Gibraltar Social Democrats


The Gibraltar Social Democrats (GSD) is a liberal-conservative, centre-right political party in Gibraltar. The GSD was the governing party for four successive terms in office under the leadership of Peter Caruana, from the 1996 general election until the party's electoral defeat in the 2011 election by the GSLP–Liberal Alliance.

Gibraltar Social Democrats
LeaderKeith Azopardi MP
Founded1989
Headquarters1A College Lane, Gibraltar
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right
British affiliationConservatives
(local branch)[1]
ColoursBlue and yellow
Parliament
6 / 17
Website
www.gsd.gi

On 30 November 2017, the party underwent their second leadership election as its leader, Daniel Feetham, resigned in July. As a result, 60.6% of the votes (from executives and members of the party) had gone to support rejoined GSD member, Keith Azopardi, who was a minister and Deputy Chief Minister under the first few years of Peter Caruana's run as Chief Minister. Azopardi had beaten interim leader Roy Clinton, who had gained 39.4% of the votes.

History


The party emerged, after the collapse of the Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights, as the main opposition to the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party (GSLP).

In 2005, the GSD merged with the Gibraltar Labour Party, retaining the GSD name for the enlarged party. The merger was unpopular with many members of both parties, causing some high-profile GSD members to resign their membership, including deputy leader Keith Azopardi and executive member Nick Cruz, who went on to form the short-lived Progressive Democratic Party.

In January 2013, Peter Caruana (who was the then Leader of the Opposition), announced he was stepping down as leader and taking up a backbench position until his 4-year term was over. Caruana declared that he would not fight the next election and will be stepping out of politics completely. The leadership was contested by two GSD MPs: Daniel Feetham and Damon Bossino. Feetham was elected on 4 February 2013 as Leader of the party by majority vote of the executive. This was the first time a party's leadership was to be democratically contested between two candidates.

Policies


Headquarters of the Gibraltar Social Democrats in College Lane, Gibraltar.
Former Leader and founder of the GSD, Peter Caruana, QC

The GSD has been described as liberal-conservative[2] and centre-right.[3][4][5] The party supports the current constitutional status of Gibraltar as an autonomous British overseas territory and is opposed to any proposal of joint BritishSpanish sovereignty.[6] The GSD has traditionally been less hostile in its attitude to Spain than its main rival, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party.[7]

Elections


In the 1991 by-election to the Gibraltar House of Assembly, following the resignation of GSD Leader Peter Montegriffo, Peter Caruana was elected party leader and won 61.81% of the popular vote to fill in the vacant seat.[8]

In the 1992 election, the party won 20.2% of the popular vote and 7 seats.[9]

In the 1996 election, the party won 52.20% of the popular vote and 8 seats.[10]

In the 2000 election, the party won 58.35% of the popular vote and 8 seats.[11]

In the 2003 election, the party won 51.45% of the popular vote and 8 seats.[12]

In the 2007 election to the newly named (and reorganised) Gibraltar Parliament, the party won 49.33% of the popular vote and 10 seats.[13]

In the 2011 election, the party won 46.76% of the popular vote and 7 seats, unable to secure a fifth term.[14]

In the 2013 by-election, the GSD candidate Marlene Hassan Nahon won 39.95% of the popular vote.[15]

In the 2015 election, the party won 31.56% of the popular vote and 7 seats.[16]

The GSD endorsed the Conservative Party in the 2015 British general election.[1]

In the 2019 election, the party won 25.6% of the popular vote and 7 seats.

Election results


Parliament of Gibraltar

Election Votes  % Seats +/– Government
1992 20,110 20.2
7 / 15
6 Opposition
1996 66,190 52.2
8 / 15
1 Majority
2000 67,443 58.35
8 / 15
Majority
2003 58,234 51.45
8 / 15
Majority
2007 76,334 49.33
10 / 17
2 Majority
2011 81,721 46.76
7 / 17
3 Opposition
2015 46,545 31.56
7 / 17
Opposition
2019 40,453 25.55
6 / 17
1 Opposition

By-elections

Election Votes  % Seats +/–
1991[8] 2,496 61.81
1 / 1
New
2013 3,927 39.95
0 / 1

European Parliament

Gibraltar is part of the South West England constituency in the European parliament and its major parties form joint ticket alliances with the major UK parties. Since 2004, the Gibraltar Social Democrats have been in an alliance with the Conservatives.

Election Party SW England Gibraltar Seats +/–
Votes  % Votes  %
2004 Conservative 457,371 31.6 8,297 69.5
3 / 7
1
2009 Conservative 468,742 30.2 3,721 53.3
3 / 7
2014 Conservative 433,151 28.9 1,236 17.2
2 / 6
1
2019 Conservative 144,674 8.7 256 2.7
0 / 6
2

Current GSD MPs


  • Daniel Feetham (since 2007)
  • Edwin Reyes (since 2007)
  • Elliott Phillips (since 2015)
  • Roy Clinton (since 2015)
  • Keith Azopardi (since 2019) (Leader of the Opposition)
  • Damon Bossino (since 2019)

List of Leaders


Name Term in office Portrait
Peter Montegriffo 1989-1991
Peter Caruana May 1991 - January 2013
Daniel Feetham January 2013 - July 2017
Roy Clinton

(interim)

July 2017 - November 2017
Keith Azopardi November 2017 – present

References


  1. "May 08 - GSD Welcomes Tory Win And Repeats Call For Unity Ahead Of Possible EU Referendum". yourgibraltartv.com. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  2. Williams, Wendy (24 October 2011). "Gibraltar election fever". Olive Press News Spain. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  3. Gold, Peter (2005). Gibraltar: British Or Spanish?. Routledge. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-415-34795-2.
  4. Tremlett, Giles (28 November 2003). "Gibraltar's leader wins third term". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  5. Coss, Simon (27 February 2002). "PROFILE  Solid Rock: Peter Caruana". POLITICO Europe. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  6. "Leader of the Opposition Post-Referendum Parliamentary Address". Gibraltar Social Democrats. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  7. Dieter Haller (2005). "Beyond Europeanization: A peripheral view of culture and the nation state". In Thomas M. Wilson; Hastings Donnan (eds.). Culture and Power at the Edges of the State: National Support and Subversion in European Border Regions. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 92. ISBN 978-3-8258-7569-5. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  8. "By-Election: Election to the House of Assembly" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 16 May 1991. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  9. "General Election: Election to the House of Assembly" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 16 January 1992. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  10. "General Election: Election to the House of Assembly" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 16 May 1996. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  11. "General Election: Election to the House of Assembly" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 10 February 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  12. "General Election: Election to the House of Assembly" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  13. "General Election: Election to the Parliament" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  14. "General Election: Election to the Parliament" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  15. "General Election: Election to the House of Assembly" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  16. "General Election: Election to the Parliament" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2017.