Anastasia Cunningham, Senior Gleaner Writer
There have been close to 50 political parties in the country's history, according to one historian with a focus on that area.
"Some of them have come up out of nowhere and sometimes they don't even exist long enough to contest an election before they fade away. Very few have held their course and continue to be recognised as a party," said political historian Troy Caine.
The longest standing are the two current major political parties, the People's National Party (PNP) and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). The PNP, founded in 1938 and led by Norman Manley, is the oldest political party in the Anglophone Caribbean.
The JLP was founded in 1943 by Alexander Bustamante as the political wing of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.
Six parties in last election
Six parties and four independents contested the 2007 general election. Outside of the JLP and PNP in all 60 constituencies, there were the National Democratic Movement (NDM) in 11 constituencies, the Imperial Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated Party with nine candidates, the sole-member Astor Black's Jamaica Alliance Movement in northern Trelawny, and Yuwakhidd Iduwaqayliz's Jerusalem Bread Foundation in western Hanover.
In that election, 61.46 per cent of the electorate voted. The JLP won 32 seats with 49.98 per cent of the vote, while the PNP won the other 28 seats with 49.35 per cent of the vote. The other parties and independent candidates got less than one per cent of the vote combined (5,532).
Last year, Betty-Ann Blaine's New Nation Coalition (NNC) joined the long list of parties which have tried to give Jamaica a viable third choice.
Earlier this year, the NDM and the NNC joined to form the National Coalition.
Among the other political parties in Jamaica's history are: