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Danish Social Liberal Party

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Title: Danish Social Liberal Party  
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Subject: List of Prime Ministers of Denmark, List of Ministers for Ecclesiastical Affairs of Denmark, Danish general election, 2015, Danish local elections, 2013, Danish parliamentary election, 2011
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Danish Social Liberal Party

Danish Social Liberal Party
Radikale Venstre
Leader Morten Østergaard
Chairman Klaus Frandsen
Founded 21 May 1905
Headquarters Christiansborg
1240 København K
Newspaper Radikal Politik
Youth wing Radikal Ungdom
Ideology Social liberalism[1]
Political position Centre[2][3] to
International affiliation Liberal International
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colours Magenta, blue
18 / 179
European Parliament
1 / 13
7 / 205
62 / 2,444
Election symbol
Politics of Denmark
Political parties
Percentage of the popular vote received by the Danish Social Liberal Party in general elections, 1920-2011.

The Danish Social Liberal Party (Danish: Det Radikale Venstre, literally: "The Radical Left", occasionally translated to English as "Radical Liberal Party") is a centrist social-liberal[9][10][11][12] political party in Denmark. The party is a member of Liberal International and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).


The party was founded in 1905 as a split from the liberal John Stuart Mill.[15]

The literal translation radical left is nowadays somewhat misleading, as the party is traditionally described as being in the centrism of the left-right political scale. The use of the word for "left" in the name of the former mother party Venstre and the Norwegian party Venstre is meant to refer to liberalism and not left-wing politics. Venstre originally was to the left of the conservative and aristocratic right-wing politics.

Electoral record

The party president is Klaus Frandsen and it has seventeen members of parliament . By far the most prominent member, however, is political leader and spokesperson Margrethe Vestager.

The party performed well at the 2005 elections. It came out with 9.2% of the popular vote and 17 seats in Parliament, a gain of eight seats. In the 2007 elections, the party share of the popular vote fell to 5.1% and it lost 8 seats, leaving it a total of 9. In the subsequent 2011 elections, the party support rose to 9.5%, and it regained 8 seats to resume a total of 17.

Around 2005 the party was inspired by Richard Florida's book The Rise of the Creative Class. The party also released their own book/political program called "Det kreative Danmark" (The Creative Denmark).

Current issues high on the agenda for the party are:

  • Strong opposition to the tight immigration policies of the former Liberal-Conservative government, particularly the 24 year rule (a measure that prevents foreign spouses of Danish citizens from gaining residence permits if either is under the age of 24, to avoid forced marriages).
  • Opposition to the educational policies of the former Liberal-Conservative government, which according to the party stresses centralisation, nationalised testing and old-fashioned educational ideas over creativeness, freedom in teaching methods and personal development of pupils.
  • A major tax reform, which should simplify the tax system in such a way that income taxes will be reduced in favour of more environmental taxes, less tax deductions and higher taxes on real estate. The point of this is to make working more attractive and the hiring of service workers more attractive. This implies that the party is also opposed to the Liberal-Conservative government's "tax freeze" (skattestop) which prohibits any tax increases, but also changes of the taxation pattern.

Internal conflicts

In 2007 some prominent members of the party criticised the strategy as being too left-leaning and depending too much on the Social Democrats.

On 7 May 2007, MP Naser Khader and MEP Anders Samuelsen announced that they had left the party to found the economic liberal New Alliance, later renamed the Liberal Alliance,[16] party along with Conservative MEP Gitte Seeberg.

During the following debate the party first distanced itself from the Social Democrats, but after being criticised internally for that too, returned to an oppositional role.

On 6 January 2009 MP [17]

2007 elections

At a press release on 15 June 2007, it was announced that MP Margrethe Vestager would take over the leadership of the party after Marianne Jelved, and that the party would rethink its strategy and will now consider forming a coalition government with either the left or right side of parliament.[18]

Vestager clarified during the run-up to the 2007 election that her party would only be supporting a government led by the Social Democrats. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, it received 5.1% of the vote, and 9 out of 179 seats.

2011 elections

In the 2011 parliamentary election, in which it ran as part of the "Red Bloc" with the Social Democrats, Socialist People's Party, and Red-Green Alliance, it received 9.5% of the votes and went from 9 to 17 seats, almost doubling its share of votes and of seats in the Folketing.

The party joined the new centre-left government lead by incoming Prime Minister and Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt following the 2011 elections.

Relationships to other parties

The Danish Social Liberal Party has traditionally kept itself in the centre of the political scale. Since the early nineties, though, it has primarily cooperated with the Social Democrats.

Prominent members

Prime Ministers

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

Other Ministers

Unofficial political leaders

Identical with parliamentary group leaders in the Folketing except when the party was in government, and in certain periods there were forms of co-leadership. The time periods are disputable but they may be argued to be as presented here:



Parliamentary group leaders

Parliamentary group leaders in the Folketing:


Party chairmen


Election results

Parliament (Folketing)

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
% of
Danish vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
Danish seats won
+/– Government
1984 184,642 5.5 (#6)
10 / 179
10 / 175
Increase 1 in opposition
1987 209,086 6.2 (#5)
11 / 179
11 / 175
Increase 1 in opposition
1988 185,707 5.6 (#6)
10 / 179
10 / 175
Decrease 1 in coalition
1990 114,888 3.5 (#7)
7 / 179
7 / 175
Decrease 3 in opposition
1994 152,701 4.6 (#6)
8 / 179
8 / 175
Increase 1 in coalition
1998 131,254 3.9 (#7)
7 / 179
7 / 175
Decrease 1 in coalition
2001 179,023 5.2 (#6)
9 / 179
9 / 175
Increase 2 in opposition
2005 308,212 9.2 (#5)
17 / 179
17 / 175
Increase 8 in opposition
2007 177,161 5.1 (#6)
9 / 179
9 / 175
Decrease 8 in opposition
2011 336,698 9.5 (#4)
17 / 179
17 / 175
Increase 8 in coalition

European Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
% of
Danish vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
Danish seats won
1989 50,196 2.8 (#8)
0 / 16
1994 176,480 8.5 (#6)
1 / 16
Increase 1
1999 180,089 9.1 (#4)
1 / 16
Steady 0
2004 120,473 6.4 (#6)
1 / 14
Steady 0
2009 100,094 4.3 (#7)
0 / 13
Decrease 1
2014 148,949 6.5 (#7)
1 / 13
Increase 1

See also


  1. ^ Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  2. ^ 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.  
  3. ^ Danish parties agree on tougher border controls,  
  4. ^ Emmenegger, Patrick (2009), Regulatory Social Policy: The Politics of Job Security Regulations, Haupt, p. 192 
  5. ^ Möller-Holtkamp, Vera (9 May 2007), Denmark's New Party Aims to Shake Up the Far Right,  
  6. ^ "Danmarks Radio Resultatet". Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Almeida, Dimitri. "Liberal Parties and European Integration". 
  10. ^ Marks, Gary and 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.  
  11. ^ Hans Slomp (30 September 2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 415, 419.  
  12. ^ Henning Jørgensen (2002). Consensus, Cooperation and Conflict: The Policy Making Process in Denmark. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 32–.  
  13. ^ Alastair H. Thomas, ed. (2010). "Radical Liberal Party". The A to Z of Denmark. Scarecrow Press. p. 340–341.  
  14. ^ "Det Radikale Venstre".  
  15. ^ Maria Eugenia Mata; Michalis Psalidopoulos (6 December 2001). Economic Thought and Policy in Less Developed Europe: The Nineteenth Century. Routledge. p. 23–.  
  16. ^ Changing name
  17. ^ Ammitzbøll to Liberal Alliance Borgerligt Centrum is not closed!
  18. ^ a b Haahr, Ulla (15 June 2007). Vestager ny radikal dronning (Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.
  19. ^ Bille, Lars (1997), Partier i forandring, Odense Universitetsforlag, ISBN 87-7838-314-5.
  20. ^ Larsen, Helge (1980), Det Radikale Venstre i medvind og modvind, Tidens Tankers Forlag.
  21. ^ Lund, Joakim (2003), Partier under pres, Gyldendal, ISBN 87-02-02174-9.
  22. ^ Rasmussen, Erik & Roar Skovmand (1955), Det Radikale Venstre 1905–1955, Det danske Forlag.
  23. ^ a b Pedersen, Sune; Lidegaard, Bo (eds.) (2005). B radikalt 1905–2005 (Danish). Copenhagen: Gyldendal, p. 392-93. ISBN 87-02-03315-1.

External links

  • Det Radikale Venstre official site
  • official open community site
  • English summary
  • Web site of the party's youth organisation (mainly in Danish)
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