Major party

Last updated on 15 August 2017

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

Country Centre-left/Left-wing
major party
major party
Liberal major party Other major parties Notes
Abkhazia Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia United Abkhazia
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
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua Labour Party United Progressive Party
Argentina Unidad Ciudadana

(Left-wing Peronism)

Justicialist Party

(Centre-right Peronism)

Cambiemos (Coalition of Republican Proposal and Radical Civic Union) 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 Armenian Revolutionary Federation Prosperous Armenia Republican Party of Armenia
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 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
Belgium (Dutch-speaking) Different Socialist Party New Flemish Alliance Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats
Christian Democratic and Flemish
Belgium (French-speaking) Socialist Party Humanist Democratic Centre Reformist Movement
Belgium (German-speaking) Socialist Party Christian Social Party Party for Freedom and Progress
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
Bosnia and Herzegovina Alliance of Independent Social Democrats Party of Democratic Action
Botswana Botswana National Front Botswana Democratic Party
Brazil Workers' Party Change Brazil (coalition betwenn Brazilian Social Democracy Party and Democrats) Progressive Party Brazilian Democratic Movement Party Despite PSDB being a centre to centre-left party, the party is in a alliance with Democrats since 1994 in a national level and in the majority of states. Democrats and its predecessor, Liberal Front Party were the main party of the Brazilian right-wing since his inception, in 1985, until 2011.
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 Cambodian People's Party Cambodia National Rescue Party
Canada New Democratic Party Conservative Party of Canada Liberal Party of Canada Bloc Québécois
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 Independent Democratic Union National Renewal Christian Democratic Party The Socialist Party of Chile and the Christian Democratic Party are the current leaders of the centre-left coalition New Majority, and the Independent Democratic Union is the current leader of the centre-right coalition Chile Vamos with National Renewal
Colombia Colombian Liberal Party Colombian Conservative Party Social Party of National Unity Democratic Center
Costa Rica Citizens' Action Party (PAC) Social Christian Unity Party 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 Bridge of Independent Lists
Curaçao Partido MAN Movement for the Future of Curaçao Party for the Restructured Antilles
Czech Republic Czech Social Democratic Party Civic Democratic Party[3]
TOP 09
ANO 2011 Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
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 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 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 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 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 En Marche! 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) Free Democratic Party Alliance '90/The Greens
The Left
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 Liberal Party of Gibraltar
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.
Grenada National Democratic Congress New National Party
Guatemala National Unity of Hope Renewed Democratic Liberty Patriotic Party National Convergence Front
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 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 – Hungarian Civic Union Jobbik
Iceland Left-Green Movement Independence Party Progressive Party Pirate Party
India Indian National Congress Bharatiya Janata Party
Indonesia Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle Golkar Party Gerindra Party and Democratic 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 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 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 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
Kyrgyzstan Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan Ata-Zhurt
Kosovo Vetëvendosje Democratic League of Kosovo Democratic Party of Kosovo
Latvia Social Democratic Party "Harmony" Unity Union of Greens and Farmers National Alliance
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 Malawi Congress Party Democratic Progressive Party
Maldives Progressive Party of Maldives Maldivian Democratic Party
Malta Labour Party Nationalist Party
Mexico Party of the Democratic Revolution National Action Party Institutional Revolutionary Party 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 a catch-all ""Party of Power".
Monaco Rally & Issues Union Monégasque
Moldova Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova Coaltion between the Democratic Party of Moldova and the Liberal Party of Moldova Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova
Mongolia Mongolian People's Party Democratic Party
Montenegro Democratic Party of Socialists Democratic Front
Morocco Justice and Development Party 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
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
Norway Labour Party Conservative Party Progress Party Christian People's Party
Centre Party
Pakistan Pakistan People's Party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
Paraguay Frente Guasú Colorado Party Authentic Radical Liberal Party
Peru Broad Front Popular Force Peruvians for Change
Philippines PDP-Laban 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 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 Civic Platform A Just Russia
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
Rwanda Social Democratic Party Rwandan Patriotic Front
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Polisario Front
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Unity Labour Party New Democratic Party
San Marino United Left Sammarinese Christian Democratic Party RETE Movement
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 Freedom and Solidarity
Slovenia Modern Centre Party Slovenian Democratic Party
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) Liberty Korea Party People's 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
Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party People's Party Citizens Podemos
Republican Left of Catalonia (major left-wing party in Catalonia)
Catalan European Democratic Party (major liberal party in Catalonia)
Basque Nationalist Party (major party in Basque)
Canarian Coalition (major party in the Canary Islands)
Sri-Lanka United People's Freedom Alliance United National Party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna & Tamil National Alliance
Palestine Palestine Liberation Organization
Fatah is the largest party.
Sudan National Congress
Suriname National Democratic Party Progressive Reform Party
Sweden Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party Moderate Party Centre Party
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
Thailand Pheu Thai Party Democrat 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 (Great Britain)[4] 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.[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, National Republican Party, and Whig Party were all major.
Uruguay Broad Front National Party Colorado Party
Uzbekistan People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party
Venezuela United Socialist Party of Venezuela Justice First Democratic Action
A New Era
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


  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.

Content from Wikipedia