Major party

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A major party is a political party that holds substantial influence in a country's politics, standing in contrast to a minor party. It should not be confused with majority party.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Major party: a political party having electoral strength sufficient to permit it to win control of a government usually with comparative regularity and when defeated to constitute the principal opposition to the party in power.

— Merriam-Webster Dictionary online[1]

Major parties hold a significant percentage of the vote in elections and claim higher membership than minor parties. Typically, major parties have the most donors, best-organized support networks and excellent funding for elections. Their candidates for political positions are closely watched since they have the highest chance of being elected to office because of the high membership, recognition and donations that these parties are able to generate.

Two major parties can lead to a two-party system. If there is only one major party, then it is a dominant-party system. In a multi-party system, a major party is one that occasionally controls the presidency or premiership and is the most influential party in a coalition government.

List of major parties[edit]

Country Centre-left/Left-wing
major party
Centre-right/Right-wing
major party
Other major parties Notes
Albania Socialist Party of Albania Democratic Party of Albania
Algeria National Liberation Front National Rally for Democracy
Andorra Social Democratic Party Democrats for Andorra
Angola MPLA UNITA
Argentina Front for Victory - Justicialist Party (Left-wing Peronism) Cambiemos (Coalition of Republican Proposal and Radical Civic Union) United for a New Alternative (Centre-right Peronism) The Justicialist Party has produced both leftist and rightist presidents; Néstor Kirchner (2003–2007) and Cristina Fernández (2007–2015) were leftist, while fellow Justicialist Carlos Menem (1989–1999) was seen as neoliberal.[2]
Armenia Prosperous Armenia Republican Party of Armenia
Australia Australian Labor Party Coalition (Liberal / National / Liberal National Party of Queensland)
Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria Austrian People's Party Freedom Party of Austria
Azerbaijan New Azerbaijan Party
The Bahamas Progressive Liberal Party Free National Movement
Bangladesh Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Nationalist Party Jatiya Party
Barbados Barbados Labour Party Democratic Labour Party
Belarus Communist Party of Belarus Belaya Rus
Benin Union Makes the Nation Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin
Bosnia and Herzegovina Alliance of Independent Social Democrats Party of Democratic Action
Botswana Botswana National Front Botswana Democratic Party
Brazil Workers' Party Progressive Party Brazilian Democratic Movement Party
Bulgaria Bulgarian Socialist Party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria
Burkina Faso People's Movement for Progress Union for Progress and Reform Congress for Democracy and Progress
Cambodia Cambodia National Rescue Party Cambodian People's Party
Canada Liberal Party of Canada Conservative Party of Canada New Democratic Party
Cape Verde African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde Movement for Democracy
Chad Patriotic Salvation Movement
Colombia Colombian Liberal Party Colombian Conservative Party Social Party of National Unity
Costa Rica Citizens' Action Party (PAC) National Liberation Party (PLN) Broad Front PLN defines itself as "centrist" but is generally considered to be more right-wing than PAC.
Croatia Social Democratic Party of Croatia Croatian Democratic Union
Czech Republic Czech Social Democratic Party Civic Democratic Party[3] ANO 2011
Cyprus Progressive Party of Working People Democratic Rally
Democratic Republic of the Congo People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy Movement for the Liberation of the Congo Union for Democracy and Social Progress
Denmark Social Democrats Venstre Danish People's Party The Danish People's Party is second largest party.
Djibouti People's Rally for Progress Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development
East Timor National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor
Ecuador PAIS Alliance Creating Opportunities
Egypt Free Egyptians Party Nation's Future Party
El Salvador Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front Nationalist Republican Alliance Unity Movement
Equatorial Guinea Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea People's Front for Democracy and Justice
Estonia Estonian Centre Party Estonian Reform Party
Ethiopia Tigrayan People's Liberation Front
European Union Party of European Socialists European People's Party Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
Faroe Islands Republic
Social Democratic Party
Union Party
People's Party
Finland Social Democratic Party of Finland National Coalition Party Centre Party
Finns Party
France Socialist Party The Republicans National Front
Gabon Gabonese Democratic Party
Gambia United Democratic Party Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction
Georgia Georgian Dream United National Movement
Germany Social Democratic Party of Germany CDU/CSU (Union of Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union) Alliance '90/The Greens
The Left
Free Democratic Party
Alternative for Germany
The Free Democratic Party was a major party, having been in coalition with the ruling parties for most of the post-war era. However, the party failed to meet the election threshold at the German federal election, 2013 and is not currently represented in the Bundestag.
Ghana National Democratic Congress New Patriotic Party
Gibraltar Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party Gibraltar Social Democrats
Greece Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) New Democracy Golden Dawn Until the 2012 legislative election, Pasok was the major party of the centre-left.
Guinea Guinean People's Assembly Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea
Guinea-Bissau African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde Party for Social Renewal
Hong Kong Pan-democracy camp
Democratic Party is the largest party.
Pro-Beijing camp
DAB is the largest party.
Hungary Hungarian Socialist Party Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union Jobbik
Iceland Social Democratic Alliance Independence Party Progressive Party
India Indian National Congress Bharatiya Janata Party
Indonesia Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle Golkar Party Gerindra Party and Democratic Party
Ireland Labour Party Fine Gael Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil received the largest share of the vote in Ireland from 1932 to 2011, when it was returned in third place with just 17.4% of the vote.
Israel Israeli Labor Party Likud
Iran Reformists Principlists
Italy Democratic Party Forza Italia Five Star Movement
Lega Nord
Until 1992 the major party was Christian Democracy, which had been in government for five decades; the second party was the Italian Communist Party.
Ivory Coast Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire – African Democratic Rally Rally of the Republicans
Japan Democratic Party Liberal Democratic Party Japanese Communist Party
New Komeito
Jamaica People's National Party Jamaica Labour Party
Kazakhstan Nur Otan
Kenya Orange Democratic Movement The National Alliance
Kirgyzstan Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan Ata-Zhurt
Kosovo Democratic League of Kosovo Democratic Party of Kosovo
South Africa African National Congress Democratic Alliance
South Korea Minjoo Party of Korea (Democratic Party) Saenuri Party People's Party
Latvia Social Democratic Party "Harmony" Unity Union of Greens and Farmers
Lesotho Democratic Congress All Basotho Convention
Liberia Congress for Democratic Change Unity Party
Liechtenstein Progressive Citizens' Party,
Patriotic Union
Lithuania Lithuanian Social Democratic Party Homeland Union Labour Party
Luxembourg Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party Christian Social People's Party Democratic Party
Macedonia Social Democratic Union of Macedonia VMRO-DPMNE
Malaysia Pakatan Rakyat Barisan Nasional
Malta Labour Party Nationalist Party
Mexico Institutional Revolutionary Party National Action Party Party of the Democratic Revolution
Monaco Rally & Issues Union Monégasque
Moldova Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova
Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova
Mongolia Mongolian People's Party Democratic Party
Montenegro Democratic Party of Socialists Democratic Front
Mozambique FRELIMO RENAMO
Nagorno Karabakh Armenian Revolutionary Federation Free Motherland Democratic Party of Artsakh
Nepal Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) Nepali Congress Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Netherlands Labour Party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy Christian Democratic Appeal
New Zealand Labour Party National Party New Zealand Green Party
New Zealand First
Niger Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism National Movement for the Development of Society Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation
Nigeria All Progressives Congress People's Democratic Party
Northern Cyprus Republican Turkish Party National Unity Party
Norway Labour Party Conservative Party Progress Party
Pakistan Pakistan People's Party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)
Paraguay Colorado Party Authentic Radical Liberal Party
Peru Peru Wins Popular Force
Philippines Nationalist People's Coalition Liberal Party
Puerto Rico Popular Democratic Party New Progressive Party Puerto Rico is the only territory within the jurisdiction of USA with different major parties from the rest of the USA.
Poland Law and Justice Civic Platform
Portugal Socialist Party Social Democratic Party
Republic of China (Taiwan) Democratic Progressive Party Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China) New Power Party
People First Party
Romania Social Democratic Party National Liberal Party
Russia Communist Party of Russia United Russia
San Marino Party of Socialists and Democrats Sammarinese Christian Democratic Party
Serbia Socialist Party of Serbia Serbian Progressive Party Democratic Party (Serbia)
Seychelles People's Party Seychelles National Party
Singapore Workers' Party of Singapore People's Action Party
Slovakia Direction – Social Democracy Freedom and Solidarity
Slovenia Modern Centre Party Slovenian Democratic Party
Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party People's Party Podemos
Sri-Lanka United People's Freedom Alliance United National Party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna & Tamil National Alliance
Sudan National Congress
Suriname National Democratic Party Progressive Reform Party
Sweden Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party Moderate Party (lead the Centre-right Alliance) Sweden Democrats
Switzerland Social Democratic Party of Switzerland Swiss People's Party FDP.The Liberals
Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland
The magic formula system means that these parties are guaranteed representation in the Swiss Federal Council
Thailand Democrat Party Pheu Thai Party
Transnistria Renewal
Trinidad and Tobago People's National Movement United National Congress
Turkey Republican People's Party Justice and Development Party
Ukraine Opposition Bloc Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity" People's Front
United Kingdom (Great Britain)[4] Labour Party Conservative Party United Kingdom Independence Party (major party in England and Wales)
Liberal Democrats
Scottish National Party (major party in Scotland, third party in the House of Commons)
From the 17th through mid-19th century, the Whigs and the Tories were the major parties. From 1859 to 1922, Liberal Party and Conservative Party were the major parties. Liberal Party is succeeded by the Liberal Democrats.
Plaid Cymru (major party in Wales)
Nationalist movements have major party status within the Home Nations of the UK.[4]
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)[4] Sinn Féin (republican) Democratic Unionist Party (unionist) Alliance Party (non-sectarian)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (republican)
Ulster Unionist Party (unionist)
Despite being part of the UK, the main parties in Northern Ireland differ from those in Great Britain.
Sinn Féin does not take its seats in the House of Commons.
United States Democratic Party Republican Party At various times during the 18th and 19th centuries, the Federalist Party, Democratic-Republican Party, and Whig Party were all major.
Uruguay Broad Front National Party Colorado Party

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary online
  2. ^ Neurer, Michael (2015-12-16). "Global Populism Takes a Blow as a Neoliberal President Takes Office in Argentina". Retrieved 2015-12-16. 
  3. ^ Nový, Tomáš. "TOPka pomalu končí, otěže pravice třímá ODS, ukázal průzkum". Parlamentní Listy. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ofcom Statement on Party Election Broadcasts". OFCOM. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2016.