Sotirian Democratic Union
|Deputy Leader||George Alwright|
|Commitee Chair||Judith Davies|
|Founded||February 11, 1960|
|Merger of||SPP, NDP|
|Headquarters||SDUHQ, 101 Daven Street, Morwall|
|Newspaper||The Blue Stag|
|Student wing||Union Students|
|Youth wing||Young Sotirian Democrats|
|Political position||Centre-right to right-wing|
|Chamber of Commons|
199 / 600
|Chamber of Peers|
60 / 300
30 / 114
|Folkmoot of Wealdland|
106 / 355
|Assembly of Flurland|
158 / 313
|Greater Morwall Council|
18 / 101
The Sotirian Democratic Union (Swathish: Sotiġstish Dėmscratic Gadorþing, Flurian: Union sotchrienne-démocratique), commonly known by the abbreviation SDU, is a centre-right to right-wing political party in Estmere which is currently the Official Opposition.
The party was founded in 1960 as an attempt to create a single party of the political right to challenge the more unified SDCP. The Sotirian democratic Sotirian People's Party and the conservative National Democratic Party merged to form the new party after having served in a number of governing coalitions together. Starting with Theodore Spencer, a string of SDU Prime Ministers led the country from its foundation until a major electoral defeat under Isaac Mosset in the 1967 election. The defeat relegated the SDU to opposition, where Mosset and the party leadership embraced monetarism. They returned to government in 1976, but the 1979 recession and stagflation crisis destroyed the SDU's reputation of economic competence, leading Mosset to be outed in favour of the Sotirian democrat Michael Lowe in 1980. Lowe was unable to stop the rise of the Reform Party, and the SDU suffered a bruising defeat in the 1981 election.
Relegated to opposition for another decade, the party saw further infighting under David Home and Andrew Renton-Thorpe, until the election of Charles Phillips as leader in 1988. Cultivating a brand of 'leviticus conservatism', Phillips led the party to a victory in the 1992 election. Phillips successfully held office until his forced resignation in 1997 over the Estmerish adoption of the Euclo. Eucloscepticts replaced Phillips with Richard Hamilton, and attempted to bring back the Estmerish shilling, but party moderates replaced Hamilton with John Stephenson not even a year into his leadership. The infighting severely impacted the SDU's public image, and once again the party was defeated by Reform in the 1999 election. Under John Fletcher, the party joined the Reid coalition government in 2006, in the aftermath of the All Saints' Day attacks and the 2005 recession. The coalition government enacted austerity in response to the recession and increased state security in response to the attacks. Fletcher resigned in 2008 and was replaced by Matthew Dawson, who led the SDU to victory in the 2012 election. Continuing the austerity policy, Dawson was forced to step down in 2015, and was briefly replaced by Alan Baskerville.
Richard Graham, a moderate 'Grahamite', succeeded Baskerville as leader in 2016, winning the popular vote in the 2016 election amidst a surge in Estmere First. Graham negotiated a coalition deal with the Reform Party, and led a government focused on continued austeity and economic liberalism, but with markedly more social liberalism than previous SDU governments. Graham dealt with a number of scandals during his tenure, such as Piggate and Averygate, and he was forced to resign in 2018. Reginald Wilton-Smyth emerged as a dark horse candidate, and led the party to another victory in the 2018 election, with a number of Estmere First seats falling to the SDU. Reform continued their coalition deal with Wilton-Smyth, but the party has again been dogged by scandals, such as the crisis with Zorasan and the gambled pensions scandal. The leadership challenge saw Wilton-Smyth re-confirmed as leader, but the party was overtaken by the SDCP in the 2021 election, returning to opposition.
Alongside Reform and the SDCP, the SDU is considered one of the big three parties, having provided 13 of the 26 post-war Prime Ministers. The party has been led by Tristan Gardner since 2021, and he has been considered a Sotirian democrat. The party itself is considered broadly conservative, with an ideology that comprises Sotirian democracy and economic liberalism. Recently, the party has become more outspoken in soft Eucloscepticism.