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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
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
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
(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 Change Brazil (coalition betwenn Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) and Democrats) Progressive Party
Social Democratic 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 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 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
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
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 – Hungarian Civic Union
Christian Democratic People's Party – KDNP
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 Golkar Party Democratic Party Gerindra 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
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 até 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
Kyrgyzstan Party
Ata Meken Socialist Party
Kosovo Vetëvendosje Democratic League of Kosovo Alliance for the Future 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 Democratic Party
Mexico National Regeneration Movement 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 Liberal Party of Moldova Democratic Party of Moldova
Mongolia Mongolian People's Party Democratic Party
Montenegro Democratic Party of Socialists Democratic Front
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 ACT New Zealand 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
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 CDS – People's Party PPD/PSD – Social Democratic 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
Russia Communist Party of Russia United Russia A Just Russia
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
Rwanda Social Democratic Party Rwandan Patriotic Front
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
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) 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
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
Spain (Catalonia) Republican Left of Catalonia Catalan Democratic Party Citizens Socialist Party of Catalonia
Spain (Basque Country) EH Bildu Basque Nationalist Party
Spain (Canary Islands) Socialist Party of the Canaries Canarian Coalition New Canaries People's Party
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
Tanzania Chama Cha Mapinduzi Chadema
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)[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]
North Korea Workers' Party of Korea
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 Forum for Democratic Change National Resistance Movement
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 Great Patriotic Pole led by United Socialist Party of Venezuela Democratic Unity Roundtable
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]


  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. 


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