Denmark Election Delivers a Win for Social Democrats

On Tuesday, the results of Denmark's general election provided a win for the incumbent Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and her Social Democratic party. The so-called "red bloc" secured two additional seats giving them the majority and the party's best results in more than two decades.

Denmark Election Delivers a Win for Social Democrats
Image credit: Reuters [via The Guardian]

Facts

  • On Tuesday, the results of Denmark's general election provided a win for the incumbent Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and her Social Democratic party. The so-called "red bloc" secured two additional seats giving them the majority and the party's best results in more than two decades.
  • Exit polls from Tuesday night indicated that Frederiksen's five-party bloc was on track to lose the majority. However, when the last votes were counted on Wednesday morning it became clear that the bloc had won 87 seats from the mainland and another three seats from the overseas territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland — with a total of 90 seats, the bloc secured the majority.
  • After winning, Frederiksen said: "The Social Democrats went to the polls to form a broad government. If a majority of parties point to me [as prime minister] I will see whether it can be done. Because that is what is good for Denmark."
  • Frederiksen was forced to call for the general election when the left-wing party backing her minority administration withdrew its support. She called for the election saying she wants "a broad coalition with parties on both sides" in relation to the political center.
  • The Frederiksen administration came under fire when they ordered the culling of minks over concerns that COVID variants could make vaccines less effective. Following the order, 17M animals were slaughtered — shuttering the country's mink industry and drawing ire from the public.
  • A new party led by former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, called the Moderates, came in third place at the polls and secured 16 seats. If neither left- nor right-wing parties had secured a majority, Rasmussen was expected to take on a "kingmaker" role. With a clear Social Democrat majority, his role and influence will now be diminished.

Sources: New York Times, BBC News, FT, and Guardian.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Politico. This narrow victory for Frederiksen's government is a sign that Danes want a broad coalition government to guide Denmark through its many challenges. The PM has a new mandate to bring both sides of the aisle together to minimize chaos and safely navigate these uncertain times.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by ABC News. Although the election results are in, support for the Prime Minister remains uncertain. There's no doubt that Denmark needs a new government and, while there may be room for Frederiksen to spearhead that effort, confidence in her ability to lead has reached its end.