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Denmark - Political Parties

A political party is an assembly of people with the same basic opinions on how to run a country. In former times, there were only four big parties in Denmark Right (conservative), Left (liberal), the Social Liberals and the Social Democrats (socialist).

The governments of Denmark has been headed by either the Social Democrats or one or more of the liberal/ right wing parties. Since the 1960s, Danes have had more and more parties to vote for a be members of. There are several socialist parties, several centre parties, and several right wing parties. It's not unusual that at least ten parties run for parliament in an election. On a more local level, the parties also run in the municipal elections, but then they often compete with very small local parties. A party gets representatives - also called seats - in the Parliament according to the number of vote they pull in a general election. The figure shows how many seats each party in Denmarkhas right now.

In principle, anybody can found a new party in Denmark, but there is a minimum percentage of votes required for representation. In Denmarkthe minimum is 2%, which means that there has to be at least 2% of the voters who share the views of the party. If a party gets 2% of the votes, they just manage to get in and are given four seats of the 179 in the Parliament.

election of 2011 Seats
The Liberal Party 47
Social democrats 44
Danish Peoples Party 22
Socialist People Party 16
Conservative Peoples Party 8
Social Liberals 17
Liberal Alliance 9
Unity List Red Green Alliance 12
In April 2009, after Anders Fogh Rasmussen was elected Secretary General of NATO, he was succeeded as Prime Minister by Lars Loekke Rasmussen (no relation). The coalition consisted of the Liberal Party ("Venstre") and the Conservative Party, holding 63 of 179 seats in the Folketing, and had the parliamentary support of the Danish People's Party, holding another 23 seats.

Following the September 15, 2011 general election, Social Democratic Party leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt formed a three-party minority coalition government with the centrist Social Liberal Party and the leftist Socialist People's Party. The coalition held 77 of the seats in the Folketing (SDP 44, SLP 17, and SPP 16) and enjoyed parliamentary support from the 12 seats held by the far-left Unity List (aka Red-Green Alliance). The opposition Liberal Party held 47 seats, the Danish People's Party 22 seats, the Liberal Alliance 9 seats, and the Conservative People's Party 8 seats.

The Liberal Party of Denmark (Venstre), one of the oldest parties in Denmark, is rooted in the liberal tradition emphasizing individual freedom, free markets and liberalization of business. The party was in opposition after 2011 following 10 years in government, yet the largest party in parliament.

The Danish Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne), the oldest social democratic party in Denmark, is historically rooted among urban industrial workers. Traditionally the party had strong bonds to the labor unions, but in recent decades this relationship has become less institutionalized than it used to be. The Social Democrats emphasize the continued importance of maintaining the core elements of the welfare state the party helped build, and the important role of the state in achieving growth. After 2011, the Social Democrats led a government coalition with The Socialist Peoples Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti) and the Social-Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre).

The Danish Peoples Party (Dansk Folkeparti), has rapidly grown into becoming the third largest party in the Danish parliament, with a strong focus on welfare for Danish citizens, immigration, national culture, security and independence (including opposition to the EU). Between 2001 and 2011 the party enjoyed great influence because of its support to the minority coalition government of the Danish Liberal Party (Venstre) and Conservative Peoples Party (Konservative).

The Danish Socialist Peoples Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti - SF) was founded in 1959 by dissidents of the then Danish Communist Party, who wanted a truly independent political platform in Denmark. Following a landslide national election in 2007, the party rebranded itself as a modern left-wing party with a focus on the environment, welfare and equality. The party also initiated a close partnership with the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne) culminating in the 2011 parliamentary elections after which the party formed a coalition government with the Social Democrats and Social-Liberal Party.

The Conservative Peoples Party (Konservative) was founded on the basis of its predecessor, Hjre (Right), but also on the Free Conservatives and a moderate faction of the Liberal Party (Venstre). Today, the party is built on a strong belief in the virtues of the free market, and with the traditional focus on social responsibility and conservatism in cultural areas. The Conservative Peoples Party is in opposition along with their previous government partner, the Liberal Party (Venstre).

The Danish Social- Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre) is situated at the center of the Danish political spectrum, and has historically collaborated with both the left and right wing parties in parliament. Following the Danish parliamentary election in 2011, the party formed a government coalition with the Danish Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne) and Socialist Peoples Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti). The Social- Liberal Party was founded as an independent party at the start of the century. Originally many intellectuals, small scale farmers, and craftsmen supported the party, but today it receives support from all areas of Danish society.

Liberal Alliance is the youngest party in parliament. Founded first as Ny Alliance (New Alliance), it experienced a difficult start following a disappointing first election. Since then, the party has reestablished itself as a truly liberal party in Denmark, advocating for liberal economic policies with public sector restructuring and tax cuts. The party further cemented its existence with impressive results in the 2011 parliamentary elections, though in opposition.

The Danish Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten)was formed in 1989 by three left-wing parties: the Left Socialist Party, the Communist Party of Denmark and the Socialist Workers Party. It opposes corporate driven globalization, neoliberal politicies and privatization, and focuses on the environment and public sector development. The party enjoyed a landslide election in 2011, after which it acted as parliamentary support for the government.

The right-wing populist Danish People's Party won the largest share of Danish votes26.7%in European Parliament elections 25 May 2014 in the party's best-ever European showing. With 97% of the votes counted, the opposition Danish People's Party, or DF, won enough votes to take four of the 13 Danish seats in the European Union's parliamentgaining two seats. Denmark's governing Social Democrats came in second with 19.1% of votes, which would prompt it to lose one of its current four seats. The left-wing People's Movement Against the EUwhich like the DF, also has a euroskeptic platform, received 8.1% of votes, keeping the one seat it currently had.

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