Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party

Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party
Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei
Leader Claude Haagen
Founded 5 July 1902 (historical)
1945 (modern)
Headquarters 68, rue de Gasperich
Youth wing Luxembourg Socialist Youths
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centre-left[1][2]
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
International affiliation Socialist International,
Progressive Alliance
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colours Red
Chamber of Deputies
13 / 60
European Parliament
1 / 6

The Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei, French: Parti Ouvrier Socialiste Luxembourgeois, German: Luxemburger Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei), abbreviated to LSAP or POSL,[3] is a social-democratic[2][4][5] political party in Luxembourg. The LSAP is the second-largest party in the Chamber of Deputies, having won 13 of 60 seats at the 2013 general election, and has one seat in the European Parliament. The LSAP is currently part of the Bettel-Schneider government, with Etienne Schneider of the LSAP serving as Deputy Prime Minister. Since March 2014 the party's President has been Claude Haagen.[6]

Primarily social-democratic, but with a democratic socialist faction, the party has a strong working class identity.[7] It is close to the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions, the country's largest trade union centre, but they have no formal links.[7] The LSAP is particularly strong in the south of the country,[7] controlling most of the mayoralties in the large towns of the Red Lands. It is affiliated to the Socialist International, Progressive Alliance and Party of European Socialists.


The party was formed on 5 July 1902 as the Social Democratic Party. Left-wing elements split in 1905 to create the Social Democratic Workers' Party. These were both re-united in 1912. In 1916, the party was renamed to 'Socialist Party', part of the International.

On 2 January 1921, communist elements split to create the Communist Party of Luxembourg. The Socialist Party was renamed the 'Luxembourg Workers' Party' in 1924, and was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923 and 1940.[8] On 5 November 1937, the Party joined the government for the first time, in a coalition under Prime Minister Pierre Dupong.


The party was reformed after the Second World War as the 'Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party', in the mould of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom,[9] where the government had been exiled. In the first election after the war, in 1945, the LSAP was the big loser, falling to 26% of the vote, but remained in the National Union Government, along with all other parties.[9] In 1947, the party started its process of re-building itself, and it managed to join a coalition government (1951-1959 in the Dupong-Bodson and Bech Bodson governments, and 1964-1968 in the Werner-Cravatte government). The discussions over the party's direction split the LSAP again. On 2 May 1970, Henry Cravatte was ejected as President by a trades union-led coup. In March 1971, centrist elements, led by Cravatte, split to create the Social Democratic Party.[10] Those who left included 6 Deputies and most of the party leadership.

However, the LSAP could recover by 1974 and joined the DP in a Centre-Left coalition (Thorn-Vouel-Berg government), which enacted important social reforms: judicial system reforms (including a humanisation of the penal system), introduction of a fifth week of holiday, general introduction of the 40-hour week, the salary index, reform of unemployment benefits. This did not prevent an electoral defeat in 1979. In this legislative period, the LSAP held their famous energy conference, and decided a moratorium for the atomic power station of Remerschen. This was the definitive end of project.

In 1984, the LSAP were re-united with most of the Social Democratic Party (some members joined the Christian Social People's Party).

Recent history

Following the 2004 general election, the LSAP served in the government of Luxembourg as junior partner to the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) under Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker in the first Juncker–Asselborn government, with the LSAP's Jean Asselborn serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. The coalition with the CSV continued as the second Juncker–Asselborn government following the 2009 general election, which lasted until July 2013 when the LSAP withdrew its support from the government, necessitating early elections.[11]

Following the 2013 general election, the LSAP has been in a three-party Bettel-Schneider government with the Democratic Party and The Greens, with the Democratic Party's Xavier Bettel serving as Prime Minister and Etienne Schneider of the LSAP as Deputy Prime Minister.

Election results

Below are charts of the results that the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party has secured in the Chamber of Deputies at each election. Timelines showing the number of seats and percentage of votes won are on the right.

Year Vote % Place Seats Place Cabinet
1919 15.6 2nd 8 2nd
1922 10.7Decrease 4thDecrease 6Decrease 3rdDecrease
1925 16.2Increase 2ndIncrease 8Increase 2ndIncrease
1928 32.6Increase 2nd 12Increase 2nd
1931 19.2Decrease 2nd 15Increase 2nd
1934 29.4Increase 2nd 14Decrease 2nd
1937 24.7Decrease 2nd 18Increase 2nd Yes
1945 23.4Decrease 2nd 11Decrease 2nd Yes
1948 37.8Increase 1stIncrease 15 Increase 2nd No
1951 33.8Decrease 2nd 19 Increase 2nd Yes
1954 35.1Increase 2nd 17 Decrease 2nd Yes
1959 34.9 Decrease 2nd 17 2nd No
1964 37.7 Increase 1st Increase 21 Increase 2nd Yes
1968 32.3 Decrease 2nd Decrease 18 Decrease 2nd No
1974 29.2 Decrease 2nd 17 Decrease 2nd Yes
1979 24.3 Decrease 2nd 14 Decrease 3rd Decrease No
1984 33.6 Increase 2nd 21 Increase 2nd Increase Yes
1989 26.2 Decrease 2nd 18 Decrease 2nd Yes
1994 25.4 Decrease 2nd 17 Decrease 2nd Yes
1999 22.3 Decrease 3rd Decrease 13 Decrease 3rd Decrease No
2004 23.4 Increase 2nd Increase 14 Increase 2nd Increase Yes
2009 21.6 Decrease 2nd 13 Decrease 2nd Yes
2013 20.2 Decrease 2nd 13 Steady 2nd Yes


The formal leader of the party is the President. However, often, a government minister will be the most important member of the party, as Jean Asselborn is now. Below is a list of Presidents of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party since 1945.


  1. Josep M. Colomer (24 July 2008). Comparative European Politics. Taylor & Francis. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-203-94609-1. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  2. 1 2 Xenophon Contiades (20 December 2012). Engineering Constitutional Change: A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA. Routledge. p. 250. ISBN 978-1-136-21077-8. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  3. LSAP is more commonly used, although the French POSL is also mandated by the party's statutes. "LSAP party statutes" (in French). Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party. 17 March 2002. Retrieved 19 July 2006.
  4. Hans Slomp (30 September 2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 477. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  5. Dimitri Almeida (27 April 2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. CRC Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-136-34039-0. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  6. "Claude Haagen zum neuen Parteivorsitzenden der LSAP gewählt". Luxemburger Wort (in German). 30 March 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 Hearl (1987), p. 255
  8. Kowalski, Werner. Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923 - 19. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften, 1985. p. 308
  9. 1 2 Thewes (2006), p. 123
  10. Lucardie, A.P.M. "De Stiefkinderen van de Sociaal-Democrati" (PDF) (in Dutch).
  11. "Luxembourg Prime Minister Juncker calls for new elections amid scandal". Deutsche Welle. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  12. "Les présidents du LSAP depuis 1945". Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party. Retrieved 23 April 2010.


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