party system


party system
   A country’s party system is the more or less stable configuration of political parties that normally compete in national elections. It is based on how many parties exist, what support they have and the extent to which competition between them results in dramatic shifts following the outcome of an election. Three broad types exist in democracies: dominant party systems occur when one party is continuously in office (for example, the Japanese liberal democrats); two-party systems occur where one of two main parties normally forms a single-party government (in Britain, for example); and multi-party systems in which a legislature comprises several small to medium parties, a selection of which together form some kind of coalition government.

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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