|Union of the Centre
Unione di Centro
|Leader||Pier Ferdinando Casini|
|Founded||28 February 2008|
|Headquarters||via Due Macelli, 66
|Membership (2011)||220,000|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|European affiliation||European People's Party|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
|Chamber of Deputies|
|Politics of Italy
Its main component is the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC), but several minor and regional parties are affiliated too: the Populars – Daisy, the White Rose, the Liberal Clubs, the Party of Christian Democracy (PdDC), Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Veneto for the European People's Party (VPPE), the Democratic Populars (PD) and the Autonomist Democrats (AD). However, as most of the members of these parties have joined UDC too, UdC and UDC overlap almost completely and, in fact, the two structures share the organisation and the website.
UdC was formed for the 2008 general election by an initiative of Pier Ferdinando Casini, leader of UDC. In the run-up of the election Ciriaco de Mita, former leader of Christian Democracy and later member of the Democratic Party (PD) joined UdC and was a candidate for the Senate. In the election UdC won 5.6% of the vote, 36 deputies (all but four members of UDC) and 3 senators. Soon after the election Mario Baccini, one of the leaders of the White Rose, surprisingly joined The People of Freedom (PdL), making the future of the alliance uncertain.
However, soon after the election, Casini relaunched his plan for a new "centrist" party, alternative both to the PdL and the PD. This is what he calls the "party of the nation", open to all the "centrists", the "Christian democrats", the "liberals" and the "reformers", even if he presents it as a party based on Christian values, as opposed both to the PD and the PdL, that, despite being a centre-right party too, includes also socially-liberal factions and people.
The new party, the evolution of the UdC, will emerge sometime in the future. Casini has long criticized the PdL for not being "Catholic" enough, particularly criticizing Silvio Berlusconi, who once spoke of "anarchy of values" in describing the catch-all nature of the PdL, and Gianfranco Fini, who is known for his socially liberal stance on stem-cell research, abortion and right-to-die issues, and explicitly wooed the "Christian democrats of the PD" to join him.
In the 2009 European Parliament election UdC won 6.5% of the vote and five of its candidates were elected to the European Parliament, including Allam and de Mita. In the 2010 regional elections the UdC chose to form alliances either with the centre-right or the centre-left (or stand alone) in the different regions, depending on local conditions, losing ground everywhere but in those Southern regions where it was in alliance with the centre-right.
On 15 December 2010 UdC was a founding member of the New Pole for Italy (NPI), composed also of Future and Freedom (FLI) and Alliance for Italy. The three parties, which were supporters of Mario Monti's technocratic government, later parted ways.
The UdC contested the 2013 general election as part of the With Monti for Italy coalition, alongside FLI and the pro-Monti Civic Choice. The election was a huge defeat for UdC, which obtained a mere 1.8% of the vote, eight deputies and two senators.
The electoral results of the Union of the Centre, previously known as Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, in the 10 most populated regions of Italy are shown in the table below. As UDC was founded in 2002, the electoral results from 1994 to 2001 refer to the combined result of the precursor parties.
The Christian Democratic Centre (CCD) and the United Christian Democrats (CDU), direct predecessors of the UDC, formed joint electoral lists with Forza Italia respectively in 1994 (general) and 1995 (regional). The results of 1995 (regional) refer to CCD alone, those of 1996 (general) to the CCD-CDU joint-list, those of 1996 (Sicilian regional), 1999 (European) and 2000 (regional) to the combined result of CCD and CDU, those of 2001 (general) to the combined result of the CCD-CDU joint-list and of European Democracy (DE), which formed a separate list, that of 2001 (Sicilian regional) to the combined results of CCD, CDU and DE.
Since 2004 (European) the results refer to UDC. The 2006 (Sicilian regional) refers to the combined result of UDC (13.0) and of L'Aquilone–Lista del Presidente (5.7%), personal list of UDC regional leader Salvatore Cuffaro. The elected members of this list were all UDC members.
|1994 general||1995 regional||1996 general||1999 European||2000 regional||2001 general||2004 European||2005 regional||2006 general||2008 general||2009 European||2010 regional||2013 general|
|Sicily||with FI||19.0 (1996)||8.1||7.9||24.3 (2001)||14.4||14.0||18.7 (2006)||10.0||9.4||11.9||12.5 (2008)||2.8|
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