List of federal political parties in Canada

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In contrast with the political party systems of many nations, Canadian political parties at the federal level are often only loosely connected with parties at the provincial level, despite having similar names and policy positions.[1] One exception is the New Democratic Party, which is organizationally integrated with most of its provincial counterparts including a shared membership.

Current parties[edit]

These are all of the political parties registered with Elections Canada or eligible to run candidates in federal elections as of March 2020.[2]

Name Founded Ideology[original research?] Leader MPs Most MPs (numerically) Most MPs (proportionally) Senators Political position
  Liberal Party of Canada
Parti libéral du Canada
1867 Liberalism, Social liberalism Justin Trudeau 157 184 (2015) 73% (1940) 0 Centre left
  Conservative Party of Canada 
Parti conservateur du Canada
2003 Conservatism, Economic Liberalism, Fiscal conservatism Andrew Scheer 121 166 (2011) 54% (2011) 24 Centre right
  Bloc Québécois 1991 Quebec sovereignty, Social democracy, Regionalism Yves-François Blanchet 32 54 (1993) 18% (1993) 0 Centre left
  New Democratic Party
Nouveau Parti démocratique
1961 Social democracy, Progressivism Jagmeet Singh 24 103 (2011) 33% (2011) 0 Centre left to left wing
  Green Party of Canada
Parti vert du Canada
1983 Green politics Jo-Ann Roberts
3 3 (2019) 1% (2019) 0 Centre left to left wing
  Animal Protection Party of Canada 2005 Animal rights, Environmentalism Liz White 0 0 0 0 Centre left to left wing
  Canada's Fourth Front 2019 Partap Dua 0 0 0 0
  Canadian Nationalist Party 2017 Canadian nationalism, White nationalism Travis Patron 0 0 0 0 Far Right
  Christian Heritage Party of Canada
Parti de l'Héritage Chrétien du Canada
1986 Social conservatism, Christian right Rodney L. Taylor 0 0 0 0 Right wing
  Communist Party of Canada
Parti communiste du Canada
1921 Communism, Marxist-Leninism Liz Rowley 0 3 (1945)[3] 1% (1945) 0 Left wing to far left
  Libertarian Party of Canada
Parti Libertarien du Canada
1973 Libertarianism Tim Moen 0 0 0 0 Social: Centre left Economic: Centre right to right wing
  Marijuana Party
Parti Marijuana
2000 Cannabis legalisation Blair Longley 0 0 0 0 Single issue
  Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada
Parti Marxiste–Léniniste du Canada
1970 Anti-Revisionist Marxism-Leninism Anna Di Carlo 0 0 0 0 Far left
  National Citizens Alliance
Alliance Nationale des Citoyens
2014 Right-wing populism, anti-globalism, white nationalism Stephen J. Garvey 0 0 0 0 Far right
  Parti pour l'Indépendance du Québec 2019 Quebec nationalism, Quebec sovereigntism Michel Blondin 0 0 0 0
  People's Party of Canada
Parti populaire du Canada
2018 Conservatism, Right-wing populism, Classical liberalism, Libertarianism Maxime Bernier 0 1 (2018) <1% (2018) 0 Right wing
  Rhinoceros Party (II)
Parti Rhinocéros
2006 Satirical party Sébastien Corriveau 0 0 0 0
  Stop Climate Change Party 2019 E. Ken Ranney 0 0 0 0
  The United Party of Canada 2019 Carlton L. Darby 0 0 0 0
  Veterans Coalition Party of Canada 2019 Randy David Joy 0 0 0 0

Non-party parliamentary groups[edit]

At various points both the House of Commons and Senate have included non-party parliamentary groups, also called caucuses. These groups are unaffiliated with registered political parties, are not registered with Elections Canada, and do not run candidates in Canadian federal elections. Essentially, these parliamentary groups are equivalent to political parties in the legislative context, but do not exist in an electoral capacity.

House of Commons[edit]

Parliamentary groups in the House of Commons of Canada are typically made up of MPs that separate from a party over leadership conflicts. Notable past parliamentary groups in the House of Commons include the Ginger Group (1924-1932; split from Progressive Party), Democratic Representative Caucus (2001-2002; split from Canadian Alliance), and Québec debout (2018; split from Bloc Québécois).


The Senate of Canada currently has three non-party parliamentary groups: the Independent Senators Group (ISG), the Senate Liberal Caucus, and, as of November 4, 2019, the Canadian Senators Group (CSG). The Senate Liberal Caucus is made up of Senators who are personally members of the Liberal Party of Canada, but form a group that is organizationally and politically independent of both the Liberal Party structure and the Liberal caucus in the House of Commons. The ISG and the CSG include non-partisan senators who, while not sharing a cohesive ideology, platform, or membership in any political party, have formed a caucus to provide organizational support and better leverage parliamentary resources. Conservative senators remain formally affiliated with the Conservative Party of Canada. Additionally, on January 24, 2020, the Senate Liberal Caucus is expected to lose their status as an official Senate caucus when the caucus is reduced to eight senators with the retirement of Senator Joseph A. Day. A minimum of nine members is required for official caucus status which entitles the grouping to access to funding for a research budget and other supports and privileges.[4] Additionally, Liberal party member Senators Joyal and Dyck will retire from the Senate on February 1, 2020, and August 24, 2020, respectively,[5] which means that the soon-to-be unofficial parliamentary group will be further reduced to six Senators, who would then be officially styled as non-affiliated Senators regardless of an unofficial parliamentary grouping they may or may not opt to maintain.[5]

Facing extinction, on November 14, 2019, Senator Joseph Day announced during a press conference that the Senate Liberal Caucus had been officially disbanded, with its current complement of nine members forming a brand new, non-partisan parliamentary group in the Progressive Senate Group. Unlike the Independent Senators Group (ISG) and newly-formed Canadian Senators Group, which impose either prohibitions or limits, respectively, on outside partisan activities, there was no mention that the new Progressive Senate Group would have similar limits; however, Senator Day confirmed that, like the aforementioned two groups, the PSG would not have whipped votes, and the requirements of membership included supporting or holding "progressive" political values, support of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and supporting a new relationship with Canada's Indigenous peoples.[6] With this dissolution, as of November 14, 2019, the Canadian Senate no longer has a Liberal Senator, the first time since Canada's confederation in 1867.[6] On November 18, Percy Downe left to join the Canadian Senators Group. As Downe's departure dropped the PSG's standings below the minimum 9 members required to be recognized as a caucus, the PSG has lost its official status and is ineligible for the privileges associated with being an official parliamentary group.[7] Unless the group is able to recruit additional members, the caucus will likely lose $410,000 in annual funding for staff and research as well as its right to be represented on Senate committees and procedural rights on the Senate floor.[7]

With Senator Day's mandatory retirement in January 2020, on December 12, 2019, Senator Jane Cordy tweeted[8] that her colleagues in the PSG had selected her as the new leader, ostensibly effective that same date.[8] Additionally, she subsequently announced[9] later that day Senator Mercer would be moving into the Whip/Caucus Chair role, that Senator Dennis Dawson would be become the new Deputy Leader, and that the interim monikers were being removed at the same time.[9] On January 24, 2020, Senator Marc Gold left his position as Caucus Liaison of and as a member of the ISG to become the new Representative of the Government in the Senate as a non-affiliated senator.[10]

Name Founded Ideology Facilitator/Leader Senators Most Senators
  Independent Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs indépendants
2016 Non-partisan technical group Yuen Pau Woo 50 57 (2019)
  Canadian Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs Canadiens
2019 Non-partisan technical group Scott Tannas
13 13 (2019)
  Progressive Senate Group[a]
Groupe progressiste du sénat
2019 Non-partisan technical group Jane Cordy 7 9 (2019)
  1. ^ The PSG currently doesn't have official party status

Historical parties[edit]

These are political parties which were once registered with Elections Canada, but have become de-registered or ceased to exist due to dissolution.[2]

Name Founded Dissolved Ideology Most MPs (numerically) Most MPs (proportionally)
  Abolitionist Party of Canada 1993 1996 Social credit, monetary reform, social liberalism 0 0
  Anti-Confederation Party 1867 1867 Opposition to Confederation (membership in Canada), Nova Scotia separatism 18 (1867) 10% (1867)
  Bloc populaire 1943 1949 Anti-conscription, Canadian nationalism, isolationism, French Canadian rights 4 (1943) 2% (1943)
  Canada Party (I) 1993 1996 0 0
  Canadian Action Party
Parti action canadienne
1997 31 March 2017[11] Canadian nationalism, anti-globalization 0 0
  Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance
Alliance réformiste-conservatrice canadienne
2000 2003 Conservatism, right-wing populism, social conservatism[12][13][14] 66 (2001) 22% (2001)
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
Parti social démocratique du Canada
1932 1961 Social democracy, democratic socialism, agrarianism[15] 13% (1948)
  Confederation of Regions Party of Canada 1984 1988 Regionalism, conserativism 0 0
  Conservative Party of Canada (I) and
Progressive Conservative of Canada
2003 Canadian conservatism, Loyalism, Canadian nationalism (particularly under John Diefenbaker), Red Toryism, Economic Liberalism (under Brian Mulroney), moderation, occasional populism 211 (1984) 78% (1958)
  Democratic 1945 1945 0 0
  Equal Rights 1890 1891 0 0
  First Peoples National Party of Canada 2005 31 July 2013[16] Aboriginal rights advocacy 0 0
  Labour Party of Canada 1926 1968 Trade unionism, socialism 2% (1926)
  Liberal-Progressive 1925 1955 Coalition between the Liberal Party and Progressive Party 3% (1926)
  Liberal Protectionist 1925 1930 Anti-free trade, protectionism 0 0
  McCarthyite 1896 1898 Anti-Catholic, anti-French, British imperialism 1 <1% (1896)
  National Party of Canada (II) 1991 1994 Canadian nationalism, protectionism, progressivism 0 0
  Nationalist 1873 1963 Various parties and candidates 1% (1887)
  Nationalist Conservative 1878 1911 1 <1% (1891)
  Natural Law Party of Canada
Parti de la loi naturelle du Canada
1992 23 January 2004[17] New age 0 0
  Newfoundland and Labrador First Party 2007 31 January 2011[18] Newfoundland and Labrador advocacy 0 0
  Non-Partisan League 1917 1917 Agrarianism 0 0
  Parti de la Démocratisation Économique 1968 1968 0 0
  Parti Nationaliste du Quebec 1983 1987 Quebec independence 0 0
  Party for the Commonwealth of Canada 1984 1993 LaRouchite 0 0
  Patrons of Industry 1890 1900 Pro-labour 2 (1896) 1% (1896)
  People's Political Power Party of Canada
Pouvoir Politique du Peuple du Canada
2006 13 April 2011[19] Feminist, centrist, populist 0 0
  Pirate Party of Canada
Parti Pirate du Canada
2010 2017 Roderick Lim 0 0
  Progressive Canadian Party
Parti Progressiste Canadien
2004 2019 Red Toryism 0 0
  Progressive Party of Canada
Parti progressiste du Canada
1921 1948 Agrarian, free trade, progressivism 26% (1921)
  Progressive-Conservative 1925 1935 1 (1930) <1% (1930)
  Protestant Protective Association 1896 ???? Anti-Catholic 0 0
  Radical chrétien 1958 1967 0 0
  Ralliement créditiste 1963 1971 Split from the Social Credit Party; see Social Credit Party of Canada split, 1963. 5% (1968)
  Reconstruction Party of Canada 1935 1938 Keynesianism, National Conservatism, Isolationism 1 (1935) <1% (1935)
  Reform Party of Canada
Parti réformiste du Canada
1987 2000 Fiscal conservatism, regionalism, social conservatism, democratic reform 20% (1997)
  Republican Party
Parti republicain
1964 1971 0 0
  Rhinoceros Party (I)
Parti Rhinocéros
1968 1993 Satirical 0 0
  Social Credit Party of Canada
Parti Crédit social du Canada
1935 1993 Canadian Social credit, Canadian Conservatism, Right-wing populism, Social conservatism 11% (1962)
  Socialist Labour Party 1945 1968 Socialism 0 0
  Socialist Party of Canada (I) 1904 1925 Socialism 0 0
  Socialist Party of Canada (II) 1931 1961 0 0
  Strength in Democracy
Forces et Démocratie
2014 30 September 2016[20] Social democracy, regionalism 2 (2015) 1% (2015)
  Union Populaire 1979 1981 independentist (precursor of Bloc Québécois) 0 0
  United Party of Canada
Parti Uni du Canada
2009 31 August 2016[21] Centrism 0 0
  United Reform 1939 1940 Far left 1 (1939) <1% (1939)
  Western Block Party 2005 31 January 2014[22] western separatist and paleoconservative/libertarian conservative 0 0

Historical parliamentary groups[edit]

Name Founded Dissolved Ideology Most MPs (numerically) Most MPs (proportionally) Most senators
  Democratic Representative Caucus 2001 2002 Formed when several MPs left the Canadian Alliance due to the leadership of Stockwell Day, rejoined after Day lost leadership to Stephen Harper 13 (2002) 4% (2002) 0
  Ginger Group 1924 1932 progressivism, socialism 15 (1926) 6% (1926) 0
  Liberal (Unionist) 1917 1921 Members of the Liberal Party who supported Robert Borden's coalition government. 11 (1917) 5% (1917) 4 (1919)
  Parti canadien 1942 ???? anti-conscription 1 (1942) <1% (1942) 0
  Québec debout/Groupe parliamentaire québécois 2018 2018 Formed when several MPs left the Bloc Québécois due to the leadership of Martine Ouellet. Rejoined after she lost a leadership review vote and resigned. 7 (2018) 2% (2018) 0
  Senate Liberal Caucus
Caucus libéral du Sénat
2014 2019 Liberalism 0 0 32 (2014)

Historical designations used by single candidates[edit]

Unofficial designations and parties who never ran candidates[edit]

The following parties do not appear on the federal election archive.[28] They either did not run candidates in any election or ran candidates as independents.

Pre-confederation political parties[edit]

Name changes[edit]

Communist Party

The Communist Party of Canada changed its name multiple times in its history. It was founded as the Communist Party of Canada in 1921. From 1938 until 1943 its candidates ran under the banner Unity or United Progressive. In 1943 it adopted the name Labor-Progressive Party. It won one seat under this name in 1945. In 1959 it reverted to the name Communist Party of Canada and has kept that name to the present.

The Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada unofficially uses the name "Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist)", but Elections Canada does not allow it to be registered by that name because of potential confusion with the Communist Party of Canada.

Labour Party

Labour Party candidates ran under numerous different designations:

  • Conservative-Labour (1872-1875)
  • Farmer Labour
  • Farmer-United Labour
  • Labour-Farmer
  • Liberal-Labour (1926-1968)
  • National Labour (1940)
  • United Farmers-Labour (1920)
  • United Farmers of Ontario-Labour (1919-1940)
Liberal Party

During Robert Borden's coalition government of 1917-1920, the Liberal Party of Canada split into two groups: the Liberal–Unionist who supported the coalition and the Laurier Liberals who opposed it.


Some Liberal-Progressive candidates used the designations:

  • Liberal-Labour-Progressive or
  • National Liberal Progressive.
New Democratic Party

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation used the name New Party from 1958-1961 while it was transitioning to become the New Democratic Party. In French, the party used a literal translation of its name, Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif, from until 1955.

Progressive Conservative Party

The first Conservative Party used several different names during its existence:

The second (and current) Conservative Party of Canada was a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party.

Progressive Party and United Farmers

Some candidates for the Progressive Party of Canada used United Farmer designations:

Rhinoceros Party

The first Rhinoceros Party disbanded in 1993. When it was revived in 2006 it used the name "". The party changed its name to Rhinoceros Party in 2010.

Social Credit Party and Ralliement créditiste

Some Ralliement créditiste used the name Ralliement des créditistes from 1963 to 1967. One candidate used the designation Candidats des électeurs in 1957 and 1958. Others used the name Union des électeurs, although this was never formally registered.

In the 1940 election, 17 candidates ran jointly with the Social Credit Party under the name New Democracy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christian, William; Jansen, Harold (December 11, 2015). "Party System". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved November 7, 2018. Although there are often provincial parties with similar names or aims as national political parties, Canadian parties are not generally well-integrated... Despite the general lack of formal ties, however, there is often significant overlap between supporters of provincial and national parties of the same name.
  2. ^ a b Elections Canada (March 20, 2020). "Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration". Elections Canada. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Includes members using temporary party names Unity and Labor-Progressive Party.
  4. ^ Jesse Snyder; Brian Platt (4 November 2019). "New Senate bloc looking to protect 'regional interests' could hamper Trudeau's efforts to pass legislation". National Post. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Senators List". Senate of Canada. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b Tasker, John Paul (J.P.) (14 November 2019). "There's another new faction in the Senate: the Progressive Senate Group". CBC News Online. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  7. ^ a b Tasker, John Paul (18 November 2019). "Two more senators defect to upstart group, one citing Scheer's leadership". CBC News. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  8. ^ a b Cordy, Jane (12 December 2019). "Thank you to @SenDayNB for his strong leadership during a time of change in the Senate. I wish him well in retirement. I am honoured that my colleagues in the Progressive Senate Group have elected me to represent them as their leader". Twitter. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  9. ^ a b Cordy, Jane (12 December 2019). "I am very pleased to be working with our new Deputy Leader @dennis_dawson and our Whip/Caucus Chair @SenTMM. We look forward to working collaboratively with all senators to promote progressive policies for all Canadians". Twitter. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  10. ^ "The Prime Minister announces new Government Representative in the Senate". Office of the Prime Minister of Canada. 24 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Howard A. Leeson (2001). Saskatchewan Politics: Into the Twenty-first Century. University of Regina Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-88977-131-4.
  13. ^ Janet Miron (2009). A History of Human Rights in Canada: Essential Issues. Canadian Scholars’ Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-55130-356-7.
  14. ^ Carol Gould; Pasquale Paquino (1 January 2001). Cultural Identity and the Nation-state. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-8476-9677-2.
  15. ^ Seymour Martin Lipset (1971). Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan : a Study in Political Sociology. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02056-6. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada. January 28, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  23. ^ "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada.
  24. ^ "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^

External links[edit]