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

All Armenian Labour Party

The All Armenian Labour Party is a social democratic political party in Armenia.

At the last elections, on 25 May 2003, the party won 1 seat.

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.According to a 2019 study, center-right parties had approximately 27% of the vote share in 21 Western democracies in 2018. This was a decline from 37% in 1960.

Clann na Talmhan

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Cuban Democratic Socialist Current

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They consider that "1959 freezes the social debate. The Cuban Revolution with its attendant double expectations and frustration seized the anxious questions and monopolized all possible answers to the needs of cultural activity, political and social," and want to return to the rational basis of the discussion of ideas.

Democratic Party (Italy, 1913)

The Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD) was a social liberal and social democratic political party in Italy.

It emerged in 1913 from the left-wing of the dominant Liberals, of which it continued to be a government coalition partner until 1919. In the 1913 general election the party won 2.8% of the vote and 11 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. In 1919 the PD was merged with other liberal parties and groupings in the Italian Social Democratic Party, that gained 10.9% and 60 seats in the 1919 general election, while other Democrats joined Liberal–Radical joint lists.

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The party was founded in March, 2000 as a split from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement.

Hope Front (Peru)

The Hope Front (Spanish: Frente Esperanza) was a Peruvian political party. At the legislative elections, 10 April 2016, the party won 1.1% of the popular vote and 0 out of 130 seats in the Congress of the Republic. Its presidential candidate at the elections of the same day, Fernando Olivera, won 1.3% of the vote. Since the election threshold is 5%, the party lost its inscription in the Electoral National Jury. Olivera has announced that he will inscribe the party again for the 2021 elections.

Il Mattino

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Italy Work in Progress

Italy Work in Progress (Italia Lavori in Corso, ILC) was a centre-left populist political party in Italy, which has been active mainly as a sub-group within the Mixed Group of the Senate. Its leaders were Fabrizio Bocchino and Francesco Campanella.

ILC was launched in May 2014 by nine senators who had left (or had been expelled from) the Five Star Movement (M5S), a populist party which had come first in the 2013 general election, over disagreements with Beppe Grillo's and Gianroberto Casaleggio's leadership. In the following months seven senators left the party.As of July 2015, the two remaining members of the party, Bocchino and Campanella, showed interest in joining Giuseppe Civati's Possible, along with other former M5S members from Free Alternative, but instead they chose to join The Other Europe, changing the name to their sub-group within the Senate's Mixed Group accordingly .

Liberal Party (Japan, 1890)

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Liberalism (book)

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New Liberal Party (New Zealand)

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Organic Centre-left

The Organic Centre-left (Italian: Centro-sinistra Organico), was a coalition of four Italian political parties that formed governments throughout the 1960s and the middle 1970s. The word “organic” meant that the Socialist Party was fully part of the governement, it was within the organization of the cabinet, differently from other centre-left governments in the early 1960s, where the PSI gave an external support only.

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Progressive Party (Spain)

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The Shimpotō was founded by Ōkuma Shigenobu in March 1896, as a merger of the Rikken Kaishintō and minor political parties to offset a temporary alliance between Ōkuma's rival, Itō Hirobumi and the Liberal Party of Japan (Jiyuto).

In June 1898, the Shimpotō merged with the Jiyutō to form the Kenseitō.

Tullia Zevi

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Unitary Socialist Party (Italy, 1949)

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The party was founded by some moderate members of the Italian Socialist Party, which had unsuccessfully asked for a collaboration of their former party with the Italian Christian Democracy, and some leftist members of the Italian Socialist Workers' Party. The party was led by a former Minister of Interior, Giuseppe Romita.

On 1 May 1951, the party fused with the Italian Socialist Workers' Party, previously founded by the reformist wing of the Italian Socialist Party in 1947 and led by Giuseppe Saragat, to give birth to the Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI).

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