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Lars Bille, "Leadership Change and Party Change: The Case of the Danish Social Democratic Party, 1960-95," Party Politics, 3 (July 1997), 379-390.

First Paragraph:
The relationship between party change, performance, and leadership change is central in work by Harmel and Janda and their associates (1992, 1993). They question whether party leaders do make a difference with regard to party change (Harmel et al. 1993: 4). Based on theoretical reasoning and reference to the literature they are inclined to answer in the question in the affirmative since: "Someone must assess the recent electoral performance, as well as the chances for doing better the next time, and in the parties' literature, it is generally assumed that the party leaders play a critical role in such assessments...leaders, and who the leaders are, can make a difference...there are situations within which the role of the leaders may go beyond 'intervening' i.e. where the leader and the leader's own wishes may be the ultimate cause of change" (Harmel et al. 1993: 4). The aim of this article is to elucidate this problem of performance, leadership change and party change by undertaking an empirical analysis of the Danish Social Democratic Party (SD). The analysis will try to answer to following two basic questions: (1) Why did the party change its leader? (2) Did this change in leadership result in any party change?

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Last Paragraph:
Most of the aspects of party change and why parties change remain in the dark. This article has only thrown a tiny beam into this darkness, a beam, however, which highlights the hypothesis that to a party which for decades has been accustomed to being in office, performance as regards governmental power counts for more than electoral performance in the short and medium term.