The Democratic Party of the United Islands, referred to sometimes as the DPUI but more commonly simply as The Democrats were a Georgeland political party that existed from 1978 to 2004.
The party was founded by Tom Garden in the late 1970s as a response to the growing number of middle-class voters who had deserted the Conservative Party of Georgeland and begun voting Labour. The Democrats saw themselves as the party of the middle class.
The Democrats were a centre-left party, with an emphasis on social responsibility, government accountability and environmental issues. In their early days they struggled to win mainstream acceptance, but by 1984 they had won enough House of Commons and Senate seats to be considered a significant third party in Georgeland politics.
In 1987, under Garden's leadership, the Democrats won a record 34 seats in the Commons, leaving Labour without a majority. As a result, they became part of Georgeland's first coalition government, with Labour, beginning a tradition that lasted, in one form or another, until the party's demise in 2004.
Throughout the 1990s, Democratic support waned as Labour took a centre-left stand under Campbell Rhodes's leadership. After the Labour split, the Democrats sided with Rhodes' new Liberal party and after the election continued in coalition with the Liberals.
In 2001, the idea of a merger between the Liberals and the Democrats was first seriously floated. Rhodes favoured a merger, but Democrats leader Andrea Perkins was less optimistic. In 2002, Perkins resigned to become Ambassador to Astoria (though she later returned to politics), and the party's new leader, Warren Barker, favoured a merger.
In 2003, the party's rank-and-file membership voted 55%-45% to merge with the Liberals. The two parties became the Liberal Democratic Party of the United Islands at the beginning of February 2004, with Rhodes leader and Barker deputy leader.
A small group of members opposed to the merge have since broken away from the LDP and kept the party alive, though they are not permitted to use the original name. The New Democratic Party of Georgeland claims to hold true to the original ideas of the Democrats - at the election of 2005 the party failed to elect any candidates and polled at 0.5% nationally.
The Democratic MPs and Senators that merged into the LDP are now considered to be a faction of that party, wielding significant influence. Despite the demise of their party, this group is often referred to as "The Democrats."