How are the right doing?
Stockholm In Denmark it’s just not traditional “hygge”, i.e. cosy, at all. In the coming week, the Danes will elect a new government, and nervousness in both major political camps has increased significantly in recent days.
Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s Social Democratic head of government, called new elections for November 1 three weeks ago, seven months before the end of the legislative period. In Denmark, the head of government can decide for themselves during the election period when exactly the next election will be held.
Frederiksen did not choose the unusually early date entirely voluntarily. Since she heads a minority government that has less than a third of the seats in parliament, she is dependent on the support of other parties.
And there was the problem: the social-liberal party Radikale Venstre had already threatened in the summer to initiate a vote of no confidence and withdraw its support if new elections were not called by October 6. Frederiksen chose the election date at the beginning of November.
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The little radical Venstre’s anger with the social democratic minority government began during the corona pandemic. In late autumn 2020, fearing dangerous virus mutations, Frederiksen decided killing around 15 million mink. A mutation was discovered in the animals, which was also transmitted to humans.
The problem was that there was no legal basis for the killing. The head of government was reprimanded by a parliamentary committee of inquiry, and several state secretaries had to resign.
Both political blocs are on par
Frederiksen, who has ruled since 2019, has announced that it intends to form a broad centre-left alliance after the elections. It is therefore aiming for a majority government. Minority governments have often existed in Denmark, as in other northern European countries, over the past decades. But also because of the uncertain geopolitical situation After the Russian attack on Ukraine, her country needs “broad cooperation and common solutions,” she said.
Your main challenger, former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, has founded a new liberal party, the Moderates, and is also promoting a broad coalition government. The 14 parties standing for election can be divided into a centre-right and a centre-left block. According to the latest survey results, the two political blocs are almost level.
The question will be how the small parties will fare. In Denmark there is a two percent hurdle. the The xenophobic, right-wing populist Danish People’s Party, which was the second strongest political force in Denmark in its heyday, has slipped into insignificance and even has to fear for its entry into parliament.
The reason for the decline: The former, extremely controversial immigration minister Inger Støjberg founded her own party, the Denmark Democrats, in the summer. This new party has almost ten percent of the votes in the polls and has apparently managed to win over many voters in the Danish People’s Party with clear xenophobic slogans.
Frederiksen can only hope that voters will honor their government’s work during the corona pandemic and the current geopolitical crisis. In an international comparison, Denmark came through the crisis relatively well. A low unemployment rate of just over five percent and a low debt burden of almost 40 percent of gross domestic product speak in favor of the government.
However, inflation has recently skyrocketed to eleven percent. That’s why the parties try to outbid each other in the election campaign by promising higher wages. At the same time, almost all parties, as in other European countries, want to significantly increase their military spending. After Russia invaded Ukraine and Blow up the Nord Stream pipelines safety in the Baltic Sea, but also in the Arctic, is paramount.
More: International comparison of locations: Denmark tops the world for the first time – Germany stagnates in 15th place