Progressive alliance

The Progressive Alliance is an international coalition of social-democratic political parties founded in 2013 - wikipedia

A progressive alliance in the UK is the idea of a cross-party political alliance supporting "progressive politics", generally in opposition to right wing parties, chiefly the Conservative Party - wikipedia

The term progressive alliance has been used to describe the Gladstone–MacDonald pact, the 1903 agreement between the Liberal Party (Liberal Party (UK)) and the Labour Representation Committee (Labour Representation Committee (1900)) (forerunner to the Labour Party (Labour Party (UK))) to stand aside for each other in constituencies.

# 20th century

In the 1930s the movement for a Popular Front (Popular Front (UK)) called for a broad anti-fascist alliance involving Labour, the Liberals, the Communists (Communist Party of Great Britain) and anti-fascist Conservatives. This policy was strongly supported by the Communist Party, whilst supporters of the Popular Front such as Stafford Cripps achieved a significant degree of influence within the Labour Party at this time, particularly after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936: however the Labour Party Conference voted against a Popular Front policy on several occasions.The history of the Progressive Alliance

Clement Attlee's post-war "progressive alliance" that was the Labour PartyA genuine progressive alliance saw the introduction of the National Health Service, comprehensive education and the welfare state.

During the 1980s calls for an alliance of parties opposed to the policies of Margaret Thatcher grew during a period where the Thatcher government inflicted a number of defeats on the labour movement. One of the key figures arguing for such an alliance was the historian Eric Hobsbawm, whose article "The Forward March of Labour Halted" suggested that the working class was not powerful enough to secure the implementation of socialist policies and that cross-class alliances were essential for progressive politics. These sentiments were particularly widespread in the Eurocommunist (Eurocommunism) wing of the Communist Party, and the party's theoretical journal ''Marxism Today'': they were also widely influential within the soft left of the Labour Party.<ref name=awl />

Green Party politician and academic Rupert Read has described the tactics of Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the 1997 general election (United Kingdom general election, 1997), when they focused on attacking the Conservatives rather than each other, as a precedent for a progressive alliance.Starting To Think About How A Progressive Alliance Could Actually Work Labour dismisses Kennedy as 'a nice guy, not a serious leader'

# 21st century

The idea of a progressive alliance was mootedSeizing the progressive moment: 1906, 1945, 2015? in the run-up to the 2015 General Election (United Kingdom general election, 2015). For example, the phrase was used by Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party leader, Natalie Bennett, Green Party of England & Wales leader, and Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru leader.Explainer: What is a progressive in politics?

The idea was also proposed in the run-up to the (United Kingdom general election, 2017) and after the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016, in which the vote to leave the European Union ("Brexit") was won by a small majority.

The concept of building cross-party alliances, with the asserted aim of working together to ensure the best possible future for the people and country, was debated at a public meeting entitled "Post-Brexit Alliance Building" held on 5 July 2016, hosted by Compass (Compass (think tank)). The idea has become linked to opposition to a "hard" Brexit - independent.co.uk

The idea has been taken up by a number of independent organisations. The concept has not been adopted as official policy by any political party, but the Green Party of England and Wales have pushed for a coordinated top-down and bottom-up approach to the idea.

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, argued for multiple local alliances for the best party to oppose the Conservatives and with a focus on bringing in electoral reform.

Several grassroots organisations, Facebook groups accounts have sprung up with similar names and aims, with tactical voting being encouraged.

Compass (Compass (think tank)) has been reported as coordinating a campaign group called Progressive Alliance - independent.co.uk

There are no mutually agreed policy aims between the various organisations, but these would likely include electoral reform to change the voting system (Electoral system) (''e.g.'' proportional representation). The name itself is somewhat unclear as there is no agreed definition of progressivism in British politics (Politics of the United Kingdom). There are dissenting views on the benefits of such an alliance, and debate as to whether it could make a difference to the electoral outcome.

Local campaigns towards standing a single progressive candidate exist in a number of regions, with the Green and Liberal Democrat parties agreeing to stand down candidates in neighbouring constituencies in quid pro quo deals - map and liberalbrighton.org

For example, in South West Surrey the National Health Action Party's Louise Irvine has been selected by public meeting run by the local Compass (Compass (think tank)) group to run as a progressive alliance candidate - nh-space.com

# See also * History * See also * References