- Populist Danish People's Party seen overtaking Venstre as Denmark's second largest, with 21.4 percent of the vote
- Helle Thorning-Schmidt steps down as Social Democrat leader despite party's 1.7 percent improvement
- Lars Løkke Rasmussen set to be next PM, as blue block take 91 seats to red block's 84
- Venstre sees vote share drop more than 7 percent.
Løkke bliver statsminister, men Venstre fik sit dårligste valg siden 1990 #FV2015— Carl Emil Arnfred (@CarlEmilArnfred) June 18, 2015
Pol. expert for nat. TV says if Thorning-Schmidt steps down as party leader, she's likely replaced by Justice Min. Mette Frederiksen #fv2015— Henriette Jacobsen (@eu_journalist) June 18, 2015
Social Democrats await Helle Thorning-Schmidt's imminent arrival pic.twitter.com/AvLbJgK6aJ— The Local Denmark (@TheLocalDenmark) June 18, 2015
12.14am. Wales is preparing to welcome Denmark's soon-to-be ex PM, according to Cardiff University's Adam Brent.
Nobody goes home empty handed from a Danish Election, tonight's runner-up, Ms. Thorning-Schmidt gets a constituency home in Aberavon!— Adam Evans (@A_B_Evans) June 18, 2015
“No. It's gone beyond my wildest expectations. I know we often fare better in these elections than the polls suggest since people often aren't willing to admit that they vote for the Danish People's Party, but it really does look fantastic so far,” he said.
“I think we need to see the final result before considering that. We have not wished to be in government. We have always intended to be a support party, which is still our current position. But now we have to see what will happen next.”
Asked if there was a chance that party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl would be Denmark's next Prime Minister, Skaarup replied “that's something we have not discussed at all. We will have to await the final result.”
Denmark's TV2, whose pollsters have egg on their faces after initially calling the election for Helle Thorning-Schmidt, are now giving the right a strong lead.
10.28 - Kristian Jensen, the Liberal Party's deputy chairman, expresses his party's mixed feelings when DR catches him at Christiansborg. "It is no secret that it seems to be a right-wing government," he said. "But it is still a mixture of a great smile and a bleeding heart, because we have had to say goodbye to a lot of seats in the Liberals. "
10.23 The big talking point right now is who will be prime minister if the current projections turn out to be accurate and the Danish People's Party are the largest right-wing party. The DPP are playing down the possibility, but..
10.22 Sweden's former Prime Minister Carl Bildt likens the future right-wing coalition to the government which won Finland's election in April.
At the moment it looks like Denmark is heading for a Finnish-style non-socialist coalition government. Third of votes counted.— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) June 18, 2015
The FT's Richard Milne points out that the Danish People's Party are talking down the prospect of Kristian Thulesen Dahl becoming prime minister.
@duncanmcdonnell Well, his own party are discounting that. But can't be utterly ruled out if they do finish bigger than Liberals— Richard Milne (@rmilneNordic) June 18, 2015
Among things that the Danish People's Party MP mentioned that his party would fight for was bringing back border control. “But it's for Kristian to decide what happens next [if DF becomes Denmark's second-largest party].
There was also shock among the Social Democrat supporters.“That's a horror scenario. I don't think anyone really believed there was a chance that that would happen. But let's wait and see what happens, all the votes haven't been tallied yet,” Louise Hansen told The Local.
DR Political analyst Ask Rostrup noted that the Danish People's Party could find itself in the unexpected position of becoming the “big brother” of the blue bloc.
“They are looking at a jackpot of sensational proportions, and I think that right now DF themselves are a bit confused about how they will handle the situation that they've landed in,” he told DR.
9.25pm The tone was less cheerful, but still hopeful in the neighbouring Social Liberal election party.
“It's definitely a shame to see that we will probably lose some seats tonight, but a lot can still happen,” said one supporter.
Morten [Østergaard, the party leader] has done an amazing job and I am so proud of what we have managed to accomplish in this campaign,” he added.
9.21pm The Local caught up with Thulesen Dahl for a comment on how he feels the campaign has gone.
“Regardless of the circumstances we are going to have a great party tonight. It has been a fantastic campaign for us where we have had so many supporters on the streets. And now we are just awaiting the final results. The preliminary ones confirm what we have seen in the polls, which is that we will become a larger and more influential party, but I am excited to see how much support we will get from Denmark to push our agenda through.”
When asked what he thought about DF's chances of joining a government coalition were if the blue bloc won, Thulesen gave his standard reply. “We will have to see where and how we can gain the most possible influence after the election.”
Danish People's Party could become Denmark's 2nd biggest party, according to DR. Rise of the populists...— Richard Milne (@rmilneNordic) June 18, 2015
8.56pm. Apologies for the delay. Here's the exit poll DR tweeted out earlier.
8.54pm Some amusement in Denmark at the rude-looking word spelled out by some of the parties' names on the exit poll.
8.39pm "This day, this day is a day of celebration. A totally fantastic day of celebration," he told his supporters.
8.38pm Kristian Thulesen Dahl, the leader of the Danish People's Party just walked into his party celebration to the tune of "You'll never walk alone", the Rodgers and Hammerstein showtune also used as an anthem by Liverpool football club.
8.34pm Christian Democrats remained optimistic despite the first exit polls indicating that they would not make it into parliament.
“The mood has been positive, people have been happy, and our communications on Facebook have been seen by thousands of people today. We look forward to seeing the rest of the results,” said Bent Hansen, vice-leader of the party in a comment to The Local.
Tage Sørensen, Press Officer for the party was also positive about the future. “We simply need to rebuild the party in a way that we need more younger people in… and we are well on our way to doing that,” he told The Local.
“The problem is that we haven't been very good at communication. If you take church-goers, that is more than 10 percent of Danes. We need to get through to those people.”
“I think it has been a fun and exciting campaign, as you can see we are very optimistic about tonight. It will be a good night,” Pernille Jensen, one of its supporters, told The Local.
6.58pm Most of the politicians are still out trying to score some last minute votes, so Christiansborg remains fairly quiet. Once the voting booths close at 8 pm, the exhausted candidates from many of the political parties will gradually be making their way over here for their respective election night celebrations.
6.46pm The various political parties are already preparing for their post-poll parties.
Here's the venue whereThe Alternative, the new environmental party which hopes to be the kingmaker, is holding its event.
Here's the venue where the Social Liberals (Radikale Venstre) are holding theirs.
6.23pm YouGov has conducted an exit poll for the the Danish newspaper MetroXpress, which has decided not to wait until 8pm.
The results indicate a dead heat between the red and blue blocs, and that the four mandates from the former colonies can tip the scale either way.
The blue bloc is set to get 50.4 percent of the vote and 88 mandates, and the red bloc 49.5 percent and 87 mandates.
This means that the North Atlantic mandates may prove critical. If they are apportioned as usual with three mandates to the red bloc and one to the blue bloc, then Helle Thorning-Schmidt suddenly has the 90 mandates required to win the election, political commentator Henrik Qvortrup told the newspaper.
“But if the Christian Democrats get a single mandate from Western Jutland [their focus area], the balance is tipped once again towards the blue bloc. It is going to be really exciting, and I don't think that we can count on seeing either Thorning or Løkke declare themselves the winner of the election until very late into the evening,” said Qvortrup.
Venstre looks like it will go back from 26.7 percent of the vote to 20.6 percent according to the exit poll, while the Social Democrats will garner a modest increase from 24.8 percent to 25.1 percent of the vote.
The Alternative is set to gain 5.1 percent of the vote and the Danish People's Party 17.9 percent according to the poll.
6.16pm While we wait for the news to come in, here's a quick update of day's events.
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt arrived to cast her vote at a polling station at Kildevælds School in Østerbro, Copenhagen, alongside her husband Stephen Kinnock, a British Labour MP.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt heads to cast her vote. Photo: Scanpix
Her opponent, Liberal leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen, voted at Nyboder school. "I want an open Denmark," he told reporters. "But I also want a Denmark which is effectively closed to those who do not want Denmark".
Welcome to The Local's live coverage of the Danish election! We will be regularly updating this blog with developments from Christiansborg, where our reporter Niclas Jensen is already in place, and elsewhere, until the winner has been determined later tonight.
This election has been labeled by political observers one of the country's closest in recent history. The latest polls give a slight advantage to the opposition blue bloc at 50.9 percent versus the red bloc's 49.1 percent, but the margin of error means that it is too close to call.
Here's the weighted average of today's polls from Denmark's Berlingske newspaper.
The Danish media has made a collective agreement to refrain from releasing exit polls until the voting booths have closed due to concerns that they may affect the outcome of the election, so we will have to wait until after 8pm for the first results.
Politicians from every party were out campaigning until the last minute amid speculation that the outcome of the race could be decided in Denmark's two former colonies, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
The campaign has been dominated by three main subjects: the economy, the future of the country's cherished cradle-to-grave welfare state, and immigration and the rising cost of hosting asylum seekers.
It has been three dramatic weeks with a number of surprises.
Venstre leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt have faced off in a number of TV debates against one another, attacking each other's credibility. Rasmussen has accused the Social Democrats of running a negative campaign focused on attacking Venstre.
The Alternative is predicted to garner some 4-5 percent of the vote, and may end up playing the kingmaker role.
Several parties are expected to take a major hit in this election, most notably the former junior coalition partner Socialist People's Party as well as the Social Liberals, who are also likely to be punished for their time as a junior coalition partner in the current government.
Be sure to check out the Local's guide to the ten most exciting plots in the Danish election, which gives you a quick and easy overview of what this election is all about.
And for ease of reference, you can find a profile of each of the ten parties we will be referring to throughout this evening in the links below.