Over half of Danes want Frederiksen as PM in new poll

More than one in two Danish voters prefers incumbent Mette Frederiksen as their choice for prime minister, a new poll has found.

Over half of Danes want Frederiksen as PM in new poll
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during events to mark Queen Margrethe's jubilee this weekend. Frederiksen has seen an upturn in poll numbers. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

In a poll conducted by Voxmeter on behalf of news wire Ritzau, 52.5 percent said Frederiksen was their preferred candidate for prime minister.

That compares favourably for Frederiksen with an earlier poll from the week before last, in which 48.7 percent said they wanted Frederiksen as government leader.

Earlier this summer, a poll showed that the ‘red bloc’ of allied parties on the left of Denmark’s centre, led by Frederiksen’s Social Democrats, no longer had an overall majority after a long period of sustained superiority over the rival conservative ‘blue bloc’ alliance.

READ ALSO: How likely is Denmark to have a general election ahead of schedule?

Respondents to the poll have three options to choose from: Frederiksen and two conservative party leaders, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen of the Liberal (Venstre) party and Søren Pape Poulsen of the Conservatives, both of whom will run in the next election as prime ministerial candidates.

Rumours in the late summer pointed towards an election being called by Frederiksen in the early autumn. That has yet to materialise, but conservative party leaders on Monday released a joint declaration urging the PM to call the election.

The centre-left Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party has also demanded an election by October.

A general election can take place as late as June 4th 2023, but political manoeuvring suggests it will happen prior to that date.

Frederiksen’s improved performance in the latest poll may be a result of the publication by the Conservatives of their “2030 plan”, an economic manifesto which an analyst said “made it easier for Mette Frederiksen to paint a picture of what Danes will get with a conservative government”.

“The Prime Minister has made a strong return from the summer holiday, partly by presenting more policies, but also by going on the offensive, especially against Søren Pape Poulsen and the Conservatives’ economic 2030 plan,” the analyst, Casper Dall of Avisen Danmark, told news wire Ritzau.

Damaging political issues including the outcome of an inquiry into the 2020 mink scandal left Frederiksen and the Social Democrats bruised going into the summer break.

The poll gives Poulsen 33.6 points among voters, compared to 35.2 percent in the prior poll.

Ellemann-Jensen gets the support of 14.2 percent, a fall-off from the previous 16.1 percent.

The Conservatives have meanwhile seen backing from voters decline from 16.5 percent to 15.1 percent, while for the Liberals it has increased from 11 to 13.8 points.

Poulsen has received negative press in recent days after Danish media reported that his husband, Josue Medina Vasquez Poulsen, is not the biological nephew of the former president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez. That conflicted with earlier information given by the couple. Poulsen subsequently issued an apology over the matter.

He was also reported to have participated in an unsanctioned meeting with Dominican Republic officials when Justice Minister in 2018. The meeting took place without the knowledge of the Danish Foreign Ministry, according to the reports.

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BREAKING: Denmark to hold election on November 1st

Denmark will choose a new government on Tuesday November 1st after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced a parliamentary election on Wednesday.

BREAKING: Denmark to hold election on November 1st

Speaking from the Prime Minister’s residence at Marienborg north of Copenhagen, Frederiksen confirmed widely-held expectations that an election will take place this autumn.

“Denmark is a fantastic country. But times are hard,” she said as she opened the announcement in reference to the energy crisis and war in Ukraine among other challenges, hinting that the government does not see the timing of the election as ideal.

She went on to outline the government’s platform policies going into the election, before confirming the date the ballot will be held, November 1st.

The government will seek collaboration with other parties across the political centre, she said.

Expectations that an election was imminent were reinforced on Wednesday morning when election-related ads were placed by Frederiksen’s Social Democratic party in Danish newspapers.

The ads did not directly confirm a general election, but did explicitly mention one, saying “Reality is about working together. The election is about who can make it happen”.

Frederiksen also gave a clear suggestion that a general election will be called imminently following the traditional opening of parliament on Tuesday.

“I daresay the election will soon start getting closer,” she told reporters.

Legally, the government could have waited until June 4th, 2023 to hold a general election, which is required once every four years under the Danish Constitution.

But the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party, a parliamentary ally of the government, demanded Frederiksen call an early general election, after an inquiry into the 2020 mink scandal resulted in criticism of the government and Frederiksen receiving an official rebuke.

Recent polls have suggested the election could be a knife-edge contest, with little to choose between the ‘red bloc’ of left-wing allied parties, led by Frederiken’s Social Democrats, and the opposing ‘blue bloc’ of right-wing parties.

An opinion poll conducted by Voxmeter on behalf of news wire Ritzau, published on Monday, put the red bloc on 86 of Denmark’s 179 seats in parliament, one ahead of the blue bloc, on 85 seats.

Of the remaining eight seats four were projected to go to the newly-formed Moderate party, headed by former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

Rasmussen has not declared his party for either bloc, saying he would prefer a grand coalition across the centre. He led a ‘blue bloc’ government as leader of his previous party, the Liberals.

The final four seats are allocated to representatives from parties in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

More to follow.

READ ALSO: ‘Bloc politics’: A guide to understanding general elections in Denmark