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The Local's party guide: Danish People's Party

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The Local's party guide: Danish People's Party
Party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl. Photo: Asbjørn Sand/Scanpix
22:09 CEST+02:00
Keep confusing the Danish political parties with their Borgen equivalents? The Local's political party guide separates fact from fiction. This segment: the Danish People's Party.

Leader: Kristian Thulesen Dahl

The Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti – DF) is a relative newcomer to Danish politics. Founded in 1995, DF has quickly established itself as one of the most powerful parties in Denmark despite having never formally been in government. It succeeded in completely overhauling Danish immigration and asylum policy in exchange for providing parliamentary support to the Venstre-Conservative government from 2001-2011.

See also: The rise and rise of the Danish People's Party

A good example of just how influential DF has become was seen earlier this week, when its fellow opposition parties announced that if a Venstre-led government emerges victorious in the election, it will support David Cameron's "work to ensure that the EU does not become a social union". The move was a significant gesture from the traditionally EU-friendly Venstre to the eurosceptic DF.  

See also: Danish opposition vows to back Britain in EU

However, this is just one area in which Venstre and DF have traditionally been at odds with another. Another major sticking point between the two is on public spending. Venstre wants to freeze it while DF wants to see more investments in areas like elder care. 

DF is set to perform extremely well this election, with most surveys indicating that every fifth Dane will be voting for the party. As election day nears however, that support has appeared to dip some. Many of its new supporters are former Venstre and Social Democrat voters.

See also: Social Democrats party profile

Core campaign issues
As in previous elections, DF has succeeded in making this one focus on its key party platforms: immigration and the EU.

The party argues that Denmark is not a multi-cultural country and that "Danish culture must be preserved and strengthened." DF stresses that the nation does not have the capacity to take on more immigrants and asylum seekers and claims that many of the foreigners and refugees already in Denmark have not done a good job of integrating into the Danish society. The party would also like to see border controls reinstated.

See also: Danes talk tough on immigration pre-election

DF views the EU as a threat to national sovereignty. The party says that no EU policies should supersede the Danish constitution and it wants to limit Denmark's cooperation with the EU to the areas of trade, environmental policies and technical collaboration. It also states that it is “the only party that you can be sure will never accept Turkey as an EU country.”

Animal welfare is another key DF issue, with the party advocating for tougher punishments for animal abuse and fighting against EU regulations that allow production animals to be transported throughout the continent.

As mentioned above, the party also opposes Venstre's plans to cut public spending, arguing that more resources are needed in the health care.

Current representation in parliament: 22 mandates (12.7 percent of the vote)
Expected after this election (as per a June 11 Epinion survey): 34 mandates (19.2 percent of the vote)

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