The United Left
Published 2nd November, 2011
The United Left or IU was founded in 1986 as an electoral alliance of five other far left parties who opposed Spain joining NATO. Subsequently it absorbed two more smaller parties. It describes itself as left wing and communist and believes in democratic socialism, anti-capitalism, eco-socialism and republicanism.
In their first electoral outing in 1986 the IU won seven seats in the Congress of Deputies. By 1989 they had 14 seats, in 1993 they went up to 18 seats and in 1996 they scored their greatest success by taking 21 seats and 10.6% of the vote.
However, in the 1999 European elections the IU suffered a setback and took just 5.8% of the vote. In the 2000 general election they won just eight seats and in the 2004 and 2008 elections they have managed to win just two seats on each occasion.
Although the party has done better in the 2011 local elections, gaining nearly 200 councillors and 12 regional assembly members, this may well be on the back of the disastrous results for the ruling PSOE.
The United Left are members of the Party of the European Left and within the European Parliament their one MEP is a member of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL).