Conservative People's Party (Denmark)

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Conservative People's Party
Det Konservative Folkeparti
LeaderSøren Pape Poulsen
Founded18 December 1915 (first programme presented)
22 February 1916 (1916-02-22) (official party foundation)
Preceded byHøjre
Free Conservatives
Moderate faction of Venstre
HeadquartersChristiansborg
1240 København K
Youth wingYoung Conservatives
Student wingConservative Students
IdeologyLiberal conservatism[1][2]
Green conservatism[3]
Political positionCentre-right[4]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
Nordic affiliationConservative Group
Colours  Dark Green
Folketing
13 / 179
European Parliament
1 / 14
Regions:[5]
31 / 205
Municipalities:[6]
404 / 2,436
Mayors:
14 / 98
Election symbol
Det Konservative Folkeparti Teillogo.svg
Website
www.konservative.dk

The Conservative People's Party (Danish: Det Konservative Folkeparti, DKF), also known as The Conservatives (De Konservative) is a conservative[7] centre-right[4] political party in Denmark. The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and International Democrat Union.

History[edit]

Election poster, 1939. It reads: Comrades - let it now be over! Vote for more work. Vote Conservative.

The party was founded in 1916[8] based mostly on its predecessor, Højre ("Right") after its downfall, but also on the Free Conservatives and a moderate faction of the liberal party Venstre. The party was a part of the coalition government during World War II, where the leader John Christmas Møller provided the voice for BBC London's daily radio to Denmark. However while a number of conservatives participated in the resistance movement, some conservatives were sympathetic to fascist ideology, and the youth wing of the party praised several fascist movements in Europe during the 1930s.[9]

Since World War II the party has participated in several coalition governments, but only one Prime Minister of Denmark, Poul Schlüter, has come from this party; he served as Prime Minister from 1982 to 1993. His government had to resign after the Tamil Case, when the Justice Minister, Erik Ninn-Hansen (himself a former Conservative leader), was impeached.[10]

The party used its first logo in 1950, consisting of the serif-letter "C" coloured green. On 24 August 2000, the Conservative People's Party rebranded itself as the Conservatives, and at the same time retired its 50-year-old green serif-letter "C" logo, thus launching a new logo for the first time since 1950. The new logo was a circle which contains a chartreuse circle with the letter "C".

From the 2001 parliament elections until 2011, the Conservative People's Party was the junior partner in a coalition government led by Venstre. In the 2004 European parliament elections, the party won a seat. Four months later, on 23 October 2004, it adopted a logo consisting of a green circle-squared box that contains a dark-green screen with the letter "C" that is coloured green; the "Konservative" wordmark is placed below the symbol, though it too is also coloured green. The member is currently Bendt Bendtsen, who is a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. In the 2014 European election the party garnered 9.1% of the national vote, retaining Bendtsen's seat as MEP.

In the 2011 parliamentary election for the Folketing (Danish national parliament), the Conservative People's Party won eight seats, 10 fewer than it had won in the previous election in 2007, and it received 4.9% of the vote, placing the party in eighth place nationally. On 27 September 2013, the Conservative People's Party received the current version of its logo: the colour of the letter "C" was changed to white, the circle-square retained its dark-green colour, and the circle-squared line was removed from it. At the same time, the party gave up being known as the Conservatives, reverting to its former name as the Conservative People's Party.

At the 2015 election, the party did badly and was reduced to a mere six seats, which made it the smallest party in the Folketing. But Søren Pape Poulsen (who had taken over as leader the previous year) managed to double the party's seats in the 2019 election.[11] Since then, several opinion polls have indicated that the party enjoys wider popular support than does Venstre.[12][13][14]

Organization[edit]

The youth branch of the Conservative People's Party, albeit an independent organisation, is Young Conservatives, the earliest formed youth organisation in Denmark, founded in December 1904, and believed to be one of the oldest in the world,[15] preceding the Conservative People's Party by 10 years. The student branch is Conservative Students, likewise an independent organisation, which has branches at all Danish Universities.

The party remains committed to a centre-right alliance, working most closely with the liberal Venstre and somewhat less closely with the right-wing populist Danish People's Party. The Conservative People's Party cooperated with the Social Liberal Party during its time in power in the 1980s, and also with the centre-left government under Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in the 1990s.

Ideology and policies[edit]

The party's current purpose clause states: "The Conservative People's Party aims to gather everyone who joins the party's program and to work for the spread of conservative views."[16] The party has named Edmund Burke as one of its intellectual sources.[17]

The Conservative People's Party presently advocates individual freedom and responsibility, a free market economy, respecting private property, the importance of community for the individual, modernization of the public sector, decentralization, ensuring up-to-date military defense, and an emphasis on protecting Denmark's national history and traditions.[citation needed] In foreign policy, the party supports economic cooperation with the European Union to aid Denmark's economic growth and keep peace in Europe, but maintains the EU must also respect the right to national identity and calls for a less centralized EU in which member states can maintain sovereignty over their national, regional and local decision making powers.[18] The party also highlights environmentalism as one of its core philosophies in accordance to green conservatism.[19]

List of leaders[edit]

Political leaders[edit]

John Christmas Møller 1928–1947
Ole Bjørn Kraft 1947–1955
Aksel Møller 1955–1958
Poul Sørensen 1958–1969
Poul Møller 1969–1971
Erik Ninn-Hansen 1971–1974
Poul Schlüter 1974–1993
Henning Dyremose 1993
Hans Engell 1993–1997
Per Stig Møller 1997–1998
Pia Christmas-Møller 1998–1999
Bendt Bendtsen 1999–2008
Lene Espersen 2008–2011
Lars Barfoed 2011–2014
Søren Pape Poulsen 2014–

Party chairmen[edit]

Emil Piper 1916–28
Charles Tvede 1928–32
John Christmas Møller 1932–39
Vilhelm Fibiger 1939–48
Halfdan Hendriksen 1948–57
Einar Foss 1957–65
Knud Thestrup 1965–72
Erik Haunstrup Clemmensen 1972–74
Poul Schlüter 1974–77
Ib Stetter 1977–81
Poul Schlüter 1981–93
Torben Rechendorff 1993–95
Hans Engell 1995–97
Per Stig Møller 1997–98
Poul Andreassen 1998–00
Bendt Bendtsen 2000–08
Lene Espersen 2008–11
Lars Barfoed 2011–14
Søren Pape Poulsen 2014–

Notable members[edit]

  • John Christmas Møller – Wartime resistance figure.
  • Poul Schlüter - The longest-serving Danish prime minister since Thorvald Stauning. Schlüter is the Conservative People's Party's only prime minister to date. He led the Conservative People's Party to its best-ever result at a national election, reaching 23.4% of the national vote. After his term as prime minister ended he was elected to the European Parliament in 1994, reaching a record breaking number of 247,956 personal votes.
  • Connie Hedegaard – Appointed as the European Union's first ever European Commissioner for Climate Action in February 2010, Hedegaard was elected to the Danish Parliament as a member for the Conservative People's Party in 1984 at the age of 23, becoming the youngest Danish MP ever at that time. In 1989, Hedegaard became first spokesperson for the Conservative People's Party, but left politics for journalism in 1990.[20]
  • Stefan G. Rasmussen (born 23 July 1947), a former Danish pilot who captained the crash-landing SAS flight 751 on 27 December 1991, in which there were no fatalities. Rasmussen received much recognition for his handling of the incident, including awards from the monarchs of both Denmark and Sweden. He then entered politics, serving in the Danish Folketing from 1994 to 1996.

Electoral performance[edit]

Parliament[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
1918 167,865 18.3 (#4)
22 / 140
Increase 14[a] Opposition
Apr
1920
201,499 19.6 (#3)
28 / 140
Increase 6 External support
Jul
1920
180,293 18.9 (#3)
26 / 140
Decrease 2 External support
Sep
1920
216,733 17.9 (#3)
27 / 149
Increase 1 External support
1924 242,955 18.9 (#3)
28 / 149
Increase 1 Opposition
1926 275,793 20.6 (#3)
30 / 149
Increase 2 External support
1929 233,935 16.5 (#3)
24 / 149
Decrease 6 Opposition
1932 358,509 17.3 (#3)
27 / 149
Increase 3 Opposition
1935 293,393 17.8 (#2)
26 / 149
Decrease 1 Opposition
1939 301,625 17.8 (#3)
26 / 149
Steady Opposition (1939–1940)
Coalition (1940–1943)
1943 421,523 21.0 (#2)
31 / 149
Increase 5 Coalition
1945 373,688 18.2 (#3)
26 / 149
Decrease 5 External support
1947 259,324 12.4 (#3)
17 / 150
Decrease 9 Opposition
1950 365,236 17.8 (#3)
27 / 151
Increase 10 Coalition
Apr
1953
358,509 17.3 (#3)
26 / 151
Decrease 1 Coalition
Sep
1953
383,843 16.6 (#3)
30 / 179
Increase 4 Opposition
1957 383,843 16.6 (#3)
30 / 179
Steady Opposition
1960 435,764 17.9 (#3)
32 / 179
Increase 2 Opposition
1964 527,798 20.1 (#3)
36 / 179
Increase 4 Opposition
1966 522,028 18.7 (#3)
34 / 179
Decrease 2 Opposition
1968 581,051 20.4 (#2)
37 / 179
Increase 3 Coalition
1971 481,335 16.7 (#2)
31 / 179
Decrease 6 Opposition
1973 279,391 9.2 (#5)
16 / 179
Decrease 15 External support
1975 168,164 5.5 (#5)
10 / 179
Decrease 6 Opposition
1977 263,262 8.5 (#4)
15 / 179
Increase 5 Opposition
1979 395,653 12.5 (#3)
22 / 179
Increase 7 Opposition
1981 451,478 14.5 (#2)
26 / 179
Increase 4 Opposition (1981–1982)
Coalition (1982–1984)
1984 788,224 23.4 (#2)
42 / 179
Increase 16 Coalition
1987 700,886 20.8 (#2)
38 / 179
Decrease 4 Coalition
1988 642,048 19.3 (#2)
35 / 179
Decrease 3 Coalition
1990 517,293 16.0 (#2)
30 / 179
Decrease 5 Coalition (1990–1993)
Opposition (1993–1994)
1994 499,845 15.0 (#3)
27 / 179
Decrease 3 Opposition
1998 303,965 8.9 (#3)
16 / 179
Decrease 11 Opposition
2001 312,770 9.1 (#4)
16 / 179
Steady Coalition
2005 344,886 10.3 (#4)
18 / 179
Increase 2 Coalition
2007 359,404 10.4 (#5)
18 / 179
Steady Coalition
2011 175,047 4.9 (#8)
8 / 179
Decrease 10 Opposition
2015 118,015 3.4 (#9)
6 / 179
Decrease 2 External support (2015–2016)
Coalition (2016–2019)
2019 233,349 6.6 (#7)
12 / 179
Increase 6 Opposition
  1. ^ Compared to Højre in the 1915 election

Local elections[edit]

Municipal elections
Year Seats
No. ±
1925
332 / 11,289
1929
626 / 11,329
Increase 294
1933
543 / 11,424
Decrease 83
1937
602 / 11,425
Increase 59
1943
724 / 10,569
Increase 122
1946
592 / 11,488
Decrease 132
1950
647 / 11,499
Increase 55
1954
609 / 11,505
Decrease 38
1958
603 / 11,529
Decrease 6
1962
707 / 11,414
Increase 104
1966
842 / 10,005
Increase 135
Municipal reform
1970
650 / 4,677
Decrease 192
1974
439 / 4,735
Decrease 211
1978
508 / 4,759
Increase 69
1981
640 / 4,769
Increase 132
1985
824 / 4,773
Increase 184
1989
602 / 4,737
Decrease 222
1993
493 / 4,703
Decrease 109
1997
481 / 4,685
Decrease 12
2001
444 / 4,647
Decrease 37
Municipal reform
2005
257 / 2,522
Decrease 187
2009
262 / 2,468
Increase 5
2013
205 / 2,444
Decrease 57
2017
225 / 2,432
Increase 20
2021
403 / 2,436
Increase 178
 
Regional elections
Year Seats
No. ±
1935
40 / 299
1943
36 / 299
Decrease 4
1946
31 / 299
Decrease 5
1950
37 / 299
Increase 6
1954
36 / 299
Decrease 1
1958
39 / 303
Increase 3
1962
47 / 301
Increase 8
1966
59 / 303
Increase 12
Municipal reform
1970
72 / 366
Increase 13
1974
45 / 370
Decrease 27
1978
52 / 370
Increase 7
1981
60 / 370
Increase 8
1985
77 / 374
Increase 17
1989
53 / 374
Decrease 24
1993
44 / 374
Decrease 9
1997
40 / 374
Decrease 4
2001
35 / 374
Decrease 5
Municipal reform
2005
20 / 205
Decrease 15
2009
20 / 205
Steady 0
2013
15 / 205
Decrease 5
2017
15 / 205
Steady 0
2021
31 / 205
Increase 16
 
Mayors
Year Seats
No. ±
2005
11 / 98
2009
12 / 98
Increase 1
2013
13 / 98
Increase 1
2017
8 / 98
Decrease 5
2021
14 / 98
Increase 6

European Parliament[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/- Notes
1979 245,309 14.0 (#4)
2 / 15
Increase 2
1984 414,177 20.7 (#1)
4 / 15
Increase 2
1989 238,760 13.3 (#4)
2 / 16
Decrease 2
1994 368,890 17.7 (#2)
3 / 16
Increase 1
1999 166,884 8.5 (#5)
1 / 16
Decrease 2
2004 214,972 11.3 (#3)
1 / 14
Steady
2009 297,199 12.7 (#5)
1 / 13
Steady
2014 208,262 9.1 (#5)
1 / 13
Steady
2019 170,544 6.2 (#6)
1 / 14
Steady

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Denmark". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ "EU-program 2019-2024".
  3. ^ "Det Konservative Folkeparti | lex.dk".
  4. ^ a b Josep M. Colomer (25 July 2008). Political Institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-134-07354-2.
  5. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  6. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  7. ^ Christina Bergqvist (1 January 1999). Equal Democracies?: Gender and Politics in the Nordic Countries. Nordic Council of Ministers. p. 318. ISBN 978-82-00-12799-4.
  8. ^ Western Europe 2003. Psychology Press. 30 November 2002. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-85743-152-0. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  9. ^ Knud Holt Nielsen (Information), 29 January 2004: "Danske konservative var fascineret af fascismen"
  10. ^ Thi kendes for ret. Dokument. Rigsrettens dom over forhenværende justitsminister Erik Ninn- Hansen afsagt 22. juni 1995. Weekendavisen, 23 June 1995, 1._sektion, Side 3
  11. ^ Konservativ folketingsgruppe nikker ja til Pape, Politiken, 7 August 2014
  12. ^ Anne Sofie Møller Petersen (21 January 2021). "Nu er Det Konservative Folkeparti størst i blå blok - vælgerne flygter fra Venstre". TV 2 / Nyheder. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  13. ^ Thue Ahrenkilde Holm (30 January 2021). "Gallup: Venstre ligger lavere end i tre årtier". Berlingske. p. 10.
  14. ^ Politiken (20 January 2022). "Grafik: Se den nyeste samt årtiers Megafon-målinger i grafik"
  15. ^ Kosiara-Pedersen, Karina (3 June 2020). "Det Konservative Folkeparti". Den Store Danske (in Danish). Retrieved 27 June 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Vedtægter" Archived 2016-08-21 at the Wayback Machine. Det Konservative Folkeparti.
  17. ^ "Om konservatisme". Det Konservative Folkeparti (in Danish). Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  18. ^ "EU-program 2019-2024".
  19. ^ "Det Konservative Folkeparti | lex.dk".
  20. ^ "Dead link". Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.

External links[edit]