Members fleeing coalition parties in droves – The Post

Members fleeing coalition parties in droves

Socialdemokraterne, Socialistisk Folkeparti and Radikale have lost nearly 10,000 members since they took office in late 2011

September 17th, 2013 8:19 pm| by admin

After two years at the helm and a seemingly endless stream of reforms, the three government coalition parties are haemorrhaging membership support.

A recent Megafon poll showed that Socialdemokraterne (S), Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) and Radikale (R) are poised to lose 12.2 percent of votes, and Information newspaper revealed today that the parties have lost over 9,000 members combined since they took office in September 2011.

Karina Kosiara-Pedersen, a lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, said that the policies put in place since the S-SF-R coalition took power may not be sitting well with rank-and-file members.

“We can see that the government has made some decisions that have been unpopular among their voters, so there could very well be members who have had a hard time representing their parties based on the policies they have carried out," Kosiara-Pedersen told Information.

Unable to live up to election promises
Helene Helboe Pedersen, a political science professor at Aarhus University, said that party membership was dropping across the board, but the coalition parties were elected on a platform that they could not implement.

“That will naturally breed general dissatisfaction, particularly among their own members, who are typically more politically active than the voters,” Pedersen told Information.

Thousands of members jump ship
SF has experienced the greatest fluctuation of members in recent years. In 2010, the party had nearly 18,000 members, which represented a 10,000 member increase over five years earlier. But that number had slumped to just over 11,000 in March of this year.

R has experienced minimal membership fluctuation, while S lost about 1,000 members during the first two months of 2013. However, the party was dealt a high-profile deflection earlier today when the former culture minister, Uffe Elbæk, decided to leave the party because he felt the party was not sticking to its ideals.