Labour Party

Labour Party. The Labour Party is Britain’s dominant centre-left political force. Founded in 1900 out of the trade union movement, to which it has a formal link to this day. The party is responsible for building much of the British welfare state and especially Britain’s universal healthcare system, the NHS. The party has traditionally relied on a base of working class voters, but as this demographic has shrank and diversified the party has increased its base to include public sector workers, and ethnic minorities. The party spent eighteen years in opposition between 1979…Read more

Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden (SAP)

Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden (SAP). The SAP is the most electorally successful centre-left party in world history. It is one of the most successful political parties anywhere in the world. In Europe, only Ireland’s Fianna Fail can claim to have governed more frequently. A behemoth of a party, the party dominated Swedish politics for almost a century. Emerging from the Swedish labour movement in the late 19th century, the party’s traditional base is composed of working class voters and public sector workers. It is strongest in the small towns and cities…Read more

Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE)

Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE). Spain’s oldest party was founded in 1879. The leading component of the Republican side in the Spanish civil war, it went into exile and underground in 1939 after being banned, it re-emerged with the transition to democracy. Initially the opposition to the vast centrist Democratic Centre Union (which would later merge into the People’s Party), it won the 1982 election and subsequently became the most successful centre-left party in Europe of the last three decades, governing until 1996 and then again between 2004 and 2011. The party was…Read more

Social Democrats (SD)

Social Democrats (SD). The Social Democrats are the descendants of the Slovene branch of the Yugoslav League of Communists. The party emerged as the largest following the first free elections in Slovenia in 1990 but went into opposition as other parties locked it out of power. The party was subsequently surpassed by the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia party, playing second fiddle on the centre-left until 2008 when it emerged as the largest party in Slovenia once again. Under Borut Pahor the party abandoned its previous hard-line positions and became a more moderate, modern…Read more

Direction – Social Democracy (Smer-SD)

Direction – Social Democracy (Smer-SD). Smer is currently Slovakia’s dominant party, controlling a majority of seats in the national parliament. A left-populist party, Smer emerged from a split in the Party of the Democratic Left (PDL), the successor of Slovak’s branch of the Czechoslovak communists. The PDL had been in a controversial anti-Meciar coalition with centre-right parties, and lost support due to that coalition’s liberalising zeal. Smer quickly became the dominant force on Slovakia’s centre-left, and the PDL eventually merged into it. Smer’s popularity has always been entwined with that of its leader…Read more

Social Democratic Party (PSD) & Conservative Party (PC)

Social Democratic Party (PSD) & Conservative Party (PC). The PSD is Romania’s largest party. The heir of the Iliescu faction of the FSN (Iliescu is still the honorary president of the party) the PSD is perhaps the single most powerful centre-left party in all of Eastern Europe. Part of the PSD’s strength is in its structure of local barons. The party is very strong in local government throughout Romania with local leaders often handing out patronage in exchange for favours to allies. Typically of the PSD, barons are not particularly ideological and some…Read more

Socialist Party (PS)

Socialist Party (PS). The Socialists were founded in 1973, sensing the oncoming return of democracy, with significant aid from the German social democrats. The party won the 1975 election to the constituent assembly and thus had a strong hand in drafting the constitution, it subsequently won the 1976 election as well. The party has been the dominant party of government since 1995, spending all but three years in government until its 2011 election loss. The party is a fairly typical mainstream centre-left party and like most moved closer to the centre in the…Read more

Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) & Labour Union (UP)

Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) & Labour Union (UP). The SLD is the successor of the former Polish Communist Party. A major party in 1990s Poland, the party served as a junior coalition partner to the PSL in 1993, even though it was technically larger, and then ruled from 1997 to 2001. Its second term in office, however, quickly became notable for rank corruption and unpopular economic policy. The party collapsed to around 10% of the vote, where it has stayed ever since. The party has suffered from poor leadership, infighting, polarisation between PO…Read more

Labour Party (PvdA)

Labour Party (PvdA – a literal translation of the party’s name would ‘Party of the Labour’). The Labour Party is the largest centre-left party in the Netherlands and the country’s primary social democratic party. The party was founded in 1946 from a merger of the pre-war Social Democratic Worker’s Party, the left-liberal Free-Thinking Democratic League, and the Protestant left Christian Democratic Union. Initially the PvdA hoped to be a cross-pillar party of the working class but it quickly became the de facto party of the Socialist pillar. The party has historically tended to…Read more

Labour Party (PL)

Labour Party (PL).  The Labour Party is Malta’s centre-left party and, since 2013, its governing party. Maltese Labour emerged from the union movement in 1921 (the year of the first legislative elections in Malta). The party has always enjoyed a close relationship with the General Workers Union. While it maintained a presence in parliament, it did not win a single party government until 1945, when universal suffrage was introduced, however. Labour did, enjoy a close working relationship with the former pro-British Constitutional Party and acted as a junior coalition partner on several occasions.…Read more