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Logo for an electoral alliance (Coligação Democrática Unitária - Unitarian Democratic Coalition - in Portugal)

An electoral alliance may take the form of a bipartisan electoral agreement, electoral agreement, electoral coalition, Electoral fusion or electoral bloc. It is an association of political parties or individuals which exists solely to stand in elections. Each of the parties within the alliance will have its own policies, but will choose temporarily to put aside differences in favour of common goals and ideology. On occasion, an electoral alliance may be formed by parties with very different policy goals, who agree to pool resources in order to stop a particular candidate or party from gaining power.

Unlike a coalition formed after an election, the partners in an electoral alliance will usually not run candidates against each other, and will encourage their supporters to vote for candidates from the other members of the alliance. In some agreements where a larger party enjoys a higher degree of success at the polls, the smaller party will field candidates under the banner of the larger party, with the elected members of the smaller party sitting together with the elected members of the larger party in the cabinet or legislature. They will usually, but not inevitably, aim to continue co-operation after the election, for example by campaigning together on issues on which they have a common viewpoint.

By offering to endorse or nominate a major party's candidate, minor parties can influence the candidate's platform.




United Kingdom

Electoral alliance survives to this day within the Labour Party which fields Labour Co-operative Party candidates in general elections in various areas.

Netherlands: Lijstverbinding

Lijstverbinding ("list connection") is the Dutch for an electoral alliance between two parties.

In a system of proportional representation not all seats are immediately divided, some seats remain undivided remainder seats. In the Netherlands these are allocated by the D'Hondt method. This method strongly favours larger parties (often smaller parties get no remainder seats, whereas the three largest parties get two each). But if smaller parties form an alliance their votes are added up for the distribution of seats, so this increases their chances of getting one. With a lijstverbinding or kartel two parties can pool their votes in order to gain more remainders seats.

Often these two parties are ideologically related, in the 2003 general elections for example the socialist SP and the green GroenLinks formed a lijstverbinding. In the 2004 European elections the social-democratic PvdA and GroenLinks formed a lijstverbinding. The Orthodox Protestant SGP and ChristenUnie also usually form a lijstverbinding.




Leaders of the Red-Greens in Sweden

See also


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