Denmark has voted and the left wing has won the election. Or has it? Here’s what happens next

Denmark has voted and the left wing has won the election. Or has it? Here’s what happens next
Danish party leaders take part in a late-night debate at Christiansborg following the election.Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
The four left wing and left-of-centre parties in the ‘red bloc’ of Denmark’s parliament won an overall majority in last night’s election. These are the next steps towards a new government being formed.

Outgoing Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who conceded defeat in the election late last night, will visit Queen Margrethe at around 11am, this morning, where he will formally tender his government’s resignation.

This afternoon, Her Majesty will engage in the so-called ‘Queen’s Round’ (‘Dronningerunde’), where she will meet with representatives from each of the parliamentary parties, who will advise her of their recommendations – including who they are nominating as prime minister.

With an overall majority backing Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen (the Social Liberals, Socialist People’s Party and Red Green Alliance, as well as Frederiksen’s own party), she is likely to be given the nod.

Rasmussen said last night that his party would recommend he continues as PM at the head of a coalition with traditional rivals on the left of centre, but the left wing's majority will probably (but not certainly) render this possibility a non-starter. 

However, the left parties – particularly the Social Liberals – will want policy concessions, so negotiations over how the government will be formed could take some time.

The Queen will likely give Frederiksen a mandate to either form a government immediately or to try to form a government through negotiations, said Rune Stubager, professor of political science at Aarhus University.

“I think the Social Liberals will phrase their advice so that, depending on the outcome of (coming) negotiations, they might support her, something to that effect,” Stubager said at a press briefing on Thursday morning.

“They want to use this opportunity to put as much pressure as possible on the Social Democrats,” he added.

The Social Liberals, a traditional coalition partner of the Social Democrats until Frederiksen last year announced her preference for a purely Social Democrat minority government, will be buoyed by their own strong election performance and will look to push for concessions on immigration and economic policy.

That means that, although Frederiksen is highly likely to get the nod to try to form government – leaving Rasmussen’s overtures for a cross-aisle coalition on the scrapheap – there’s still some way to go before we know how the new government is going to look.

READ ALSO: Analysis: How Social Democrat shift in immigration stance was key to Danish election victory

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