Denmark goes to the Polls
All 179 seats in the Danish parliament or Folketing are up for grabs in today’s general election. There are 4,146,602 eligible voters of whom 3,258 are living abroad. Polling stations will open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. and voters have 799 candidates to choose from.
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s centre-left Social Democrats (A) is in the lead in the opinion polls with 25.5% of the vote whilst the Red camp is on 49.3% of the vote.
Other parties in the Red camp are the centre-left Danish Social Liberal Party (B), the left-wing Socialist People’s Party (F), the far-left anti-capitalist Red-Green Alliance (Ø) and the centre-left and green The Alternative (Å).
The centre-right Blue camp led by Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s Venstre (V) has 50.7% of the vote according to the polls whilst Venstre itself has 20.4%. That suggests that the result will be another close finish.
Other parties in the Blue camp are the centre-right Liberal Alliance (I), the centre-right Conservative People’s Party (C), the centrist Christian Democrats (K) and the right-wing nationalist and anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (O). The Danish People’s Party, which probably wouldn’t join any coalition government, is on 16.1% of the vote, up from 12.3% in 2011.
The last general election was held in September 2011 and provided an inconclusive parliament and a minority government.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt of the centre-left Social Democrats (A) with 44 seats and 24.9% of the vote became Prime Minister. She led a coalition which included the centre-left Social Liberal Party (B) with 17 seats and 9.5% of the vote along with the left-wing Socialist People’s Party (SF or F) with 16 seats and 9.2% of the vote. That meant that the government had 77 seats and needed 90 for a majority. As a result they relied on the support of the far-left Red-Green Alliance with 12 seats and 6.7% of the vote along with independents to pass legislation.
In February 2014 the SF left the government although some of their ministers defected back to the government having disagreed with the decision of the party.
The largest party in the 2011 general election was the centre-right Venstre (V) which won 47 of the 179 seats. They had been the ruling party but were not in a position to put together a coalition.
There were three other mainland parties with seats, the right-wing and Eurosceptic Danish People’s Party (DPP or DF) with 22 seats and 12.3% of the vote, the centre-right Liberal Alliance with nine seats and 5% of the vote and the centre-right Conservative People’s Party (DKF) (C) with eight seats and 4.9% of the vote. There were also two MPs elected from Greenland and two from the Faroe Islands.