Support for Denmark’s EU membership is at historically high levels domestically prior to European Parliament elections in May, according to a poll conducted by Kantar Gallup and reported by newspaper Berlingske.
A far lower proportion of Danes now support a hypothetical Danish EU exit, relative to polls taken prior to the UK’s referendum in 2016.
In the new poll, 62 percent responded that they did not want a Danish referendum on EU membership, while 26 percent said they did support such a vote.
If a referendum was held, 66 percent said they would vote to remain in the EU, while 22 percent would vote for Denmark to leave.
The impact of the Brexit process on the United Kingdom has had a greater effect on the debate over EU membership in Denmark than any other factor, according to professor and elections researcher Kasper Møller Hansen of the University of Copenhagen.
“What you are seeing here is the biggest shift in Danish opinion on the EU in history. With all the referenda we’ve had (in Denmark) and with the debate we’ve had here since the Single European Act referendum in 1986 right up to now, Danes have always been around 50-50 (for and against membership),” Hansen told Berlingske.
Prior to the British membership referendum in June 2016, almost one third of people answering an equivalent Danish poll said they wanted Denmark to follow the UK out of the EU. Just under half of respondents wanted to remain in the union, while the rest were undecided.
“The problems the British have been through are clearly reflected in Danes seeing that it is not as easy to leave the EU as we perhaps thought, or indeed as the Brits probably thought,” Hansen said.
The professor noted that pro-EU political parties in Denmark, including the Liberal (Venstre) party, the senior partner in the coalition government, and the Social Democrats, the largest party in opposition, enjoy full support from their voters over the question of EU membership.
Meanwhile, Eurosceptic parties including the rightwing Danish People’s Party and leftwing Red Green Alliance have both seen a significant drop in polling numbers. Fewer of these parties’ supporters are convinced over wanting Denmark to leave the EU than previously, Berlingske writes.