Denmark’s Social Democrats set to win election: exit poll
Exit polls in Denmark suggest the centre-left opposition is likely to win more than 25 per cent of the vote in yesterday’s general election.
The Liberals of Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen are set to finish second on nearly 21 per cent, with the populist Danish People’s Party on 9.8 per cent, have its vote share in the 2015 election.
The Social Democrats look set to return to power after four years. Led by Mette Frederiksen (pictured), the party adopted a tough stance on immigrants and won 25.3 per cent of the vote, according to broadcasters DR and TV 2.
Around 57 per cent of Danish voters said they wanted the next government to prioritise climate change, according to a Gallup poll in February. For voters aged 18 to 35, the figure was 69 per cent.
The Liberals have headed a “blue bloc” alliance of right-wing parties in government for 14 of the last 18 years.
But the Social Democrats might now form a progressive alliance as other left-wing parties also made gains. Put together, left-of-centre parties are poised to win 90 seats in the 179-seat parliament. The centre-right parties were predicted to win 75 seats by the exit polls.
The Social Democrats have earlier said they would form a minority government and rely on other parties to pass legislation.
The party’s tough line on migrants appears to have won back some supporters who had drifted away in recent years.
The party has pledged to increase taxes on employers and the rich and partially undo pension reforms so staff who have worked for 40 years can retire.
Economic reforms have sparked growth above the EU average but successive budget cuts have left more people paying for services that were previously free.
Denmark’s impressive growth, low unemployment and healthy public finances have allowed the Social Democrats to offer to reverse budget cuts to education and health care.
The far-right Danish People’s Party has supported successive right-wing governments over about 20 years in exchange for tougher policies on migrants.
But almost all the other parties have now adopted a tough stance on migrants, meaning the People’s Party has lost its key issue.
The supposedly progressive Social Democrats last year proposed sending migrants to special camps in North Africa while their requests were processed.
Two new, more extreme far-right parties, the New Right and the anti-Islam Hard Line, have also taken votes from the People’s Party.
Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen. Picture credit: Wikimedia