SP overtakes right wing liberals to become Netherlands’ third biggest party

10 January 2005

SP overtakes right wing liberals to become Netherlands’ third biggest party

In 2004 the SP became, in membership terms, the third biggest party in the Netherlands. With 44.299 members, the Socialist Party outgrew the VVD, the more right wing of the two liberal parties, which has fewer than 42,000 card-carriers. Only the centre-right Christian Democrats the CDA, with 73.000, and the centre-left Labour Party (PvdA), with 61.000, have more members. This makes 2004 the fifteenth year in succession in which the SP has enlarged its ranks.

In addition ROOD ("RED"), the party’s youth organisation, saw rapid growth, ending December with a total membership of 1673, 550 up on last year, making it the fastest growing political youth movement in the country. The number of SP local went up from 101 to 115.

Commenting on these figures, General Secretary Paulus Jansen said: "The SP’s steady growth can to a large extent be seen as a consequence of the attention which we have always given to the need to involve the general population in the work that we are doing. Our fundamental slogan is ’not only for the people, but above all with the people.’ "

Last year the SP was involved in a range of campaigns, including the introduction of a " no claims bonus" in the national health insurance system, the increase in train fares, and also for better working conditions at ALDI supermarkets. The SP was in addition very active in the "autumn actions" as the series of demonstrations, strikes and protests against the government’s policies was known, including the huge, 300,000 strong march and rally in Amsterdam on 2 October.

The SP has, as the only political party which owns its own printing press, the means to react quickly to developments and help its branches to communicate with their local populations. The party has one of the Netherlands’ most frequently visited Internet sites, attracting around 8.000 visitors a day to www.sp.nl and as many again to the websites managed by its local branches. The weblog of party leader Jan Marijnissen also attracts thousands of people every day.

You are here