Czech Social Democratic Party

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Czech Social Democratic Party
Česká strana sociálně demokratická
Leader Roman Onderka (acting)
Deputy Leaders
Chamber of Deputies Leader Jan Chvojka
Senate Leader Petr Vícha
Founded7 April 1878;143 years ago (1878-04-07)
HeadquartersLidový dům, Hybernská 7, Prague
Think tank Masaryk Democratic Academy
Youth wing Young Social Democrats
Women's wingSocial Democratic Women
Religious wingChristian Social Platform
Membership (2021)11,531
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centre-left
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
International affiliation Progressive Alliance
Socialist International
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colours  Red
Slogan"Freedom, Justice, Solidarity"
Chamber of Deputies
0 / 200
3 / 81
European Parliament
1 / 21
Regional councils
37 / 675
Governors of the regions
1 / 13
Local councils
1,882 / 61,892
Party flag
Flag of the Czech Social Democratic Party.svg

The Czech Social Democratic Party (Czech : Česká strana sociálně demokratická, ČSSD, pronounced [ˈtʃɛskaː ˈstrana ˈsotsɪjaːlɲɛ ˈdɛmokratɪtskaː] ) is a social-democratic [1] [2] political party in the Czech Republic. [3] Sitting on the centre-left of the political spectrum [4] and holding pro-European views, [5] [6] it is a member of the Party of European Socialists, the Socialist International, and the Progressive Alliance. [3] Masaryk Democratic Academy is the party-affiliated's think tank. [7]


The ČSSD has been a junior coalition party within Andrej Babiš' Second Cabinet's minority government since June 2018, and was a senior coalition party from 1998 to 2006 and from 2013 to 2017. It held 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic following the 2017 Czech legislative election in which the party lost 35 seats. [3] From 2018 to 2021, the party was led by Jan Hamáček, who has since been replaced by Roman Onderka [8] as temporary leader after the 2021 Czech legislative election, in which the party lost all of its seats after falling below 5%. [9]


The Social Democratic Czechoslavonic party in Austria (Czech : Sociálně Demokratická strana Českoslovanská v Rakousku) was a political group founded on 7 April 1878 in Austria-Hungary as a regional wing of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. Founded in Břevnov atop earlier social democratic initiatives, such as the Ouls, it represented much of the Kingdom of Bohemia in the Austrian parliament, and its significant role in the political life of the empire was one of the factors that led to the creation of an independent Czechoslovakia. After the collapse of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I, the party became one of the leading parties of the first Czechoslovak Republic. Its members were split over whether to join the Comintern, which in 1921 resulted in the fracturing of the party, with a large part of its membership then forming the new Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

Party membership card, 1945 CSSD prukaz 1945-1948.jpg
Party membership card, 1945

During the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany, the party was officially abolished, but its members organized resistance movements contrary to the laws of the German-controlled Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, both at home and abroad. After the re-establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1945, the party returned to its pre-war structure and became a member of the National Front which formed a new governing coalition. In 1948, after the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia gained a parliamentary majority, the Czech Social Democratic Party was incorporated into the Communist Party. At the time of the Prague Spring, a reformist movement in 1968, there were talks about allowing the recreation of a social democratic party, but Soviet intervention put an end to such ideas. It was only after the Velvet Revolution of 1989 that the party was recreated. Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which came into effect on 1 January 1993, the ČSSD has been one of the major political parties of the Czech Republic, and until October 2017 was always one of the two parties with the largest number of seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

At the 1998 Czech legislative election, the party won the largest number of seats but failed to form a coalition government, so formed a minority government under its leader Miloš Zeman. With only 74 seats out of 200, the government had confidence and supply from the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), under the so-called Opposition Agreement. At the 2002 Czech legislative election, the party gained 70 of the 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. Its leader Vladimír Špidla became prime minister, heading a coalition with two small centre-right parties, the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU–ČSL) and the Freedom Union – Democratic Union (US-DEU) until he was forced to resign in 2004 after the ČSSD lost in the 2004 European Parliament election in the Czech Republic.

The next leader was Stanislav Gross, serving as leader from 26 June 2004 to 26 April 2005 and as prime minister from 4 August 2004 to 25 April 2005. He resigned after a scandal when he was unable to explain the source of money used to buy his house. The successor of Gross as prime minister was Jiří Paroubek, while Bohuslav Sobotka became acting party leader from 26 April 2005 to 13 May 2006. Paroubek was then elected as the new party leader in the run-up to the 2006 Czech legislative election, at which the party won 32.3% of the vote and 74 out of 200 seats. The election at first caused a stalemate, since the centre-right parties plus the Green Party and the centre-left parties each had exactly 100 seats. The stalemate was broken when two ČSSD deputies, Miloš Melčák and Michal Pohanka, abstained during a vote of confidence, allowing a coalition of the Civic Democrats (ODS), the KDU-ČSL, and the Green Party to form a governmen, while the ČSSD went into opposition.

Former party leader and prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (on the right) and the next former party leader and interior minister Jan Hamacek Hamacek Sobotka 2015.JPG
Former party leader and prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (on the right) and the next former party leader and interior minister Jan Hamáček

At the 2010 Czech legislative election, the ČSSD gained 22.08% of the vote but remained the largest party, with 56 seats. Failing to form a governing coalition, it remained in opposition to a government coalition of the ODS, conservative TOP 09 and conservative-liberal Public Affairs parties. Paroubek resigned as leader on 7 June and was succeeded by Sobotka. [10] It remained the largest party after the 2013 Czech legislative election, and in December of the same year formed a governing coalition with the populist ANO 2011 and the centrist Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party. [11] The leader of ČSSD, Bohuslav Sobotka, became the new Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. [12]

The party suffered heavy losses in the 2017 Czech legislative election and was reduced to 15 seats, the worst result in its history. ČSSD suffered another defeat in the Prague Municipal, local and Senate elections in 2018. ČSSD lost 12 senators (only one managed to win re-election), all Prague deputies and more than half of their local councillors. In 2019 ČSSD lost all their representatives in the European Parliament. Some political commentators have interpreted the string of poor results as a sign of ČSSD losing their position in national politics. [13] ČSSD suffered another defeat in 2020 Regional Elections and Senate elections, when they lost 10 senators (none re-elected) and 97 regional deputies. [14] [15] From 2018 to 2021, ČSSD had Jan Hamáček as First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Jana Maláčová as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek as Minister of Culture, and Miroslav Toman as Minister of Agriculture. After the poor performance of the ČSSD in the 2021 Czech legislative election, in which the party failed to meet the 5% voting threshold, Hamáček resigned as leader of the party. [9]



Czech lands as part of Austria-Hungary:


Czech Republic:


Policy positions

In economic matters, the ČSSD party platform is typical of Western European social democratic parties. It supports a mixed economy, a strong welfare state, and progressive taxation. In foreign policy, it supports European integration, including joining the Eurozone, and is critical of the foreign policy of the United States, especially when in opposition, though it does not oppose membership of the Czech Republic in NATO.


After 1989 [17]
Further references

[18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

Election results

Cisleithanian elections

Imperial Council elections

No. %No.±Size
1907 Antonín Němec 389,9608.5
22 / 516
Increase2.svg 226thOpposition
1911 Antonín Němec 357,2347.9
25 / 516
Increase2.svg 34thOpposition

Czechoslovakia-wide elections

Legislative elections

No. %No.±Size
1920 Antonín Němec 1,590,52025.7
74 / 300
Increase2.svg 741stCoalition
1925 Antonín Hampl 632,4038.9
25 / 300
Decrease2.svg 454thCoalition
1929 Antonín Hampl 963,46213
39 / 300
Increase2.svg 102ndOpposition
1935 Antonín Hampl 1,032,77312.6
38 / 300
Decrease2.svg 13rdCoalition
1946 Zdeněk Fierlinger 855,77112.1
37 / 300
Decrease2.svg 15thCoalition
1948 As part of National Front
23 / 300
Decrease2.svg 143rdBloc
1954 Illegal. Merged into Communist Party. De jure in-exile.
1990 Jiří Horák 342,4553.2
0 / 150
Steady2.svg 09thNo seats
1992 Valtr Komárek
Alexander Dubček
10 / 150
Increase2.svg 104thOpposition

Devolved assembly elections

Czech assembly elections

No. %No.±Size
1990 Jiří Horák 296,1654.11
0 / 200
Steady2.svg 06thNo seats
1992 Jiří Horák 422,7366.53
16 / 200
Increase2.svg 163rdOpposition

Slovak assembly elections

No. %No.±Size
1928 Ivan Dérer 96,9017.33
4 / 54
Increase2.svg 44th
1935 Ivan Dérer 11.3
4 / 54
Steady2.svg 05th

Czech Republic-wide elections

Pre-election meeting of 2018 Brno, Ceska, Jostova, predvolebni stanek CSSD 2018-09-26 (18.17.12).jpg
Pre-election meeting of 2018
Election poster with the text "Poor quality food has to get out of the game" in 2019 Brno, Veveri, predvolebni plakat CSSD 2019-05-14 18.59.27.jpg
Election poster with the text "Poor quality food has to get out of the game" in 2019

Legislative elections

No. %No.±Size
1996 Miloš Zeman 1,602,25026.4
61 / 200
Increase2.svg 452ndExternal support
1998 Miloš Zeman 1,928,66032.3
74 / 200
Increase2.svg 131stMinority
2002 Vladimír Špidla 1,440,27930.2
70 / 200
Decrease2.svg 41stCoalition
2006 Jiří Paroubek 1,728,82732.3
74 / 200
Increase2.svg 42ndOpposition (2006–2009)
Coalition (2009–2010)
2010 Jiří Paroubek 1,155,26722.1
56 / 200
Decrease2.svg 181stOpposition
2013 Bohuslav Sobotka 1,016,82920.5
50 / 200
Decrease2.svg 61stCoalition
2017 Lubomír Zaorálek 368,3477.3
15 / 200
Decrease2.svg 356thOpposition (2017–2018)
Coalition (2018–2021)
2021 Jan Hamáček 250,3974.7
0 / 200
Decrease2.svg 156thNo seats

Senate elections

ElectionFirst roundSecond roundSeatsTotal seatsNotes
1996 559,30420.3
48 / 81
25 / 81
25 / 81
The whole Senate was elected. Only one third of Senate was elected in all subsequent elections.
1998 208,84521.7
5 / 27
3 / 27
23 / 81
1999 3271.0
0 / 1
0 / 1
23 / 81
By-election in Prague 1 district.
2000 151,94317.7
5 / 27
1 / 27
15 / 81
2002 122,39718.4
14 / 27
7 / 27
11 / 81
2003 2,4246.8
0 / 2
0 / 2
11 / 81
By-elections in Strakonice and Brno-city district.
2004 5,20314.7
1 / 2
0 / 2
11 / 81
By-elections in Prague 4 and Znojmo districts.
2004 90,44612.5
3 / 27
0 / 27
7 / 81
2006 204,57319.2
11 / 27
6 / 27
13 / 81
2007 6,45621.66
1 / 2
1 / 2
13 / 81
By-elections for Chomutov and Přerov
2008 347,75933.2
26 / 27
23 / 27
29 / 81
2010 290,09025.3
22 / 27
12 / 27
41 / 81
2011 12,08844.3
1 / 1
1 / 1
41 / 81
By-election in Kladno district
2012 199,95722.7
23 / 27
13 / 27
46 / 81
2014 3,69516.1
0 / 1
0 / 1
46 / 81
By-election in Zlín district
2014 226,23922.0
19 / 27
10 / 27
33 / 81
2014 2,09216.8
1 / 1
1 / 1
33 / 81
By-election in Prague 10 district, Ivana Cabrnochová was a Green Party candidate supported by ČSSD
2016 128,87514.6
9 / 27
2 / 27
25 / 81
2018 1,2945.7
0 / 1
0 / 1
25 / 81
By-election in Trutnov district.
2018 1,2707.5
0 / 1
0 / 1
25 / 81
By-election in Zlín district.
2018 100,4789.2
5 / 27
1 / 27
13 / 81
2019 2,67413.9
0 / 1
0 / 1
13 / 81
By-election in Prague 9 district, Petr Daubner was a Czech Pirate Party candidate supported by ČSSD
2020 81,1058.1
3 / 27
0 / 27
3 / 81
  • In 1996, the whole Senate elected (81 seats), while in next elections only one third of seats is to be contested.

Presidential elections

Indirect electionCandidateFirst round resultSecond round resultThird round result
1998 Václav Havel 13070.65Runner-up14652.3Won
Jaroslav Bureš 4617.04Eliminated
Miloš Zeman 8330.18Eliminated
Jan Sokol 12846.55Runner-up12948.13Runner-up12446.6Lost
2008 Jan Švejnar 13849.82Runner-up13548.74Runner-up11344.84Lost
Direct electionCandidateFirst round resultSecond round result
2013 Jiří Dienstbier Jr. 829,29716.124thSupported Miloš Zeman

European Parliament elections

ElectionVotes %Seats obtainedPlace
2 / 25
7 / 22
4 / 21
0 / 21

Regional elections

Votes %Councillors
2000 344,44114.67
112 / 675
2004 297,08314.03
105 / 675
2008 1,044,71935.86
280 / 675
2012 621,96123.58
205 / 675
2016 386,15015.25
125 / 675
2020 185,7146.71
37 / 675

Local elections

1994 8.71,628
1998 17.544,259
2002 15.574,664
2006 16.614,331
2010 19.684,584
2014 12.653,773
2018 5.171,882

Prague municipal elections

YearLeaderVote %Seats+/−PlacePosition
1990 484,4845.6
5 / 76
1994 Jiří Paroubek 2,435,2798.6
5 / 55
1998 Jiří Paroubek 363,91717.5
10 / 55
2002 Jiří Paroubek 656,93614.7
12 / 70
2006 Petra Buzková 4,197,63115.9
12 / 70
2010 Jiří Dienstbier Jr. 615,20917.9
19 / 65
2014 Miloslav Ludvík 2,160,96310.4
8 / 65
2018 Jakub Landovský 727,8262.9
0 / 65
Decrease2.svg88thNo seats


Former leader Jan Hamacek J Hamacek 2015 Praha.JPG
Former leader Jan Hamáček
Former party leader Milos Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman 2012-12-03 cropped.jpg
Former party leader Milos Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic

Czechoslavonic Social Democratic Workers' Party

Czechoslovak Social Democratic Workers' Party

Czechoslovak Social Democracy

Czechoslovak Social Democracy in-exile

Czechoslovak Social Democracy

Czech Social Democratic Party

See also

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2017 Czech Social Democratic Party leadership election

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