The Communist Party was founded in 1944 – its forerunner had been banned – and first took part in national elections in 1945.
The party was a clear supporter of the Soviet position and gained in popularity after the Second World War. But voters later turned away following Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956 and heightened tensions during the Cold War.
The party has continued its downward slide due to competition from other left-leaning parties. It is now mainly active in the western part of Switzerland and has one representative in parliament. In 2007 it won about 0.7 per cent of the vote.
Seats in the House of Representatives: 1
Seats in the Senate: 0