Explanatory notes about the database.
Parties and Elections in Europe provides a comprehensive database
about the parliamentary elections in the European countries and
autonomous subdivisions since 1945 and additional informations about
the political parties, the political leaders, the composition of governments and the electoral
laws. The parties are
characterised according to their political orientation. The website
also contains an electoral calendar, news in brief and links to
parties and election authorities.
The independent and 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.
Officially recognised Europarties in 2014 (an Europarty, formally called a political party at European
is a party operating transnationally in Europe and in the institutions
of the European Union):
||: European People's Party
||: Movement for a Europe of Liberties and
||: Party of European Socialists
||: European Free Alliance
||: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats
||: European Alliance
||: European Green Party
||: Alliance of European National Movements
||: Alliance of European Conserv. and
||: European Christian Political Movement
||: Party of the European Left
||: European Democratic Party
Political internationals (listed are internationals with a specified
membership and at least one MP
in a parliament):
||: Socialist International
||: Global Greens
||: Centrist Democrat International
||: Pirate Party International
||: International Democrat Union
||: Committee for a Workers' International
||: Liberal International
systems: PR: Party-list proportional representation; MMP/AMS: Mixed-member proportional
representation/ Additional member system (mixed systems; one vote for a party
and a second for a candidate in a constituency; MMP with overhang/adjustment
seats); STV: Single
transferable vote (ranked voting in multi-seat constituencies); FPTP: First-past-the-post
(plurality voting in single-member constituencies); TRS: Two-round
(from left to right in the political spectrum)
The political parties are characterised according to their political
orientation (the main ideology is generally listed at the beginning, further
orientations are additionally listed
afterwards). The categories primarily base on the Cleavage Model
(Lipset/Rokkan defined four
basic cleavages: Owner-Worker, State-Church, Urban-Rural, Centre-Periphery) and the main types of party families noted by v.
The left-wing communist parties 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. They often originated after the Russian October Revolution
1917 from revolutionary factions of social democratic parties. Today some of them favour pluralist and reformist ways to achieve this
aim (formerly called eurocommunists), others still adhere to the following revolutionary doctrines
(keywords in brackets):
Marxist-Leninist (also called Leninist) parties prefer a non-pluralist orthodox
tendency developed by
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (leadership of a vanguard party, dictatorship of
the proletariat, centralism; official doctrine of the former SU).
Trotskyist parties favour a non-pluralist orthodox tendency established by Leon Trotsky
(leadership of a vanguard party, dictatorship of the proletariat, permanent
revolution, workers' councils, internationalism).
Socialist parties advocate a society characterised by equal access to resources for all
individuals. They resist the capitalist globalisation and intend to
reorganise the present socio-economic order through social ownership of the means of
production (employee-owned cooperatives and state-owned companies). Usually they developed out of the
New Left that came up in the mid-1960s or former communist parties.
Democratic socialist parties are closely related to social democratic
parties prefer a large public sector,
redistributive tax policies, workers' control of labour processes and public ownership of key
Eco-socialist parties usually combine democratic socialist, green and anti-globalisation
Social democracy: Social democratic parties are
centre-left parties rooted in the socialist labour movement of the 19th
century. Traditionally they are closely related to democratic socialist
parties. This (today) cross-class parties generally advocate a democratic welfare state and a mixed economy that contains privately-owned and state-owned
enterprises. They generally adhere to values as freedom, equality, solidarity
and social justice.
Third Way parties developed in the 1990s. This parties incorporate (economically) liberal topics as
deregulations, privatisations, lower taxes, reduced state interventions
into economic affairs and limited social welfare.
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 largely base on post-materialist values as
environmentalism, nonviolence, civil and human rights, grassroots and participatory
democracy, feminism, animal welfare and social justice.
(also called autonomist) parties
focus on the interests of a particular region. They intend to increase the region's
influence. Their aim is
a decentralisation of
governance and regional autonomy.
Minority parties intend to secure or to increase the rights of an ethnical or linguistical minority
Separatist parties advocate a full political secession of a particular region and the formation of a new
Centrism: Centrist parties are usually
moderate traditionalist parties which are in the centre of the political spectrum and 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 press and religion.
Conservative liberal parties combine liberal policies with more traditional stances on social and ethical issues (in some countries this form
of liberalism is traditionally known as
right-wing or national liberalism).
Social liberal parties stress civil liberties and human rights;
economically they tend to social market economies.
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. Economically, they usually
favour a social market model.
Conservatism: Originally inspired by natural law and formed by the
upper-class, conservative parties
today are middle-class organisations that seek to preserve established
traditions and the current the
status quo of a society or nation. 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 conservative parties combine conservative policies with more
liberal stances on social and ethical issues (literally the term is also used for a variant of conservatism which
simply incorporates free market policies).
National conservative parties combine conservative policies with
national stances. This socially traditional parties concentrate on national
They oppose a further European integration and favour the preservation of the
nation-state with its cultural identity. Usually they also advocate law-and-order
and strict immigration policies.
Social conservative parties focus on the preservation of traditional
social and ethical values; they especially support traditional family
values. In economic terms, many of them tend to a social market
Nationalism: The right-wing 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
Right-wing populist parties are protest parties that appeal to the fears and frustrations of the
public. They appeared first in the early 1970s. Their strategy rely on a combination of
nationalism with an anti-elitist rhetoric and a radical critique of the
political institutions. Normally they prefer strict law-and-order and
anti-immigration polices and tend to anti-Islamism. They often
also promote themselves as defenders of liberal values.
Right-wing extremist (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. These parties
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.
Others (single issues):
Agrarianism, Animal welfare, Anti-capitalism, Anti-clericalism,
Anti-corruption politics, Centralism, Environmentalism, Euroscepticism,
Feminism, Gaullism, Kemalism, Loyalism, Libertarianism, Monarchism, Pirate
politics (direct democracy, copyright reform, freedom of information, civil
rights), Pensioners' interests, Pro-EU/Eurasian Union/Russia, Religious beliefs (Christian left/right,
Evangelicalism, Islamism), Statism, Unionism.
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