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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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POLITICS

Danish Liberal party demands ‘high ambitions’ from Social Democrats

Liberal (Venstre) party leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen has said ambitions “above normal” should be aimed for in talks to form a government across the political centre.

Danish Liberal party demands ‘high ambitions’ from Social Democrats

On December 6th, ongoing negotiations to form a government will tie the all-time record for Denmark’s longest ever with the 35-day negotiation of 1975.

But the Liberal party is still holding out for more concessions from Frederiksen and the Social Democrats, its leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said after another major party on the right, the Conservatives, quit the talks over the weekend.

“The Liberals will continue negotiations with the Social Democrats in the coming days,” Ellemann-Jensen wrote on Twitter.

“If the Liberals are to commit to an agreement with the Social Democrats – whether in opposition or in government – the content of that agreement should be above the usual level of political ambition,” he said.

Ellemann-Jensen has cited to changes to the top tax bracket as a party priority, though that’s been a non-starter for the Social Democrats. 

The Liberals also hope to lower inheritance tax as well as income taxes for Denmark’s most modest earners, newswire Ritzau reports.

The withdrawal of the Conservatives means the Liberals are the only party on the right who could realistically enter government with the Social Democrats.

Six of the 12 parties elected to parliament at the election now remain in government talks with the Social Democrats.

These are the Liberals, Liberal Alliance and Danish People’s Party from the ‘blue bloc’ and the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) and Socialist People’s Party (SF), from the red bloc side. The centrist Moderates are the final party.

READ MORE: ‘Topskat’: What is Denmark’s high income tax bracket?

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