Danish election paves way for centrist government: exit poll – POLITICO

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is clinging to his job after losing his majority in an election sparked by a scandal over his decision to exterminate the country’s mink population.

According to an exit poll, Frederiksen’s Social Democrats are poised to become the country’s largest party after Tuesday’s election, but its political survival depends on a new centrist grouping.

An early poll by public broadcaster DR showed the Social Democrats won 23.1 percent of the vote, giving them 42 of the 179 seats in parliament. This put him ahead of Jakob Elleman-Jensen’s Liberal Party on 13.5 percent of the vote, or 24 seats.

But the outcome is bittersweet for Fredrickson as well. If official figures are confirmed, winning 42 seats would be his party’s worst electoral result in more than 100 years.

In a split of the political landscape between 14 parties, both the left-leaning “Red Bloc”, which won 85 seats, and the rival right-wing “Blue Bloc” on 73 seats, falling short of the 90 seats needed for a majority. . Parliament with 179 seats. The rest of the seats went to non-aligned parties.

The election was triggered by a scandal about Mink Kal by the government during the coronavirus pandemic. What followed was an unusually interesting and chaotic campaign, at times seeming to predict the twists and turns of the latest season of the popular TV political drama “Borgen.”

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If the exit poll results are confirmed, it will mean that Frederiksen will need the support of former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and his newly formed Moderate Party, which won 9.3 percent of the vote. or 17 seats.

Rasmussen has not said he would support any bloc during the upcoming negotiations, keeping the former prime minister in the role of kingmaker.

He used this position during the campaign to call for a broad coalition of more moderate parties from both the red and blue blocs, a move that could upset the post-war political system. Some have even suggested that he could use his influence to rise to a senior role or even the post of Prime Minister after the election.

But Rasmussen, who was prime minister for Denmark’s Liberal Party from 2009 to 2011 and again from 2015 to 2019, said he did not envision a third term. “It’s not on my mind,” he said Tuesday morning after casting his vote.

Magnus Huneck, currently the health minister and a member of the Social Democrats, told reporters that voters may have punished his party for some of the decisions it had to make “when there was a real need to show leadership.” was needed.”

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“I think we have done it and we can be proud of it. But it can also be a disadvantage, because some people may disagree with some of the decisions we have made,” he added.

Heunicke reiterated the party’s desire to form a broad, centralized government: “This result only reinforces our desire for broad cooperation. Now we sit together and see if we can form a centralized government.”

The Danish People’s Party, meanwhile, which was the country’s second-largest party from 2015 to 2019 and the face of far-right politics, lost significant ground, according to exit polls. It is estimated to get just 2.5 percent of the vote, or 4 seats – just above the 2 percent threshold for parliament.

A dramatic campaign

Domestic issues dominated the campaign, from tax cuts and the need to hire more nurses to help finance Danes amid inflation and rising energy costs due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Once a key topic, immigration has fallen down the agenda, partly because the Social Democrats have vowed to be tough on immigration, depriving right-leaning parties of a potential rallying point. is given

Although Frederiksen’s party will remain the largest in parliament, it has lost popularity in recent months – down from 48 seats to 42 seats, if exit polls are confirmed – as several scandals have tarnished its reputation. has been shaken. They include a 2020 order banning all farmed mink in the country over fears they could spread a mutated form of the coronavirus, a policy that has devastated Europe’s biggest fur exporter. done.

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A parliament-appointed commission said in June that the government lacked legal justification for the total and had made “grossly misleading” statements when ordering the sector’s closure. The left-wing party backing Frederiksen’s minority government withdrew its support in the wake of the report, prompting Frederiksen to call for early elections on Tuesday.

However, her centre-right rival has also lost ground, with the conservative leader, Søren Pape Poulsen, rocked by revelations about lies told by her ex-husband and the Liberals and suffering internal divisions.

Negotiations to form a new government could take weeks, with the right-wing bloc likely to meet or exceed every offer made by the Red Bloc in its bid to regain power for Rasmussen’s moderates. will do

This article has been updated with exit poll results and more details about the election campaign.


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