Electoral alliance

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An electoral alliance may take the form of a bipartisan electoral agreement, electoral pact electoral agreement, electoral coalition or electoral bloc.

It is an association of political parties or individuals that exists solely to stand in elections.

Each of the parties within the alliance has its own policies but chooses temporarily to put aside differences in favour of common goals and ideology. On occasion, an electoral alliance may be formed by parties with very different policy goals, which agree to pool resources in order to stop a particular candidate or party from gaining power.

Unlike a coalition formed after an election, the partners in an electoral alliance usually do not run candidates against one another but encourage their supporters to vote for candidates from the other members of the alliance. In some agreements with a larger party enjoying a higher degree of success at the polls, the smaller party fields candidates under the banner of the larger party, with the elected members of the smaller party sitting with the elected members of the larger party in the cabinet or legislature. They usually aim to continue co-operation after the election, for example by campaigning together on issues on which they have common views.

By offering to endorse or nominate a major party's candidate, minor parties can influence the candidate's platform.


United Kingdom[edit]

Electoral alliance survives to this day within the Labour Party, which fields Labour Co-operative candidates in general elections in several constituencies, and in some local council elections.


Combination of lists[edit]

The possibility of combination of party lists for elections existed in the Dutch electoral system between 1973 and June 2017 as a weak form of electoral alliance between two parties. It was abolished in June 2017 after being earlier abandoned for Senate elections.[1]

In a system of proportional representation not all seats are immediately divided, some seats remain undivided remainder seats. In the Netherlands these are allocated by the D'Hondt method. This method strongly favours larger parties (often smaller parties get no remainder seats, whereas the three largest parties get two each). But if smaller parties form an alliance their votes are added up for the distribution of seats, so this increases their chances of getting one. With a lijstverbinding or kartel two parties can pool their votes in order to gain more remainders seats.

Often these two parties are ideologically related, in the 2003 general elections for example the Socialist Party and GreenLeft formed a lijstverbinding. In the 2004 European elections the social-democratic PvdA and GreenLeft formed a lijstverbinding. The Orthodox Protestant Reformed Political Party and Christian Union also usually form a lijstverbinding.

Common list[edit]

In a common list two or more political parties share a list and often have a common political programme for the election. The participating political parties are identifiable for the voters because the names of these parties are mentioned on the voting paper. It is similar to electoral fusion.


The Syriza Party started out as an electoral alliance but then united into a single party.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gijs Herderscheê (20 June 2017). "Fenomeen politieke lijstverbinding sneuvelt in Eerste Kamer". Volkskrant.