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 and PiS and the 2011 appearance of the Palikot Movement (whom one of its MEPs has joined), which competes with the SLD for the centre-left vote.

It fell to a record low of 8.2% in 2011.

The Labour Union is a minor social democratic party that once had some strength but which now has virtually none. The party elected one MEP on the SLD’s list in 2009, and is running in alliance with the SLD again this year. To all intents and purposes it is now impossible to tell the difference between the two parties, though the Labour Union did, for a time, want to run on Europa Plus’s lists.

The SLD is, once again, polling at around 10% for this election.

The party and its partner are pro-European.

The SLD and its partner both sit in the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament. The SLD’s MPs are more loyal, voting with the group 96.6% of the time, broadly average for the group, whereas the UP is a much less loyal party voting with the group 92.4% of the time, making it the least loyal Central or Eastern European party.