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Danes wake up to a new female leader

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Danes wake up to a new female leader


Denmark’s first female prime minister faces the tricky task of piecing together a centre-left government for the Scandinavian state, after ten years of centre-right rule.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrats tapped voter anger about the state of the economy, according to experts.

But some Danes are already predicting a short shelf life for the coalition, pointing to sharp differences between the parties.

“She has been lucky in the support she has had, otherwise she would never have won. Let’s see how long it lasts,” said one woman.

Others disagreed and believe that Denmark will benefit from some fresh faces in political circles. “I think it will re-invigorate our society, and that is what we need,” said a male voter in Copenhagen.

Disenchantment with politics remains despite the change at the top. “It is pretty much the same. There is no real difference in our economic policy,” was the opinion voiced by another Dane quizzed by reporters.

Outgoing Prime Minister Lars Lokke-Rasmussen is set to formally resign later on Friday.

This is the latest in a series of defeats for incumbents around Europe.

Turnout was high, at 87.7 percent. The Social Democrats won with a slim majority of five seats.

Thorning-Schmidt’s political credentials are solid; her father-in-law is former UK Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.

Experts predict forming the coalition may not be too difficult – but actually making it work will be another matter.

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