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Red–Green Alliance (Denmark)

Red–Green Alliance
Enhedslisten – De Rød-Grønne
Ø [a]
LeaderCollective leadership
Political spokespersonPelle Dragsted
Founded2 December 1989
Merger ofLeft Socialists
Communist Party of Denmark
Socialist Workers Party
Communist Workers Party independents
HeadquartersStudiestræde 24, 1 1455 København K
Youth wingNone (cooperating with RGU and SUF)
Membership (2021)Decrease 9,398[1]
Political positionLeft-wing[8][9] to far-left[10]
European affiliationNow the People!
Party of the European Left
European Anti-Capitalist Left
European Parliament groupThe Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL[11]
Nordic affiliationNordic Green Left Alliance
Colours  Red
  Orange (customary)
9 / 179[b]
European Parliament
1 / 14
12 / 205
109 / 2,432
Election symbol

The Red–Green Alliance[14][15] or Unity List[16][17][18] (Danish: Enhedslisten – De Rød-Grønne,[19] lit.'The Unity List – The Red–Greens', EL) is an eco-socialist political party in Denmark.[4] It was founded in 1989 with the merger of three Marxist parties[20] and it is the most left-wing party in the Parliament of Denmark, where it advocates for the expansion of the welfare state and social justice as well as the socialist transformation of Denmark and the entire globe.[21] During the 2021 Copenhagen City Council election the party placed first, with 24.6% of the votes.[22] The party is also active in various trade unions within Denmark.[21][23]

Political and ideological position

The party describes itself as a democratic and socialist grassroots party, which represents green politics, among the Danish peace, anti-discrimination, and labour movements. The party's ideological position is set out in a manifesto from 2014.[21] It proposes that a socialistic society of the future "neither can nor should be described in detail, but rather be developed and shaped by the people living in it". It describes socialism as "an answer to the problems caused by capitalism such as non-sufficient democracy, crises, destruction of nature, inequality, racism and war".[21]

Holding anti-capitalist[7] and soft Eurosceptic[4][24][25] views, it states this about the economic system:

A new and actually democratic system of society requires fundamental changes in the ownership of the means of production, such as companies, land and natural resources. Collective forms of ownership will be dominating. We propose that public authorities, co-workers, local communities and other collectives of persons should own and run institutions and companies. ... A democratic economy means a democratic work life as well. The work place should be characterized by democracy, and the employees must have a constitutional right to decisive influence on the organization of work in the workplace.[21]

The Red–Green Alliance recognizes that methods achieving this may differ depending on the course of class struggle, but will eventually require a revolution—one that must be supported by a majority of the population manifested through democratic and free elections.[21] The party often adopts particular views in relation to the other parties in the Folketing and opt out of many of the settlements reached, seen as an expression of class collaboration. Until the conditions for the party's long-term goal are presented, the party will use its seats in parliament to vote for any improvement and against any deterioration of working-class people's lives. In line with this, the party agreed at its national conference in 2010 that if Helle Thorning-Schmidt became Prime Minister after the 2011 election, the party would vote for a "red" budget bill that did not contain obvious flaws.


Social policy

The party places great emphasis on the fight against social inequality and poverty, and is in favour of strengthening and expanding the welfare state. The party believes there is place in society for all forms of diversity, including gender, sexuality, disability and ethnic background.[26] It also advocates for a larger public sector, among other things, to improve quality of life for public sector employees.[27]

The party believes people should be free to choose when they want to get an education and is opposed to tuition fees, which they believe harm opportunities for everyone to acquire an education.[28] The party does not see unemployment as being equal to laziness and seeks to abolish the Danish equivalent of workfare.[29]

Economic policy

The party is decisively anti-capitalist and has particularly distinguished itself as an opponent of transfer pricing, whereby multinational companies minimise the amount they pay in tax by attributing their profits to countries with lower tax rates.

In response to the Great Recession of 2007–2009, the Red–Green Alliance urged stricter control of loans, the introduction of a Tobin tax, and the nationalisation of banks and mortgage companies. It also believes that the public sector must be expanded, the wages of the lowest-paid workers raised, and that the insurance-based unemployment benefit period should be extended to a minimum of four years. At the same time, it believes that students should be given a greater grant to be used in state education.[30] At minimum, all benefits should be raised to 13,500 kroner per month before taxes.[29]

Foreign policy

The party advocates for foreign policy based on respect for human rights, which it believes has not been appropriately prioritised in the past. It also proposes greater support for developing countries through a doubling of foreign aid,[31] and campaigns for Denmark's withdrawal from NATO. In March 2019, the party announced it would no longer campaign for a referendum to leave the EU, pointing to Brexit illustrating the need for clarity before withdrawal can be considered.[32]

The party operates on the fundamental belief that peace is preferable to war, and has been opposed from the beginning to Denmark's participation in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That principle was challenged in 2011, when the party's parliamentary group voted in favour of Danish participation in the UN-sanctioned military action in Libya on the basis that it was a humanitarian action.[33] However, the decision led to significant backlash, and the party's support was pulled back after the military intervention began.[34]


Election posters, including Red–Green Alliance, at the parliamentary elections in 2007

The party was formed in 1989 as an electoral alliance of three left-wing parties: Left Socialists (VS), Communist Party of Denmark (DKP), and Socialist Workers Party (SAP). Originally the plan was to unite these parties alongside The Greens (De Grønne), Common Course, and Humanist to form a broad-based progressive movement, but this did not materialize.[35] A fourth party, the Communist Workers Party (KAP), succeeded in joining the alliance in 1991, but its involvement was vetoed a year later by DKP.

Prior to the 2007 Danish general election, the party enlisted Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, a Danish Muslim candidate who identified herself as a feminist, democrat, and socialist.[36] She is endorsed by some imams, opposed by others (including those in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a fundamentalist organization). She wears a hijab and does not shake hands with men.[37] These facts, and some of her statements regarding politics and religion, made her the target of some criticism across the political spectrum, particularly from the Danish People's Party. Some left-wing figures cited her candidacy as a reason for withdrawing their support from the party.[38] An anti-religious network was created within the party with the stated goal of turning the party into a solely atheist party with a materialistMarxist basis.[39]

During the campaign, there was some speculation as to whether her candidacy would attract or repel voters.[40][41] The results of the election were 2.2% for the party, down from 3.4% in the 2005 Danish general election. Although not elected, Abdol-Hamid maintained that she had attracted voters to the party. The four seats won by the party went to Frank Aaen, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, Line Barfod, and Per Clausen.

In the 2011 Danish general election, the party received 6.7% of the vote and tripled its representation from 4 seats to 12 seats.

The party contested the 2013 local elections on a platform of improving public transport and making greater public investment.[42]

As part of the left-leaning "Red bloc" coalition with the Social Democrats, the Red–Green Alliance accepted the government budget twice and was in opposition twice in the period from 2011 to 2015. But at no point did they report direct opposition to the government. In the 2015 general election, the party received 7.8% of the vote and increased its representation from 12 seats to 14 seats.


The party is the only one in the Folketing which does not have an official party leader, instead having collective leadership. However, since 2009 it has had a political spokesperson, who has served as the party's de facto representative, and serves as its leader in party leader debates.[43]

List of political spokespersons

Electoral performance


Election Votes % Seats +/– Government
1990 54,038 1.7 (#10)
0 / 179
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary
1994 104,701 3.1 (#7)
6 / 179
Increase 6 Opposition
1998 91,933 2.7 (#8)
5 / 179
Decrease 1 External support
2001 82,685 2.4 (#7)
4 / 179
Decrease 1 Opposition
2005 114,123 3.4 (#7)
6 / 179
Increase 2 Opposition
2007 74,982 2.2 (#8)
4 / 179
Decrease 2 Opposition
2011 236,860 6.7 (#6)
12 / 179
Increase 8 External support
2015 274,463 7.8 (#4)
14 / 179
Increase 2 Opposition
2019 244,664 6.9 (#6)
13 / 179
Decrease 1 External support
2022 181,452 5.1 (#8)
9 / 179
Decrease 4 Opposition

Red–Green Alliance tends to have a higher vote share in large urban areas, and especially in Copenhagen Municipality. In the 2022 Danish general election, it became the largest party in 4 nomination districts of the municipality, namely Inner City, Nørrebro, Bispebjerg and Vesterbro. The party is much more weakly positioned in rural parts of Denmark, having received only 2.9% of the vote outside the municipalities of the three largest cities. [44]

Local elections

Municipal elections
Year Seats
# ±
6 / 4,703
14 / 4,685
Increase 8
11 / 4,647
Decrease 3
Municipal reform
24 / 2,522
Increase 13
14 / 2,468
Decrease 10
119 / 2,444
Increase 105
102 / 2,432
Decrease 17
114 / 2,436
Increase 12
Regional elections
Year Seats
# ±
1 / 374
2 / 374
Increase 1
2 / 374
Steady 0
Municipal reform
6 / 205
Increase 4
2 / 205
Decrease 4
15 / 205
Increase 13
12 / 205
Decrease 3
14 / 205
Increase 2

European Parliament

Prior to 2016, the Red–Green Alliance never directly contested elections to the European Parliament, preferring to support the People's Movement against the EU, the Eurosceptic party sits in The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL group now. Some of the party's MPs considered running an independent list for the 2014 elections,[45] but this idea was dismissed by a majority in the party's yearly meeting.[46]

In a historic decision in the party's yearly meeting in May 2016, a majority decided to directly contest the 2019 European Parliament election.[47]

Year Group Votes % Seats +/-
2019 GUE/NGL 151,903 5.5 (#7)
1 / 14


Year Membership 'Change in Percent
1992 1.082
1993 999 -7.7%
1994 1.093 +9.4%
1995 1.189 +8.8%
1996 1.282 +7.8%
1997 1.479 +15.4%
1998 2.023 +36.8%
1999 1.968 -2.7%
2000 1.945 -1.1%
2001 1.992 +2.4%
2002 2.366 +18.8%
2003 2.321 -1.9%
2004 2.524 +8.7%
2005 3.739 +48.1%
2006 4.127 +10.4%
2007 4.099 -0.7%
2008 4.330 +5.6%
2009 4.373 +1.0%
2010 4.553 +4.1%
2011 7.714 +51.0%
2012 9.385 +21.7%
2013 9.483 +1.0%
2014 9.023 -4.9%
2015 9.504 +5.3%
2016 9.335 -1.8%
2017 9.015 -3.4%
2018 8.936 -3.4%
2019 9.662 +8.1%

Elected representatives

2022 Danish general election


  1. ^ Official party letter on voting ballot
  2. ^ Only 175 of the 179 seats in the Danish Parliament, the Folketing, are obtainable by Danish political parties as Greenland and the Faroe Islands are assigned two seats each due to their status as territories in the Kingdom of Denmark.

See also


  1. ^ Hoffmann-Hansen, Henrik; Nilsson, Simone; Jespersen, Johan Storgaard; Krasnik, Benjamin; Fabricius, Kitte; Schmidt, Mara Malene Raun; Gosmann, Mie Borggreen Winther og Sara Mathilde (3 October 2022). "Overblik: Partierne i Danmark". Kristeligt Dagblad (in Danish). Archived from the original on 8 November 2022. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Danish elections 2015: a guide to the parties, candidates and electoral system". the Guardian. 16 June 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  3. ^ Political and cultural representations of Muslims : Islam in the plural. Christopher Flood. Leiden: Brill. 2012. p. 43. ISBN 978-90-04-23103-0. OCLC 808367020.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Denmark". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Copenhagen faces backlash over €2.7B 'green' island plan". POLITICO. 15 December 2022. Archived from the original on 28 December 2022. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  6. ^ "Interview med Pelle Dragsted: "Vi er et parti med et socialistisk og marxistisk udgangspunkt."".
  7. ^ a b Åsa Bengtsson; Kasper Hansen; Ólafur Þ Harõarson; Hanne Marthe Narud; Henrik Oscarsson (15 November 2013). The Nordic Voter: Myths of Exceptionalism. ECPR Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-907301-50-6.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Imagining the Peoples of Europe – populist discourses across the political spectrum. Edited by Jan Zienkowski and Ruth Breeze. p. 149. Chapter 6. Chapter author – Óscar García Agustín. Published by John Benjamins Publishing Company in 2019. Retrieved via Google Books.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Enhedslisten-GUE/NGL". Archived from the original on 8 August 2019. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  12. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  13. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  14. ^ Boffey, Daniel (3 March 2021). "Denmark under pressure to drop plans to work with Israel on vaccines". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 March 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  15. ^ Skydsgaard, Nikolaj (20 April 2020). "Denmark blocks firms registered in tax-havens from state aid". Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 March 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Denmark passes legislation to strip ISIL fighters of citizenship". Al Jazeera. 24 October 2019. Archived from the original on 11 May 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  17. ^ Meret, Susi; Beyer Gregersen, Andreas (24 July 2019). "Islam as a "floating signifier": Right-wing populism and perceptions of Muslims in Denmark". Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 12 April 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  18. ^ Thomassen, Lasse (5 June 2015). "Is there an Alternative for Denmark?". openDemocracy. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  19. ^ Gemma Loomes (17 June 2013). Party Strategies in Western Europe: Party Competition and Electoral Outcomes. Routledge. pp. 201–. ISBN 978-1-136-59303-1. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  20. ^ "Enhedslistens historie". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  21. ^ a b c d e f "Enhedslistens principprogram". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Kommunalvalget, Resultater i København". (in Danish). Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  23. ^ Jacobsen, Louis (11 November 2019). "Fagbevægelsen skal være politisk, men ikke partipolitisk". Information (in Danish). Archived from the original on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  24. ^ "The UK and Denmark: Growing public euroscepticism". Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  25. ^ "EU-politik". (in Danish). Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Plads til alle". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  27. ^ "Flere hænder, mere i løn". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  28. ^ "Børn og uddannelse". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  29. ^ a b "Ulighed og fattigdom". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  30. ^ "Velfærd til alle". Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  31. ^ Enhedslisten på Folketingets hjemmeside
  32. ^ Hvass, Jesper; Rytgaard, Nikolaj (15 March 2019). "Enhedslisten parkerer krav om dansk udmeldelse af EU efter britisk kaos". Jyllands-Posten (in Danish). Archived from the original on 14 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  33. ^ "Enhedslisten stemmer for humanitær aktion i Libyen". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  34. ^ Oliver Routhe Skov og Turi Kjestine Meyhoff (30 March 2011). "Enhedslisten trækker støtten til Libyen-krigen". Archived from the original on 1 April 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  35. ^ "Enhedslistens historie". Enhedslisten. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Feminist, socialist, devout Muslim: woman who has thrown Denmark into turmoil". The Guardian. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  37. ^ Imamer anbefaler Asmaa Archived 19 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Kristeligt Dagblad, 1 May 2007
  38. ^ Kære Asmaa Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Information, 1 September 2007
  39. ^ Religionskrig hos Enhedslisten[permanent dead link],, 20 September 2007
  40. ^ Asmaa kan sprænge Enh's partiliste i København Archived 4 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Politiken, 2 November 2007
  41. ^ Ekspert: Asmaa har skræmt marxisterne Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Politiken, 1 November 2007
  42. ^ "Party profile: Enhedslisten". 9 November 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  43. ^ "Pelle Dragsted bliver ny politisk ordfører for Enhedslisten". DR (in Danish). 22 August 2023. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  44. ^ "FOLKETINGSVALG TIRSDAG 1. NOVEMBER 2022 | Nyheder". (in Danish). Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  45. ^ "Red–Green Alliance puts pressure to People's Movement Against the EU". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). 27 March 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  46. ^ "Red–Green Alliance scraps EU election run". Berlingske (in Danish). 27 April 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  47. ^ "Red–Green Alliance will run independently in the next European Parliament election" (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. 15 May 2016. Archived from the original on 19 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
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Red–Green Alliance (Denmark)
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