Snap general election called
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has announced that there will be a general election held on 18th June to elect the 179 members of the Folketing or parliament.
The last general election was held in September 2011 and provided an inconclusive parliament and a minority government.
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) 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.
A general election was due to be called by 15th September this year. The sudden announcement leaves just 23 days for campaigning.