Danish Social Liberal Party

The Danish Social Liberal Party (Danish: Radikale Venstre, lit.'Radical Left' or 'Radical Liberals') is a social-liberal political party in Denmark.[1] The party was founded as a split from the Venstre Reform Party in 1905.[2][3][4][5]

Danish Social Liberal Party
Radikale Venstre
LeaderSofie Carsten Nielsen
ChairmanSvend Thorhauge
Founded21 May 1905; 116 years ago (1905-05-21)
Split fromVenstre
HeadquartersChristiansborg
1240 København K, Denmark
NewspaperRadikal Politik
Youth wingRadikal Ungdom
IdeologySocial liberalism[1][2][3][4][5]
Political positionCentre[6][7] to centre-left[8][9]
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliationLiberal International
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
Nordic affiliationCentre Group
Colours  Magenta
  Navy blue
Folketing[10]
14 / 179
European Parliament
2 / 14
Regions[11]
8 / 205
Municipalities[12]
80 / 2,432
Mayors
1 / 98
Election symbol
B
Website
radikale.dk

Historically, the centrist party has played a central role in Danish politics and has supported governments on both sides of the political spectrum, as co-operation is a primary belief of the party.[13] A pro-European party, it is a member of Liberal International and the ALDE, and has two MEPs in the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament.

HistoryEdit

1905–1930sEdit

 
Carl Theodor Zahle served as the first Social Liberal Prime Minister from 1909 to 1910 and again from 1913 to 1920.

The party was founded in 1905 as a split from the Venstre Reform Party. The initial impetus was the expulsion of Venstre's antimilitarist wing from the party in January 1905. The expelled members held a founding conference for the new party in Odense, on 21 May 1905. In addition to the differences over military spending, the social liberals also took a more positive view than Venstre towards measures that aimed to reduce social inequality. The party also became the political leg of the cultural radical movement. The party was cautiously open to aspects of the welfare state, and also advocated reforms to improve the position of smallholders, an important early group of supporters.[14][15] The party's social-liberal ideals are said to have been inspired by the political economists Henry George and John Stuart Mill.[16]

The first Social Liberal Cabinet was formed in 1909 with Carl Theodor Zahle serving as Prime Minister (1909–1910). From 1913 to 1920, Zahle led the second Social Liberal Cabinet with the Social Democrats serving as parliamentary support, keeping Denmark neutral during World War I. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the party served as coalition partners along with the Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Thorvald Stauning, and managed to lead the country through the recession by implementing far-reaching social reforms.[13]

Post-World War IIEdit

After 1945 the party continued with its pragmatic ways, influencing either as coalition partner as parliamentary support. From 1957 to 1964 they served as coalition partners in a Social Democratic led government, while Hilmar Baunsgaard served as Prime Minister 1968–1971 in a coalition government with Venstre and the Conservative People's Party as partners. In the 1968 general elections the party reached an all-time high of 15% of the vote, while they only received 11.2% in the 1973 landslide election.

During the 1980s the party served either as parliamentary support or as coalition partner in various Venstre led governments.

After an all-time low in the 1990 general elections where the party only received 3.5% of the vote, the party once again started cooperating with the Social Democrats under leadership of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, participating in a coalition government in 1993.[13]

2001–presentEdit

In the early 2000s the political scene was marked by "bloc"-politics, with "blue bloc" being led by Venstre and "red bloc" by the Social Democrats. The Danish People's Party overtook the Social Liberals' key position as prime candidate for parliamentary support. Furthermore, the DPP's anti-immigrant policies made the Social Liberals profile themselves as a progressive party being pro-globalisation, pro-EU and more tolerant towards refugees and immigrants. At the same time the party profiled itself on reforming the welfare system, campaigning to abolish "efterløn" and lower taxes. As such the party served to unite a modern social profile with a more liberal economic profile. This served to appeal the more well-educated urbanised parts of the country, resulting in 9.2% of the vote at the 2005 general elections.[13]

In a 2006 press release they tried to mark themselves as once again being able to lead a government, doing away with the presumption of the party only being able to serve as government partner or parliamentary support.[17] The strategy proved unpopular both among voters and within the party itself.[18] On 7 May 2007 MP Naser Khader and MEP Anders Samuelsen left the party and formed the New Alliance, known today as the Liberal Alliance, along with Conservative MEP Gitte Seeberg.[13] At a press conference on 15 June 2007, it was announced that MP Margrethe Vestager would take over leadership of the party after Marianne Jelved, and that the party would rethink its strategy. The party returned to its historical role as possible coalition partner and at the political centre of Danish politics.[19] Vestager clarified during the run-up to the 2007 general election that her party would only be supporting a government led by the Social Democrats. Still, the party only won 5.1% of the vote.

At the subsequent 2011 general elections, the party support rose to 9.5% and regained 8 seats to resume a total of 17. Together with the Social Democrats and the Socialist People's Party, they formed a three-way government coalition.

On 31 August 2014, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt nominated Margrethe Vestager as Denmark's EU Commissioner, resulting in her resignation as party leader. The party's parliamentary group subsequently elected Morten Østergaard as new leader.[20]

At the 2015 general elections, the party lost 9 out of 17 seats and was reduced to 4.6%. The party lost a share of its voters to the newly formed The Alternative, a Green political party formed by former member of the party Uffe Elbæk.[21]

At the 2019 general elections, the party rose to 8.6% of the vote, doubling its number of seats to 16. Østergaard stated that he would support a government led by the Social Democrats only if changes would be made to the previous government's strict immigration policies.[22]

On 7 October 2020 Morten Østergaard stepped down as leader of the party following allegations of sexual harassment from within the party. Sofie Carsten Nielsen was elected new leader the same day.[23]

Relationship to other partiesEdit

The Danish Social Liberal Party has traditionally kept itself in the centre of the political scale. Since the early 1990s, though, it has primarily cooperated with the Social Democrats. Internationally, the party has cooperated with the Swedish Centre Party and Liberals, the Norwegian Venstre party, the Dutch Democrats 66 and the British Liberal Democrats.

EtymologyEdit

The literal translation of the party's name Radical Left refers to its origin as the historically radical wing of its parent party Venstre (Left). In a modern context, this literal translation is somewhat misleading, as the party is considered to be centrist in the Danish political spectrum. The use of Left in the name of the party, as with Venstre and the Norwegian party Venstre, is meant to refer to liberalism and not modern left-wing politics. Venstre originally was to the left of the conservative and aristocratic right-wing party Højre, whose name means Right.

Prominent membersEdit

Prime MinistersEdit

  • Carl Theodor Zahle, Prime Minister 1909–1910 and 1913–1920, (Minister of Justice 1929–1935)
  • Erik Scavenius, Prime Minister 1942–1945 (de facto until 29 August 1943), (Foreign Minister 1909–1910, 1913–1920 and 1940–1943 de facto/–1945 de jure )
  • Hilmar Baunsgaard, Prime Minister 1968–1971, (Trade Minister 1961–1964)

Other MinistersEdit

  • Edvard Brandes, Finance Minister 1909–1910 and 1913–1920
  • Christopher Krabbe, Defence Minister 1909–1910
  • Peter Rochegune Munch, Minister of the Interior 1909–1910, Defence Minister 1913–1920, Foreign Minister 1929–1940
  • Poul Christensen, Agriculture Minister 1909–1910
  • Ove Rode, Minister of the Interior 1913–1920
  • J. Hassing-Jørgensen, Minister for Public Works 1913–1920
  • Kristjan Pedersen, Agriculture Minister 1913–1920
  • Bertel Dahlgaard, Minister of the Interior 1929–1940, Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister for Nordic Co-operation 1957–1960
  • Jørgen Jørgensen, Education Minister 1935–1940, 1942–1942, 1957–1960, Minister of the Interior 1942–1943
  • A. M. Hansen, Education Minister 1945-1945
  • Kjeld Philip, Trade Minister 1957–1960, Finance Minister 1960–1961, Minister for Economic Affairs 1961–1962
  • Karl Skytte, Agriculture Minister 1957–1964
  • A. C. Normann, Fishery Minister 1960–1964, Fishery Minister and Minister for Greenland 1968–1971
  • Helge Larsen, Education Minister 1968–1971
  • Lauge Dahlgaard, Labour Minister 1968–1971
  • Jens Bilgrav-Nielsen, Energy Minister 1988–1990
  • Kristen Helveg Petersen, Education Minister 1961–1964, Minister of Culture 1968–1971
  • Niels Helveg Petersen, Minister for Economic Affairs 1988–1990, Foreign Minister 1993–2000
  • Ole Vig Jensen, Minister of Culture 1988–1990, Education Minister, 1993–1998, Church Minister, 1996–1998
  • Lone Dybkjær, Minister for the Environment 1988–1990
  • Aase Olesen, Social Minister 1988–1990
  • Ebbe Lundgaard, Minister of Culture 1996–1998
  • Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, Minister of Culture 1998–2001
  • Marianne Jelved, Minister for Economic Affairs 1993–2001, Minister for Nordic Co-operation 1994–2001, Minister for Culture 2012–2015
  • Margrethe Vestager, Education Minister 1998–2001, Church Minister 1998–2000, Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs 2011–2014
  • Anita Bay Bundegaard, Minister for Development Cooperation 2000–2001
  • Johannes Lebech, Church Minister 2000–2001
  • Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation 2011–2013
  • Uffe Elbæk, Minister of Culture 2011–2012
  • Morten Østergaard, Minister for Research, Innovation and Higher Education 2011–2014, Minister for Taxation 2014–2014 Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs 2014-2015
  • Martin Lidegaard, Minister for Climate and Energy 2011–2014, Minister for Foreign Affairs 2014–2015
  • Manu Sareen, Minister for Equality, Church and Nordic Cooperation 2011–2014, Minister for Integration and Social Affairs 2014–2015
  • Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Minister for Development Cooperation 2013–2014, Minister for Climate and Energy 2014–2015
  • Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Minister for Research, Innovation and Higher Education 2014–2015

Political leadersEdit

Election resultsEdit

ParliamentEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/– Government
1906 38,151 12.6 (#4)
15 / 114
  9 Opposition
1909 50,305 15.5 (#4)
15 / 114
  6 Opposition (1909)
Minority (1909–1910)
1910 64,884 18.6 (#3)
20 / 114
  5 Opposition
1913 67,903 18.7 (#3)
32 / 114
  11 Coalition
1915 677 5.3 (#3)
31 / 140
  1 Coalition
1918 189,521 20.7 (#3)
32 / 140
  1 Coalition
Apr
1920
122,160 11.9 (#4)
17 / 140
  15 Opposition
Jul
1920
109,931 11.5 (#4)
16 / 140
  1 Opposition
Sep
1920
147,120 12.1 (#4)
18 / 149
  2 Opposition
1924 166,476 13.0 (#4)
20 / 149
  2 External support
1926 151,746 11.3 (#4)
16 / 149
  4 External support
1929 151,746 10.7 (#4)
16 / 149
  0 Coalition
1932 145,221 9.4 (#4)
14 / 149
  2 Coalition
1935 151,507 9.2 (#4)
14 / 149
  0 Coalition
1939 161,834 9.5 (#4)
14 / 149
  0 Coalition
1943 175,179 8.7 (#4)
11 / 149
  2 Coalition
1945 167,073 8.1 (#5)
11 / 149
  2 External support
1947 144,206 6.9 (#4)
10 / 150
  1 External support
1950 167,969 8.2 (#5)
12 / 151
  2 Opposition
Apr
1953
178,942 8.6 (#4)
13 / 151
  1 External support
Sep
1953
169,295 7.8 (#4)
14 / 179
  1 External support
1957 179,822 7.8 (#4)
14 / 179
  0 Coalition
1960 140,979 5.8 (#5)
11 / 179
  3 Coalition
1964 139,702 5.3 (#5)
10 / 179
  1 External support
1966 203,858 7.3 (#5)
13 / 179
  3 Opposition
1968 427,304 15.0 (#4)
27 / 179
  14 Coalition
1971 413,620 14.4 (#4)
27 / 179
  0 External support
1973 343,718 11.2 (#4)
20 / 179
  7 External support
1975 216,553 7.1 (#4)
13 / 179
  7 External support
1977 113,330 3.6 (#8)
6 / 179
  7 External support
1979 172,365 5.4 (#6)
10 / 179
  4 External support
1981 160,053 5.1 (#7)
9 / 179
  1 External support
1984 184,642 5.5 (#6)
10 / 179
  1 External support
1987 209,086 6.2 (#5)
11 / 179
  1 External support
1988 185,707 5.6 (#6)
10 / 179
  1 Coalition
1990 114,888 3.5 (#7)
7 / 179
  3 External support (1990–1993)
Coalition (1993–1994)
1994 152,701 4.6 (#6)
8 / 179
  1 Coalition
1998 131,254 3.9 (#7)
7 / 179
  1 Coalition
2001 179,023 5.2 (#6)
9 / 179
  2 Opposition
2005 308,212 9.2 (#5)
17 / 179
  8 Opposition
2007 177,161 5.1 (#6)
9 / 179
  8 Opposition
2011 336,698 9.5 (#4)
17 / 179
  8 Coalition
2015 160,672 4.6 (#7)
8 / 179
  9 Opposition
2019 304,273 8.6 (#4)
16 / 179
  8 External support

Local electionsEdit

Municipal elections
Year Seats
No. ±
1925
1,069 / 11,289
1929
1,237 / 11,329
  168
1933
1,160 / 11,424
  77
1937
1,078 / 11,425
  82
1943
941 / 10,569
  137
1946
870 / 11,488
  71
1950
824 / 11,499
  46
1954
764 / 11,505
  60
1958
648 / 11,529
  116
1962
501 / 11,414
  147
1966
340 / 10,005
  161
Municipal reform
1970
323 / 4,677
  17
1974
311 / 4,735
  12
1978
192 / 4,759
  119
1981
187 / 4,769
  5
1985
108 / 4,773
  79
1989
73 / 4,737
  35
1993
80 / 4,703
  7
1997
87 / 4,685
  7
2001
88 / 4,647
  1
Municipal reform
2005
86 / 2,522
  2
2009
50 / 2,468
  36
2013
62 / 2,444
  12
2017
80 / 2,432
  18
 
Regional elections
Year Seats
No. ±
1935
27 / 299
1943
30 / 299
  3
1946
27 / 299
  3
1950
27 / 299
  0
1954
31 / 299
  4
1958
26 / 303
  5
1962
21 / 301
  5
1966
22 / 303
  1
Municipal reform
1970
35 / 366
  13
1974
34 / 370
  1
1978
23 / 370
  11
1981
24 / 370
  1
1985
13 / 374
  11
1989
10 / 374
  3
1993
16 / 374
  6
1997
15 / 374
  1
2001
15 / 374
  0
Municipal reform
2005
11 / 205
  4
2009
7 / 205
  4
2013
8 / 205
  1
2017
8 / 205
  0
 
Mayors
Year Seats
No. ±
2005
1 / 98
2009
0 / 98
  1
2013
1 / 98
  1
2017
1 / 98
  0

European ParliamentEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/–
1979 56,944 3.6 (#10)
0 / 15
  0
1984 32,560 1.6 (#9)
0 / 15
  0
1989 50,196 2.8 (#8)
0 / 16
  0
1994 176,480 8.5 (#6)
1 / 16
  1
1999 180,089 9.1 (#4)
1 / 16
  0
2004 120,473 6.4 (#6)
1 / 14
  0
2009 100,094 4.3 (#7)
0 / 13
  1
2014 148,949 6.5 (#7)
1 / 13
  1
2019 277,929 10.1 (#4)
2 / 14
  1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Denmark". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ a b Almeida, Dimitri. "Liberal Parties and European Integration" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b Marks, Gary; Wilson, Carole (July 2000). "The Past in the Present: A Cleavage Theory of Party Response to European Integration" (PDF). British Journal of Political Science. 30 (3): 433–459. doi:10.1017/S0007123400000181. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b Hans Slomp (30 September 2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. pp. 415, 419. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b Henning Jørgensen (2002). Consensus, Cooperation and Conflict: The Policy Making Process in Denmark. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-84064-091-5.
  6. ^ Åsa Bengtsson; Kasper Hansen; Ólafur Þ Harõarson; Hanne Marthe Narud; Henrik Oscarsson (15 November 2013). The Nordic Voter: Myths of Exceptionalism. ECPR Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-907301-50-6.
  7. ^ "Danish parties agree on tougher border controls", Reuters, 11 May 2011, retrieved 30 June 2011
  8. ^ Emmenegger, Patrick (2009), Regulatory Social Policy: The Politics of Job Security Regulations, Haupt, p. 192
  9. ^ Vera Möller-Holtkamp (9 May 2007), "Denmark's New Party Aims to Shake Up the Far Right", DW World, retrieved 30 June 2011
  10. ^ "Danmarks Radio Resultatet". Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  11. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  12. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  13. ^ a b c d e Kold, Lotte Flugt (30 April 2012). "Det Radikale Venstre". danmarkshistorien.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  14. ^ Alastair H. Thomas, ed. (2010). "Radical Liberal Party". The A to Z of Denmark. Scarecrow Press. pp. 340–341. ISBN 1461671841.
  15. ^ "Det Radikale Venstre". Den Store Danske. Gyldendal. 11 July 2013.
  16. ^ Maria Eugenia Mata; Michalis Psalidopoulos (6 December 2001). Economic Thought and Policy in Less Developed Europe: The Nineteenth Century. Routledge. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-134-51496-0.
  17. ^ Larsen, Thomas (10 April 2005). "De Radikales frihedsbrev". Berlingske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  18. ^ Petersen, Sami Don (23 July 2006). "»Verden forandrer sig - det har de Radikale opdaget«". Berlingske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  19. ^ Haahr, Ulla (15 June 2007). Vestager ny radikal dronning (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  20. ^ "Morten Østergaard er ny politisk leder af Radikale Venstre". Radikale Venstre. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  21. ^ Winther, Bent (8 June 2015). "Her kommer Alternativets vælgere fra". Berlingske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  22. ^ Jørgensen, Anna Sol (24 May 2019). "Radikale kræver lempelser i udlændingepolitikken: Vil give statsborgerskab i 18 års-fødselsdagsgave". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Morten Østergaard trækker sig efter sag om krænkelser". DR (in Danish). 7 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.

External linksEdit