The United Party ruled South Africa between 1934 and 1948. It was formed by a merger of most of Prime Minister Barry Hertzog’s National Party and Jan Smuts’ South Africa Party. It drew support across several parts of South African society, including English-speakers, Afrikaners, and ‘Coloureds’.
National Party members who were unhappy about the merger left the party to form the Reunited National Party. They went on to win power from the United Party in the 1948 election, and to introduce their policy of apartheid.