2022 Danish election For Members

The key election platforms for Denmark’s 13 parties: Part two

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
The key election platforms for Denmark’s 13 parties: Part two
Inger Støjberg of the Denmark Democrats (L) faces Red Green Alliance lead political spokesperson Mai Villadsen in a debate on agricultural policy. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark currently has 13 parties in parliament, encompassing the political spectrum from right to left and including three parties formed since the last election. What are their main differences and signature election issues?


Denmark has so many parties in parliament — all campaigning for the country’s votes on November 1st — that an article covering all of them at once would be a long read. In this second part, we cover 8 of the 13 parties, including three new groups.

You can read the first part, covering the governing Social Democrats and their traditional leading allies and conservative rivals, in this article.


Liberal Alliance 

The libertarian party Liberal Alliance suffered a bruising defeat in the 2019 election but looks set for a stronger showing this time.

An engaging and innovative election campaign has helped Liberal Alliance take advantage of social media platforms to move into a space not occupied by any other party. This has gained them popularity among younger age groups, but it is unclear whether that support will transfer fully to seats in parliament, given many new, hard-won supporters may be under 18.

In line with its underlying ideology, Liberal Alliance supports tax cuts and wants the first 7,000 kroner of every Danish pay slip to be tax free. It wants to scrap the top income tax rate and cap income tax at 40 percent.

It also wants private companies to be able to provide education and health care options and give members of the public free choice between these.

Liberal Alliance leader Alex Vanopslagh meets young fans. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten)

Leftist party Red Green Alliance wants increased public spending to improve the pay of welfare sector personnel. It has called for companies which have seen increased profits as a result of inflation to be taxed on their additional revenue.

The party also wants more cash to be given to families struggling to make ends meet due to increased cost of living.

The Red Green Alliance is also pushing for more action to make agriculture more sustainable, through legislation and incentives. They want Denmark to shift to a more humanitarian line on asylum and refugees.

The current government relies on the Red Green Alliance for its parliamentary majority, but that could change with PM Mette Frederiksen now looking more towards the centre than the left for her overall mandate.


Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti, DF)

Once the second-largest party and most influential parliamentary voice outside the government, DF has seen its electoral backing collapse in recent years. Several of its MPs have left the party, leaving only a handful of lawmakers behind leader Morten Messerschmidt going into the election.

Recent polls put the nationalist conservative party on the brink of obscurity – they are at risk of not reaching the 2 percent vote share required to win seats in parliament.

In its effort to hold on to enough voters to survive, DF has leaned on issues that were its signature topics during more successful times – opposing immigration, criticising Islam and campaigning for better elderly care.

The party wants Denmark to break with its commitments to international human rights conventions to give it more power to deport foreign nationals with criminal records. It says rules should allow people who receive home care to reject carers who wear the Muslim head scarf, the hijab.

It wants the welfare payment for senior citizens, ældrechecken, to be increased and care homes to allow pets and run their own kitchens to improve conditions for residents. It also wants to reduce Denmark’s VAT, moms, on a range of goods in response to the increased cost of living.


The Alternative

The Alternative is a green party with left-wing policies, but is not part of the group which currently props up the minority government. Like DF, it is battling to get over the 2 percent threshold and keep its voice in parliament.

The party wants greener agriculture and for Denmark to significantly cut its meat production, producing only as much meat as Danes eat. Currently, Denmark has a large meat export market, particularly for pork. They also want it to be illegal to keep livestock in cages.

Alternative supports an effective three-day weekend, calling for the working week to be reduced to 30 hours. That would give Danes more time to spend with nature, culture and loved ones, the party says.

Green party leaders: Sikandar Siddique (Independent Greens) and Franciska Rosenkilde (Alternative). Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark Democrats

The Denmark Democrats are a new party formed and led by divisive former immigration minister Inger Støjberg, who left the Liberal party last year and was later ejected from parliament after being convicted of breaching ministerial conduct by a special impeachment court.

Støjberg is all but certain to return to parliament at the election in her new role as leader of the Denmark Democrats, given that she has huge personal popularity and support in segments of the population.

In addition to Støjberg, the Denmark Democrats are represented by a number of high-profile former DF politicians, including Søren Espersen and Peter Skaarup.

Although Støjberg’s profile is that of an immigration hardliner, her party has tended to focus on other issues in its election campaign, primarily revolving around supporting rural areas which it says are overlooked by Copenhagen.

The party wants jobs and welfare services to be more evenly spread across the country. It also wants to reduce regulation and bureaucracy. It does not prioritise climate and is against laws that regulate agriculture or businesses for environmental reasons.

With regard to immigration, the party states that foreigners in Denmark should live in accordance with Danish culture and societal norms.


Independent Greens

The Independent Greens are a party with an anti-racism, anti-inequality, environmentalist platform. They were formed by leader Sikandar Siddique and other ex-members of the Alternative party in 2020.

Siddique is most prominent when speaking out against racism and discrimination, while other members of the party have more environmental heft from their time with Alternative.

The party wants to allow non-citizens to vote in parliamentary elections if they have lived in Denmark for four years. They oppose existing laws against “parallel societies”, which they say unfairly target underprivileged areas. They want to reduce animal production and limit the number of vehicles on the road.

The party looks unlikely to reach the threshold of 2 percent of the vote share needed to get into parliament, usually polling less than 1 percent.

Moderate party leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen during an election debate at the University of Copenhagen. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Nye Borgerlige (New Right)

Nye Borgerlige is the only Danish party without an official English name and is a relative newcomer, having been led into parliament by front figure Pernille Vermund at the 2019 election. They have generally built on their position since then, but are threatened by a potential voter base overlap with the Denmark Democrats.

The far-right, libertarian Nye Borgerlige want to close down job centres, arguing they are too expensive to run and inefficient. They also want to cut taxes and spend more on welfare, financed by cuts to other parts of the public sector.

The party wants a referendum on whether Denmark should leave the EU. It wants stricter rules to be applied to foreign nationals in Denmark, including self-sufficiency requirements related to residency permits. It wants Denmark to deport all foreign nationals with criminal records and to reject all “spontaneous” asylum seekers.

READ ALSO: Danish far-right party accused of antisemitism over elderly care remarks


The Moderates are a new party formed by Frederiksen’s predecessor as PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen in 2020 after he left the Liberals. Rasmussen is arguably the most prominent Danish politician of the last two decades.

The party has grown remarkably in support since the election was announced earlier this month, with 11.5 percent in a recent poll compared to just 2.2 percent four weeks ago.

Rasmussen has not committed his party to either the right or left wing, saying he wants a centrist government with parties from both sides of the traditional divide, but with the involvement of his traditional rival the Social Democrats.

In the event of a knife-edge result and a strong Moderate performance, he could have a decisive say in which parties make up the platform for government – whether right-wing, left-wing or crossing the centre.

The Moderates want to reduce taxes for those on lower incomes, raise the top income tax threshold and increase pay for nurses. They advocate reduced waiting times for patients and a culture pass for young people to experience theatres, museums and music.

Rasmussen has also said he wants immigration rules to stay strict but to adopt a more sensible approach.


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