France has a multi-party political system: one in which the number of competing political parties is sufficiently large as to make it almost inevitable that in order to participate in the exercise of power any single party must be prepared to negotiate with one or more others with a view to forming electoral alliances and/or coalition agreements.
The dominant French political parties are also characterised by a noticeable degree of intra-party factionalism, making each of them effectively a coalition in itself.
Up until recently, the government of France had alternated between two rather stable coalitions:
- on the centre-left, one led by the Socialist Party and with minor partners such as The Greens and the Radical Party of the Left.
- on the centre-right, one led by The Republicans (and previously its predecessors, the Union for a Popular Movement, Rally for the Republic) and the Union of Democrats and Independents.
This was the case until the 2017 presidential election, when Emmanuel Macron of liberal La République En Marche! defeated Marine Le Pen of right-wing National Rally in the second round. This was the first time in which a third party had won the presidency, as well as the first time that neither of the major coalitions had appeared in the second round of a presidential election. This was followed shortly by a significant victory for LREM in the 2017 legislative election, winning a majority of 350 seats. Both the traditional coalitions suffered major defeats.
National Rally (previously known as the National Front before a name change in 2018) has also experienced significant successes in other elections. Since 2014, the party has established itself as the third sizable party, finishing in first place in the 2014 and 2019 European elections as well as in the 2015 local elections, though the party failed to win government in any regions due to the last-ditch alliance between the centre-left and the centre-right coalitions in Hauts-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Many political observers now describe a new "tripartisme" (English: tripartism) in the French political landscape.
Major nationwide represented parties
Other nationwide represented parties
Region only parties
|Acronym and Name||National coalition||Leader or Chairman||Territorial councillors||Ideology|
|LMR: Rurality Movement||None||Eddie Puyjalon||Regional:
6 / 1,880
|Traditional rural values; refusal of environmental legislation and regulations restricting the right to hunt and fish, conservative, Eurosceptic|
|MEI: Independent Ecological Movement||None||Antoine Waechter||Regional:
3 / 1,880
|Green politics, Centrism, anti-nuclear|
|NPA: New Anticapitalist Party||None||Christine Poupin||Regional:
2 / 1,880
|Anti-capitalism, democratic socialism, eco-socialism, alter-globalisation|
|Acronym and Name||National coalition||Leader or Chairman||Political Position|
|AF: French Action||None||Stéphane Blanchonnet||Monarchism, nationalism, conservatism, Euroscepticism, far-right|
|UPR: Popular Republican Union||None||François Asselineau||French nationalism, Hard Euroscepticism|
|AR: Royal Alliance||None||Pierre Bernard||Monarchism (Orléanism), conservatism, Euroscepticism|
|NAR: New Royalist Action||None||Bertrand Renouvin||Monarchism, conservatism, Euroscepticism, gaulism|
|RD: Democratic Rally||None||Philippe Cartellier||Monarchism, conservatism, gaulism, Capetism|
|GE: Ecology Generation||None||Yves Piétrasanta||Green politics, green conservatism, centre-right|
|GR: Revolutionary Left||None||Collective||Marxism, socialism, Trotskyism|
|PCOF: Workers' Communist Party of France||Left Front||Collective||Communism, Marxism–Leninism, hoxhaism, anti-revisionism|
|POI: Independent Workers' Party||None||Daniel Gluckstein, Claude Jenet, Jean Markun, Gérard Schivardi||Communism, trotskyism, Marxism, proletarian internationalism|
|PRCF: Pole of Communist Rebirth in France||None||Léon Landini||Communism, Marxism-Leninism, anti-capitalism, nationalism|
|OCML-VP: Marxist–Leninist Communist Organization – Proletarian Way||None||Collective||Communism, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism|
|PP: Pirate Party||None||Maxime Rouquet, Guillaume Lecoquierre||Intellectual property reform, protection of privacy and individual liberty|
|LO: Workers' Struggle||None||Nathalie Arthaud, spokeswoman||Trotskyism, internationalism, feminism|
|PLD: Liberal Democratic Party||None||Aurélien Véron||Classical liberalism|
|FA: Anarchist Federation||None||Collective||Anarchist Synthesist, anarchism without adjectives|
|AL: Alternative Libertaire||None||Collective||Anarchist Communism|
|PL: Libertarian Party||None||Guilhem d'Urbal||Libertarianism|
|JC: New Jacobin Party||None||Gerald d'Ouvril, acting leader
Maximilien Robespierre, youth leader
- Jacobin Club - Centre-left to left-wing
- Cordeliers Club - Left-wing to far-left
- Feuillants Club
- Enragés - Far-left
- Monarchiens - Centre to centre-right
- Club de Clichy - Right-wing
- Red Republicans
- Socialist Party of France (1902)
- French Socialist Party (1902)
- French Socialist Party (1919)
- Socialist Party of France – Jean Jaurès Union
- Radical Party (France) (PRV; PR; Rad; 1901–2017) also known as, Radical-Socialist and Radical Republican Party
- French Section of the Workers International
- Democratic Republican Alliance
- French Agrarian and Farmer Party [fr] (PAPF; 1927–1939) right
- Agrarian and Social Republican Party [fr] (PRAS; 1936–1940)
- Farmers' Social Union Party [fr] (1945–1951) right, extreme-right
Political parties in French overseas possessions
- List of political parties in French Guiana
- List of political parties in French Polynesia
- List of political parties in Guadeloupe
- List of political parties in Martinique
- List of political parties in Mayotte
- List of political parties in New Caledonia
- List of political parties in Reunion
- List of political parties in Saint Barthélemy
- List of political parties in the Collectivity of Saint Martin
- List of political parties in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
- List of political parties in Wallis and Futuna
- "Elections régionales : le FN vainqueur du premier tour". Le Monde.fr.
- "Régionales : le PS se retire en PACA et dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie". 6 December 2015.
- "Le tripartisme s'installe en France". Le Monde.fr.
- "Le tripartisme, et après ?".
- "Départementales : et maintenant le tripartisme". 28 March 2015.