Danish ‘red bloc’ has narrow lead in first poll since election announced

The ‘red bloc’ of traditionally allied parties on the left of Danish politics are close to an overall majority in a new opinion poll, the first since the election was announced this week.

Danish 'red bloc' has narrow lead in first poll since election announced
Danish PM Mette Frederiksen and predecessor Lars Løkke Rasmussen in parliament on Wednesday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

In Friday’s poll, conducted by Voxmeter on behalf of news wire Ritzau, the ‘red bloc’ has 88 of the 179 seats in Danish parliament. The opposing ‘blue bloc’ has 81 seats.

The Moderate party, which does not have stated allegiance to either bloc, would gain six seats according to the poll.

The remaining seats are shared between four representatives from the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

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

The poll is based on a survey of 1,094 representative Danish voters and carries a statistical uncertainty of 3 percent.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democratic party have a strong position in the polls. The governing party remains the largest in parliament on 27.5 percentage points.

The Liberal (Venstre) party has 14.6 points and the Conservative party 11.4 points. Both parties are in the ‘blue bloc’ which would oust Frederiksen as PM if it won a majority.

Outside of the three largest parties, the government’s centre-left ally SF is on 8.3 percent with the newly-formed right wing group Denmark Democrats on 7.9 percent.

The latter party is led by ex-immigration minister Inger Støjberg, who was expelled from parliament late last year after a guilty verdict in a special impeachment court. Støjberg will almost certainly regain her seat at the election.

Her party also counts several former members of the Danish People’s Party (DF) among its representatives after internal power struggles within DF resulted in some of its MPs switching to the newly-formed group.

DF, an anti-immigration party which was a hugely influential player in Danish politics in the 2000s and 2010s, is now in danger of dropping out of parliament altogether according to the new poll.

The poll places DF on 1.7 points, under the 2 percent threshold for parliamentary representation. The party was backed by 21.1 percent of voters at the 2015 election and 8.7 percent in 2019.

READ ALSO: Danish People’s Party decimated by new high-profile departures

Three other parties – the Christian Democrats and two green parties, Alternative and the Independent Greens – also fail to make the threshold in the poll.

The Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party – whose threats to move for a vote of no confidence in the government elicited the early election – could be set to lose influence, with 5.4 points in the poll compared to 8.6 points in 2019.

In total, the red bloc has 49.8 points and the blue bloc 46.7 points in the new poll.

However, the next government could break with Denmark’s traditional ‘bloc’ factions, with both the Social Liberals and Moderates in favour of a centre coalition and Frederiksen also having stated she wants to form a government across the centre.

The two biggest right wing parties, the Liberals and Conservatives, have both rejected working with Frederiksen’s Social Democrats in government.

READ ALSO: Frederiksen wants centre coalition for Denmark’s next government

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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?