This article does not cite any sources. (February 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Originally in the 1900s French political parties were campaign organisations, separate from the associated parliamentary group. Two parliamentary groups existed with a blurred boundary between them, and sharing a similar ideology: the Radical-Socialist group and the Radical Left group. In 1914 the Radical-Socialist Party ordered all of its parliamentarians to sit exclusively in the Radical-Socialist group, creating a firm boundary between the two parties: the Radical Left group was now the parliamentary party of 'Independent' Radicals who left the Radical-Socialist Party as well as those who refused to join it, normally out of disagreement with the Radical-Socialists' preference for allying with the Socialist Party.
From 1914 to 1940, Radical Republicans in parliament were therefore split into two distinct groups, the Radical-Socialist Party or the Independent Radicals in the Radical Left party, based on their preferred partner, the Socialist Party to their left or the conservative anticlericals of the centre-right Democratic Alliance. This made the Radical Left a pivotal party of the centre, and regardless of whether the government was centre-left or centre-right there was usually one or more Independent Radical in cabinet.
At various moments during the interwar the Radical-Socialist Party was subject to minor schisms over the attitude to the government of the day. Whenever the more conservative Radical-Socialists quit their caucus, they would either join the Radical Left group, or initially form a small splinter Radical group before eventually joining the Radical Left. In 1938 an Independent Radical Party was formed from the merger of two groups that had at different points split off from the Radical-Socialist Party in protest at its choice of allies: Henry Franklin-Bouillon's anti-socialist Social and Radical Left (formed in 1927), and André Grisoni's recent anti-communist dissidents.
In 1930, the Independent Radical Raoul Péret became Minister of Justice in André Tardieu's cabinet. He was incidentally the cause of his fall because of his personal links with the banker Albert Oustric.
Over time the boundaries between the Independent Radicals and the Left Republican group (caucus of the Democratic Alliance) grew less clear. In 1936 an attempt was made by the liberal former-premier Pierre-Étienne Flandin to merge the two groups under the label Alliance of Left Republicans and Independent Radicals (ARGRI). It ultimately failed: while some independent Radicals joined, others refused and continued the old caucus under the name "Independent Radical and Democratic Left" group.
After the Liberation of France, several deputies, including the mayor of Nice, Jean Médecin, formed an Independent Radical Party (PRI), which was a founding member of the Rally of Left Republicans coalition.
- Lucien Besset, deputy from 1928 to 1936
- Laurent Bonnevay, Minister of Justice in Aristide Briand's cabinet in 1921-22, President of the Investigation Commission on the February 6, 1934 events which led to the fall of the Second Cartel des gauches, and one of the Vichy 80.
- Gratien Candace, deputy of Guadeloupe who sat in the Left Radical parliamentary group from 1928 to 1940, vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies from 1938 to 1940.
- Pierre Cathala
- Horace de Carbuccia, founder of Gringoire in 1928, and married to the prefect of police Jean Chiappe's daughter-in-law, deputy of Corsica from 1932 to 1936.
- Adolphe Chéron, under-secretary of state of the Minister of Education in Camille Chautemps's cabinet (November 1933-1934)
- Charles Daniélou, Minister in Camille Chautemps's (1930), Théodore Steeg's (1931–32) and Édouard Daladier's cabinets (1932–33)
- Adrien Dariac (short-lived Minister of Agriculture in Alexandre Ribot's cabinet, from 9 to 12 June 1914)
- Maurice Deligne, under-secretary of state of the Minister of the Marine in André Tardieu's cabinet (1929–1930) and Minister of Public Works in Pierre Laval's three successive cabinets (1931–1932).
- Henri Falcoz, deputy of Savoie
- André Grisoni, former vice-president of the Radical-Socialist Party
- Gaston Gourdeau, deputy of the Sarthe from 1928 to 1936
- Joseph Lecacheux, deputy of the Manche who sits with the Independent Radicals from 1936 to 1940, and one of the Vichy 80.
- André Mallarmé, deputy of French Algeria, sits with the IR from 1928 to 1936, held ministerial offices
- Jacques Masteau
- Jacques Médecin, former mayor of Nice
- Paul Jourdain, senator in the Radical and Democratic Union (UDR) parliamentary group, Minister of War Veterans and of Labour
- Gaston Thomson, Minister of the Navy in Georges Clemenceau's and Maurice Rouvier's cabinets and deputy of Constantine in Algeria from 1877 to 1932.
- Constant Verlot, mayor of Sennot and deputy of Saint-Dié from 1910 to his death in 1933.