There are two major parties and three minor parties on the islands. The majority party is the New Democratic Party (NDP), led by Prime Minister James FitzAllen Mitchell. Founded in 1975, the party has, since 1984, held a parliamentary majority. In the elections of June 1998, the NDP's majority slipped from 12 to 8 out of 15 seats, giving it only a one-seat margin over the opposition SVLP.
The St. Vincent Unity Labour Party (ULP) was founded in 1955 and was in power at independence and governed the nation, under Robert Milton Cato, until the July 1984 elections. Under the leadership of current party leader, Ralph Gonsalves, the ULP won the most recent parliamentary election.