Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The DUP is Northern Ireland’s dominant unionist party. The party emerged from non-conformist Protestantism in the early 1970s, as The Troubles were starting. For most of its history it has been led by Reverend Iain Paisley who founded the radical Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. The party is perhaps the most […]

Sweden Democrats (SD)

Sweden Democrats (SD). For a long time it was thought that progressive, sensible, successful Sweden was immune to the appeal of right-wing populist parties. In reality this view was over-egged. Sweden never developed a right-wing populist party because the correct personnel did not exist. Anti-immigration movements elsewhere emerged from politically legitimate traditions, such as the […]


Podemos (literal translation: ‘we can’). Podemos is a new party in its first electoral outing. Founded earlier this year by left-wing academics, the party’s leader is a Spanish political science lecturer, Pablo Iglesias. The party is anti-corruption, supportive of participatory democracy. It is anticapitalist in orientation. The party uses open primaries to select its candidates. […]

Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD)

Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD). The UPyD is the most recent entrant into Spanish national politics, being founded in 2007. The party originates in the Basque country, in anti-ETA organisations. Its key issue is opposition to nationalism, predominantly sub-state nationalism though it also has objections to Spanish nationalism. The party wishes to see Spain become […]

United Left (ZL)

United Left (ZL). United Left is an alliance of three minor left-wing parties opposed to austerity which has recently formed. The party is democratic socialist in orientation and was partially formed to back Greek Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras’ bid to become President of the European Commission. The party closely identifies itself with the anti-austerity protesters. […]

Positive Slovenia (PS)

Positive Slovenia (PS). PS was formed in 2011 by Zoran Jankovic, a millionaire businessman (he predominantly made his money in retail), who became mayor of the Slovene capital, Ljubljana, in 2006. Jankovic had been a controversial mayor. Popular for his major building programmes he was nevertheless accused of abusing his powers for corrupt purposes (allegedly […]

List Verjamem (LV)

List Verjamem (LV, literal translation: ‘List “I believe”’). List Verjamem is a new party founded by Igorja Soltesa, the former head of the Slovene Court of Auditors. Getting information about Verjamem is exceedingly difficult. For one thing, the party currently lacks a website. Its only web presence appears to be a twitter feed with eight […]

Civic List (DL)

Civic List (DL). Civic List is one of two parties which were formed just before the 2011 election and subsequently performed well in that election. Civic List was formed by Gregor Virant, and was initially named ‘Gregor Virant’s Civic List’. Virant had served as a senior civil servant under both centre-left and centre-right governments. He […]