United Arab List election ballot, 2013
The party was established prior to the 1996 elections, unrelated to the original United Arab List that existed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was joined in an electoral alliance by the Arab Democratic Party (which held two seats in the outgoing parliament) and the southern faction of the Islamic Movement. The party initially went under the title of Mada-Ra'am, Mada being the acronym and common name for the Arab Democratic Party. In the elections, the party won four seats. During the Knesset term, the Arab Democratic Party became a faction within the United Arab List, and its name was dropped from the party title.
The next elections saw the party increase its share of the vote and pick up five seats. However, internal disagreements saw three MKs leave; Muhamad Kanan and Tawfik Khatib left and established the Arab National Party, whilst Hashem Mahameed formed the National Unity – National Progressive Alliance party. In the 2003 elections the party's support dropped by more than a third, with the party only just crossing the electoral threshold of 2%, and winning only two seats.
For the 2006 elections the party entered an alliance with Ahmad Tibi's Ta'al party. Running together, the alliance won four seats, three of which were taken by the United Arab List. The partys' alliance was maintained for the 2009 elections, which initially saw the Israeli Central Elections Committee ban the party from participating, but this was overturned by the Supreme Court of Israel. In the elections, the alliance again won four seats. Shortly before the 2013 elections, el-Sana left the party to sit as an independent Arab Democratic Party member.
After the electoral threshold to gain Knesset seats was raised from 2% to 3.25%, the party joined with Hadash, Balad, Ta'al, and the Islamic Movement to form the Joint List. For the April 2019 election, it is ran on a list with Balad.