The UDF in the 1990s
The break-up of a party confederation
in The French party system

The Union pour la Démocratie Française (UDF) managed to create an unprecedented alliance between liberal, Christian democrat and radical currents. This alliance took its place as the second right-wing pole next to the Gaullist Rassemblement pour la République (RPR). It was on 16 May 1998, by a single motion passed by its national congress, that Démocratie Libérale (DL) ended twenty years of 'moderate alliance' by withdrawing from the confederation. The split fundamentally separated the descendants of liberalism, regrouped in the DL splinter, from the Christian democrat successors, who formed the majority of New UDF. The split in the UDF seemed less significant for the French party system when one realised that its direct consequences, beyond the formation of the new parliamentary group, were difficult to identify. Such consequences could be seen in the shifting of these parties in political space and in the modification of intra-bloc dynamics on the right.

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