Danish Social Liberal Party

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Danish Social Liberal Party
Radikale Venstre
Leader Morten Østergaard
Chairman Svend Thorhauge
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
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliation Liberal International
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colours Magenta, blue
8 / 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[clarification needed] elections, 1920-2011.

The Danish Social Liberal Party (Danish: Radikale Venstre, literally: "Radical Left", occasionally mis-translated to English as "Radical Liberal Party") is a 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 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 tenant farmers, an important early group of supporters.[13][14] The party's social-liberal ideals are said to have been inspired by the political economists Henry George and John Stuart Mill.[15]

The literal translation radical left is nowadays somewhat misleading, as the party is traditionally described as being in the centre 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.

Electoral record

The party president is Klaus Frandsen and it has seventeen members of parliament. The party's political leader is Morten Østergaard, the current deputy prime minister.

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.[citation needed]

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 Simon Emil Ammitzbøll also left the party and founded a new party called Borgerligt Centrum (Civic Centre), again as a centre-right alternative. In June 2009 he left the Borgerligt Centrum and joined Liberal Alliance.[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 led 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

  • Edvard Brandes, Finance Minister 1909–1910 and 1913–1920
  • Christopher Krabbe, Defence Minister 1909–1910
  • P. 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

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[citation needed]. The time periods are disputable[citation needed] 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
2015 160.672 4.6 (#7)
8 / 179
8 / 175
Decrease 9 in opposition

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. ISBN 978-1-907301-50-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Danish parties agree on tougher border controls", Reuters, 11 May 2011, retrieved 30 June 2011<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Emmenegger, Patrick (2009), Regulatory Social Policy: The Politics of Job Security Regulations, Haupt, p. 192<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Vera Möller-Holtkamp (9 May 2007), "Denmark's New Party Aims to Shake Up the Far Right", DW World, retrieved 30 June 2011<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Danmarks Radio Resultatet". Retrieved 16 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Almeida, Dimitri. "Liberal Parties and European Integration" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  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. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 17 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Henning Jørgensen (2002). Consensus, Cooperation and Conflict: The Policy Making Process in Denmark. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-84064-091-5. Retrieved 24 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Alastair H. Thomas, ed. (2010). "Radical Liberal Party". The A to Z of Denmark. Scarecrow Press. pp. 340–341. ISBN 1461671841.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Det Radikale Venstre". Den Store Danske. Gyldendal. 11 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Changing name
  17. Ammitzbøll to Liberal Alliance Borgerligt Centrum is not closed!
  18. 18.0 18.1 Haahr, Ulla (15 June 2007). Vestager ny radikal dronning (Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  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. 23.0 23.1 Pedersen, Sune; Lidegaard, Bo (eds.) (2005). B radikalt 1905–2005 (Danish). Copenhagen: Gyldendal, pp. 392-93. ISBN 87-02-03315-1.

External links