Centre-left politics

Centre-left politics or center-left politics (American English), also referred to as moderate-left politics, are political views that lean to the left-wing on the left–right political spectrum, but closer to the centre than other left-wing politics. Those on the centre-left believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice.[1] The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity.[2] The centre-left has promoted luck egalitarianism, which emphasizes the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents as well as social responsibility in areas outside control by the individual person in their abilities or talents.[3]

The centre-left opposes a wide gap between the rich and the poor and supports moderate measures to reduce the economic gap, such as a progressive income tax, laws prohibiting child labour, minimum wage laws, laws regulating working conditions, limits on working hours and laws to ensure the workers' right to organize.[2] The centre-left typically claims that complete equality of outcome is not possible, but instead that equal opportunity improves a degree of equality of outcome in society.[2]

In Europe, the centre-left includes social democrats, progressives and also some democratic socialists, greens and the Christian left. Some social liberals are described as centre-left, but many social liberals are in the centre of the political spectrum as well.[4][5]

Positions associated with the centre-left

The main ideologies of the centre-left are social democracy, social liberalism (when paired with other ideologies), progressivism, democratic socialism and green politics (also known as the red–green alliance).

Throughout the world, centre-left groups generally support:

The term may be used to imply positions on the environment, religion, public morality, etc., but these are usually not the defining characteristics, since centre-right parties may take similar positions on these issues.[6] A centre-left party may or may not be more concerned with reducing industrial emissions than a centre-right party.[7][8]


The term "centre-left" appeared during the French "July Monarchy" in 1830s,[9] a political-historical phase during the Kingdom of France when the House of Orléans reigned under an almost parliamentary system. The centre-left was distinct from the left, composed of republicans, as well as the centre-right, composed of the Third Party and the liberal-conservative Doctrinaires.

During this time, the centre-left was led by Adolphe Thiers (head of the liberal-nationalist Movement Party) and Odilon Barrot, who headed the populist "Dynastic Opposition".[10] The centre-left was Orléanist, but supported a liberal interpretation of the Charter of 1830, more power to the Parliament, manhood suffrage and support to rising European nationalisms. Adolphe Thiers served as Prime Minister for King Louis Philippe I twice (in 1836 and 1840), but he then lost the King's favour, and the centre-left rapidly fell.[11]

In France, during the Second Republic and the Second Empire the centre-left was not strong or organised, but became commonly associated with the moderate republicans' group in Parliament. Finally, in 1871 the Second Empire fell as consequence of the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and Adolphe Thiers re-established the centre-left after the foundation of the Third Republic. This time the centre-left was constituted of moderate republicans, then called "Opportunists", anti-royalist liberals and radicals from the Republican Union. During the Third Republic, the centre-left was led by political and intellectual figures like Jules Dufaure, Édouard René de Laboulaye, Charles de Rémusat, Léon Say, William Waddington, Jean Casimir-Perier, Edmond Henri Adolphe Schérer and Georges Picot.[12]

Elsewhere in Europe, centre-left movements appeared from the 1860s, mainly in Spain and Italy. In Italy, the centre-left was born as coalition between the liberal Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour and the progressive Urbano Rattazzi, the heads respectively of the Right and Left groupings in Parliament. This alliance was called "connubio" ("marriage") for its opportunist characteristics.[13] In the 1900s, centre-left positions were expressed by people and parties who believed in social democracy and democratic socialism, but also some liberals or Christian-democrats were associated with the centre-left. Currently, the centre-left parties in Europe are united in the social democratic Party of European Socialists and ecologist European Green Party.

Despite the rise of centre-left politics in continental Europe, Britain and its colonies along with the United States only saw the rise of the centre-left in the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The prevalence of the position occurred mainly due to the rise of socialism caused Liberals to move away from laissez-faire policies to more interventionist policies, which created the New Liberal movement. Currently, the Anglo-sphere major centre-left parties are the following:

See also


  1. ^ Oliver H. Woshinsky. Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 146.
  2. ^ a b c Oliver H. Woshinsky. Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 143.
  3. ^ Chris Armstrong. Rethinking Equality: The Challenge of Equal Citizenship. Manchester University Press, 2006, p. 89.
  4. ^ John W. Cioffi and Martin Höpner (21 April 2006). "Interests, Preferences, and Center-Left Party Politics in Corporate Governance Reform" (PDF). Council for European Studies at Columbia University. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  5. ^ Manfred Ertel, Hans-Jürgen Schlamp and Stefan Simons (24 September 2009). "The Credibility Trap – Europe's Center-Left Parties Stuck in a Dead End". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  6. ^ John Lloyd (2 October 2009). "Europe's centre-left suffers in the squeezed middle". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Spotlight on pollution and the environment". Workers Power. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  8. ^ Tierra Curry (6 November 2009). "Dirty Coal Czar Confirmed by Senate". Center for Biological Diversity. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  9. ^ Paul W. Schroeder (1996). The Transformation of European Politics, 1763-1848. Claredon. p. 742.
  10. ^ Michael Drolet (11 August 2003). Tocqueville, Democracy and Social Reform. Springer. p. 14.
  11. ^ Alice Primi; Sophie Kerignard; Véronique Fau-Vincenti (2004). 100 fiches d'histoire du XIXe siècle. Bréal.
  12. ^ Unknown (1993). Léon Say et le centre gauche: 1871-1896 : la grande bourgeoisie libérale dans les débuts de la Troisième République. p. 196.
  13. ^ Serge Berstein; Pierre Milza (1992). Histoire de l'Europe contemporaine: le XIXe siècle (1815-1919). Hatier.

External links

Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly

Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly (Belarusian: Беларуская сацыял-дэмакратычная Грамада) known simply as "Hramada" or "The Assembly" is a Belarusian political party. The leader of the party is Stanislav Shushkevich.

Centre-right politics

Centre-right politics or center-right politics (American English), also referred to as moderate-right politics, are politics that lean to the right of the left–right political spectrum, but are closer to the centre than other right-wing politics. From the 1780s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure and the economy, moving away from the nobility and mercantilism, as well as moving towards the bourgeoisie and capitalism. This general economic shift towards capitalism affected centre-right movements such as the British Conservative Party, that responded by becoming supportive of capitalism.The International Democrat Union is an alliance of centre-right to right-wing political parties, including the British Conservative Party, the Conservative Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Australia, the New Zealand National Party and Christian democratic parties, which is committed to human rights as well as economic development.


In politics, centrism—the centre (British/Canadian/Australian English) or the center (American/Philippine English)—is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.Centre-left and centre-right politics both involve a general association with centrism combined with leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the spectrum.

Various political ideologies, such as Christian democracy, can be classified as centrist.

Commoner Party of Thailand

Commoner Party of Thailand (Thai: พรรคคนธรรมดาแห่งประเทศไทย) is a political party in Thailand founded in 3 March 2014 by Tanaporn Sriyakul is leader. On 20 April 2014 Commoner Party of Thailand organized the party's first, announcing ideologies and policy to amend the Lèse majesté law or acticle 112

Democratic Coalition (Greece)

The Democratic Coalition (Greek: Δημοκρατικός Συνασπισμός) was a coalition of three Greek political parties for the elections of 1936.

Members to the coalition were:

Progressive Party

Democratic Socialist Party of Greece

Agricultural and Labour Party

Il Mattino

Il Mattino (English: the Morning) is an Italian daily newspaper published in Naples, Italy.

Labour Front

The Labour Front was a political party in Singapore. It was founded before the 1955 legislative council elections by David Saul Marshall, Singapore's first chief minister in 1955 and Lim Yew Hock, Singapore's second chief minister. A centre-left grouping, the Labour Front won the 1955 legislative elections and began to form a coalition government for Singapore, which at that time was a separate crown colony. It had won 10 of 25 elected seats in the legislative council.

Between 1955 and 1956, after sending two bi-partisan delegations to London for talks with the British, David Marshall's administration failed to gain approval from Britain for self-government in Singapore. David Marshall, taking responsibility for this failure, resigned in 1956 and soon went to form the Workers' Party of Singapore the following year. Critics believed that the British were not convinced of David Marshall's ability to govern Singapore well and to deal with the then rising threat of insurgency carried out in the name of communism. Marshall's more hardline stance in dealing with the underground Communist movement was only counterproductive. He was succeeded by Lim Yew Hock.

The Lim Yew Hock government did not fare any better. Apart from the threat of the underground Communist movements, Singapore faced problems in public order, poor economy, poor housing and sanitation, low living standards and corruption in the government. The then-opposition People's Action Party (PAP), led by Lee Kuan Yew, grilled the Labour Front government several times on these issues in parliamentary sessions. Later the majority of the Labour Front led by Lim Yew Hock, left the Labour Front to merge with the Liberal Socialists (formed by the Progressive Party and Democratic Party in 1956) to form the Singapore People's Alliance (SPA) in 1959.

In 1957 and 1958, two bi-partisan delegations successfully negotiated Singapore's status to be a self-governing state. Under the new constitution, the general elections of 1959 were held and the SPA composed of former Labour Front members suffered a rout, losing to the PAP. The PAP had won 43 of 51 seats in the parliament with a popular vote of 53% and had campaigned on an anti-colonialist platform with an ambition to initiate several reforms, improve the economy and living standards of the people and to eradicate corruption in the government. The SPA lost power and was reduced to only a handful of seats in opposition. By 1963, the SPA failed to win a single seat and after Singapore became independent in 1965, the SPA was dissolved.

The last remnant of the Labour Front contested with the 1959 elections separately from the SPA, but it was a very small percentage of the original party and eventually faded from existence.

Liberalism (book)

Liberalism (original German title: Liberalismus) is a book by Austrian School economist and libertarian thinker Ludwig von Mises, containing economic analysis and indicting critique of socialism. It was first published in 1927 by Gustav Fischer Verlag in Jena and defending classical liberal ideology based on individual property rights. Starting from the principle of private property, Mises shows how the other classical liberal freedoms follow from property rights and argues that liberalism free of government intervention is required to promote peace, social harmony and the general welfare. The book was translated into English by a student of Mises, Ralph Raico, but its first English edition in 1962 was titled The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth rather than Liberalism, as Mises thought that the literal translation would create confusion because the term liberalism after the New Deal and especially in the 1960s became widely used in the United States to refer to a centre-left politics that supports degrees of government intervention, in opposition to Mises' central premise. The English translation was made available online by the Ludwig von Mises Institute in 2000.

New Democracy Party (Thailand)

New Democracy Party (Thai: พรรคประชาธิปไตยใหม่, Phak Prachathipataimai) is a political party in Thailand that founded on 21 April 2011. Suratin Pichan is Leader and Nipon Chuenta is Deputy Leader and Jumrus Kraiyasit is Secretary-General.

New Liberal Party (New Zealand)

The New Liberal Party of New Zealand was a splinter group of the original Liberal Party. It was formed at a meeting in the Christchurch suburb of Papanui in June 1905 by two Liberal-aligned independents who sought a more "progressive" policy than that followed by the Liberal leader, Richard Seddon, and was similar to the Radical Party in 1896.

Newfoundland People's Party

The Newfoundland People's Party was a political party in the Dominion of Newfoundland before it joined Canada.

The party was created by Attorney-General Edward Patrick Morris in 1907, when he split from the ruling Liberal Party to found his own political vehicle. The party tied with the Liberals in the 1908 election but, when no party was able to form a government, new elections were held which the People's Party won with 26 seats to 10 for the Liberals.

Morris and the People's Party were re-elected in the 1913 election, winning 16 seats compared to 7 for the Liberals and 8 for the Fishermen's Protective Union led by William Coaker.

In 1917, a wartime crisis over conscription resulted in Morris inviting the opposition parties to join in a National Government, which ruled for two years. Morris retired at the end of 1917, and was replaced as People's Party leader by Sir Michael Patrick Cashin.

Cashin's government was defeated in the 1919 election by Richard Squires and his Liberal Reform Party (a merger between the Liberals and the FPU). In opposition, Cashin changed the name of the party to the Liberal-Labour-Progressive Party, which disappeared after the 1923 election. Some members of that party joined Albert Hickman's new Liberal-Progressive Party, and others joined with Tories to form the Liberal-Conservative Progressive Party.

Although not a sectarian party, the People's Party and its immediate successor had their support concentrated among Catholic voters, particularly on the south coast of the island.

Party of Democratic Socialism (Greece)

Party of Democratic Socialism (Greek: Κόμμα Δημοκρατικού Σοσιαλισμού (ΚΟΔΗΣΟ), Komma Dimokratikou Sosialismou) is a former Greek centre-left political party founded in 1979 by former members of EDIK. Its first president was Yagos Pesmazoglou.

It participated in the National Elections of 1981 in a coalition with Peasants and Workers Party gained 0.7%, whereas in the elections for the European Parliament in 1981 earning a seat in the European Parliament for its president Yagos Pesmazoglou.

In the elections for the European Parliament in 1984 the party gained 0.8% and Yagos Pesmazoglou resigned. He was succeeded by Babis Protopapas.

Shortly before the National Elections of 1985, the withdrawal of Sotiris Kouvelas and Virginia Tsouderou led the party to participate with New Democracy.

In 1986, the party led to a more left direction resulting in KODISO be one of the parties which created in 1989 the Coalition of the Left and Progress.

Popular Socialists (Russia)

The Popular Socialist Party (Narodno-Sotsialisticheskaya Partiya) emerged in Russia in the early twentieth century.

Radical Democratic Party (Spain)

The Radical Democratic Party (Spanish: Partido Demócrata Radical, PDR), later known as the Republican Reformist Party (Spanish: Partido Reformista Republicano, PRR), was one of the Spanish political parties that contended for power during the reign of Amadeo I (reigned 1870–1873) and the First Spanish Republic (1873-1874), opposing the Constitutional Party.


Renziani, previously known as Now! (Adesso!) and Big Bang, is a liberal and modernizing movement within the Democratic Party (PD), a political party in Italy. Its leader is Matteo Renzi, party's national secretary and former Prime Minister of Italy from February 2014 to December 2016.

The Open Foundation (Fondazione Open), whose Secretary-General is Maria Elena Boschi, serves as think tank and financial arm of the faction.

Republican Union Party (Spain)

The Republican Union Party (Spanish: Partido de Unión Republicana, PUR) was a Spanish republican party founded in 1903 by Nicolás Salmerón y Alonso.

It participated in the 1903, 1905 and 1907 general elections. It was dissolved in 1910, being succeeded by the Republican Nationalist Federal Union.

Social Democratic Labour Party of Norway

The Social Democratic Labour Party of Norway (in Norwegian Norges Socialdemokratiske Arbeiderparti) was a Norwegian political party in the 1920s. Following the Labour Party's entry into the Comintern in 1919 its right wing left the party to form the Social Democratic Labour Party in 1921. At the party convention in 1923, however, the Labour Party withdrew from Comintern, and the Communist Party of Norway was formed by the minority, who continued its affiliation with Comintern and the Soviet Union until 1991. The Social Democratic Labour Party was absorbed into the reorganised Labour Party in 1927.

The youth wing of the party was the Socialist Youth League of Norway.

The party sympathized with the International Working Union of Socialist Parties from 1921 to 1923 and was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923 and 1927.

Tullia Zevi

Tullia Zevi (née Calabi) (2 February 1919 – 22 January 2011) was an Italian journalist and writer. Zevi's family fled Italy to France and then to the US after the rise of fascism in the 1930s. While in New York City, she married Bruno Zevi. She returned to Europe in 1946, and was one of the few women journalists to report the Nuremberg Trials. On her return to Italy, she played a major role in Interfaith dialog, and was active in Italian Centre-left politics. Zevi was president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities from 1983 to 1998.

Values Party

The Values Party was a New Zealand political party. It is considered the world's first national-level environmentalist party, pre-dating the use of "Green" as a political label. It was established in May 1972 at Victoria University of Wellington. Its first leader was Tony Brunt, and Geoff Neill, the party's candidate in the Dunedin North electorate, became the Deputy Leader.

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