Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a
designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based
parliamentary system. This article uses the term government as it is
Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the
cabinet rather than the state. The title of "Official Opposition"
usually goes to the largest of the parties sitting in opposition with
its leader being given the title "Leader of the Opposition".
First Past the Post
First Past the Post assemblies, where the tendency to gravitate
into two major parties or party groupings operates strongly,
government and opposition roles can go to the two main groupings
serially in alternation.
The more proportional a representative system, the greater the
likelihood of multiple political parties appearing in the
parliamentary debating chamber. Such systems can foster multiple
"opposition" parties which may have little in common and minimal
desire to form a united bloc opposed to the government of the day.
Some well-organised democracies, dominated long-term by a single
faction, reduce their parliamentary opposition to tokenism. Singapore
exemplifies a case of a numerically weak opposition; South Africa
under the apartheid regime maintained a long-term imbalance in the
parliament. In some cases tame "opposition" parties are created by the
governing groups in order to create an impression of democratic
Opposition Party (Hungary)
Official Opposition (Canada)
Official Opposition (India)
Official Opposition (New Zealand)
Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (United Kingdom)
Pro-democracy camp (Hong Kong)
Pro-democracy camp (Hong Kong) (Opposition camp in Hong Kong)
Opposition Front Bench (Ireland)
Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (Gibraltar)
Opposition Party (United States)