Broad government expected in Denmark after election

The general election in Denmark was expected to end the Left-Right polarisation that has dominated Danish politics for years and pave the way for a centrist government, according to local analysts.

But Tuesday’s outcome was anti-climactic and fell short of expectations with the lowest turnout rate since 1990, reports Xinhua news agency.

Of a total of 4,269,044 eligible voters, 3,592,041 voted by mail or showed up at one of the polling stations across the country to cast their ballots on Tuesday.

The voting percentage now stands at 84.14 per cent, the lowest in more than 30 years.

The Social Democratic Party-led left-wing or the red bloc did live up to their hype.

It was projected to win 87 of 179 seats with about 27.6 per cent of the vote, remaining the largest party in Parliament, or the Folketing, according to the preliminary result of Statistics Denmark issued on Wednesday.

The centrist, non-aligned Moderates, led by former right-wing Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, was projected to secure 16 seats, potentially enough to play “kingmaker” in the next Parliament.

However, support for the so-called blue bloc’s right-wing parties did not turn out in sufficient numbers to create a counterbalance with the opposition.

The blue bloc was expected to obtain 72 seats in total.

Mette Frederiksen, the Social Democratic Party’s leader and incumbent Prime Minister, will now be able to form a majority government with the help of promising three of the four seats elected from the North Atlantic territories — the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Despite the apparent “red majority”, Frederiksen said in her election speech that she would submit the government’s resignation on Wednesday and seek to form a broad coalition.

“It is also clear that the government does not have a majority in its current form. As a result, I will tender the government’s resignation to the Queen,” said Frederiksen.

The Danish Parliament is re-elected at least every four years.

The most recent election took place on June 5, 2019.

Denmark’s political parties compete for 179 seats in the Folketing: 175 in Denmark proper, two in the Faroe Islands and two in Greenland.

The “mink scandal”, which saw the country cull 17 million minks in late 2020, has cast a long shadow over the current administration since July, when an independent panel reprimanded the minority government for its role but did not impeach it.

After months of speculation, the Prime Minister on October 5 called a general election on November 1.

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