United Progressive Party
Published 19th February, 2014
The United Progressive Party or UPP was founded in 1992 by a merger of the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement (founded in 1977), the Progressive Labour Movement (PLM) (founded in 1970) and the United National Democratic Party (itself a merger of two parties in 1986; the United People’s Movement and the National Democratic Party). The party describes itself as Centre-left and believes in Social democracy, the Third way, Labourism and Progressivism.
The UPP fought its first election in 1994 and won five of the 17 seats in the House of Representatives. It dropped to four of 17 seats in 1999 despite taking 44.5% of the vote. Although the party accepted the result it pledged to boycott future elections unless changes were made to election law.
Those electoral reforms were made in 2003 and a new professional party led by Baldwin Spencer won the 2004 general election taking 12 of the 17 seats in the House of Representatives. The party had fought the election on an anti-corruption campaign and when elected brought in three pieces of legislation, the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the Integrity in Public Life Act.
The UPP won again in 2009 but with a reduced number of seats, down to nine of the 17 seats in the House of Representatives.