In politics, centrism is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.
Both centre-left and centre-right politics involve a general association with centrism that is combined with leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the left-right political spectrum. Various political ideologies such as Christian democracy and forms of liberalism can be classified as centrist ones.
In the United Kingdom past attempts by centrists to defeat the mainstream parties have ended in failure. In the 1980s, four senior Labour figures broke away to lead the new Social Democratic Party. It formed part of a liberal alliance that secured 7.8m votes at the 1983 General Election, but the SDP ended up with just 23 seats.
While the political 'left' and 'right' are accused of extremism, it is the 'centrists' who support the existing extreme status quo. In fact, once in power, they are often the ones with the extreme positions that are out of key with regular people's sense of justice - starting wars, implementing unjust economic policies and police state measures, or being fronts for deep state forces, like President Emmanuel Macron and his astroturfed centrist En Marche! movement in France, who bombed Syria, reduced social conditions for the population, introduced repressive police state laws and locked down France hard in the Covid-19 operation.
|Document:There is no future for Labour in bureaucratic centrism||Article||11 November 2020||Ian Lavery||Whilst many in the media and party establishments are keen to turn back the clock to the bureaucratic centrism, progressives energised on both sides of the Atlantic, whether by Corbyn or Sanders, will define our future politics.|
- Oliver H. Woshinsky. "Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior". Oxon, England; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2008. Pp. 141, 161.
- "New centrist party gets £50m backing to ‘break mould’ of UK politics"
- Jonathan Boswell (2013) "Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation" Routledge p. 160. ISBN 9781136159015