Venstre (Denmark)
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Venstre Denmark

Venstre, Denmark's Liberal Party
Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti
LeaderJakob Ellemann-Jensen
Founded1870, total reform in 1910
HeadquartersSøllerødvej 30,
2840 Holte
Youth wingVenstres Ungdom
Student wingLiberal Students of Denmark
Membership (2016)35,957[1]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[7]
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliationLiberal International
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
Nordic affiliationCentre Group
Colours  Navy blue
SloganFrihed og fællesskab ("Freedom and community")
Folketing
European Parliament
Regions[8]
Municipalities[9]
Mayors
Election symbol
V
Website
www.venstre.dk

Venstre[note 1] (Danish pronunciation: ['venst], literally "left"), full name Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti (English: Left, Denmark's Liberal Party), is a conservative-liberal,[2][3][4] agrarian[10] political party in Denmark. Founded as part of a peasants' movement against the landed aristocracy, today it espouses an economically liberal, pro-free-market ideology.[6]

Venstre is the major party of the centre-right in Denmark, and the second-largest party in the country. The party has produced many Prime Ministers. In the 2019 general elections, Venstre received 23.4% of the vote and 43 out of 179 seats. Its current leader is Jakob Ellemann-Jensen following the resignation of Lars Løkke Rasmussen as chairman on 31 August 2019.[11]

The party is a member of Liberal International and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and has three MEPs in the European Parliament.[12]

Ideology

Venstre is categorised as centre-right on the political spectrum.[7] It is a market liberal party[13] within the Nordic agrarian tradition,[14] and today is notably more pro-free market than its sister parties.[15] Some describe it as classical liberal, since its leader from 1998 to 2009, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is known for his authorship of the book From Social State to Minimal State. His book advocated an extensive reform of the Danish welfare state along classical liberal lines, including lower taxes and less government interference in corporate and individual matters.

Since the elections in 2001, Venstre has enacted a so-called "tax stop" in order to halt the growth in taxes seen during the previous eight years under the Social Democrats. This tax stop has been under heavy fire from the parties on the left wing of Danish politics, allegedly for being "asocial" and "only for the rich."[16][17]

History

Venstre 1945 election material ("Venstre has been dealt a good hand")

1870-1910

Venstre was founded in 1870 under the name Det Forenede Venstre ("The United Left") and originally consisted of multiple conflicting groups, all united under the liberal ideology, the safeguarding of farmers' interests and opposition to the then conservative party Højre (literally "Right"). After the party in 1872 gained an absolute majority in the Folketing, it became the leading voice in the battle for parliamentarism, whereafter the party in 1895 split in two, Venstrereformpartiet ("Venstre Reform Party") and Det Moderate Venstre ("The Moderate Left"). In 1905, social liberal factions split from the party and formed Radikale Venstre (also known as the Danish Social Liberal Party), and in 1910 Venstrereformpartiet and Det Moderate Venstre reunited again under the name Venstre.[18]

1910-2009

With the decreasing numbers of farms and the growing urbanisation, membership and voter support dropped in the 1950s. During the 1960s the party gradually evolved from being a traditional farmers' party to a more general liberal party. In 1984 Uffe Ellemann-Jensen was elected chairman, and by profiling the liberal ideology in sharp confrontation to the Social Democrats, for example by campaigning for a reduction of the public sector, increasing market management and privatisation, and by being pro-EU, the party returned to its historical position as the biggest liberal party in the 1990s.[18]

After a disappointing 1998 general election, Ellemann-Jensen resigned as chairman and Anders Fogh Rasmussen was elected in his place. He immediately changed the party's usual confrontational strategy, instead appealing to the political centre. In the 2001 general elections the party campaigned for tighter immigration policies and a "tax stop", which proved successful and the party once again became the biggest in parliament, winning 31.2% of the vote and 56 seats. Venstre formed a coalition government with the Conservative People's Party and the Danish People's Party. For the first time since 1929 a liberal government was no longer dependent on the centre parties. Despite a small decline in both the 2005 general elections (29% and 52 seats) and the 2007 general elections (26.2% and 46 seats), the party remained the biggest and the coalition government continued.[18]

On 5 April 2009 Fogh Rasmussen resigned as chairman, instead serving as Secretary General of NATO. In his place Lars Løkke Rasmussen was elected.[19]

2009-present

In the 2011 general elections the party gained 26.7% of the vote and 47 seats, but was not able to form a government, instead leading the opposition of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt's Social Democratic coalition.

Even though the party lost voter support in the 2015 general elections, only gaining 19.5% of the vote, the party formed a minority government. This government was short lived, and in 2016 Løkke Rasmussen invited the Conservative People's Party and the Liberal Alliance to form a coalition government instead.[20]

During the campaign of the 2019 general elections Løkke Rasmussen published an autobiography, in which he opened up for the possibility of forming a government with the Social Democrats.[21] This was seen as controversial in the liberal "blue bloc", and Social Democratic leader Mette Frederiksen immediately declined the proposition.[22]

Following internal fighting in the party, Løkke Rasmussen and vice chairman Kristian Jensen both resigned on 31 August 2019. On 21 September 2019 political spokesman and former Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen was elected the party's next chairman.[23]

Prime Ministers

Leaders since 1929

No. Portrait Leader Took office Left office Time in office
1
Thomas Madsen-Mygdal
Madsen, ThomasThomas Madsen-Mygdal
(1876-1943)
1929194111-12 years
2
Knud Kristensen
Kristensen, KnudKnud Kristensen
(1880-1962)
194119497-8 years
3
Edvard Sørensen
Sørensen, EdvardEdvard Sørensen
(1893-1954)
194919500-1 years
4
Erik Eriksen
Eriksen, ErikErik Eriksen
(1902-1972)
195024 May 196514-15 years
5
Poul Hartling
Hartling, PoulPoul Hartling
(1914-2000)
24 May 1965December 197712 years, 191 days
6
Henning Christophersen
Christophersen, HenningHenning Christophersen
(1939-2016)
September 197823 July 19845 years, 326 days
7
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Ellemann, UffeUffe Ellemann-Jensen
(born 1941)
23 July 198418 March 199813 years, 238 days
8
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Rasmussen, AndersAnders Fogh Rasmussen
(born 1953)
18 March 199817 May 200911 years, 60 days
9
Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Rasmussen, LarsLars Løkke Rasmussen
(born 1964)
17 May 200931 August 201910 years, 106 days
-
Kristian Jensen
Jensen, KristianKristian Jensen
(born 1971)
Acting
31 August 201921 September 201921 days
10
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen
Jensen, KristianJakob Ellemann-Jensen
(born 1973)
21 September 2019Incumbent1 year, 311 days

Origin of the name

The fact that the major centre-right political party in a country calls itself 'Left' is often confusing to foreign (and sometimes Danish) observers. The name has, however, its historical explanation. At the time of its foundation, Venstre affirmed then-progressive ideas in the Danish parliament. Their opponents, Højre (Right), the forerunner of the present-day Conservative People's Party, advocated for established interests, particularly the Church of Denmark and the landed gentry. In current Danish politics there is a clear distinction between the concepts of Venstre (Left, i.e., the party bearing that name) and venstrefløj (left wing, i.e., socialist and other left-leaning parties). The use of the word for "left" in the name of the Danish political party Radikale Venstre and the Norwegian party Venstre is meant to refer to liberalism and not socialism.

Members of the party are referred to as venstremænd and venstrekvinder, respectively "Venstre men" and "Venstre women" (singular: -mand, -kvinde).

Election results

Parliament

Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
1872
New Opposition
1873
Decrease 2 Opposition
1876
Increase 23 Opposition
1879
Decrease 9 Opposition
1881
(May)
Increase 4 Opposition
1881
(Jul)
Increase 6 Opposition
1884 80,000 56.3 (#1)
Increase 6 Opposition
1887 132,000 58.1 (#1)
Decrease 7 Opposition
1890 123,000 53.0 (#1)
Increase 1 Opposition
1892 63,000 28.1 (#3)
Decrease 45 Opposition
1895 89,530 40.5 (#1)
Increase 23 Opposition
1898 98,070 43.6 (#1)
Increase 10 Opposition
1901 103,495 45.9 (#1)
Increase 13 Majority
1903 121,357 49.4 (#1)
Decrease 3 Majority
1906 94,272 31.2 (#1)
Decrease 17 Minority
1909 77,949 24.0 (#1)
Decrease 19 Minority (1909)
Opposition (1909-1910)
1910 118,902 34.1 (#1)
Increase 20 Majority
1913 103,917 28.6 (#2)
Decrease 13 Opposition
1915 8,081 62.8 (#1)
Decrease 1 Opposition
1918 269,646 29.4 (#1)
Increase 2 Opposition
1920
(Apr)
350,563 34.2 (#1)
Increase 3 Minority
1920
(Jul)
344,351 36.1 (#1)
Increase 3 Minority
1920
(Sep)
411,661 34.0 (#1)
Steady 0 Minority
1924 362,682 28.3 (#2)
Decrease 7 Opposition
1926 378,137 28.3 (#2)
Increase 2 Minority
1929 402,121 28.3 (#2)
Decrease 3 Opposition
1932 381,862 24.7 (#2)
Decrease 5 Opposition
1935 292,247 17.8 (#2)
Decrease 10 Opposition
1939 309,355 18.2 (#2)
Increase 2 Opposition (1939-1940)
Coalition (1940-1943)
1943 376,850 18.7 (#3)
Decrease 2 Coalition
1945 479,158 23.4 (#2)
Increase 10 Minority
1947 529,066 25.4 (#2)
Increase 8 Opposition
1950 438,188 21.3 (#2)
Decrease 14 Coalition
1953
(Apr)
456,896 22.1 (#2)
Increase 1 Coalition
1953
(Sep)
499,656 23.1 (#2)
Increase 9 Opposition
1957 578,932 25.1 (#2)
Increase 3 Opposition
1960 512,041 21.1 (#2)
Decrease 7 Opposition
1964 547,770 20.8 (#2)
Steady 0 Opposition
1966 539,027 19.3 (#2)
Decrease 3 Opposition
1968 530,167 18.6 (#3)
Decrease 1 Coalition
1971 450,904 15.6 (#3)
Decrease 4 Opposition
1973 374,283 12.3 (#3)
Decrease 8 Minority
1975 711,298 23.3 (#2)
Increase 20 Opposition
1977 371,728 12.0 (#3)
Decrease 21 Opposition (1977-1978)
Coalition (1978-1979)
1979 396,484 12.5 (#2)
Increase 1 Opposition
1981 353,280 11.3 (#4)
Decrease 2 Opposition (1981-1982)
Coalition (1982-1984)
1984 405,737 12.1 (#3)
Increase 2 Coalition
1987 354,291 10.5 (#4)
Decrease 3 Coalition
1988 394,190 11.8 (#4)
Increase 3 Coalition
1990 511,643 15.8 (#3)
Increase 7 Coalition (1990-1993)
Opposition (1993-1994)
1994 775,176 23.3 (#2)
Increase 13 Opposition
1998 817,894 24.0 (#2)
Steady 0 Opposition
2001 1,077,858 31.2 (#1)
Increase 14 Coalition
2005 974,636 29.0 (#1)
Decrease 4 Coalition
2007 908,472 26.2 (#1)
Decrease 6 Coalition
2011 947,725 26.7 (#1)
Increase 1 Opposition
2015 685,188 19.5 (#3)
Decrease 13 Minority (2015-2016)
Coalition (2016-2019)
2019 825,486 23.4 (#2)
Increase 9 Opposition

Municipal elections

Election Seats
# ±
1925
New
1929
Increase 324
1933
Increase 77
1937
Decrease 318
1943
Decrease 157
1946
Increase 302
1950
Decrease 177
1954
Increase 11
1958
Increase 52
1962
Decrease 209
1966
Decrease 449
1970
Decrease 667
1974
Increase 197
1978
Decrease 122
1981
Increase 85
1985
Decrease 39
1989
Increase 60
1993
Increase 340
1997
Decrease 44
2001
Increase 109
2005
Decrease 862
2009
Decrease 105
2013
Increase 68
2017
Decrease 79

Regional elections

Date Votes Seats
# ±
1935 217,375
New
1943 300,241
Decrease 1
1946 368,040
Increase 16
1950 348,861
Decrease 11
1954 355,295
Decrease 1
1958 412,111
Increase 8
1962 387,628
Decrease 8
1966 402,574
Decrease 12
1970 449,479
Decrease 20
1974 400,062
Increase 3
1978 411,812
Decrease 8
1981 457,565
Decrease 6
1985 418,149
Decrease 1
1989 451,807
Increase 6
1993 717,536
Increase 36
1997 665,857
Decrease 1
2001 963,220
Increase 15
2005 744,466
Decrease 79
2009 648,903
Decrease 6
2013 809,664
Increase 8
2017
Decrease 8

European Parliament

Election year # of votes % of votes # of seats won +/- Notes
1979 252,767 14.5 (#3)
1984 248,397 12.5 (#4)
Decrease 1
1989 297,565 16.6 (#3)
Increase 1
1994 394,362 19.0 (#1)
Increase 1
1999 460,834 23.4 (#1)
Increase 1
2004 366,734 19.4 (#2)
Decrease 2
2009 474,041 20.2 (#2)
Steady 0
2014 379,840 17.7 (#3)
Decrease 1
2019 648,203 23.5 (#1)
Increase 2

European representation

In the European Parliament, Venstre sits in the Renew Europe group with four MEPs.[24][25][26][27]

In the European Committee of the Regions, Venstre sits in the Renew Europe CoR group, with four full and three alternate members for the 2020-2025 mandate.[28][29]

Youth and student wings

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The party name is officially not translated into any other language, but is in English often referred to as the Liberal Party. Similar rules apply for the name of the party's youth wing Venstres Ungdom.

References

  1. ^ "Hvor mange medlemmer har de politiske partier?". Folketinget.
  2. ^ a b Emil Joseph Kirchner; Alistair H. Thomas (1988). Liberal Parties in Western Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-521-32394-9. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ a b Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. pp. 415, 420. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Denmark". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  5. ^ Svante Ersson; Jan-Erik Lane (1998). Politics and Society in Western Europe. SAGE. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7619-5862-8. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ a b Åsa Bengtsson; Kasper Hansen; Ólafur Þ Harõarson; Hanne Marthe Narud; Henrik Oscarsson (2013). The Nordic Voter: Myths of Exceptionalism. ECPR Press. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-907301-50-6.
  7. ^ a b Josep M. Colomer (2008). Political Institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-134-07354-2.
  8. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 2010.
  9. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ Nanna Kildal; Stein Kuhnle (2007). Normative Foundations of the Welfare State: The Nordic Experience. Routledge. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-134-27283-9.
  11. ^ Kristiansen, Cecilie Lund; Larsen, Johan Blem (August 31, 2019). "Lars Løkke trækker sig som Venstres formand". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "Europavalg". DR. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved 2009.
  13. ^ Dimitri Almeida (2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. Routledge. p. 98-. ISBN 978-0-415-69374-5.
  14. ^ Almeida, Dimitri. "Liberal Parties and European Integration" (PDF).
  15. ^ Esaiasson, Peter; Heidar, Knut (1999). Beyond Westminster and Congress: the Nordic experience. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. p. 377. ISBN 978-0-8142-0839-7.
  16. ^ "Kritik af skattereform: De rige vinder og de fattige taber". www.bt.dk. February 24, 2009.
  17. ^ "AE: Skattestop forgylder de rige". Politiken. September 4, 2002.
  18. ^ a b c Bille, Lars; Rüdiger, Mogens. "Venstre". danmarkshistorien.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ Lund, Kenneth (April 5, 2009). "Anders Fogh er trådt tilbage". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ Bille, Lars; Bille, Mogens (February 2, 2009). "Venstre | Gyldendal - Den Store Danske". denstoredanske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ "Løkke åbner for SV-regering efter valget". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "Mette Frederiksen afviser Løkke: SV-regering kan ikke komme på tale". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ "Jakob Ellemann-Jensen er valgt som Venstres nye formand". Politiken (in Danish). September 21, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Home | Asger CHRISTENSEN | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2021.
  25. ^ "Home | Søren GADE | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2021.
  26. ^ "Home | Morten LØKKEGAARD | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2021.
  27. ^ "Home | Linea SØGAARD-LIDELL | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2021.
  28. ^ "Members Page CoR".
  29. ^ "Members Page CoR".

Further reading

  • Tom Matz (2004), Venstre ved du hvor du har (in Danish). ForlagsKompagniet: Nørhaven Book.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Venstre_(Denmark)
 



 



 
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