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.
In the announcement, Frederiksen said that she was prepared to form a cross-aisle government, in a move that would break with Denmark’s customary ‘bloc politics’ system which sees left- and right-wing parties in opposing factions.
“The time has come to try a new form of government in Denmark. We are ready for both compromise and collaboration,” she said.
“We want a broad government with parties on both sides of the political centre,” she said at the briefing, at which press questions were not taken.
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”.
“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.