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
Liberal/Centrist 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 Liberal Party of Andorra
 Angola MPLA UNITA
 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua Labour Party United Progressive Party
 Argentina Citizen's Unity Party (Peronist)
Progresistas (Anti-Peronist)
Federal Peronism (Right-wing Peronism)
United for a New Alternative
Cambiemos
(Coalition of Republican Proposal and Radical Civic Union)
Justicialist Party 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] Politics in Argentine is less divided between left and right and more divided in Peronism and Anti-Peronism, historically led by Justicialist Party and Radical Civic Union. Since the ascension of Kirchnerism, however, Peronism is more associated with left-wing nationalist politics critical to liberalism and neoliberalism and anti-peronism is associated with right-wing, neoliberal and liberal conservative politics
 Armenia Armenian Revolutionary Federation Prosperous Armenia Way Out Alliance Republican Party of Armenia Despite described itself as a right-wing and national conservative, Republican Party of Armenia is considered the "Party of Power"
 Aruba People's Electoral Movement Aruban People's Party
 Australia Australian Labor Party Coalition (Liberal / National / Liberal National Party of Queensland)
 Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria Austrian People's Party NEOS - The New Austria 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 Both parties are centre-left. However, DLP is more centrist than BLP
 Belarus Belaya Rus
Belgium (Dutch-speaking) Different Socialist Party New Flemish Alliance Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats Christian Democratic and Flemish
Belgium (French-speaking) Socialist Party Citizens Movement for Change(MCC) Reformist Movement Humanist Democratic Centre Despite MR being a liberal party and CDH a Christian Democratic, MR is considered more right-wing than CDH. MCC is part of Reformist Movement
Belgium (German-speaking) Socialist Party Christian Social Party Party for Freedom and Progress ProDG
 Belize People's United Party United Democratic Party
 Benin Union Makes the Nation Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin
 Bolivia Movement for Socialism National Unity Front Christian Democratic Party
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Alliance of Independent Social Democrats Party of Democratic Action Bosnia and Herzegovina is a sovereign state divided in 2 entities along ethnic lines, the serbian-majority Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is Bosnian-majority with a significant Croat minority. Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina may also elect his own parliamentaries to Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Bosnian entity)
Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina Party of Democratic Action Democratic Front Union for a Better Future of BiH
Republika Srpska
(Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Alliance of Independent Social Democrats Serb Democratic Party Party of Democratic Progress Democratic People's Alliance
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Croatian minority)
Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatian Peasant Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatian Democratic Union 1990 Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a Dominant party between ethinc Croats.
 Botswana Botswana National Front Botswana Democratic Party
 Brazil Workers' Party Brazil above everything, God above everyone led by PSL To unite Brazil (coalition between PSDB and Democrats (DEM)) Brazilian Democratic Movement Party PSDB/DEM coalition was the leading force of the right between 1994 and 2018; PSDB, the leader of coalition, however, was a centre to centre-left party; DEM was the major conservative party; Both parties became more liberal with the raising of PSL. PSL was a tiny liberal party until Jair Bolsonaro joined it in 2018 and moved PSL to national conservatism
 Bulgaria Bulgarian Socialist Party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria Movement for Rights and Freedoms United Patriots Union of Democratic Forces was a major party from 1990 to 2005.
 Burkina Faso People's Movement for Progress Union for Progress and Reform Congress for Democracy and Progress
 Burundi National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy Independents of Hope
 Cambodia Cambodian People's Party FUNCINPEC Sam Rainsy Party
 Cameroon Social Democratic Front Cameroon People's Democratic Movement
 Canada New Democratic Party Conservative Party of Canada Liberal Party of Canada Bloc Québécois Canadian politics are historically dominated by Liberals, which led Canadian federal government for 87 years, while Conservatives were in government in the another 64; Liberal Party is divided between Classical and Social Liberals, the former prioritize free market and free trade and the lasts prioritize civil rights and welfare
 Cape Verde African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde Movement for Democracy
 Cayman Islands People's Progressive Movement United Democratic Party
 Central Africa Central African Democratic Rally National Union for Democracy and Progress Union for Central African Renewal
 Chad Patriotic Salvation Movement
 Chile Socialist Party of Chile (Current leader of New Majority) Chile Vamos (Coalition of National Renewal and Independent Democratic Union) Amplitude
Evópoli
Christian Democratic Party The Christian Democratic party was part of New Majority from 1990 to 2017, however, they broke with the New Majority in May 2017 and they became independent from any bloc. Amplitude is only represented in regional parliaments and Evópoli is a minor component of Chile Vamos
 China Communist Party of China
 Colombia Colombian Liberal Party Democratic Center Social Party of National Unity
Radical Change
Colombian Conservative Party Conservative Party was the major right-wing party from its foundation in 1849 to 2018.
 Comoros Union for the Development of the Comoros, Juwa Party
 Costa Rica Citizens' Action Party (PAC) National Restoration Party National Liberation Party (PLN) Social Christian Unity Party
 Croatia Social Democratic Party of Croatia Croatian Democratic Union Bridge of Independent Lists
 Cuba Communist Party of Cuba
 Curaçao Partido MAN Movement for the Future of Curaçao Party for the Restructured Antilles
 Czech Republic Czech Pirate Party Civic Democratic Party ANO 2011 Freedom and Direct Democracy ODS and ČSSD are traditionally two major parties but both suffered heavy losses in 2010s. ODS managed to return to the position of a major party.
 Cyprus Progressive Party of Working People Democratic Rally Democratic Party Movement for Social Democracy
 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 Danish People's Party Venstre
 Djibouti People's Rally for Progress Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development
 Dominica Dominica Labour Party United Workers' Party
 East Timor Fretilin Peoples' Liberation Party Democratic Party National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction
 Ecuador PAIS Alliance CREO SUMA Momevent Partido Social Cristiano SUMA Movement is associated with CREO. PSC – and its antecessors – was the major party from independence since 2006.
 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 Social Democratic Party Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Estonian Reform Party Estonian Centre Party
 Ethiopia Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
 European Union Party of European Socialists European People's Party Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe
 Faroe Islands Social Democratic Party People's Party Union Party Republic Social Democratic Party and Union Party defend Faroese unionism with Denmark, whether People's Party and Republic support independence from Denmark from a Conservative and left-wing populist ideology, respectively
 Fiji National Federation Party Social Democratic Liberal Party FijiFirst
 Finland Social Democratic Party of Finland National Coalition Party Centre Party Finns Party
 France Socialist Party The Republicans En Marche!-MoDem Alliance National Front
 Gabon Gabonese Democratic Party
 Gambia United Democratic Party Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction
 Georgia Georgian Dream United National Movement Movement for Liberty - European Georgia
 Germany Social Democratic Party of Germany CDU/CSU (Union of Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union) Free Democratic Party Alternative for Germany
 Ghana National Democratic Congress New Patriotic Party
 Gibraltar Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party Gibraltar Social Democrats Liberal Party of Gibraltar
 Greece Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) New Democracy Movement for Change (Greece) Golden Dawn Until the 2012 legislative election, PASOK was the major party of the centre-left. PASOK eventually merged in the centre-left Democratic Alignment which merged with others social-democrats and social liberals into the Movement for Change.
 Grenada National Democratic Congress New National Party
 Guatemala National Unity of Hope National Convergence Front Vision with Values Todos Many former major parties were dissolved by Guatemalan Electoral Supreme Court by corruption scandals;Patriotic Party was dissolved in 2017 and LIDER in 2016; Currently, National Convergence Front's dissolution is in a legal process in supreme court.
 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
 Guyana People's Progressive Party A Partnership for National Unity
 Haiti Fanmi Lavalas Haitian Tèt Kale Party Struggling People's Organization Truth
 Hong Kong Pan-democracy camp
Democratic Party is the largest party.
Pro-Beijing camp
DAB is the largest party.
 Hungary Hungarian Socialist Party Fidesz–KDNP Alliance Democratic Coalition Jobbik Although Fidesz and KDNP are different entities, since 2005 they form an alliance that lasts until today. KDNP is considered a satellite of Fidesz, to the point that the current shared cabinet betwenn Fidesz and KDNP is not considered a "coalition government" even by members of the both parties.
 Iceland Social Democratic Alliance Independence Party Progressive Party Left-Green Movement
 India United Progressive Alliance led by Indian National Congress National Democratic Alliance led by Bharatiya Janata Party
 Indonesia Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle Gerindra Party Democratic Party Golkar Party
 Ireland Sinn Féin Fine Gael Fianna Fáil Labour Party 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.
The Labour Party was for most of Ireland's existence the largest centre-left party in Ireland. The government it led with Fine Gael was unpopular, and the party's votes went from 19.4% to 6.6%. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is still a member.
 Israel Zionist Union led by Israel Labor Party Likud Yesh Atid
Kulanu
Joint List
 Iran Reformists Principlists
 Italy Democratic Party Lega Forza Italia Five Star Movement
Brothers of Italy
Until 1992 the major party was Christian Democracy, which had been in government for five decades; the second party was the Italian Communist Party. Forza Italia, Brothers of Italy and Lega were members of centre-right coalition. Forza Italia was the main right-Wing party until mid-2010s, but lost many conservative members between 2013 and 2018 elections and became a smaller and more liberal party
 Ivory Coast Ivorian Popular Front Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire – African Democratic Rally Rally of the Republicans Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d'Ivoire
 Japan Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan Liberal Democratic Party Democratic Party for the People Komeito
 Jamaica People's National Party Jamaica Labour Party
 Kazakhstan Nur Otan
 Kenya Orange Democratic Movement The National Alliance
 Kyrgyzstan Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan Respublika–Ata Zhurt Bir Bol
Onuguu–Progress
Kyrgyzstan Party
Ata Meken Socialist Party
 Kosovo Vetëvendosje Democratic League of Kosovo Alliance for the Future of Kosovo Democratic Party of Kosovo
 Laos Lao People's Revolutionary Party
 Latvia Social Democratic Party "Harmony" New Conservative Party Movement For! National Alliance

Union of Greens and Farmers

 Lesotho Democratic Congress All Basotho Convention
 Liberia Congress for Democratic Change Unity Party
 Liechtenstein Free List Progressive Citizens' Party Patriotic Union The Independents
 Lithuania Lithuanian Social Democratic Party Homeland Union Liberal Movement Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union
 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
 Malawi United Democratic Front Malawi Congress Party Democratic Progressive Party Peoples Party
 Maldives Progressive Party of Maldives Maldivian Democratic Party
 Mali Rally for Mali
 Malta Labour Party Nationalist Party Democratic Party
 Mexico Juntos Haremos Historia coalition led by National Regeneration Movement National Action Party Institutional Revolutionary Party Social Encounter Party (PES) PRI was founded in 1929 as a left-of-centre party and stayed in the power from his inception until 2000. However, despite being a member of Socialist International, its left-wing character is questionable. The party is labeled as neoliberal and catch-all. PES is part of Juntos Haremos Historia, but is a conservative, right-wing party with a evangelical fundamentalist voter base which contrasts with the other two leftist parties of coalition.
 Monaco Rally & Issues Union Monégasque
 Moldova Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova Liberal Party of Moldova Democratic Party of Moldova
 Mongolia Mongolian People's Party Democratic Party
 Montenegro Democratic Party of Socialists Democratic Front
 Mozambique FRELIMO RENAMO
 Morocco Socialist Union of Popular Forces Justice and Development Party National Rally of Independents
Popular Movement
Istiqlal Party
Authenticity and Modernity Party
 Myanmar National League for Democracy Union Solidarity and Development Party The military of Myanmar appoints 25% of the seats in the Assembly of the Union, the legislature in Myanmar.
 Nagorno Karabakh Armenian Revolutionary Federation Free Motherland Democratic Party of Artsakh
 Namibia SWAPO Popular Democratic Movement
   Nepal Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) Nepali Congress
Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
 Netherlands Socialist Party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy Democrats 66 Christian Democratic Appeal
Party for Freedom
Labour Party was the major left-wing party since his inception until 2017 Dutch election
 New Zealand Labour Party National Party New Zealand Green Party
New Zealand First
 Nicaragua Sandinista National Liberation Front Constitutionalist Liberal Party Independent Liberal Party
 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 People's Party
 North Korea Workers' Party of Korea
 Norway Labour Party Conservative Party
Progress Party
Venstre Christian People's Party
Centre Party
Conservatives and Progress Party are in coalition since 2013
 Pakistan Pakistan People's Party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
 Papua New Guinea People's National Congress National Alliance Party
 Paraguay Frente Guasú Colorado Party Authentic Radical Liberal Party
 Peru Broad Front Popular Force Peruvians for Change
 Philippines Philippine Democratic Party-People's Power 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 Democratic Left Alliance Law and Justice Modern Civic Platform Democratic Left Alliance is currently only represented in European parliament.
 Portugal Socialist Party Alliance between PPD/PSD – Social Democratic Party and CDS – People's Party Unitary Democratic Coalition
Left Bloc
PSD and CDS rarely governed Portugal without mutual support; Both parties are considered natural allies with similar ideologies; PSD, however, PSD, however, is much larger and more liberal than the socially conservative CDS
 Republic of China (Taiwan) Democratic Progressive Party Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China) New Power Party People First Party
 Republic of the Congo Congolese Party of Labour Pan-African Union for Social Democracy
 Romania Social Democratic Party National Liberal Party Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Save Romania Union
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
 Russia Communist Party of Russia United Russia Civic Platform A Just Russia
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
 Rwanda Social Democratic Party Rwandan Patriotic Front Liberal Party
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Polisario Front
 Saint Lucia Saint Lucia Labour Party United Workers Party
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Unity Labour Party New Democratic Party
 San Marino United Left Sammarinese Christian Democratic Party RETE Movement Future Republic
 São Tomé and Príncipe Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe/Social Democratic Party Independent Democratic Action
 Serbia Socialist Party of Serbia Serbian Progressive Party Democratic Party (Serbia) Serbian Radical Party
 Seychelles People's Party Seychelles National Party
 Senegal Senegalese Democratic Party Alliance for the Republic
 Sierra Leone All People's Congress Sierra Leone People's Party
 Singapore Workers' Party of Singapore People's Action Party
 Slovakia Direction – Social Democracy Ordinary People Freedom and Solidarity Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia Movement for a Democratic Slovakia dominated political scene in 1990s until it was marginalized. Slovak Democratic and Christian Union was major right-wing party from 2000 to 2012.
 Slovenia Social Democrats Slovenian Democratic Party List of Marjan Šarec
Modern Centre Party
The Left Liberal Democracy of Slovenia was a major party from 1990 to 2008.
 Somaliland For Justice and Development Peace, Unity, and Development Party
 South Africa African National Congress Democratic Alliance
 South Korea Minjoo Party of Korea (Democratic Party) Free Korea Party Bareunmirae (Right's Future Party)
 South Ossetia Socialist Party "Unity of the People" United Ossetia Unity Party and Communist Party of South Ossetia were major parties before 2014 election
 South Sudan Sudan People's Liberation Movement
 Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party People's Party Citizens Podemos Many of Autonomous communities of Spain have their own major parties, which may differ of the national major parties
 Catalonia (Spain) Republican Left of Catalonia Catalan Democratic Party Citizens Socialist Party of Catalonia
Basque Country (Spain) EH Bildu Basque Nationalist Party
 Canary Islands (Spain) Socialist Party of the Canaries Canarian Coalition New Canaries People's Party
Podemos
Template:Country data Sri-Lanka United People's Freedom Alliance United National Party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna & Tamil National Alliance
 State of Palestine Palestine Liberation Organization
Fatah is the largest party.
Hamas
 Sudan National Congress
 Suriname National Democratic Party Progressive Reform Party
 Sweden Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party Moderate Party Centre Party
Liberals
Sweden Democrats Moderate Party lead the Centre-right Alliance, along with the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democratic Coalition
  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
 Tajikistan People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan
 Tanzania Chama Cha Mapinduzi Chadema
 Thailand Democrat Party Pheu Thai Party
 Togo Save Togo Collective Union for the Republic
 Transnistria Renewal
 Trinidad and Tobago United National Congress People's National Movement
 Tunisia Nidaa Tounes Ennahda Movement
 Turkey Republican People's Party Justice and Development Party
 Ukraine Opposition Bloc Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity" People's Front
 United Kingdom[3] Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats United Kingdom Independence Party (major party in European Parliament)
Scottish National Party (major party in Scotland, third party in the House of Commons)
Plaid Cymru (major party in Wales)
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.
Nationalist movements have major party status within the Home Nations of the UK.[3]
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)[3] 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.
 Uganda Uganda People's Congress National Resistance Movement Democratic Party Forum for Democratic Change
 United States Democratic Party Republican Party At various times during the 18th and 19th centuries, the Federalist Party, Democratic-Republican Party, National Republican Party, and Whig Party were all major.
 Uruguay Broad Front National Party Colorado Party
 Uzbekistan Justice Social Democratic Party Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan
 Venezuela Great Patriotic Pole led by United Socialist Party of Venezuela Democratic Unity Roundtable
 Vietnam Communist Party of Vietnam
 Yemen Al-Islah (Yemeni Congregation For Reform) General People's Congress
 Zambia Patriotic Front United Party for National Development
 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary online
  2. ^ Neurer, Michael (16 December 2015). "Global Populism Takes a Blow as a Neoliberal President Takes Office in Argentina". Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Ofcom Statement on Party Election Broadcasts". OFCOM. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2016.