Social Democratic Party

Published 28th August, 2011

The Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats or SD (Party letter – A) was founded in 1871 to represent the growing industrial working classes. The party describes its ideology as third way and social democracy.

Its first success was in 1884 when they won two seats in the Folketing and between 1913 and 1920 they supported a minority government of the Danish Social Liberal Party (RV). SD formed its first government in 1924 when it became the largest party with 55 seats. In opposition in 1926, it came to power once more in 1929 and remained in power until 1940.

After the war they lost support and went into opposition but returned in 1947 and then continuously until 1973 when they lost nearly half their seats and went into opposition despite still being the largest party.

In 1975 they were back and remained in coalition governments until 1984. They then faced ten years in opposition until 1994 when they formed a coalition government with the Danish Social Liberal Party (RV) and the Centre Democrats (CD), the latter left the coalition in 1996.

In 2001 they were forced into opposition after dropping to 52 seats, then 47 seats in 2005 and a further drop in representation in 2007 to 45 seats. On 12 April 2005 Helle Thorning-Schmidt was elected as the new leader.

The Social Democrats are members of Socialist International and the Party of European Socialists. In the European Parliament where they have four of the 13 national seats they are members of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

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