Elections in Europe
Parties and Elections in Europe provides a comprehensive database
about legislative elections in Europe since 1945.
Political parties are classified according to their orientation.
The private website was established by Wolfram Nordsieck in 1997. The editor began his comparative
study of political parties, party systems, elections and constitutional laws in the late 1980s.
Thereafter he studied law and modern history at the Heinrich Heine University
Düsseldorf, Germany. Today he practices law.
POLITICAL PARTIES AT EUROPEAN LEVEL (EUROPARTIES)
(from left to right in the political spectrum)
Communism: Communist parties
primarily adhere to Marxism developed by Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels in the 19th century. Their aim is the free and classless society based on common ownership of the means of
production. This parties intend to
overthrow the present capitalist system through revolutionary action
of the working class. They often originated after the Russian Revolution
of 1917 from leftist factions of socialist or social democratic
- Marxism-Leninism: Marxist-Leninist (Leninist)
parties prefer a non-pluralist orthodox form of communism developed by
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (leadership of a vanguard party,
dictatorship of the proletariat, centralism).
- Trotskyism: Trotskyist parties favour a
non-pluralist form of communism established by Leon Trotsky (leadership of
a vanguard party, dictatorship of the proletariat, proletarian
internationalism, permanent revolution).
Socialism: Socialist parties oppose the present capitalist system and intend to establish a social and economic system
characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy
(state-owned enterprises, employee-owned cooperatives, common
ownership). They advocate a society characterised by equal access to resources for all
individuals. In general, they emphasise values as equality, solidarity
and social justice.
- Democratic socialism: Democratic socialist parties advocate a strong welfare state with a large public
sector. They resist the capitalist globalisation and propose a reorganisation of the
present socio-economic order through more public ownership, workers' control of the labour process and redistributive tax
- Eco-socialism: Eco-socialist parties combine
socialist, green and anti-globalisation policies.
Green politics: Most of the green and alternative parties were founded in the late
1970s as part of the new social movements that came up in the mid-1960s (in particular the
ecology, peace, women's and anti-nuclear movements). This parties base on values as
environmentalism, feminism, nonviolence, civil and human rights, animal
welfare and social justice.
Social democracy: Social democratic parties are
centre-left parties rooted in the socialist labour movement of the 19th
century. They advocate a democratic welfare state and a mixed economy that contains
privately-owned and state-owned enterprises. This parties adhere to values as
freedom, equality, solidarity and social justice. Since the 1990s, most of them incorporated economically liberal topics as limited social
welfare, privatisations, deregulations and lower company taxes (Third Way).
Regionalism: Regionalist (autonomist) parties focus on the interests of a particular region
within a state. They generally intend to secure or to increase the region's
influence. Their aim is a decentralisation of governance,
self-determination and regional autonomy.
- Separatism: Separatist parties usually advocate a
full political secession of a particular region with its ethnical,
linguistical or cultural identity and the formation
of a new state.
- Minority interests: Parties of minorities intend to
secure or to increase the rights of an ethnical or linguistical
Centrism: Centrist parties are usually
moderate traditionalist parties which take a centrist position on the socio-economic left-right
Liberalism: Liberal parties are
middle-class parties based on the tradition of political liberalism,
a movement of the 18th century. The doctrine of liberalism considers personal freedom
to be the most important goal. In particular it favours free markets, free
trade, limited governments, low taxes and private property (economic
liberalism) as well as equality for all citizens under the law, civil
rights, secularism and freedom of speech, press and religion.
- Conservative liberalism: Conservative liberal parties combine liberal policies with more traditional stances
on social and ethical issues and some national views (in some
countries this form of
right-wing liberalism is traditionally known as national
- Social liberalism: Social liberal parties stress civil rights
and favour a social market economy.
Christian democracy: The Christian social doctrine
(basic principle: human dignity) is the main inspiration of Christian democratic
parties. This cross-class parties advocate
Christian ethical and moderate social conservative stances. They are very supportive of family values and adhere to principles as
freedom, solidarity and subsidiarity. This parties
oppose any form of secularism. Usually they advocate a social market
Conservatism: Originally inspired by natural law and formed by the
upper-class, conservative parties today are usually middle-class organisations that seek to preserve established
traditions and the current status quo of a society. They normally advocate traditional values as
authority, nation, religion, family, stability and continuity. Over the time they
incorporated some liberal values, especially on economic issues (free market
- Liberal conservatism: Liberal conservative parties combine conservative policies with more
liberal stances on social and ethical issues.
- Social conservatism: Social conservative parties focus on the preservation of traditional
social, ethical and religious values. They usually advocate a social market
- National conservatism: National conservative parties combine conservative policies with national
They oppose a further European integration and prefer the preservation of the
nation-state with its cultural identity. Normally they favour social
stability and traditional social, ethical and religious values.
Right-wing populism: Right-wing populist parties are protest parties that appeal to the
fears and frustrations of the public. They appeared first in the early 1970s.
This parties combine national stances with an anti-elitist rhetoric and a radical critique of
political institutions. They usually prefer strict law-and-order and anti-immigration polices and tend to anti-Islamism.
Nationalism: Nationalist parties believe that
the nation with its collective ethnical, linguistical and cultural
its natural order and its sovereignty is of primary importance. This involves a strong identification with the nation-state and its
symbols. It usually also includes negative views of other nations.
- Far-right politics: Far-right parties are ultra-nationalist parties that adhere to a pure form of the nation
defined by ethnicity. They believe that a nation state requires a collective
identity and a strong leadership. This parties challenge the equality of all
humans. They tend to forms of authoritarianism, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and
corporatism. Normally they are hostile to the present
democratic systems and their values.
Agrarianism, Animal welfare, Anti-clericalism, Anti-corruption
Civil rights, Copyright reform, Direct democracy, Environmentalism,
Euroscepticism, Feminism, Freedom of information, Gaullism,
Kemalism, Loyalism, Libertarianism, Monarchism, Pensioners'
interests, Pro-EU, Religious beliefs (Christian left, Christian right, Evangelicalism,
Islamism), Statism, Unionism.
AMS: Additional member system; FPTP: First-past-the-post; MMP: Mixed-member proportional
representation; PR: Party-list proportional
representation; STV: Single transferable vote; TRS: Two-round system;
MP/MEP: Member of Parliament/European Parliament; S.: Seats; ... : Not specified.
The website is devoted to share data on a free basis. All figures can be
saved for private purposes. Every publication in media or a commercial use requires
a written approval.
© Wolfram Nordsieck, Merkurstraße 1, 40223 Düsseldorf. E-Mail:
News, suggestions and corrections are always welcome.