minor party


Definition of minor party 

: a political party whose electoral strength is so small as to prevent its gaining control of a government except in rare and exceptional circumstances

Examples of minor party in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The election pits a loose grouping of Fretilin and a minor party against a formal alliance of three parties led by Gusmao’s party, which together voted against Fretilin’s policy program and budget, resulting in the new election. Washington Post, "East Timor hero calls for restraint after campaign violence," 7 May 2018 The deputy prime minister, Winston Peters, who is the leader of a minor party, is acting prime minister in her absence. New York Times, "New Zealand’s Leader, Jacinda Ardern, Introduces Baby Daughter," 23 June 2018 There are also another 35,034 voters unaffiliated with either major party and another 800 or so belonging to one of the minor parties. The Aegis, "Your duty calls [Editorial]," 22 June 2018 Maha Kamel and her sister, both under 30, voted for a candidate on a minor party list. Philip Issa, Fox News, "At Iraq's polls, many voters seek patronage and jobs," 13 May 2018 That did not come to pass — only 1.4 percent of active voters in the state are registered with minor parties — but this year’s crowded gubernatorial field does include two independent candidates. Matthew Kauffman, courant.com, "Former Lt. Gov. Eunice Groark Dies at 80," 9 May 2018 But the current system based on the raw vote has almost erased the names of minor parties come November. John Myers, latimes.com, "California's free-for-all primary election rules could surprise everyone in 2018 ... again," 19 Mar. 2018 Thanks to a redistribution of electoral boundaries, a series of outsider minor parties are threatening to break the stranglehold of Australia's two major parties. Royce Kurmelovs, CNN, "Political mavericks shake South Australia out of its two-party torpor," 15 Mar. 2018 The decision about who would govern was left to Mr. Peters, the leader of the populist minor party, New Zealand First, which held the balance of power. Charlotte Graham, New York Times, "New Zealand’s Leader, Jacinda Ardern, Says She Is Pregnant," 18 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minor party.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of minor party

1949, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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The first known use of minor party was in 1949

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What made you want to look up minor party? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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