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Denmark election: Opposition red bloc wins election as right wing parties flounder

Mette Frederiksen's Social Democrats are on course to be the biggest party
Mette Frederiksen's Social Democrats are on course to be the biggest party Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Caroline Mortimer
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Results show the red bloc holds the plurality of votes in the Danish elections


Results in Denmark show the Red bloc has won a plurality of votes in the election and Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has conceded defeat to the Social Democrat party. The left-leaning red bloc will have 91 seats out of the 179 seats in the Danish parliament.

The ruling blue bloc is on course to lose power but Venstre, headed by Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, managed to come second on 23.8% - outperforming the exit polls. Rasmussen said: "We are left here tonight with progress for the party, the largest progress any Danish party have had tonight, but still with a bitter-sweet taste because the blue parties collectively are weaker." And he added: "I called Mette Frederiksen earlier this evening, and told her, that I intend to see Her Majesty the Queen, to inform her of the election result. I will hand in the government’s resignation request, in the light of the result of the election."

Mette Frederiksen, the leader of the Social Democrat Party is expected to lead a coalition and if she succeeds she is likely to become the country's new prime minister. Frederiksen addressed her supporters last night: "You have voted, you have decided, and you have assembled a new parliament. And you have chosen that Denmark is to have a new majority, is to go in a new direction and is to have a new government. Thank you so much all of you."

The far-right Danish People's Party (DPP) suffered a massive fall and saw their support drop from 21% in 2015 to just 9% today.

It comes after the European Parliament elections saw a big drop in support for the party which won the EU elections in 2014 with 26.6% of the vote.

The election, Denmark's second in a fortnight, was expected to see a swing to the left.

According to the CEST, Ritzau survey turnout was up on last time with 74.6% people estimated to have turned out to vote compared with 70.3% in 2015.

Speaking to Euronews before the exit polls were announced, Professor Rune Stubager from Aarhus University said the key issue for Danish voters was still immigration even though the DPP has seen its vote share fall.

Kristian Thulesen Dahl, leader of the Danish People's PartyREUTERS

He said part of the reason for the DPP's decline is that more mainstream parties have adopted its stances. For instance, the Social Democrats have pledged not to row back on recent measures to toughen immigration law.

Professor Stubager also said the DPP has been caught in a pincer movement that while more mainstream parties to the left have adopted their policies they face pressure from the right from the new Hard Line whose leader, Rasmus Paludan, wants to ban all Muslim people from Denmark and has been accused of racism.

He explained: “One effect they have had for sure is that the Danish People’s Party has been pushed out of their comfort zone in the sense that they are no longer the party with the most right-wing position on immigration and that means they find themselves in the position of having to explain to voters why they don’t support these more extreme measures".

At the time of writing, Hard Line failed to cross the 2% threshold needed to enter the Danish parliament for the first time with 1.9% of the vote but the Greens have been re-elected to the legislature for the first after winning 2.6% of the vote.

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