Centre-right politics

Centre-right politics lean to the right of the political spectrum, but are closer to the centre. 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, towards capitalism.[1][2][3] This general economic shift toward capitalism affected centre-right movements, such as the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, which responded by becoming supportive of capitalism.[4]

The International Democrat Union is an alliance of centre-right (as well as some further right-wing) political parties – including the UK Conservative Party, the Conservative Party of Canada, the Republican Party of the United States, the Liberal Party of Australia, the New Zealand National Party and Christian democratic parties – which declares commitment to human rights as well as economic development.[5]

Ideologies characterised as centre-right include liberal conservatism and some variants of liberalism and Christian democracy, among others. The economic aspects of the modern centre-right have been influenced by economic liberalism, generally supporting free markets, limited government spending and other policies heavily associated with neoliberalism. The moderate right is neither universally socially conservative nor culturally liberal, and often combines both beliefs with support for civil liberties and elements of traditionalism.

Silvio Berlusconi and George W. Bush, speaking at Crawford, Texas

Historical examples of centre-right schools of thought include One Nation Conservatism in the United Kingdom, Red Tories in Canada, and Rockefeller Republicans in the United States. New Democrats in the United States also embraced several aspects of centre-right policy, including balanced budgets, free trade, and welfare reform. These ideological factions contrast with far right policies and right-wing populism. They also tend to be more supportive of cultural liberalism and green conservatism than right-wing variants.

According to a 2019 study, centre-right parties had approximately 27% of the vote share in 21 Western democracies in 2018.[6] This was a decline from 37% in 1960.[6]


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