Sotirian Democratic Union
|Party Secretary||Richard Graham|
|Commitee Chair||Judith Davies|
|Founded||February 11, 1935|
|Merger of||SPP, NDP and CUP|
|Headquarters||SDUHQ, 101 Daven Street, Morwall|
|Student wing||Sotirian Students|
|Youth wing||Young Sotirian Democrats|
|Political position||Centre-right to right-wing|
|Euclean Parliament group||Alliance of Conservatives and Democrats for Euclea|
|Euclean affiliation||Euclean Democrat Union|
|Chamber of Commons|
195 / 600
|Chamber of Peers|
60 / 300
373 / 1,471
5 / 13[note 1]
37 / 114
The Sotirian Democratic Union (Swathish: Sotiġstish Dėmscratic Gadorþing, Flurian: Union sotchrienne-démocratique), commonly known by the abbreviation SDU, is a Sotirian democratic and conservative political party in Estmere, which is considered to be centre-right to right-wing. The SDU is considered one of the three major parties of Estmerish politics.
The party was founded in 1935 to unite the political right, combining the Amendist Sotirian People's Party and the Catholic Union Party with the pro-business National Democratic Party to create an interdenominational Sotirian big tent party to contest the constitutional assembly elections. The SDU inherited the traditions of those parties, and quickly became the voice of the mainstream Sotirian majority, making it a major force in post-war Estmere. The party dominated federal politics throughout the 1950s, but when church attendance and religious affiliation began to drop in the 1960s the party suffered electoral setbacks. In response, it renewed itself on the basis of economic liberalism, leading to the breakaway of the evangelical Sotirian Heritage Party in 1979. The party struggled to compete with the dynamic Reform Party from its foundation in 1980, and faced a further challenge from the right-wing populist Estmere First over the adoption of the Euclo in 1995. Despite this, the SDU has remained the primary party of the Estmerish right, avoiding the trend of percederation which has affected similar centre-right parties.
The SDU is currently the largest opposition party at the federal level, but has led the federal government from 1949 to 1967, 1976 to 1981, 1992 to 1999, and 2012 to 2021. It also served as a junior partner to the Reform led government from 2006 to 2007. At the state level, the party and its affiliates lead the governments of five of Estmere's constituent states. The party has provided fifteen post-war Estmerish prime ministers, most notably Laurence Montgomery (1938–1939), Ted Spencer (1949–1961), Isaac Mosset (1966–1967 and 1976–1980), Charles Phillips (1992–1997), and Reginald Wilton-Smyth (2018–2021). The party has been led by Reginald Wilton-Smyth since 2023.
The SDU is a member of the Euclean Democrat Union, and sits with the Alliance of Conservatives and Democrats for Euclea group in the Euclean Parliament. It is the second largest party in the ACDE and the largest in the EDU, with 38 MEPs. The party has recently been seen as more Euclosceptic than other parties in the EDU, but it retains a pro-Euclean wing.
Realignment and splintering
Dawson, Graham and Wilton-Smyth
Return to opposition
The Sotirian Democratic Union has a number of internal factions, encompassing a broad spectrum of centre-right to right-wing views, due to the party's history as a catch-all party of the political right. Internal factions play a major role in the internal politics of the party due to this history. The factions adhere to a range of right of centre ideologies, though the breadth of opinion has narrowed considerably in recent years in the wake of party splits. Factions are officially informal, but tend to be associated with separate political organisations which act as think tanks or pressure groups for that factions political views. The majority of factions coalesce around shared ideological beliefs, it is not uncommon for factions to emerge surrounding charismatic figures within the party.
Historically the major factional divide in the party was related to denomination (Gracialist, Gospelite and Catholic) with the factions resembling the parties which preceded the merger. The decline of church attendance starting in the 1960s shifted the party's internal factionalism, with the major cleave emerging between a radical evangelical wing in opposition to the decline of Sotirianity, a centrist wing in favour of moderate Sotirian democracy, and a reformist wing in favour of economic liberalism as an alternate guiding philosophy. The evangelical wing split from the party in 1979 to form the Sotirian Heritage Party, and the entrenchment of the Euclean Community also led to the rise of a strongly Euclosceptic wing, many of which split from the party to join Estmere First in opposition to the adoption of the Euclo in 1995. The 2010s saw the emergence of two personality-based factions; a broadly social and economic liberal faction surrounding Richard Graham, and a broadly right-wing populist faction surrounding Reginald Wilton-Smyth.
|Sotirian Democrats||Sotirian democracy
|Historically the largest faction within the party, the blah blah.|
|Economic Reform Group||Economic liberalism|
|Evangelical Caucus||Sotirian right||A small faction, this group is comprised of the small number of evangelicals who remained with or returned to the SDU after the SHP's split in 1979, generally in opposition to the SHP's refusal to collaborate with the SDU on shared interests.|
|National Refounding||National conservatism
|The faction surrounding Richard Graham|
|The faction surrounding Reginald Wilton-Smyth|
|3||Louis de Neville||1942–1947|