Denmark is voting in a general election today and the polls suggest that after 10 years in power the centre-right government is heading for defeat.
An exit poll suggests the opposition “red bloc” has found the right recipe to woo an electorate disappointed at Denmark’s economic performance.
Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen insists the result is too close to call and has appealed to voters not to back partes that, in his words, will create obstacles to private consumption and make it “more expensive to be Danish”.
The Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt, daughter-in-law of Britain’s former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, will become Denmark’s first female leader if she wins. She has promised increased government spending, and a plan to boost productivity by lengthening the working day by 12 minutes for everyone.
Denmark has escaped the worst of the European crisis by not being a member of the eurozone, but budget surpluses have been replaced by deficits, and nine banks have been saved by the state since 2008.