Party System: Open yet Stable

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The earthquake election in 1973 could have been the beginning of the end of the Danish party system, which was very stable up to that point. However, more than 45 years later, the core of the Danish party system is still the one that was formed in the early twentieth century. The core of party competition is on the left-right dimension between the four old parties. The Social Democrats and the Social Liberals are on the centre-left side, with the Liberals and the Conservatives on the centre-right side. However, several related developments challenge this core. The four old parties have lost electoral support to new parties. The Danish People’s Party in particular has become a central actor in the Danish party system. New issues like immigration also challenge the internal coherence of the blocs. In terms of party organization, the Danish political parties have undergone a development similar to that of many other Western countries. Party membership has declined significantly, but not disappeared, and public funding plays a central role today. The new parties have also come to resemble the old ones in terms of internal structure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Danish Politics
EditorsPeter Munk Christiansen, Jørgen Elklit, Peter Nedergaard
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter14
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

ID: 233650519