Danish Social Democrats slump in polls as corona effect wears off

Denmark's ruling Social Democrats have plummetted in a new poll, adding to growing evidence that the "pandemic boost" the party has enjoyed since last March is wearing off.

Danish Social Democrats slump in polls as corona effect wears off
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen visits an adult eduction centre outside Copenhagen. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The poll for the Berlingske newspaper by opinion researchers Kantar Gallup, found that 26.7 percent of voters planned to vote for the party, down from a high of 33.1 percent at the party’s polling peak last June. 

The poll also brought bad news to the centre-right Liberal Party, and the populist Danish People’s Party.

The former is still languishing with the support of just 12.8 percent of voters, putting it behind the formerly minority Conservative Party, which had the support of 13.6 percent.

The populist Danish People’s Party, meanwhile, has fallen still further behind the upstart New Right party, with the support of 5.6 percent of voters compared to the New Right’s 8.5 percent.

In another sign of the upheaval on Denmark’s right, the Christian Democratic Party, which was knocked out of parliament in the 2005 election and failed to get over the 2 percent parliamentary threshold in the four following general elections is now polling at 2.3 percent.

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Former leader of Danish far-right party to quit at next election

Kristian Thulesen Dahl, the former leader of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, announced on Friday that he will not run for re-election with the party in 2023.

Former leader of Danish far-right party to quit at next election

Dahl confirmed his decision to Denmark’s Radio4 on Friday, citing internal disputes in the party as the reason for his departure.

He did not rule out running at the next election with a different party, however.

“There has been so much going on in recent years and I hoped it had ended when I stepped down as leader in January. But it hasn’t stopped. It keeps on going,” he told Radio4.

The former leader of the Danish People’s Party (DF), who was a co-founder of the party in the 1990s and became its front figure in 2012, resigned after the party was trounced in November’s local elections.

He was replaced by Morten Messerschmidt at a party congress in January, but several DF members of parliament subsequently left the party, saying they would not work under Messerschmidt.

READ ALSO: Is the Danish People’s Party chaos a sign of far-right party’s impending collapse?

Dahl said that a discussion between himself and Messerschmidt over which spokesperson roles would be assigned to the ex-leader were part of the reason for his decision to leave parliament. Too much of the discussion was conducted publicly, according to Dahl.

The party leadership has publicly speculated in recent weeks as to whether additional spokesperson posts would be given to Dahl, who currently is responsible for defence.

“This is not the decisive factor in whether I continue in the parliamentary group, but it’s an indication that even here there’s no desire to build confidence by talking to each other, but instead about each other,” he said.

Dahl said he would remain a DF party member until the next general election, which will take place next year.