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2022 DANISH ELECTION

Denmark to hold election on November 1st

Denmark will choose a new government on Tuesday November 1st after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Wednesday announced a parliamentary election.

Denmark to hold election on November 1st
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announces a November 1st parliamentary election from the PM's residence at Marienborg near Copenhagen. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Speaking from the Prime Minister’s residence at Marienborg north of Copenhagen, Frederiksen confirmed widely-held expectations that an election will take place this autumn.

“Denmark is a fantastic country. But times are hard,” she said as she opened the announcement in reference to the energy crisis and war in Ukraine among other challenges, hinting that the government does not see the timing of the election as ideal.

She went on to outline the government’s platform policies going into the election, before confirming the date the ballot will be held, November 1st.

In the announcement, Frederiksen said that she was prepared to form a cross-aisle government, in a move that would break with Denmark’s customary ‘bloc politics’ system which sees left- and right-wing parties in opposing factions.

“The time has come to try a new form of government in Denmark. We are ready for both compromise and collaboration,” she said.

“We want a broad government with parties on both sides of the political centre,” she said at the briefing, at which press questions were not taken.

READ ALSO: ‘Bloc politics’: A guide to understanding general elections in Denmark

Expectations that an election was imminent were reinforced on Wednesday morning when election-related ads were placed by Frederiksen’s Social Democratic party in Danish newspapers.

The ads did not directly confirm a general election, but did explicitly mention one, saying “Reality is about working together. The election is about who can make it happen”.

Frederiksen also gave a clear suggestion that a general election will be called imminently following the traditional opening of parliament on Tuesday.

“I daresay the election will soon start getting closer,” she told reporters.

Legally, the government could have waited until June 4th, 2023 to hold a general election, which is required once every four years under the Danish Constitution.

But the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party, a parliamentary ally of the government, demanded Frederiksen call an early general election, after an inquiry into the 2020 mink scandal resulted in criticism of the government and Frederiksen receiving an official rebuke.

Recent polls have suggested the election could be a knife-edge contest, with little to choose between the ‘red bloc’ of left-wing allied parties, led by Frederiken’s Social Democrats, and the opposing ‘blue bloc’ of right-wing parties.

An opinion poll conducted by Voxmeter on behalf of news wire Ritzau, published on Monday, put the red bloc on 86 of Denmark’s 179 seats in parliament, one ahead of the blue bloc, on 85 seats.

Of the remaining eight seats four were projected to go to the newly-formed Moderate party, headed by former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

Rasmussen has not declared his party for either bloc, saying he would prefer a grand coalition across the centre. He led a ‘blue bloc’ government as leader of his previous party, the Liberals.

The final four seats are allocated to representatives from parties in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

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2022 DANISH ELECTION

Moderate party downplays importance of joining new Danish government 

After another round of negotiations with acting Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Moderate leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen says it’s beside the point if his party joins Frederiksen’s vision of a ‘broad, central’ government.

Moderate party downplays importance of joining new Danish government 

Rasmussen, who was Prime Minister before Frederiksen when leader of the Liberal (Venstre) party, led the newly-formed Moderates into parliament in their first election on a platform of installing a centrist government.

The Moderates have a relatively strong hand in the negotiations with their 16 seats from 9.3 percent of the vote share in the election, which took place one month ago.

“For us, it’s not a separate ambition to be part of such a government,” Rasmussen said outside of the prime minister’s official residence at Marienborg on Wednesday.

“Whether we are in or not is less important. But we want to put ourselves in a position where we can influence the content. That’s what matters,” he said. 

“It strikes me that Mette Frederiksen and I go a long way towards sharing the analysis of what’s good for Denmark,” he added.

READ ALSO: What does Denmark’s Liberal party want from government negotiations?

Rasmussen has previously backed a potential government involving the Social Democrats and Liberals along with the Moderates, calling it an “excellent starting point”.

But he said on Wednesday that his party could lend support to a central coalition without being part of the government itself.

The Moderates could be influential “by forming the parliamentary basis for a government which consists of parties from both sides of the infamous political centre,” he said.

Although the centrist party is heavily involved in talks led by Frederiksen, it does not have decisive seats which could give either the left or right wings an overall majority. The left wing ‘red bloc’ took a single-seat victory in the November 1st election, meaning a left-wing government could be formed without the support of the Moderates.

But Frederiksen has eschewed the option of a government reliant on the support of the parties furthest to the left, the Red Green Alliance and Alternative, maintaining her pre-election pledge to seek a coalition across the centre.

There is no majority which could put a ‘blue bloc’ or conservative government in place.

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Danish election result

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