Published 24th September, 2011
German: FDP.Die Liberalen
French: PLR.Les Libéraux-Radicaux
Italian: PLR.I Liberali
Romansh: PLD.Ils Liberals
The FDP.Liberals was founded in 2009 as a merger of two historic parties, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) which was itself founded in 1894 and the Liberal Party which was founded in 1913. The new party describes itself as centre-right and ideologically as radicalism and classical liberalism.
The FDP in particlar had been dominant prior to 1919 but declined in the years immediately after the introduction of proportional representation. After 1946, however, the party was either first or second in every election, taking around 23% of the vote and between 47 and 52 seats in the lower house.
In 1999 they dropped to third place with 19.9% of the vote and 43 seats. A general decline continued with them achieving 19.9% of the vote and 36 seats in 2003 (by this time they were in a loose alliance with the Liberal Party). In 2007 they dropped still further to 15.8% of the vote and 31 seats, although they still remain the third largest party in parliament.
The FDP.The Liberals is a member of Liberal International and a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.