Originally a faction within the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC), the PL were launched in February 2007 and named that way in October. Its leaders were Carlo Giovanardi and Emerenzio Barbieri, who wanted closer ties with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the other parties of the House of Freedoms coalition, including Lega Nord. In April Giovanardi's bid to become secretary of the UDC had been supported by the 13.8% of the vote during a party congress.
When, on 18 November 2007, Berlusconi proposed the formation of The People of Freedom (PdL) party, Giovanardi suddenly hinted that he could leave UDC and join the new party. That finally happened on 4 February 2008, citing that the 72% of UDC voters would be interested in voting the PdL. UDC members who followed Giovanardi included Vito Bonsignore, Tomaso Zanoletti, Luigi Compagna, Giuseppe Galati, Francesco Lucchese, Alfredo Meocci and Francesco Massi. The PL were joined also by Riccardo Conti, a former UDC member who was then in Middle Italy. In early April PL announced an alliance, within the PdL, with Gianfranco Rotondi's Christian Democracy for the Autonomies.