Denmark’s political future could be a lot more conservative and libertarian than it is today.
In a first-of-its-kind mock parliamentary election among the nation’s eighth and ninth graders, the centre-right parties ran away with the victory, collecting 57.9 percent of the vote to the centre-left parties’ 42.1 percent.
The preferred party of the 75,000 teenaged voters was Venstre, which earned 27.4 percent of the vote. There the students’ votes largely mirrored those of their parents, as former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s party is also the largest amongst registered voters.
"Great to have the youth and Denmark's largest political youth organization at my back when we will be heading into a parliamentary election before long," Rasmussen wrote on Facebook.
PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrats came in a distant second in the school election with 17.7 percent of the vote.
The libertarian Liberal Alliance had perhaps the strongest and most surprising result. The party pulled in 11 percent of the student vote, making it the third largest among young Danes and more than doubling the five percent of votes it received in the September 2011 election.
The runaway victory by the more conservative and right-leaning parties did not surprise Johannes Andersen, a professor at Aalborg University who specializes in youth and democracy.
“There is a current trend among young first-time voters aged 18 to 20 that also points in this direction. So the [student] election results indicate that there is not a lot of difference between the younger age group and first-time voters,” Andersen told Metroxpress.
Although the right-of-centre parties cleaned up among student voters, the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DF) performed significantly worse among young people. DF earned just nine percent of the student vote, while opinion polls amongst registered voters have had the party hovering around the 20 percent mark. DF even topped an opinion poll in November for the first time ever
The full results of Thursday's student election were as follows:
Social Democrats: 17.7
Liberal Alliance: 11
The Conservatives: 10.5
The Social Liberals (Radikale): 9.9
The Danish People’s Party (DF): 9
The Socialist People’s Party (SF): 7.7
The Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten): 6
The Christian Democrats: 0.9
A real election must be held no later than in September.