Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

 of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition
Opposition (parliamentary)
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state...

 form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government. Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinet's responsibility to pass criticism on the current government and its respective legislation, as well as offering alternative policies.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  the major opposition party and specifically its shadow cabinet is often called His or Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. The adjective "loyal" is used because, while the role of the opposition is to oppose Her Majesty's Government, it does not dispute the sovereign
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

's right to the throne and therefore the legitimacy of the government. However in other countries that use the Westminster system (for example, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

), the opposition is known simply as The Parliamentary Opposition instead of shadow.

Some parliamentary parties, notably the Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

, elect all the members of their shadow cabinets in a partyroom ballot, with the Leader of the Opposition then allocating portfolios to the Shadow Ministers. In other parliamentary parties, the membership and composition of the Shadow Cabinet is generally determined solely by the Leader of the Opposition.

In most countries, a member of the shadow cabinet is referred to as a Shadow Minister. In Canada, however, the term Opposition Critics
Opposition Critics
The members of the Opposition Critics and direct their attacks on the minister's of the current government of Canada.The Opposition Critics in the 39th Canadian parliament is listed below...

is more usual.


  • Shadow Cabinet of Australia (Liberal/National Coalition
    Liberal Party of Australia
    The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

    ) (Tony Abbott
    Tony Abbott
    Anthony John "Tony" Abbott is the Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives and federal leader of the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia. Abbott has represented the seat of Warringah since the 1994 by-election...


New South Wales

  • New South Wales Shadow Cabinet
    New South Wales Shadow Cabinet
    The New South Wales Shadow Cabinet is the opposition to the incumbent Government in the State of New South Wales. The Shadow cabinet is made up of 15 members of the NSW Australian Labor Party caucus...

     (Australian Labor Party
    Australian Labor Party
    The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

    ) (John Robertson
    John Robertson
    -United Kingdom politicians:* John Robertson , MP for Bothwell, Lanarkshire 1919–1926* John Robertson , British Labour Party MP 1961–1979 for Berwick and Haddington, then Berwick and East Lothian...


The Bahamas

  • Shadow Cabinet (The Bahamas) (Progressive Liberal Party
    Progressive Liberal Party
    The Progressive Liberal Party is a populist party in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas commonly abbreviated PLP. The PLP lies on the left of the political spectrum....

    ) (Perry Christie
    Perry Christie
    Perry Gladstone Christie is a Bahamian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of the Bahamas from 2002 to 2007...



  • Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet of the 41st Parliament of Canada (New Democratic Party
    New Democratic Party
    The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

    ) (Nycole Turmel
    Nycole Turmel
    Nycole Turmel, MP is the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament. She was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2011 federal election, representing the electoral district of Hull—Aylmer, and became interim leader of the New Democratic Party after leader Jack...



  • Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet of the 40th Legislative Assembly of Ontario
    Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet of the 40th Legislative Assembly of Ontario
    The Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet are members of the main Opposition party responsible for holding Ministers to account and for developing and disseminating the party's policy positions. In the 40th Legislative Assembly of Ontario the Official Opposition is formed by the Progressive...

     (Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
    Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
    The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario , is a right-of-centre political party in Ontario, Canada. The party was known for many years as "Ontario's natural governing party." It has ruled the province for 80 of the years since Confederation, including an uninterrupted run from 1943 to 1985...

    ) (Tim Hudak
    Tim Hudak
    Timothy Patrick "Tim" Hudak is a politician in Ontario, Canada, and the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario . He also serves as member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook.-Background:Tim Hudak was born in Fort Erie, Ontario...



  • Contre-gouvernement (counter-government), dubbed by the media "cabinet fantôme" (literally : ghost cabinet). (Socialist Party (France)
    Socialist Party (France)
    The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and the largest party of the French centre-left. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in France, along with the center-right Union for a Popular Movement...

    ) (Martine Aubry
    Martine Aubry
    Martine Aubry is a French politician. She has been the First Secretary of the French Socialist Party since November 2008 and Mayor of Lille since March 2001...


Ireland, Republic of

  • Opposition Front Bench (Ireland)
    Opposition Front Bench (Ireland)
    Fine Gael is the largest political party in the Oireachtas. The Fine Gael leader appoints a team of TDs and Senators to speak for the party on different issues. Their areas of responsibility broadly correspond to those of Government ministers. -Fine Gael Front Bench:...

     (Fianna Fáil
    Fianna Fáil
    Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party , more commonly known as Fianna Fáil is a centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland, founded on 23 March 1926. Fianna Fáil's name is traditionally translated into English as Soldiers of Destiny, although a more accurate rendition would be Warriors of Fál...

    ) (Micheál Martin
    Micheál Martin
    Micheál Martin is an Irish politician who has been leader of Fianna Fáil since January 2011. He is a Teachta Dála for the Cork South Central constituency...



  • Shadow Cabinet of Italy (Governo ombra)
    Shadow Cabinet of Italy (2008)
    A Shadow Cabinet of Italy had been announced on 15 April 2008, by Walter Veltroni, Secretary of the Democratic Party, after the 2008 Italian general election and officially presented on 9 May....

     (Walter Veltroni
    Walter Veltroni
    Walter Veltroni, Knight Grand Cross, is an Italian writer, journalist and politician, who served as the first leader of the Democratic Party within the centre-left opposition, until his resignation on 17 February 2009. He served as Mayor of Rome from 2001 to 2008.-Biography:Walter Veltroni was...


New Zealand

  • Official Opposition (New Zealand)
    Official Opposition (New Zealand)
    The Official Opposition in New Zealand is usually the largest political party or coalition which is not a member of the ruling government. This means that the political party, while still involved with the political process in New Zealand, they do not have ministers or their supporters in a...

     (New Zealand Labour Party
    New Zealand Labour Party
    The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

    ) (Phil Goff
    Phil Goff
    Philip Bruce Goff is the current Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. During the Fifth Labour Government, he served in a number of ministerial portfolios, including Minister of Defence of New Zealand, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Foreign Affairs and...


Solomon Islands

  • Shadow Cabinet of Solomon Islands
    Shadow Cabinet of Solomon Islands
    The Shadow Cabinet of Solomon Islands is the parliamentary Opposition's alternative Cabinet in Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands is a Commonwealth realm with a Westminster system of government; the Shadow Cabinet is modelled on the British institution of the same name.The Opposition is formally...

     (Democratic Party
    Democratic Party (Solomon Islands)
    The Democratic Party is a political party in Solomon Islands.In a country in which political parties tend to be small and transient, and to obtain very few seats in Parliament , the Democratic Party has played a comparatively major role in recent history....

     and allies)

South Africa


  • Shadow Cabinet (Pheu Thai Party) (Chalerm Ubumrung
    Chalerm Ubumrung
    Police Captain Dr. Chalerm Ubumrung , is a Thai politician. He is a Member of Parliament representing the Pheu Thai Party, and currently one of the Deputy Prime Ministers of Yingluck Shinawatra...



  • Shadow Government (Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk
    Arseniy Yatsenyuk
    Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk is a Ukrainian politician, economist and lawyer. Yatsenyuk served in the government of Ukraine as Minister of Economy from 2005 to 2006; subsequently he was Foreign Minister of Ukraine in 2007 and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada from 2007 to 2008.-Early life:Arseniy...


United Kingdom

  • Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet (United Kingdom) (Labour
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

    ) (Ed Miliband
    Ed Miliband
    Edward Samuel Miliband is a British Labour Party politician, currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition...



  • Shadow Cabinet (Scottish Parliament) (Scottish Labour Party
    Scottish Labour Party
    The Scottish Labour Party is the section of the British Labour Party which operates in Scotland....

    ) (Iain Gray
    Iain Gray
    Iain Gray is a Scottish politician and the Leader of Scottish Labour Party Opposition in the Scottish Parliament. Gray was elected as the Member of the Scottish Parliament for the East Lothian constituency in 2007 having previously represented Edinburgh Pentlands from 1999 to 2003.-Background and...



  • Official Shadow Cabinet (National Assembly for Wales) (Welsh Conservative Party
    Welsh Conservative Party
    The Welsh Conservatives & Unionists , informally the Welsh Conservatives or Welsh Tories, are the part of the Conservative Party which operates in Wales...

    ) (Andrew RT Davies)
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