Spain - Political parties

Party descriptions and CMP left-right scores
Party Type 93 96 00 04 08 Average
PP Conservative -8.4 10.5 5 9.3 -4.6 2.4
PSOE Social Democratic -23.2 -4.1 -20.5 -12.4 -23.2 -16.7
IU Communist -35.4 -26.5 -27.5 -16.5 -16.8 -24.5
UPyD Liberal/Social Liberalism
CIU Conservative -11.5 1 -0.4 -0.2 -9.4 -4.1
EAJ (PNV) Ethnic-Regional -0.3 -0.3 -11.4 -11.6 -4.1 -5.6
ERC Ethnic-Regional -15.8 -15.8 -14.3 -12.8 -10.3 -13.8
BNG Ethnic-Regional -9.8 -9.8 -9.6 -11.9 -10.3
CC-PNC Ethnic-Regional -4.8 -4.8 -4.7 -5.3 -5.5 -5

The table shows the periodical scores on left-right position as given in the Comparative Manifesto Project (Volkens, Andrea,, 2010). The scores range from -100 (left) to +100 (right).

Type: Tentative grouping of political parties and alliances based on information provided in the Comparative Manifesto Project and from party descriptions in Europa World Yearbook, Encyclopædia Britannica and in election reports from the European Journal of Political Research and/or Electoral Studies.

PP - People's Party - (Partido Popular)

The Popular Party (PP) traces its origins to the Popular Alliance, a union of seven conservative political parties formed in the 1970s by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a prominent cabinet member under Spain's longtime dictator Francisco Franco. In 1977 the alliance formed the United Party of the Popular Alliance (Partido Unido de Alianza Popular), and in 1989 it incorporated the small centrist Liberal Party and adopting its present name, the Popular Party (PP). The party was established under its current name in 1989 as a refounding of the People's Alliance (Alianza Popular - AP). When in office (1996-2004) the party continued implementation of neoliberal economic policies, acccelerated the privatization of state enterprise and cut public expenditures. In 2004, after the terrorist bombings in Madrid, the PP was swept from office by the socialists in elections in the incident's immediate aftermath. In the 2008 general elections, the PP again lost to the PSOE. It's sister party, UPN-PP (Union Del Pueblo Navarro En Coalicion Con El Partido Popular) runs in the region of Navarro only.

PSOE - Spanish Socialist Workers' Party - (Partido Socialista Obrero Español)

Spain's oldest political party, the PSOE was founded in 1879 by Pablo Iglesias, built around rigid Marxist ideological principles and fierce anticlericalism. By the time the Spanish Republic was proclaimed in 1931, the PSOE had become the country's largest political party and participated in coalition governments during the years 1931–36. It was among the principal supporters of the Republic during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). During Spain's transition to democracy in the 1970s, the PSOE's party platform and internal structure were still characteristic of traditional working-class parties. The official ideology was Marxist, and the party structure gave considerable power to trade unionists and rank-and-file members. Over the final two decades of the 20th century, however, the party moderated its policies, becoming a centrist social democratic party and isolating its Marxist elements. It's sister party, PSC-PSOE (Partit Dels Socialistes De Catalunya), runs in the region of Catalonia only.

IU - United Left - (Izquierda Unida)

IU is an electoral coalition organized in 1986 during the mobilizations in Spain against NATO membership. It was formed by several groups of leftists, greens, left-wing socialists and republicans, but was always dominated by the Communist Party of Spain (PCE). IU is often seen as a natural continuation of the PCE.

UPyD - Union, Progress and Democracy - (Union Progreso Y Democracia)

Founded in 2007.

CIU - Convergence and Unity - (Convergència i Unió)

A political confederation of Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya) and Democratic Union of Catalonia (Unió Democràtica de Catalunya). CIU is a Catalan nationalist, conservative-liberal coalition.

AMAIUR - Amaiur

Founded in 2011 by Basque left-wing nationalists; a coalition of Eusko Alkartasuna, Alternatiba and Aralar.

EAJ (PNV) - Basque Nationalist Party - (Eusko Alderdi Jeltzalea)

The EAJ (PNV, Partido Nacionalista Vasco) was founded in 1895. It is the largest political party in the Basque country and it has been a dominant force within the Basque government. The party is moderately nationalist and favours greater autonomy for the Basque region and opposes violence.

ERC - Republican Left of Catalonia - (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya)

Left wing political party that advocates independence for Catalonia and Catalan Countries from France and Spain.

BNG - Galician Nationalist Bloc - (Bloque Nacionalista Galego)

A permanent electoral coalition of independents and parties that defend the Galician language and advocates regional autonomy.

CC-PNC - Canarian Coalition - (Coalición Canaria)

Liberal party of the Canary Isles and the largest party in that region.


Political Organizations (Spain). 2012. In Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Bergen. Retrieved March 2012 from

Electoral Studies (Elsevier), election reports on Spain.

European Journal of Political Research (European Consortium for Political Research), reports on Spain.

Colomer, J.M. 2008. Spain and Portugal: Rule by Party Leadership. In J.M. Colomer, ed. Comparative European Politics. New York: Routledge, pp. 174-207.

Budge, I.; Klingemann, H.-D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Tanenbaum, E., with Fording, R.C.; Hearl, D.J.; Kim, H.M.; McDonald, M. and Mendez, S. (2001). Mapping Policy Preferences. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments 1945-1998. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Klingemann, H.D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Budge, I.; McDonald, M. (2006). Mapping Policy Preferences II. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments in Eastern Europe, the European Union and the OECD, 1990-2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Volkens, Andrea; Lacewell, Onawa; Regel, Sven; Schultze, Henrike; Werner, Annika (2010): The Manifesto Data Collection. Manifesto Project (MRG/CMP/MARPOR), Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB):