Political parties in Central and Eastern Europe come and go quite rapidly, giving the region a reputation for electoral chaos, but amid the change, some parties survive for many electoral cycles. A brief examination of the party systems in the region shows a high rate of party collapse but also indicates the robustness of certain parties in the face of crisis. Closer comparisons of the collapsed and surviving parties indicates a significant role for three factors: organization on the ground, a clear position on an enduring issue dimension, and ability to change party leadership. The finding is particularly important for explaining the dynamics of Central and East European party systems because the same characteristics that contribute to longevity are found in lower levels among new parties in the region. Only a small subset of new parties have made choices that would contribute to long-term survival, and such cases are largely confined to those with strong ties to previous long-surviving parties.