Switzerland

Social Democratic Party of Switzerland


Published 24th September, 2011

German: Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz, SP
French: Parti socialiste suisse, PS
Italian: Partito Socialista Svizzero
Romansh: Partida Socialdemocrata de la Svizra

The Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, also known as the Swiss Socialist Party, was founded in 1888 as a federal party and quickly became a key force in the country, especially after the introduction of proportional representation in 1919. They describe themselves as centre-left and as socials democrats and pro-European.

After 1945 they have consistently been in either first or second place in the National Council or lower house, with one exception, in 1987 when they dropped into third place with 18.4% of the vote and 42 seats. In 1991 they remained on 18.5% of the vote but moved to second place in the lower chamber with 43 seats.

In 1995 and 1999 they were in first place again, albeit with only a marginally improved percentage of the vote, but in 2003 and 2007 they dropped into second place. The 2007 election was arguably one of their worst elections in modern times when they dropped to just 19.5% of the vote (their average is 25%) with 43 seats, a drop of nine seats on the 2003 position.

The Social Democratic Party are members of Socialist International and observer members of the Party of European Socialists.


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