The roots of the Christian Democrats go back to the conservative, Catholic milieu of the 19th century. The party was first represented in the cabinet in 1891 and gained a second seat in 1919. It has officially been known as the Christian Democratic Party since 1970.
Between 1919 and 1987, its share of the vote was stable at around 20 per cent, but since the end of the 1980s the party has steadily lost voters.
In the 1999 elections, it gained only 15.9 per cent of the vote, the worst result of all the governing parties.
The party lost even more voters, receiving only 14.4 per cent in the 2003 elections. This led in the same year to the centre-right Christian Democrats losing their second cabinet seat.
They succeeded in halting the decline in the 2007 elections and have 31 seats in the House of Representatives. The Christian Democrats are the biggest group in the Senate with 15 seats.
President: Christophe Darbellay, Member of the House of Parliament
Seats in the House of Representatives : 31
Seats in the Senate: 15
Cabinet minister: Doris Leuthard