Denmark’s former PM Rasmussen on course for election surprise in poll

A new poll puts the newly-formed Moderate Party, led by former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, at its highest vote share yet and ahead of the Conservatives as the third-largest in parliament.

Denmark’s former PM Rasmussen on course for election surprise in poll
Lars Løkke Rasmussen during a Moderate party press briefing. Former Danish PM Rasmussen is on course for a strong election showing with his new party. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The Moderates with Rasmussen at their forefront have seen polling numbers jumped since the election was announced at the beginning of this month.

A new poll by the Voxmeter institute puts Rasmussen’s party on a remarkable 9.2 points, up from 4.1 points last week and 2.2 percent around the time the election was announced two weeks ago.

A vote share of 9.2 percent would give the Moderates 17 of the 179 seats in parliament, enabling Rasmussen to wield considerable influence in the formation of a new government.

The former PM, who formed the new party in 2020 after leaving the centre-right Liberals, has said he wants Denmark to be governed from the centre and has not committed to joining either the ‘red bloc’ or ‘blue bloc’ party factions, instead characterising his party as ‘purple’.

But commentators have speculated he could use Moderate seats as leverage for increased influence in a blue bloc government he would be instrumental in installing.


The new Voxmeter poll places the Moderates as the third largest party in parliament, behind only the two traditional bloc leaders the Social Democrats and the Liberals (Venstre).

Meanwhile the far-right Danish People’s Party (DF) – which took a 21 percent vote share two elections ago in 2015 – is now at 1.8 percent in the polls. That would send the party out of parliament altogether because a 2 percent threshold must be reached for a party to win any seats.

The poll comprises some statistical uncertainty, amounting to 1.8 percent for the Moderates and 0.8 percent for DF. It is based on polling of 1,008 persons between October 16th-18th.

Overall, the poll predicts 87 seats going to incumbent PM Mette Frederiksen’s ‘red bloc’ and 71 seats to the opposing ‘blue bloc’.

This does not mean Frederiksen can expect a victory from this point. 90 seats are required for an overall majority.

Four seats are allocated to representatives from Greenland and the Faroe Islands and it is these, together with those from the Moderates, that could push either side over the decisive figure of 90.

The Conservative party falls to 7.7 percent or 14 seats in the new poll, its decline in support now leaving it behind the Moderates. The Denmark Democrats, a new party formed by former immigration minister Inger Støjberg, go from 4.9 to 3.9 percent.

Frederiksen’s Social Democrats are now polling at 25 percent, maintaining an approximately level vote share since the election was announced but 2.1 percent less than the preceding poll.

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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?