How many parties are there?

It is surprising just how challenging it can be to answer the question, how many parties are there in an election? Of course, it was precisely because counting parties is not actually straightforward that the “effective” number of parties was devised (Laakso and Taagepera, 1979). It is a size-weighted count, and a valuable index of party-system fragmentation.

However, sometimes we might actually want a more “raw” count. It may be of limited utility to use a straight count that takes the party with one seat to be equivalent to the party that won more than half, yet even limited utility is utility. For instance, in building the models in Shugart and Taagepera (2017), Votes from Seats, we often needed to resort to “actual number of seat-winning parties” even if only as one step towards some broader model-building goal. (For vote-earners it is even harder, so we rely on a phantom quantity, the “number of pertinent vote-earning parties”.)

It might seem that counting how many parties won seats would be pretty straightforward. And, yes, of course, it is! Just count how many have at least one seat. However, if one wants to use this number to build further, it might be a dead-end. For instance, if we are trying to determine how many “serious” parties there are (and this is not the same thing as the “effective” number) we probably want to eliminate some very minor parties even if they have a seat.

We would not want, for example, to count every independent as a “party” if we were trying to count parties in a meaningful sense of the latter term. And we certainly do not want to aggregate all independents as if they were collectively a single party. An independent, by definition, is running on his or her own efforts and in one district. So an independent is not a party any more than the entire collection of independents is a party.

And then there are regional parties. Clearly they matter, and can even be very important in some countries. Right now in the UK, one of them is needed to give the government a majority in the House of Commons. And the parliament of India is full of them. So is Spain’s, and recent events remind us that regional politics really is a thing in Spain.

A related complication arises when some “national” party is in some sense an alliance of many parties that use distinct labels (and maybe have distinct local alliance partners) in different electoral districts or clusters of districts. Again, Spain is such a case. The “United Left” is anything but, as it operates under different local labels and alliances in different regions. Yet most sources would say it is one party at the national level. Perhaps it is, but then we may be losing something of value about Spanish politics if we ignore the fact that the “party” is presenting a different name to voters in different places.

I will not be proposing a specific solution here, but I wanted to determine how different standards of what to count make a difference to the number we end up.

I will set a series of standards for how “serious” a party needs to be. The most lax one is simply to count any label under which at least one candidate was elected. This approach means counting each independent as a “party” and it also means counting any alliance in one district that has even a slightly different label or combine of parties than in another district as a distinct party. (Immediate issue: the method may not recognize where the “same” party/alliance presents its name under a different local language. Maybe that’s not actually an issue, or maybe it is.)

We can then go one step towards a more restrictive count by dropping any party that ran only in the district in which it won. This standard obviously drops all independents.

Next steps towards more restrictions in what counts as a “party” take some exponent on the total number of districts, and say a party must have run in that number to be counted. For example, it must have run in a number of districts equal to the square root of the total number of electoral districts (E). Or it must have run in E^.75 or E^.975, or whatever. Any such cutoff is obviously arbitrary. I rather like E^.975 for defining “national” parties because it means almost every district without “penalizing” a party that does not run in a few districts. For instance, in the UK 2010 it means 553 districts and in the US it means 374. But in a country with few districts, it imposes the requirement that the party run everywhere (Luxembourg has only four districts, and 4^.975 is still 4 when we round up). For most purposes, however, this is much too strict a way to count “how many parties there are”. We can use E^.75, which works out to nearly half in the US and UK, but still almost all districts in countries with few districts (like many PR countries, as well as small island states).

Of course, E^.75 will cut out parties that sure seem to matter, like the SNP in the UK. There’s no good answer!

(Why not use some fraction of the districts? Because sometimes there is just one district, and an exponent does not run into the problem of allowing the number of districts to count as serious to be less than one.)

So let’s see what difference it makes. The table below (which I know exceeds the template’s parameters!) gives the counts via different measures from some recent elections, but I will pull out a few to discuss.

If we use all seat-winning lists in Brazil, we get around 100! That’s because parties appear in different alliances in every state, and so every district-list that wins a seat gets counted as a separate party. If we use the E^.75 standard, we are down to no parties! Not good. (By way of comparison, counts based on national reports of election results would yield 18 to 22 parties in recent Brazilian elections. But these counts include the component parties, not accounting for the various state-level alliance lists in which most of the seats are won. So really they are counting something different, and it is not clear which is correct. A similar situation arises in Finland, albeit less drastically. See the note and links at the bottom of the table.)

Somewhat more practically, take the case of India in 1999. Counting all seat-winners gives us 44, which is rather absurd. But as soon as we drop all those who ran only in the district where they won, we are down to 31. That is valuable information because it tells us that several of these “parties” have no plausible impact on the national party system (unless of course their one seat becomes pivotal in the assembly). If we cut it to E^.5, we are left with 15. Still a lot of parties, but it really underscores how many of these parties have only a token presence in vote-earning outside the places they win. Even at E^.75, the Indian count seems reasonable as a rough approximation of “national” partes (5). The other  cutoffs clearly bite too hard. (In India, knowing only the electoral system, we would expect around five parties, because the seat product (543) raised to 1/4 gives us 4.83. We show in Votes from Seats that this formula is very accurate for most elections in a worldwide dataset. We also show that if the many Indian regional parties with seats are counted according to their national alliances, the seat product correctly estimates the effective number of components (alliances rather than parties); I do not know what the raw count of the number of seat-winning alliances is, but about five would be close.)

How about the UK? We start with 11 seat-winners in 2010; dropping those that run only in one district still leaves us with 10. Yes, the UK is pretty fragmented, after the big parties! The square-root standard leaves six, which is probably a reasonable count. (By the seat product, we’d expect 5.)  Let’s see, we have Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National, Plaid Cymru, and pick your favorite Northern Ireland party. Even if we go all the way to E^.975, we still have three, which is sensible. If anyone asks me which are the “national” parties in the UK, I will say Conservatives, Labour, and Liberal Democrat. Full stop.

Now look at Spain. Here it is not so helpful, but it again highlights something salient about the country’s politics–just how regional it is. In 2011, we have 24 “parties” winning at least one seat. That is almost one for every two districts (there are 52). Twenty of these remain if we drop those that run only in one district. Clearly E^.975 fails to reflect that there are at the very least two “national” parties in Spain (PP and PSOE); it counts only one. But at E^.9 we get three, which is more like it for pre-2016 elections (and we get 3 also at E^.75). (For whatever it is worth, a count based on the nationwide reporting of parties–for which something like the United Left gets counted as one party–results in 13 seat-winning parties in Spain in 2011.)

The table also includes counts of how many parties run, whether or not they win, at the various standards other than the rather useless one of anyone appearing on a ballot or getting a vote. Check out Albania! Even the US sometimes has more than ten parties running in 21 or more districts and Canada has a similar number running in 17 or more.

The bottom line is that counting parties is less straightforward than it might seem. If we need a relatively raw count, rather than the effective number (or some other index) then we need some standard of what “counts” as a party. It may not be every one that has one seat, just like it surely is not every one that appears on a ballot or wins a vote. Different standards might be useful for different purposes, but one needs to be careful so as not to pick a standard because it gives the count one wants. That is, there needs to be a scientific purpose behind the selected standard.

 

Country Year E (no. districts) no. seat-winners no. seat-winners running E>1  no. seat-winners running E^.5  no. seat-winners running E^.75  no. seat-winners running E^.9  no. seat-winners running E^.975 no. running in E^.5 districts no. running in E^.75 districts no. running in E^.9 districts no. running in E^.975 districts
Albania 2009 12 6 6 6 6 6 6 34 34 34 34
Albania 2013 12 7 7 7 7 7 7 66 66 66 66
Barbados 1999 28 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Barbados 2003 30 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Barbados 2008 30 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Brazil_a 1998 27 82 10 1 1 1 0 2 2 2 0
Brazil_a 2002 27 98 13 3 0 0 0 6 1 0 0
Brazil_a 2006 27 101 16 3 0 0 0 8 2 1 0
Brazil_a 2010 27 99 10 2 1 1 0 5 2 1 0
Canada 2000 301 5 5 5 5 4 4 11 8 4 4
Canada 2004 308 5 4 4 4 3 3 10 6 4 4
Canada 2006 308 5 4 4 4 3 3 11 5 4 4
Canada 2008 308 6 4 4 4 3 3 10 5 4 4
Canada 2011 308 5 5 5 5 4 4 9 5 4 4
Chile_a 2005 60 3 3 3 2 2 2 4 3 3 3
Colombia 2006 33 19 15 10 8 4 1 18 12 6 1
Colombia 2010 33 13 11 11 11 5 2 12 11 5 2
Colombia 2014 33 14 12 9 9 6 2 10 10 6 2
Costa Rica 1998 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 14 14 14 14
Costa Rica 2002 7 5 5 5 5 5 5 13 13 13 13
Costa Rica 2006 7 8 5 5 5 5 5 13 13 13 13
Costa Rica 2010 7 8 7 7 7 7 7 9 9 9 9
Croatia 2007 13 9 8 6 6 2 0 22 17 5 0
Czechia 2002 14 4 4 4 4 4 4 23 21 21 21
Czechia 2006 14 5 5 5 5 5 5 20 18 18 18
Dominican Rep. 1998 30 3 3 3 3 3 3 13 12 10 10
Dominican Rep. 2002 47 3 3 3 3 3 3 18 18 18 14
Dominican Rep. 2006 47 3 3 3 3 3 3 20 20 18 16
El Salvador 2006 14 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
El Salvador 2009 14 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6
Finland_a 1999 15 25 6 6 5 2 0 9 7 3 0
Finland_a 2003 15 21 7 7 5 2 0 12 8 5 0
Finland_a 2007 15 20 7 6 6 2 0 14 10 5 0
Finland_a 2011 15 13 8 8 7 6 0 16 14 9 0
Ghana 2000 200 10 4 4 4 4 3 6 6 5 3
Ghana 2004 230 5 4 4 4 3 2 6 4 3 2
Honduras 2001 18 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
India 1998 543 45 34 14 6 2 1 18 6 2 1
India 1999 543 44 31 15 5 2 0 20 6 2 0
Israel 2003 1 13 0 13 13 13 13 27 27 27 27
Israel 2006 1 12 0 12 12 12 12 31 31 31 31
Israel 2009 1 12 0 12 12 12 12 33 33 33 33
Israel 2013 1 12 0 12 12 12 12 32 32 32 32
Jamaica 2002 60 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 3 2 2
Luxembourg 2004 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 7 6 6 6
Luxembourg 2013 4 6 6 6 6 6 6 9 9 9 9
Netherlands 2002 1 10 0 10 10 10 10 16 16 16 16
Netherlands 2003 1 9 0 9 9 9 9 19 19 19 19
Netherlands 2006 1 10 0 10 10 10 10 24 24 24 24
Netherlands 2010 1 10 0 10 10 10 10 18 18 18 18
Peru 2001 25 11 11 11 11 11 8 13 13 13 9
Peru 2006 25 7 7 7 7 7 6 24 23 19 10
Peru 2011 26 6 6 6 6 6 6 13 11 10 8
Portugal 2002 20 5 5 5 5 5 5 11 9 9 7
Portugal 2005 20 5 5 5 5 5 5 10 9 9 7
Portugal 2009 20 5 5 5 5 5 5 15 14 12 9
Portugal 2011 20 5 5 5 5 5 5 17 17 17 17
Spain 2000 52 22 18 6 3 1 1 23 10 7 3
Spain 2004 52 19 15 2 2 2 1 22 14 10 5
Spain 2008 52 16 12 3 3 3 2 31 19 11 7
Spain 2011 52 24 20 4 3 3 1 14 9 6 1
Trinidad 2000 36 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Trinidad 2001 36 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 3 3 2
Trinidad 2002 36 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 3 2 2
Trinidad 2007 41 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3
Trinidad 2010 41 4 4 3 2 1 1 4 2 1 1
UK 2001 659 10 9 5 3 3 3 12 5 4 3
UK 2005 646 12 10 6 3 3 3 12 5 4 3
UK 2010 650 11 10 6 4 3 3 12 6 4 4
US 2008 435 2 2 2 2 2 2 10 4 2 2
US 2010 435 2 2 2 2 2 2 8 4 2 2
US 2012 435 4 3 2 2 2 2 9 4 2 2
Zambia 2001 150 8 7 7 7 7 5 11 8 7 5
Zambia 2006 150 9 5 5 3 3 2 7 3 3 2

Note: There a country has “_a” after its name it indicates that the counts are based on alliance lists, not the individual parties that comprise the list. I have discussed this issue before (e.g., on BrazilChile and in a comparison of Brazil and Finland.

Data source: This information is all extracted from the Belden and Shugart dataset acknowledged in Votes from Seats. Much of the original data comes from the Constituency Level Electoral Archive, although some of it we collected ourselves.

 

 

18 thoughts on “How many parties are there?

  1. You list Canada as having 6 parties that won seats in 2008. We had 4: Conservative, Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, and NDP, which all ran in virtually every seat in the provinces they ran in. You say 5 in 2006 and 2004; again it was 4. For 2000 and 2011, 5 is correct.

    • One Independent was elected in 2004 and 2006, and two were elected in 2008. As Matthew says, “The most lax one is simply to count any label under which at least one candidate was elected. This approach means counting each independent as a “party””.

  2. I performed the exercise for Australia’s 2016 election. The results were surprising. Because you were ambiguous with the meaning of E (the number of districts in which a party stood candidates or the number of districts available), I’ll use e for the former and E for the latter.

    With a 150 seat parliament, the thresholds are E = 150, E^0.5 ~= 10, E^0.75 ~= 43, E^0.9 ~= 91, E^0.975 ~= 132.

    First for winning parties. Two independents (Wilkie and McGowan) and nine parties won seats: Katter’s Australia Party (sat 1; stood 12), Nick Xenophon Team (1; 18), The Greens (1; 134 avoided WA), the Australian Labor Party (Northern Territory) Branch (1; 2), The Nationals (10; 22), the Liberal National Party of Queensland (21; 30), Labor (24; 47; NSW only), Australian Labor Party (43; 101; avoided NSW) and Liberal (45; 107). No party (winning or otherwise) stood candidates in every single electorate, The Greens at 134 stood the most.

    |e > 0| = 11
    |e > 1| = 9
    |e > E^0.5| = 8
    |e > E^0.75| = 4 (Labor, Australian Labor Party, Liberal, The Greens)
    |e > E^0.9| = 3 (Australian Labor Party, Liberal, The Greens)
    |e > E^0.975| = 1 (only The Greens)

    And then for parties who stood candidates:

    |e > 0| = 53 parties + 110 independents = 163
    |e > 1| = 43
    |e > E^0.5| = 21
    |e > E^0.75| = 6 (+ Family First 48, Christian Democratic Party Fred Nile Group 55)
    |e > E^0.9| = 3
    |e > E^0.975| = 1

    So according to the standard of different name, however subtly, means a different party, only The Greens (who avoid an entire state) are national by the most stringent standard. I don’t know why the ALP uses different labels in NSW or the Northern Territory. This practice isn’t consistent over time; in some other elections, NSW have also stood some candidates as Country Labor or used the national brand for all, the NT branch has used a unique name which doesn’t include a reference to the territory, and the ACT has used their divisional name. I guess the Greens (WA) use a different label as a holdover from the time when they were still a separate party. Or it might have a contemporary ramification I don’t know.

    We could recalculate these according to how we predict they might sit in parliament once elected. For instance, The Greens (WA) and The Greens have a single party room and they’re known as the Greens, and the three ALP labels have a single caucus. But then Liberal National candidates would need to be assigned to Liberal or the Nationals, even if they’ve never won that seat. I think that answers a different question: Party strength in parliament. It could be calculated comfortably in countries which have unelected chambers. It’s a different thing.

    We could recalculate by instead merging parties if they are registered as divisions of the same party. This means that the Liberal National Party of Queensland, which is a division of the Liberal Party of Australia, will be merged away but the Country Liberals (Northern Territory) will remain. This only affects the larger parties the Greens, the ALP, the Liberals and the Nationals. But some LNP members, no matter how they stand, sit as Nationals in Canberra. So it seems like it doesn’t answer a question anyone wants to ask.

    Or we could go by the acronyms. I don’t know how these are assigned or if there’s any process by which the party could object to them. It seems to do the right thing, counting the Greens and Labor branches as one party but the LNP and separate from the Liberals. It also merges the since deregistered Family First and Family First Party into FFP. It’s also easy to do without any additional political knowledge outside of the downloads the AEC gives, but it isn’t something printed on the ballot so it’s not something taken into consideration by voters when they’re voting. But it’s easy and intuitive, so I’ll do it:

    Seating parties:

    |e > 0| = 9
    |e > 1| = 7 (KAP, XEN, NP, LNP, LP, ALP, GRN)
    |e > E^0.5| = 7
    |e > E^0.75| = 3 (LP, ALP, GRN)
    |e > E^0.9| = 3
    |e > E^0.975| = 2 (ALP, GRN)

    Standing parties:

    |e > 0| = 49 parties + 110 independents = 163
    |e > 1| = 39
    |e > E^0.5| = 18
    |e > E^0.75| = 5 (+ FFP 65, CDP 55)
    |e > E^0.9| = 3
    |e > E^0.975| = 2

    I’m clearly deviating from your intention the moment I reject the first results. I’m think you probably were right – instead of rejecting results I don’t like, I need to ask, *why* is Labor different in NSW and NT? The very fact that they’re different in those places proves that there is or has been some distinction which might only be relevant party-internally, but it still seems somehow important.

    It also reinforces my view that N_s and N_v aren’t enough. Perhaps it’s better to be counting effective numbers of labels/lists by votes, labels/lists by seats won and by party rooms in parliament. Sometimes (e.g. in Finland) it might also be possible to calculate effective number of parties by vote. Sometimes it might be trivially simple to find out party room size by looking at election results, but that’s clearly not the case in Australia where for the time being the LNP gets cut up and you need to manual check. Defections, mergers and appointments will also have an effect.

    I still don’t know how many parties there are in Australia.

      • It is my understanding (and someone please correct me if I am wrong) that it is nearly nonsensical to consider ANY of the state branches of the ALP has separate parties. They are merely state branches in a system where all MPs represent one state and one state only.

        I’ll call them different parties when there is any chance of the QLD Labor caucus crossing the floor to sit with the WA Nationals in opposition to a Liberal/NSW Labor government.

      • I agree with both you and Mark that it’s surprising to consider the ALP in the NT as a separate party. Especially when there’s no consistency between elections. But I was performing the activity as specified.

        I suspect it might have significance even if we’ll never see anything like what Mark describes. But there’s probably some significance, because there’s apparently separate decision-making processes in some of the state branches which come to different conclusions and/or because it’s necessary to brand differently in different areas. That makes the system different from one where there’s only a single national decision-making process and only a single national branding. These show points of weakness, but they might never fracture.

        I don’t claim that makes them different parties in the same way that the Labor and Liberal parties are different parties. But the exercise wasn’t about how their members vote in parliament or what governments they support. That one has different rules.

      • Though without excluding cases like the NT Labor feature, to what extent does this figure depend upon arbitrary decisions by the body responsible for collating data? The Scottish and Welsh Labour/Conservative/Lib Dem/Green parties are all listed with their respective nations on the ballot paper and all have separate leaders in their nations, but I’ve never seen anyone collate said parties seperately in the same way that the AEC does. Similarly, in the US, are the Minnesota Democrat-Farmer-Labor or North Dakota Democrat-Nonpartisan parties reckoned separately?

      • “But there’s probably some significance, because there’s apparently separate decision-making processes…That makes the system different from one where there’s only a single national decision-making process and only a single national branding”

        By that logic, shouldn’t Australia be considered a 450+ party system, since each electorate needs separate decision making process?

      • Mark, by your interpretation of my logic we should be counting every single member of the party as a separate party, because each individual makes their own decision. Bill Shorten and Tony Abbott could next time contest an election on the same side.

        You separated what I’d linked and omitted half of what I said. I mentioned and linked the ability and the outcome, but you changed that to only consider the ability.

        For the time being, Bill Shorten and Susan Lamb have agreed to contest elections under one name, but Anthony Albanese and Warren Snowdon have made different decisions. When they get into parliament, they caucus as one. But you don’t need to have elections to have a parliaments, and you don’t need to have a parliaments to have an elections.

        Moreover, I reiterate, as I’ve said in every comment. I don’t know how many parties there are, and I’m not saying the differences within Labor are at all like the differences between Labor and Liberal. The definition of “party” in this exercise had nothing to do with what happens in parliament after the election, but only with the elections themselves

        All I’m arguing is that it’s reasonable to give people’s decisions effect, especially when the rules precisely require it. For some purposes I think the result, surprising as it is, is reasonable.

      • Perhaps I went too far. I was, as you implied, suggesting that your logic implied that each candidate in every electorate was a member of his own party of one. My purpose was not to attempt to answer or not answer the question of how many parties are there. I personally couldn’t say how many parties the Coalition should count as. I’m not sure I could answer the same question for the, at least as I see them, more-coalition-than-party Republicans and Democrats in the U.S.

        My point was, and still is, that Labor is clearly, at least to me, one party. Whether one views it as being a federation of several state and territorial parties or a national party with several significantly empowered state and territorial branches, it is one party. Its party room could fall apart over an issue but once a situation is made, it stays together whether in Opposition or in Government. The same cannot be said of the Coalition, at least in Opposition.

        If nothing else, the broad based election of the leader (is that still around) now even more firmly cement my conclusion that ALP is, for all intents and purposes, one party.

    • Thanks, and yes, that last line again says it all!

      I am puzzled that what I meant by “E” might have been ambiguous, but your E/e distinction is sensible notation. Quoting myself, “the total number of electoral districts (E)”, hence E=650 for UK 2010, E=543 for India, etc.

      • I’m sorry for the ambiguous comment. I seem to have read something as E=1 but I can’t find that any more. I suppose I must have mis-transcribed something while doing my own calculations. Sorry again.

    • Henry (04/01/2018 at 9:53 pm), the examples you give are excellent cases of the general problem that inspired the post. Given that I did not collect the raw data myself, I can’t be sure that some of the inflation of party numbers in some cases relative to others is not due to data-reporting protocols of the country’s electoral authorities or to data-coder’s decisions. That’s actually part of the point, in a sense. Counting this way is not straightforward.

      You ask, “are the Minnesota Democrat-Farmer-Labor or North Dakota Democrat-Nonpartisan parties reckoned separately?” I can say for sure that one of the “parties” in the “most lax” method reported above for at least one of the US elections includes a DFL member as representing a different party. Under the rule that says if there is a different label (as recorded in the data I have), Democrat-Farmer-Labor is a different label from Democrat. That is a separate question, of course, to whether this is meaningfully a different party.

      And for the UK parties, if we go by the ballot-paper standard then those all should be different parties. However that seems not to be the standard used in my sources, although there are occasional cases of someone we’d think of as “Labour” actually having some sort of more expansive label (similar to the DFL example in Minnesota).

  3. What’s to be done with parties which are by some accounts running joint lists as separate parties but by other accounts are the same party? Examples include Poland current government, which is “actually” a coalition government made up of one big party and several small ones which ran as a pre-electoral coalition, but last time I checked on the Sejm website, all their MPs were grouped under ‘PiS’. Another example is the Hungarian Christian Democrats. Are they really a separate party, or are they a part of Fidesz?

    • The Portuguese Greens never contested an election outside a pre-electoral coalition with the Communists (and there are many allegations that the party does not really exists). Apparently, in this post they were not counted as a separate party (because it only counts 5 parties to Portugal, and with the Greens should be 6 – Socialists, “Social-Democrats” – centre-right -, “Centrists” – conservatives -, Communists, Bloc of Left – Syriza-style – and Greens).

      • I am reasonably certain that the dataset I started with for Portugal counts these pre-election coalitions as a “party”, rather than counting the “parties” that comprise the alliance separately. However, as both JD and Miguel point out, this is an area of possible ambiguity and it is likely that datasets are inconsistent.

        For my purposes, when there are joint lists I want the LIST to be what is counted, which for convenience I am calling “party” even though sometimes the candidates on a given list may be from more than one party. The point (for me, others may differ) is to count the agents on which the electoral system operates in translating district-level votes in to seats. That is why I use the alliance lists for Finland and Brazil, and why this method produces something utterly meaningless at the *national* level for those countries.

        Votes from Seats goes into these issues a fair amount, although it is a central theme of only a couple of chapters and there is clearly much more work to be done on the question of alliances.(By the way, one of the chapters uses the Portuguese case as an illustration, and compares with Finland, while the other chapter I am referring to is a quantitative analysis of parties-in-alliances in Brazil, Chile, and Finland.)

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