francisco Frutos. From 2001 to 2008 was Gaspar Llamazares who resigned following poor election results in 2008. From 2008 on it has been Cayo Lara. IU has an important support base in Andalusia, Madrid and Asturias, following the communist base of the PCE.

Following the tradition of the Spanish left since the formation of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC) in 1936 (as 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.

Paco Frutos campaigning in 2005 for IU at a PCE meeting (a Chilean flag and a Communist Party of Chile flag are visible).

IU contested the 2008 general election in coalition with IC-V. The coalition got 963,040 votes (3.8%) and two MPs (one of them by IC-V), its worst ever result. The provincial district distribution and the D'Hondt method, which regulates the allocation of seats in the Spanish Congress, favour the main lists in each electoral district. Since IU lists usually finish in third place or lower in each district, their share of seats in the Congress has usually been lower than their share of votes.

IU officially has around 70,000 members[1] and nearly 2,700 councillors.[2]

The 2011 local and regional elections saw IU halt their long term decline with their first gains since 1996.[3] In total IU increased their vote share by nearly 1% from 5.48% in 2007 to 6.33% in 2011, with the group gaining nearly 200 councillors and 12 members of regional assemblies.[3] They suffered setbacks in Córdoba, which they had governed since the 1970s (with the exception of a four year period in the 1990s) as the People's Party gained control of the council.[3] In the Asturian regional elections, although IU gained a seat, a right wing administration replaced the previous PSOE-IU coalition.[3]

Federations of IU

  • Andalusia: Izquierda Unida Los Verdes - Convocatoría por Andalucía (United Left/The Greens - Assembly for Andalusia)
  • Aragon: Izquierda Unida Aragón (United Left of Aragon)
  • Asturias: Izquierda Xunida d'Asturies (United Left of Asturias)
  • Balearic Islands: Esquerra Unida de les Illes Balears (United Left of Balearic Islands)
  • Canary Islands: Izquierda Unida de Canarias (United Left of the Canary Islands)
  • Cantabria: Izquierda Unida de Cantabria (Cantabrian United Left)
  • Castilla-La Mancha: Izquierda Unida - Izquierda de Castilla-La Mancha (United Left - Castilla-La Mancha Left)
  • Castilla y León: Izquierda Unida de Castilla y León (United Left of Castilla and León)
  • Ceuta: Izquierda Unida de Ceuta (United Left of Ceuta)
  • Euskadi: Izquierda Unida - Los Verdes: Ezker Anitza (United Left - The Greens: Plural Left)
  • Extremadura: Izquierda Unida - Federación de Extremadura (United Left - Extremadura Federation)
  • Galicia: Esquerda Unida-Izquierda Unida (United Left of Galicia)
  • La Rioja: Izquierda Unida - La Rioja (United Left-La Rioja)
  • Madrid: Izquierda Unida de la Comunidad de Madrid (United Left of the Community of Madrid)
  • Melilla: Izquierda Unida - Federación de Melilla (United Left - Melilla Federation)
  • Murcia: Izquierda Unida - Región de Murcia (United Left - Region of Murcia)
  • Navarra: Izquierda Unida de Navarra - Nafarroako Ezker Batua (United Left of Navarra)
  • Valencian Community: Esquerra Unida del País Valencià (United Left of the Valencian Country)


External links

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