Social Democratic Party of Switzerland

Social Democratic Party of Switzerland

Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz (SP) (German)
Parti socialiste suisse (PS) (French)
Partito Socialista Svizzero (PS) (Italian)
Partida Socialdemocrata de la Svizra (PS) (Romansh)
PresidentChristian Levrat
Members in Federal CouncilSimonetta Sommaruga
Alain Berset
Founded21 October 1888
HeadquartersSpitalgasse 34
CH-3001 Bern
Youth wingYoung Socialists Switzerland
Membership (2015)30,000[1]
IdeologySocial democracy[2]
Democratic socialism[3]
Political positionCentre-left[3][6] to left-wing[7][8][9]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (associate)
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
Colours     Red
Federal Council
2 / 7
National Council
43 / 200
Council of States
12 / 46
Cantonal executives
28 / 154

The Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (also rendered as Swiss Socialist Party; German: Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz, SP; French: Parti socialiste suisse, PS; Italian: Partito Socialista Svizzero; Romansh: Partida Socialdemocrata de la Svizra) is a political party in Switzerland. It has been represented by two Federal Councilors since 1960 and got the second-most votes in the 2015 national elections.

The party was founded on 21 October 1888, and is currently the second largest of the four leading coalition political parties in Switzerland. It is the only left-wing party with representatives in the Swiss Federal Council. It is also the second largest political party in the Swiss parliament. The current members in the Swiss Federal Council are Alain Berset and Simonetta Sommaruga.

The SP is the largest pro-European party in Switzerland and supports Swiss membership of the European Union,[3] unlike most other Swiss parties. Additionally, it is strongly opposed to capitalism and maintains a long-term goal of "overcoming capitalism."[4][5][10] The party is a member of the Progressive Alliance,[11] and an associate member of the Party of European Socialists.[12]


With its foundation in October 1888, the Social Democratic Party was considered to be the main opposition to the Radicals in government and parliament. After the unsuccessful general strike in 1918, proportional representation was introduced which helped the SP gain 41 seats in parliament.[13] The party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1927 and 1940.[14] After the strike the party took a softer line and in 1943 it became the strongest party in parliament, finally gaining a seat in the Federal Council. It picked up a second seat in 1959.[13] The party's historical archives is today hosted by the Swiss Social Archives.

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