A party-line vote in a deliberative assembly (such as a constituent assembly, parliament, or legislature) is a vote in which a substantial majority of members of a political party vote the same way (usually in opposition to the other political party(ies) whose members vote the opposite way).
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (August 2016)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2014)
Sources vary on what proportion of party members must adhere to the party line in order for the vote to constitute a "party-line" vote. For example, the Congressional Record has stated: "A party-line vote is one on which a majority of Republicans vote one way and a majority of Democrats vote another. 2. A bipartisan vote is one in which a majority of Republicans and a majority of Democrats vote the same way". Another source defined this event for purposes of classifying votes for research purposes as "one where 90 percent of the majority party votes against 90 percent of the minority party". Party-line votes are also noted to reflect the degree to which the division of power requires parties to retain cohesion in order to implement its goals:
Whether a party-line vote appears on an issue reflects incentives presented by majority rule. In a house where the two parties are nearly evenly balanced, a few defections will be very costly to the (slim) majority party, and party-line votes may prevail. If, in contrast, one party has a substantial majority, some position-taking defections can be permitted.