General election called for 15 September
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced at 11 a.m. local time this morning that a general election will be held on 15th September.
The signs that the election was in the offing came when ministerial visits abroad were cancelled and when the governing party launched an aggressive political ad campaign entitled ‘Behind the Façade’.
Just two days ago the government had presented a stimulus package to parliament entitled ‘Sustainable Growth’ which would have injected around 27.8 billion Kroner into the economy, predominantly to stimulate the housing market as well as bringing forward public and infrastructure works.
The plan stalled when coalition partner, the Danish People’s Party (DF) refused to back the package. After a meeting with the prime minister’s ministerial colleagues the announcement was made.
The Copenhagen Post reports the prime minister as saying ‘The world is afflicted by a growth crisis and while Denmark remains among the most secure countries in the world the current serious economic challenges call for responsible and prudent political reaction and the clarity of the people’s mandate’.
Opposition leader, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, is reported as commenting on her Facebook page, “I look forward to the campaign and I am looking forward, together with the Social Democrats, to telling Danes about our way forward for Denmark”.
The latest opinion poll by Megafon for Politiken on 19th August puts Venstre, Liberal Party of Denmark (VDLP) on 25.4% of the vote. The opposition Social Democratic Party (SD) is on 28.0%. The Danish People’s Party (DF) is on 10.7% and the Socialist People’s Party (SF) on 12.6%.
Grouping all of the government parties, the poll puts them on 46.6% whilst the opposition parties grouped together are on 53.0%.