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This article gives an overview of liberalism and radicalism in Denmark. It is limited to liberal and radical egalitarian parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in the parliament. The sign ⇒ denotes another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it isn't necessary so that parties labeled themselves as a liberal party.


In Denmark liberalism became a dominant force in 1840, but developed into a conservative direction. After 1870 a second liberal current, based on farmers, arose. This current got finally divided in a social liberal party, Danish Social Liberal Party (Det Radikale Venstre, member LI, ELDR), and a conservative liberal party, Liberal Party (Venstre Danmarks liberale parti, member LI, ELDR). The origin of the word Venstre in both party names is to be found in the fact that the major Conservative party in the 19th century was called Right, and Venstre (Left) was formed as an opposition party. Thus it refers to an old left/right division of the political scale, in modern terms Venstre is usually considered a right wing party and Det Radikale Venstre as a centre party.[1]


Below is a timeline listing the name changing and history of the political parties centred on the idea of liberalism in Denmark. Confusingly the term 'left' is used in the name of some liberal parties in Denmark for historic reasons.[1] It does by no means mean 'left' as in modern 'left wing' or socialist, but merely that they were on the contemporary left-wing at the time of their naming:

National Liberal Party

From The United Left to Liberal Party (Venstre)

Moderate Left

Danish Social Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre)

Liberal Center

Liberal leaders

List of liberal organizations


  1. ^ a b c Thomas, Alastair H. (1988-11-03), Kirchner, Emil J. (ed.), "Liberalism in Denmark: agrarian, radical and still influential", Liberal Parties in Western Europe (1 ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 279–303, doi:10.1017/cbo9780511521843.014, ISBN 978-0-521-32394-9, retrieved 2023-08-28

See also