Political party

The members of political parties coordinate to collectively achieve and use political power.
In A Block for the Wigs (1783), James Gillray caricatured Fox's return to power in a coalition with North. George III is the blockhead in the centre.
Political parties like the Romanian Communist Party can arise out of, or be closely connected to, existing segments of society, such as organizations of workers.
It is easier for voters to evaluate one simple list of policies for each party, like this platform for the United Australia Party, than to individually judge every single candidate.
A National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where policies may be set and changes can be made to party leadership.
Members of the National Woman's Party in 1918.
Parties can arise from existing cleavages in society, like the Social Democratic Party of Germany which was formed to represent German workers.
A political party may focus on one niche issue, like the environment.
Ideology of ruling party in legislative body at the regional or national level worldwide, or ideology of ruling body, as of May 2020. Dark red indicates far-left parties, light red indicates center-left parties, yellow indicates centrist or big tent parties, light blue indicates center-right parties, and dark blue indicates far-right parties. Based on identification from international recognition or self-proclaimed party ideology.
Traditional political spectrum used to describe European political parties
In a non-partisan legislature, like the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, every member runs and legislates as a political independent with no party affiliation.
Countries that claim to be electoral democracies are marked in green.
Functioning electoral democracies are marked in green, partly functioning electoral democracies are marked in yellow, according to Freedom in the World.
The United States has one of the main examples of a two-party system.
On this 2012 Mexican ballot, voters have more than two parties to choose from.
Campaign finance restrictions may be motivated by the perception that excessive or secretive contributions to political parties will make them beholden to people other than the voters.

Organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections.

- Political party

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Part of the process of selecting a candidate for either election to an office by a political party, or the bestowing of an honor or award.

A ballot box used in France

In the context of elections for public office in a representational partisan democracy, a candidate who has been selected by a political party is normally said to be the nominee of that party.

History of the Democratic Party (United States)

Andrew Jackson, founder of the Democratic Party and the first president it elected.
1837 cartoon shows the Democratic Party as donkey
Martin Van Buren
August Belmont: DNC Chair for 12 years during and after the Civil war
To vote for Stephen A. Douglas in Virginia, a man deposited the ticket issued by the party in the official ballot box
Thomas Nast's January 1870 depiction of the Democratic donkey
Typewriters were new in 1893 and this Gillam cartoon from Puck shows that Grover Cleveland can not get the Democratic "machine" to work as the keys (key politicians) will not respond to his efforts
William Jennings Bryan at age 36 was the youngest candidate, October 1896
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the longest-serving president of the United States (1933–1945)
Adlai Stevenson warns against a return of the Republican policies of Herbert Hoover, 1952 campaign poster
President John F. Kennedy with his brothers, Attorney General and later New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy
President Lyndon Johnson foresaw the end of the Solid South when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964
President Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976 and defeated in 1980
Representative Thomas "Tip" O'Neill was Speaker of the House (1977–1987) and was the highest ranking Democrat in Washington, D.C. during most of Reagan's term
During Bill Clinton's presidency, the Democratic Party moved ideologically toward the center
Nancy Pelosi of California was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the first African American president of the United States
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Senator Bernie Sanders
Nancy Pelosi, the current House Speaker (2019–present), was highly visible adversary for President Trump.
Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump on November 3, 2020.

The Democratic Party is the oldest voter-based political party in the world and the oldest existing political party in the United States.

Whigs (British political party)

Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, painted more than once during his chancellorship in 1672 by John Greenhill
Equestrian portrait of William III by Jan Wyck, commemorating the landing at Brixham, Torbay, 5 November 1688
John Somers, 1st Baron Somers
In A Block for the Wigs (1783), caricaturist James Gillray caricatured Charles James Fox's return to power in a coalition with Frederick North, Lord North (George III is the blockhead in the centre)

The Whigs were a political faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

Tories (British political party)

James, Duke of York painted in a Romanesque costume
James Stuart, the Pretender during the Jacobite rising of 1715, by gaining some Tory support it was thus used to discredit them by the Whigs
William Pitt the Younger

The Tories were a loosely organised political faction and later a political party, in the Parliaments of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom.


Formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office.

A ballot box used in France
Roman coin depicting election
A British election campaign leaflet with an illustration of an example ballot paper, 1880
Picture about the 1946 presidential election, when the parliament of Finland elected prime minister J. K. Paasikivi to succeed the resigning Mannerheim as new president with 159 votes.
Campaigners working on posters in Milan, Italy, 2004
Buenos Aires 1892: "The rival voters were kept back by an armed force of police out of sight to others. Only batches of two or three were allowed to enter the polling-office at a time. Armed sentries guarded the gates and the doors." (Godefroy Durand, The Graphic, 21 May 1892).
Few US states check results
A ballot from the 1936 elections in Nazi Germany.
A ballot from the 1938 elections in Nazi Germany asking voters to approve the new Reichstag and the Anschluss. The "no" box was made significantly smaller than the "yes" box.

In many places, an election to the government is usually a competition among people who have already won a primary election within a political party.

One-party state

Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN.

A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of sovereign state in which only one political party has the right to form the government, usually based on the existing constitution.

Non-partisan democracy

The U.S. House of Representatives, one example of representative democracy

Nonpartisan democracy (also no-party democracy) is a system of representative government or organization such that universal and periodic elections take place without reference to political parties.

Multi-party system

Chronology of the universe as deduced by the prevailing Big Bang theory, a result from science and obtained knowledge

In political science, a multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national elections, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition.

Independent politician

Marshal Mannerheim, the 6th President of Finland

An independent or non-partisan politician is a politician not affiliated with any political party or bureaucratic association.

Party conference

The chairman's table at the Scottish Green Party's Autumn conference in November 2007. Note the agenda displayed on the screen behind.
20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956
Roll call of states during the 2008 Democratic National Convention at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Federal party diet (Bundesparteitag) 2015 of the German CDU, with Angela Merkel speaking.

The terms party conference (UK English), political convention (US and Canadian English), and party congress usually refer to a general meeting of a political party.