Social Democrats (Denmark)

Social Democrats (Denmark)
Social Democrats
Leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Founded 1871 (1871)
Headquarters Danasvej 7
1910 Frederiksberg C
Student wing Frit Forum - Social Democratic Students of Denmark
Youth wing Social Democratic Youth of Denmark
Ideology Social democracy,
Third Way
Political position Centre-left
International affiliation Socialist International
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament Group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Nordic affiliation SAMAK
Official colours Red
44 / 179
European Parliament:
4 / 13
68 / 205
801 / 2,468
Election symbol
Dnk party a.svg
Politics of Denmark
Political parties
Social Democratic election poster, October 1945

The Social Democrats (Danish: Socialdemokraterne/Socialdemokratiet), is a Danish political party committed to the political ideology of social democracy.[3][4] It is the major coalition partner in Denmark's government since the 2011 parliamentary election, and party leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the current Prime Minister of Denmark. It is the second largest party with 44 of 175 seats in the Danish parliament, the Folketing

The party first entered the Folketing in 1884. By 1924 it had become the largest party, a distinction it would hold for 77 years.

It is a member of the Party of European Socialists and the Socialist International. It had four MEPs in the European Parliament, an increase of three after the 2004 election. The increase was mainly supported by the large number of voters who voted for former party leader and Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. He received 400,000 personal votes.


Recent history

In government 1993–2001

The Social Democrats' social policy through the 1990s and continuing in the 21st century involved a significant redistribution of income and the maintenance of a large state apparatus with collectively financed core public services such as public healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Social Democrat-led coalition governments (the Cabinets of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen I, II, III, IV) implemented the system known as flexicurity (flexibility and social security), mixing strong Scandinavian unemployment benefits with deregulated employment laws, making it easier for employers to fire and rehire people in order to encourage economic growth and reduce unemployment. It is required for people to continually try to remain an active part of the job force in order to receive benefits if they lose their job. This plan has proven to be successful at reducing unemployment,[citation needed] and it has been proposed as a plausible model for other European countries such as France.[citation needed]

The Cabinets of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen maintained a parliamentary majority during the period from 1993 to 2001 by virtue of their support from the Socialist People's Party and the Red-Green Alliance.

Towards the end of the 1990s, a trade surplus of 30 billion kroner (USD 4.9 billion) turned into a deficit.[citation needed] To combat this, the government increased taxes, limiting private consumption. The 1998 initiative, which was dubbed the Whitsun Packet (Danish: Pinsepakken) from the season it was issued, was not universally popular with the electorate, which may have been a factor in the Social Democrats' defeat in the 2001 parliamentary election.

In opposition 2001–2011

After being defeated by the Liberal Party in the 2001 election, the party chairmanship went to former finance and foreign minister Mogens Lykketoft. Following another defeat in the January 2005 election, Lykketoft announced his resignation as party leader, and at an extraordinary congress on 12 March, it was decided that all members of the party would cast votes in an election of a new party leader. The two contenders for the leadership represented the two wings in the party, with Helle Thorning-Schmidt being viewed as centrist and Frank Jensen being viewed as slightly more left-wing. On 12 April 2005 Helle Thorning-Schmidt was elected as the new leader.

In government 2011–present

The incumbent centre-right coalition led by the Liberal Party lost power to a centre-left coalition led by the Social Democrats making Helle Thorning-Schmidt the country's first female Prime Minister. The Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party became part of the three-party government. The new parliament convened on 4 October.

Leaders of the Social Democrats

International affiliations

The party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923 and 1940.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Parties and Elections in europe: Denmark
  4. ^ Merkel, Wolfgang; Alexander Petring, Christian Henkes, Christoph Egle (2008). Social Democracy in Power: the capacity to reform. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415438209. 
  5. ^ Kowalski, Werner. Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923 - 19. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften, 1985. p. 290

External links

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