Big tent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In politics, a big tent or catch-all party is a type of political party that seeks to attract voters from different points of view and ideologies. This is in contrast to other parties that defend a determined ideology and seek voters who adhere to that ideology and convince people towards it.



The centre-right National Coalition Party has been described as catch-all party supporting the interests of the urban middle classes.[1]


The La République En Marche! party founded by President Emmanuel Macron has been described as a centrist party with a catch-all nature.[2]


Both the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) are considered big tent or catch-all parties, known in German as Volksparteien ("people's parties").[3]


The Indian National Congress attracted support from Indians of all classes, castes and religions opposed to the British Empire.[4]


Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are considered catch-all parties, both being supported by people from different social classes and political ideologies.[5] Both parties are however usually described as being on the centre-right.


In Italy, the Five Star Movement led by comedian and actor Beppe Grillo has been described as a catch-all, protest party and "post-ideological big tent" because its supporters do not share similar policy preferences, are split on major economic and social issues and are united largely based on "anti-establishment" sentiments.[6] The Five Star Movement's "successful campaign formula combined anti-establishment sentiments with an economic and political protest which extends beyond the boundaries of traditional political orientations", yet its "'catch-all' formula" has limited its ability to become "a mature, functional, effective and coherent contender for government".[6] Forza Italia and its predecessor on the centre-right and the Democratic Party on the centre-left are considered catch-all parties, both having been formed from mergers of political parties with numerous ideological backgrounds.


The centre-left Socialist Party (PS) and centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) have been described as catch-all parties.[7]

United Kingdom[edit]

When Gordon Brown became British Prime Minister in 2007, he invited several members from outside the Labour Party into his government. These included former CBI Director-General Digby Jones who became a Minister of State and former Liberal Democrats leader Paddy Ashdown who was offered the position of Northern Ireland Secretary (Ashdown turned down the offer).[8][9] The media often referred to Brown's ministry as "a government of all the talents" or simply "Brown's big tent".[10]

United States[edit]

The Democratic Party during the New Deal coalition, formed in support of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal policies from 1930s until 1960s, was a "big-tent" party.[11] This coalition brought together labor unions, working-class voters, farm organizations, liberals, Southern Democrats, African Americans, urban voters and immigrants.[12][13]

The Blue Dog Coalition is a big-tent of centrist and conservative Democrats, some being socially conservative and fiscally and economically progressive or vice versa.[citation needed]

Following the 1974 Dallas Accord, the Libertarian Party embraced the big tent idea to the extent it ensured that the anarchist-capitalist views would not be excluded from the majority minarchist party.[14]

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Socialist Party USA (SPUSA) and Solidarity US are big tent (multi-tendency) organizations for socialist ideologies.[citation needed]

Other examples[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lauri Karvonen (2014). Parties, Governments and Voters in Finland: Politics Under Fundamental Societal Transformation. ECPR Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-910259-33-7. 
  2. ^ a b Sophie Di Francesco-Mayot (2017). "The French Parti Socialiste (2010–16): from office to crisis". In Rob Manwaring; Paul Kennedy. Why the Left Loses: The Decline of the Centre-Left in Comparative Perspective. Policy Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-1-4473-3269-5. 
  3. ^ a b c Isabelle Hertner; James Sloam (2014). "The Europeanisation of the German Party System". In Erol Külahci. Europeanisation and Party Politics: How the EU affects Domestic Actors, Patterns and Systems. ECPR Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-907301-84-1. 
  4. ^ Meyer, Karl Ernest; Brysac, Shareen Blair (2012). Pax Ethnica: Where and How Diversity Succeeds. PublicAffairs. pp. 64–. ISBN 9781610390484. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Liam Weeks (2018). "Parties and the party system". In John Coakley; Michael Gallagher. Politics in the Republic of Ireland: Sixth Edition. Taylor & Francis. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-317-31269-7. 
  6. ^ a b Valentina Romei, Five Star Movement: the protest party explained in charts: Direct democracy and rejection of binary politics brings success but stunts maturity, Financial Times (January 10, 2017).
  7. ^ a b c Marco Lisi; André Freire (2014). "The selection of political party leaders in Portugal". In Jean-Benoit Pilet; William Cross. The Selection of Political Party Leaders in Contemporary Parliamentary Democracies: A Comparative Study. Routledge. p. 124. ISBN 978-1-317-92945-1. 
  8. ^ "In full: Brown's government". BBC News. June 29, 2007. 
  9. ^ "The fallout from Brown's job offer". BBC News. June 21, 2007. 
  10. ^ "First 100 days: Gordon Brown". BBC News. October 5, 2007. 
  11. ^ David C. King, "The Polarization of American Parties and Mistrust of Government" in Why People Don't Trust Government (eds. Joseph S. Nye, Philip Zelikow, David C. King: Harvard University Press, 1997).
  12. ^ Lisa Young, Feminists and Party Politics (University of Michigan Press, 2000), p. 84.
  13. ^ Holly M. Allen, "New Deal Coalition" in Class in America: An Encyclopedia (Vol. 2: H-P), ed. Robert E. Weir (ABC-CLIO, 2007), p. 571: "During the 1930s liberals, labor unions, white ethnics, African Americans, farm groups, and Southern whites united to form the New Deal coalition. Though never formally organized, the coalition was sufficiently cohesive to make the Democratic Party the majority party from 1931 into the 1980s. Democrats won seven out of nine presidential contests and maintained majorities in both houses of Congress from 1932 to 1964. The divisiveness of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War, the increasing segmentation of the labor force, and waning influence of unions, and the relative weakness of Democratic Party leadership are among the factors that led to the coalition's erosion in the late 1960s."
  14. ^ Paul Gottfried, The conservative movement: Social movements past and present , Twayne Publishers, 1993, p. 46.
  15. ^ Hroník, Jiří. "Známe tajemství velkého úspěchu Andreje Babiše". Parlamentní listy. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  16. ^ Mlejnek, Josef. "Marketing jako kingmaker aneb Kam směřují české politické strany?". Revue Politika. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Sarah Elise Wiliarty (16 August 2010). The CDU and the Politics of Gender in Germany: Bringing Women to the Party. Cambridge University Press. pp. 218–221. ISBN 978-1-139-49116-7. 
  18. ^ Daniel Gallas. "Dilma Rousseff and Brazil face up to decisive month". BBC. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  19. ^ James L. Newell; James Newell (28 January 2010). The Politics of Italy: Governance in a Normal Country. Cambridge University Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-521-84070-5. 
  20. ^ Jane L. Curry (2011). "Poland: The Politics of "God's Playground"". In Sharon L. Wolchik; Jane L. Curry. Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7425-6734-4. 
  21. ^ Maria Maguire (1986). "Ireland". In Peter Flora. Growth to Limits: Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy. Walter de Gruyter. p. 333. ISBN 978-3-11-011131-6. 
  22. ^ Eoin O'Malley (2011). Contemporary Ireland. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-230-34382-5. 
  23. ^ Ditrych, Ondrej (July 2013). "The Georgian succession" (PDF). European Union Institute for Security Studies. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2016. ...GD as a catch-all movement... 
  24. ^ Lowell Barrington (2009). Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices. Cengage Learning. p. 379. ISBN 0-618-49319-0. 
  25. ^ Mohammadighalehtaki, Ariabarzan (2012). Organisational Change in Political Parties in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. With Special Reference to the Islamic Republic Party (IRP) and the Islamic Iran Participation Front Party (Mosharekat) (Ph.D. thesis). Durham University. p. 176. 
  26. ^ https://www.lesinrocks.com/2017/06/09/actualite/legislatives-le-parti-demmanuel-macron-un-caractere-attrape-tout-11954037/
  27. ^ Glenn D. Hook; Julie Gilson; Christopher W. Hughes; Hugo Dobson (2001). Japan's International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security. Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-134-32806-2. 
  28. ^ Sigrid Baringhorst; Veronika Kneip; Johanna Niesyto (2009). Political Campaigning on the Web. transcript Verlag. p. 236. ISBN 978-3-8376-1047-5. 
  29. ^ O'Kane, David; Hepner, Tricia (2011), Biopolitics, Militarism, and Development: Eritrea in the Twenty-First Century, Berghahn Books, p. xx, ISBN 9780857453990, retrieved 15 January 2011 
  30. ^ William Cross (2015). "Party Membership in Quebec". In Emilie van Haute; Anika Gauja. Party Members and Activists. Routledge. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-317-52432-8. 
  31. ^ David Torrance, "Scotland's Progressive Dilemma," The Political Quarterly, 88 (2017): 52–59. doi:10.1111/1467-923X.12319
  32. ^ Severin Carrell, "Alex Salmond's big tent bulges as Tommy Sheridan lends voteless support," The Guardian, 25 April 2011. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/2011/apr/25/alex-salmond-tommy-sheridan-election
  33. ^ Tom Gallagher; Allan M. Williams (1989). "Southern European socialism in the 1990s". In Tom Gallagher; Allan M. Williams. Southern European Socialism: Parties, Elections, and the Challenge of Government. Manchester University Press. pp. 271–. ISBN 978-0-7190-2500-6. . Page 271.
  34. ^ Günther Pallaver (2008). "South Tyrol's Consociational Democracy: Between Political Claim and Social Reality". In Jens Woelk; Francesco Palermo; Joseph Marko. Tolerance Through Law: Self Governance and Group Rights In South Tyrol. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 305, 309. ISBN 978-90-04-16302-7. 
  35. ^ David Lublin (2014). Minority Rules: Electoral Systems, Decentralization, and Ethnoregional Party Success. Oxford University Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-19-994884-0. 
  36. ^ Sventlana S. Bodrunova; Anna A. Litvinenko (2013). "New media and political protest: the formation of a public counter-sphere in Russia, 2008–2012". In Andrey Makarychev; Andre Mommen. Russia’s Changing Economic and Political Regimes: The Putin Years and Afterwards. Routledge. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-135-00695-2. 
  37. ^ "Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes): "We are all in, we've reached the end of the line"". Ara. 2015-07-21. 
  38. ^ "MORENA (National Regeneration Movement)". 2018-01-21.