Unidas Podemos

Unidas Podemos (Spanish: [uˈniðas poˈðemos]), formerly called Unidos Podemos[13] (Spanish: [uˈniðos poˈðemos]; English: "United We Can"), is a left-wing electoral alliance formed by Podemos, United Left and other left-wing parties in May 2016, originally to contest the 2016 Spanish general election. The alliance's official pre-agreement was announced on 9 May 2016 after weeks of negotiations.

United We Can

Unidas Podemos
LeaderYolanda Díaz (PCE)
FounderPablo Iglesias (Podemos)
Founded13 May 2016; 5 years ago (2016-05-13) (Unidos Podemos)
7 April 2019; 2 years ago (2019-04-07) (Unidas Podemos)
HeadquartersMadrid, Calle de la Princesa, 2, 28013
Political positionLeft-wing[5][6][7][8][9] to
Colours  Green
Slogan"History is written by you"
(Spanish: "La historia la escribes tú")
Former members
Congress of Deputies
35 / 350
2 / 265
European Parliament
6 / 59
Election symbol

It re-styled to feminine form of its name ahead of the April 2019 Spanish general election.[14][15]



While campaigning for the 2015 general election, United Left (IU) promoted the creation of, and later joined, the Now in Common (Ahora en Común, AeC) platform, seeking a wide alliance with other left-wing parties.[16] After Podemos rejected invitations to join to what some members of this party called an "acronym soup", heightened after the failure of Catalunya Sí que es Pot in the 2015 Catalan election,[17] the AeC platform gradually lost momentum: its founding members left the project and the brand name was lost. Eventually, the platform turned into the Popular Unity (IU-UPeC) electoral coalition without having fulfilled its initial aspirations.[18]


From 20 April 2016, Podemos and Popular Unity were reported to be in negotiations to form a joint electoral list for upcoming general election aimed at relegating the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) into third place.[19][20] Leaders from both parties denied that any agreement had been reached, and stated that they "would not do anything until it [the new election] was sure", but confirmed that unofficial talks had begun.[21] More than one hundred intellectuals and artists, including El Gran Wyoming, Antonia San Juan, Carlos Bardem, Fernando Tejero or Luis Tosar, signed a manifesto calling for Podemos, IU and their regional alliances to "join forces" for the coming election.[22] On the other hand, some member parties of IU such as Open Left, led by former IU leader, Gaspar Llamazares, were opposed to the alliance from the beginning.[23]

Among the supporters of such an alliance was one Podemos' founders, Juan Carlos Monedero—who proposed that both parties should come together under the name "Podemos En Común" (Spanish for We Can In Common).[24] Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, also voiced her support for such a pact stating that "I would see as positive that it could be put together, always with respect",[25] her En Comú Podem regional alliance having already seen both parties working together in Catalonia. Valencian Vice President Mònica Oltra had also commented that she would see a Podemos–IU alliance as "good", so as to "make every vote count" and for "six million votes having a correct translation in deputies", in reference to the Spanish electoral system panning IU in the 2015 election.[26]

Pablo Iglesias and Alberto Garzón announcing their alliance ahead of the 2016 general election.

By 30 April 2016, both Podemos and IU acknowledged that formal coalition talks had started and that, despite differences over the coalition name and the composition of party lists, with discussions continuing throughout the following week.[27] Concurrently, IU submitted its plan for an alliance with Podemos to a membership vote held on 2–4 May,[28] which received 85% of the vote in favour.[29] Despite the ongoing negotiations on 4 May,[30][31] Podemos and IU leaders took the coalition between both of their parties for granted, setting the People's Party (PP) as their main electoral rival and seeking to marginalise the PSOE.[32] It was reported that both parties intended to formally announce their alliance during the 5th anniversary of the 15-M Movement.[33]

On 9 May 2016 Pablo Iglesias of Podemos and Alberto Garzón of IU officially announced an alliance between their respective parties,[34][35] with both leaders symbolically sealing their pact through an embrace at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, landmark of the 15-M movement.[36] The pact guaranteed that 1/6 of the candidates obtained by the coalition—as planned and without including the regional coalitions En Comú Podem, En Marea and És el moment—were to be awarded to IU candidates. In addition, the distinct identity of each party was to be preserved. Podemos, IU and Equo put the alliance up to votes from their respective memberships on 10–11 May, all of which overwhelmingly supported the pact.[37][38]

10–11 May IU referendum[39]
Choice Votes  %
Y Yes 20,302 87.85
No 2,433 10.53
Invalid or blank votes 374 1.62
Total votes 23,109 100.00
Total census and turnout 72,041 32.08
Source: Podemos
10–11 May Podemos referendum[40]
Choice Votes  %
Y Yes 141,649 98.00
No 2,787 1.93
Invalid or blank votes 104 0.07
Total votes 144,540 100.00
Active voters and turnout 239,702 60.30
Total census and turnout 413,915 34.92
Source: Podemos
10–11 May Equo referendum[41]
Choice Votes  %
Y Yes 858 91.96
No 56 6.00
Invalid or blank votes 19 2.04
Total votes 933 100.00
Total census and turnout 3,394 27.49
Source: eldiario.es.[41]

On 13 May 2016, it was announced that the alliance would be named "Unidos Podemos" (Spanish for United We Can).[13]

Other incorporations

Discussions between Podemos and Més per Mallorca (Més) started in the Balearic Islands by late April ahead of a prospective electoral alliance, aiming at forming a "grand coalition of the left" in the islands.[42] Despite initial disagreements over Més's place in the Congress lists, both parties finally reached an agreement on 13 May 2016 to run together in the Balearics under the "Units Podem Més" label (Catalan for United We Can More).[43][44]

Earlier, on 11 May 2016, Navarrese party Batzarre—from 2011 within the Izquierda-Ezkerra alliance with IU in Navarre—had voted for joining the Podemos–IU alliance.[45] That same day, For a Fairer World (Por un Mundo más Justo, PUM+J), which had previously participated in left-wing alliances such as Ahora Madrid, had announced its intention to join the alliance with 61% of its members favouring the pact.[46] Also joining the alliance was Zaragoza in Common (ZEC), the municipal alliance created for the 2015 municipal election in the city of Zaragoza and which went on to win the city's government.[47]

2016 general election

The results of the alliance between Podemos and IU were "highly disappointing" as Pablo Iglesias said the electoral night, however, the alliance itself was called 'the right path'. Unidos Podemos got 71 seats, the same as in December, losing near 1.1 million votes.

2019 general election

In the April 2019 election, the party lost 29 seats and fell to the 4th place in the Congress of Deputies, below Ciudadanos. In the November 2019 election, the party lost 7 more seats, falling in 4th place, this time below Vox. It entered a coalition government with the PSOE.

2019 European elections

On 26 May 2018 Podemos announced that the name of the coalition for the 2019 European Parliament election will be «Unidas Podemos cambiar Europa» ("United we can change Europe").[48]


The alliance is mostly dominated by the left-wing Podemos, however there is also far left factions, mostly arising from the United Left. Podemos is the only mainstream party that is seriously questioning the role of the monarchy and the Spanish constitution as it stands. Party leader Pablo Iglesias wants Catalonia to continue as part of Spain, but says his party would respect the will of the 80% of Catalans – according to polls – who want a referendum. The party has called for the release of jailed Catalan leaders on trial in Spain’s Supreme Court.[49] The United Left is a coalition of other leftist parties, however the Communist Party of Spain is the only member party that still runs at the national level.[50]


The Podemos collaboratively written programme for the European elections 2014. Some of the most important policies were:

Communist Party of Spain

The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) is the main member of the United Left. In its statutes, the PCE defines its goals as "democratically participate in a revolutionary transformation of society and its political structures, overcoming the capitalist system and constructing socialism in the Spanish State, as a contribution to the transition to socialism worldwide, with our goals set in the realization of the emancipating ideal of communism".[51]


Party Scope Elections
We Can (Podemos) 2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)
United Left (IU) 2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)
Equo (Equo) 2016, 2019 (Apr)
Upper Aragon in Common (AltoAragón en Común) Huesca 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)
Assembly (Batzarre) Navarre 2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)
Popular Unity in Common (UPeC) 2016
Asturian Left (IAS) Asturias 2016
Building the Left–Socialist Alternative (CLI–AS) 2016
Segoviemos (Segoviemos) Segovia 2016
Castilian Left (IzCa) Valladolid 2016
Participatory Democracy (Participa) 2016
In Common We Can (ECP) Catalonia 2016, 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)
In Common (Podemos–EU) Galicia 2019 (Apr), 2019 (Nov)
Valencian style (Podemos–Compromís–EUPV) Valencian Community 2016
En Masse (Podemos–Anova–EU) Galicia 2016
United We Can–More (Units Podem Més) Balearic Islands 2016

Electoral performance

Cortes Generales

Cortes Generales
Election Congress Senate Leading candidate Status in legislature
Votes  % # Seats +/– Seats +/–
2016 5,087,538 21.15% 3rd
71 / 350
16 / 208
0 Pablo Iglesias Opposition
Confidence and supply (from June 2018)
2019 (Apr) 3,751,145 14.32% 4th
42 / 350
0 / 208
16 Pablo Iglesias New election
2019 (Nov) 3,119,364 12.86% 4th
35 / 350
0 / 208
0 Pablo Iglesias Coalition (PSOE–UP)

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election Votes  % # Seats +/– Leading candidate
2019 2,258,857 10.07% 4th
6 / 59
5 María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop

Regional parliaments

Region Election Votes  % # Seats Government
Balearic Islands 2019 41,824 9.74% 4th
6 / 59
Coalition (PSIB–UP–Més)
Castilla–La Mancha 2019 74,372 6.92% 5th
0 / 33
No seats
Extremadura 2019 44,309 7.20% 4th
4 / 65
La Rioja 2019 10,844 6.65% 4th
2 / 33
Coalition (PSOE–UP)
Madrid 2019 181,231 5.60% 6th
7 / 132
Valencian Community 2019 215,392 8.10% 6th
8 / 99
Coalition (PSPVCompromís–UP)


See also


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  2. Jones, Sam; Burgen, Stephen (25 May 2019). "Spanish socialists aim to consolidate general election win". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  3. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Spain". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  4. "Unidas Podemos, primer partido abiertamente republicano que llega al Gobierno y que no es firmante del Pacto Antiterrorista".
  5. Martinez, Marta (30 April 2019). "What are the possible coalitions in Spain after the elections?". Euronews. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  6. Wittenberg, Daniel (28 April 2019). "Spain election: Ruling socialist party wins most seats but will need to form coalition". The Independent. Barcelona. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  7. "Spain adopts legislation to curb sexual assaults and gender violence". EURACTIV. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  8. "Factbox: Major measures agreed by Spain's new ruling coalition". Reuters. Madrid. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  9. Keeley, Graham (16 March 2020). "Spain's King Felipe docks father's allowance over Saudi scandal". Al Jazeera. Madrid. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  10. "Spain's Podemos says no talks on government now, cannot support Sanchez". Reuters. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  11. https://www.france24.com/en/20191112-spain-s-socialists-far-left-podemos-agree-to-form-govt
  12. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/12/spains-socialists-and-podemos-reach-preliminary-coalition-deal.html
  13. "Unidos Podemos, el nombre de la coalición de Podemos e IU". El País (in Spanish). 13 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  14. "Podemos e IU revalidan su acuerdo para las generales y europeas". El País (in Spanish). 27 February 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  15. "Podemos y Equo reeditan su alianza en busca del voto verde y joven". El País (in Spanish). 12 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  16. "Podemos, IU, Equo and municipal candidacies' members join a citizen platform for the confluence ahead of the general election". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2015-07-08.
  17. "Podemos' sectors close the door to the confluence with IU after the 27-S failure". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2015-09-29.
  18. "Now in Common changes its name to Popular Unity". El País (in Spanish). 2015-10-22.
  19. "Podemos and IU finalize a pact to concur together if there is a new election". El Periódico (in Spanish). 2016-04-20.
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  21. "Podemos opens itself to negotiate a statewide agreement with IU". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2016-04-20.
  22. "José Sacristán, Coque Malla, Mario Gas and other artists demand IU and Podemos to join for the next election". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2016-04-25.
  23. "Llamazares will vote 'No' to the IU and Podemos pact: "The Devil is within the details"" (in Spanish). lainformacion.com. 2016-05-09. Archived from the original on 2016-06-19.
  24. "Monedero insists on the Podemos En Común formula and believes Garzón will not have IU's identity prevail over what people ask". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2016-04-21.
  25. "Colau pushes Podemos to run in coalition with United Left". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2016-04-12.
  26. "Oltra, supportive of the confluence between Podemos and IU to "make every vote count"" (in Spanish). Europa Press. 2016-04-12.
  27. "Podemos and IU acknowledge that they have differences over "important points" but commit to keep talking". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2016-04-30.
  28. "IU's question to its membership: "Do you approve of an electoral coalition with Podemos other forces?"". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2016-04-29.
  29. "IU membership approves an electoral coalition with Podemos". El País (in Spanish). 2016-05-05.
  30. "Podemos and IU start working in a joint manifesto". El País (in Spanish). 2016-05-04.
  31. "Podemos and IU negotiate against time a left pact for 26-J". El Mundo (in Spanish). 2016-05-04.
  32. "Garzón says the alliance between Podemos and IU could fight for top on 26-J". Público (in Spanish). 2016-05-04.
  33. "Podemos and IU will formalize their alliance on 15-M during a first campaign rally". La Razón (in Spanish). 2016-05-04.
  34. "Podemos and IU seal alliance to run together in the election". El País (in Spanish). 2016-05-09.
  35. "Podemos and IU reach accord to concur together in the 26-J election". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2016-05-09.
  36. "Iglesias and Garzón announce their pact through a hug at Puerta del Sol, landmark of the 15-M" (in Spanish). Yahoo Noticias. 2016-05-09.
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  38. Equo (2016-05-10). "Equo will contest the 26-J election in coalition with Podemos and United Left" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-05-16.
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  41. "Equo's membership support contesting the 26-J in coalition with Podemos". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2016-05-04.
  42. "Més "welcomes" Podemos to form a grand coalition of the left" (in Spanish). Diario de Mallorca. 2016-04-27.
  43. "Podemos and Més agree. List's number 3 will be for Més" (in Spanish). ciutat.es. 2016-05-13.
  44. "Més Assembly accepts running with Podemos in the election" (in Spanish). Diario de Mallorca. 2016-05-13.
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  46. "The For a Fairer World party joins the Podemos–IU alliance". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 2016-05-11.
  47. "Zaragoza in Common ratifies joining the coalition between Podemos and United Left" (in Spanish). Heraldo. 2016-05-12.
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  49. https://www.spainenglish.com/2019/04/26/general-election-focus-podemos/
  50. https://www.icps.cat/archivos/WorkingPapers/wp209.pdf
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