Template:Infobox Political Party Template:Green politics sidebar The Socialist People's Party (Danish: Socialistisk Folkeparti, SF) is a Danish socialist and Green political party.



Template:Politics of Denmark The SF was founded on February 15 1959 by Aksel Larsen, a former leader of the Communist Party of Denmark (DKP) and CIA agent.[1][2] Larsen was removed from the ranks of the DKP for his criticism over the Soviet intervention in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Larsen and the new SF sought to form a third way between United States-oriented social democracy and Soviet Union-oriented communism, which sought to combine democracy with socialism. He was joined by a large share of the members of the DKP.

In the 1960 elections the party entered the Folketing with eleven seats. The DKP lost all of its six seats. In the 1964 elections the party lost one seat. During the 1960s the SF became involved in the peace movement and the movements which opposed nuclear weapons and nuclear power. It sought to "walk on two legs", by combining its parliamentary work with involvement in grass roots movements.

In the 1966 elections the Social Democratic Party and the SF won a combined majority in parliament, in which the SF doubled its seats from 10 to 20. A Social-Democratic minority government was formed, which was supported by the SF. The cooperation lasted only one year, but lead to considerable conflict within the SF: in 1967 the Left Socialists (VS) broke away from the SF. In the subsequent 1968 elections the SF lost nine seats and the VS entered parliament with four. In 1969 the party chairperson Larsen stood down, he was replaced by Sigurd Ømann.


In the 1971 elections the party regained ground on the VS, winning six seats, while the VS left the Folketing. In 1972 the party led the referendum campaign against Denmark's entry into the European Economic Community. The Danish voters voted in favour of the European by a narrow margin. Because of its opposition to the EEC however boosted the SF's membership and support. In the subsequent 1973 "landslide" elections, the SF lost six seats (reducing the party's share to 11), and re-entered the Folketing with six seats. In 1974 Ømann stood down as party chairperson in favour of Gert Petersen. In the 1975 elections the SF lost two seats and the VS re-entered the Folketing as well. In 1977 the party reached an all-time low with only seven seats. During the 1970s the SF began to change its program and electoral appeal. Where it had been a male-domined workers' party it became broader leftwing party that was oriented towards new voters and new social movements. It became more focused on the environment and gender politics.

In 1979 the party won four seats as the DKP lost its six seats. In the 1981 elections the party almost doubled from eleven to twenty-one. In the 1984 elections it remained stable. In the 1986 referendum on the Single European Act the SF campaigned together with the Social-Democrat and the Social Liberal Party against the European Community. The SEA was adopted by a narrow margin. In the subsequent 1987 it reached its all-time peak with twenty seven seats. In 1988 it lost four seats and in 1990 it lost another nine, leaving only fifteen. In 1991 the party leader Petersen stood down in favour of Holger K. Nielsen. Between 1982 and 1993 a centre-right government led by Poul Schlüter formed by the Conservatives, the Liberals and allies was in power even though the Social-Democrats, SF and the Social Liberals formed a majority in parliament. This, combined with its links with the peace and environmental movement gave the SF the power to force alternative security and environmental policies.


In 1991 Petersen stood down as party chairperson, he was replaced by Holger K. Nielsen, who was compared to the other candidate Sten Gade, closer to the party's socialist past.

In the 1992 referendum on the treaty of Maastricht the SF campaigned for the "no"-vote. The Danish people voted against the referendum. In 1993 the SF formed a historic compromise with the other parties in the Folketing. It accepted the concessions made to the Danes in the Edinburgh Agreement and to the SF in the National Compromise. Therefore it campaigned to vote "yes" in the second referendum. Just before the referendum in 1991 the SF's party congress had adopted a new program of action and principles, "Mod Nye Tider (Towards New Times)", which departed from the old anti-EU line. As a group in the SF became more positive of the EU, the SF became increasingly divided on the issue.

In 1994 it lost another two seats and the Red-Green Alliance an alliance which included the DKP and the VS entered parliament with six seats. In the same year the party's MEP decided to sit with the European Greens instead of the Nordic Green Left without consulting the party leadership. In the 1998 elections the party remained stable. During the 1998 referendum on the Treaty of Amsterdam it led the No-camp again, unsuccessfully. Between 1993 and 2001 the SF supported a Social-Democratic/Social-Liberal minority government led by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

In the 2000 referendum on the euro, the SF was able to convince the voters to vote "no". In the 2001 elections the party lost one seat. In 2004 the party's sole MEP again decided to sit with European Greens instead of the Nordic Green Left, leading to considerable internal conflict. In the 2005 elections it lost another. In 2005 Holger K. Nielsen stood down as party chairperson in favour of a new chair. The chair was elected by the SF's members on April 28 2005. They had a choice between three candidates: Villy Søvndal, Pia Olsen and Meta Fuglsang. Villy Søvndal won with 60% of the votes. Villy Søvndal promises to take the party further to the left. In a 2006 internal referendum 66% of the SF-members declared that the party should participate in the "yes"-camp in a referendum on the European Constitution, a historic break from its Euroskeptic past.

In the 2007 parliamentary election, the party more than doubled their seats in parliament, becoming the fourth largest party.


Year Folketing EP Party Chairperson
1960 11 n/a Aksel Larsen
1961 11 n/a Aksel Larsen
1962 11 n/a Aksel Larsen
1963 11 n/a Aksel Larsen
1964 10 n/a Aksel Larsen
1965 10 n/a Aksel Larsen
1966 20 n/a Aksel Larsen
1967 20 n/a Aksel Larsen
1968 11 n/a Aksel Larsen
1969 11 n/a Sigurd Ømann
1970 11 n/a Sigurd Ømann
1971 17 n/a Sigurd Ømann
1972 17 n/a Sigurd Ømann
1973 11 n/a Sigurd Ømann
1974 11 n/a Gert Petersen
1975 9 n/a Gert Petersen
1976 9 n/a Gert Petersen
1977 7 n/a Gert Petersen
1978 7 n/a Gert Petersen
1979 11 1 Gert Petersen
1980 11 1 Gert Petersen
1981 21 1 Gert Petersen
1982 21 1 Gert Petersen
1983 21 1 Gert Petersen
1984 21 2 Gert Petersen
1985 21 2 Gert Petersen
1986 21 2 Gert Petersen
1987 27 2 Gert Petersen
1988 24 2 Gert Petersen
1989 24 1 Gert Petersen
1990 15 1 Gert Petersen
1991 15 1 Gert Petersen
1992 15 1 Gert Petersen
1993 15 1 Gert Petersen
1994 13 1 Holger K. Nielsen
1995 13 1 Holger K. Nielsen
1996 13 1 Holger K. Nielsen
1997 13 1 Holger K. Nielsen
1998 13 1 Holger K. Nielsen
1999 13 1 Holger K. Nielsen
2000 13 1 Holger K. Nielsen
2001 12 1 Holger K. Nielsen
2002 12 1 Holger K. Nielsen
2003 12 1 Holger K. Nielsen
2004 12 1 Holger K. Nielsen
2005 11 1 Villy Søvndal
2006 11 1 Villy Søvndal
2007 23 1 Villy Søvndal

Members of the FolketingEdit

In the 2007 election, the SF went from 11 to 23 seats in the Folketing[3]:

Members of the European ParliamentEdit

Since the 2004 elections SF has one member in the European Parliament, Margrete Auken. Without the approval of the party's board she sits in the European Green Party-European Free Alliance parliamentary group instead of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left.

Municipal and Regional GovernmentEdit

Currently the party has approximately 236 elected representatives in local town councils and 21 representatives in Denmark's fourteen regional councils. During the 1990s the party gained its first mayors

Ideology and IssuesEdit

Template:Socialism sidebar

SF's ideological base is folkesocialisme (Popular Socialism) inspired by democratic socialism and green politics. The party sees a democratic socialist Denmark as the end goal of its politics. The party is a strong supporter of human rights, the rights of minorities, and democracy.

An important issue dividing the party is the European Union. Historically the party was highly Eurosceptic. However, during the 1990s, when the EU began to support the post-communist countries (to whom the SF felt historically connected) and began to implement policies oriented at regional development, environmental protection, and social protection, the SF became more positive about the EU. Currently, this issue is still dividing the party internally.

Other important issues for the SF are globalisation based on solidarity. To that extent, it seeks to reform the WTO, as well as environmental protection, as well as support feminism.


The SF has a strong grassroots organization: all members can participate in the party congresses but only delegates have voting rights. In May 2007 the party had 10,291 members. Its youth organization is the Youth of the Socialist People's Party. The linked Socialist Popular Education Organisation organizes a yearly political summer meeing for members and non-members in Livø.

Relationships to other partiesEdit

The SF has good relationships with the Social Liberal Party and the Social Democrats who have cooperated in minority governments supported by the SF.

International organizationsEdit

SF is a member of the Nordic Green Left Alliance and has observer status in the European Greens. Between 1979 and 1989 its MEPs sat in the Communists and Allies group. Between 1989 and 1994 its sole MEP was member of the European United Left parliamentary group. Between 1994 and 1999 its sole MEP sat in the Green Group. Between 1999 and 2004 its sole MEP sat in the European United Left - Nordic Green Left group. After 2004 election, SF's sole MEP, Margrete Auken, controversially chose to sit in the European Greens - European Free Alliance group.

International ComparisonEdit

Template:Original research The SF is a Nordic Green Left party like the Swedish Left Party, the Norwegian Socialist Left Party, the Finnish Left Alliance and the Icelandic Left-Green Movement. These were also influenced by feminism and green politics in the 1970s and 1980s. Similar parties in Western Europe were French Unified Socialist Party and the Dutch Pacifist Socialist Party.

See also Edit

Template:Portal Template:Portal Template:Portal



External linksEdit

Template:Danish political parties Template:Danish parliamentary election, 2007 navigation Template:Green partiesda:SF de:Socialistisk Folkeparti et:Sotsialistlik Rahvapartei es:Partido Socialista Popular (Dinamarca) eo:Socialista Popola Partio (Danio) fr:Parti socialiste populaire danois gl:Partido Socialista Popular (Dinamarca) ja:社会主義人民党 no:Socialistisk Folkeparti nn:Socialistisk Folkeparti pl:Socjalistyczna Partia Ludowa (Dania) ru:Социалистическая народная партия (Дания) fi:Socialistisk Folkeparti sv:Socialistisk Folkeparti

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