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Danish election: What happens next after narrow win for left bloc?

The ‘red bloc’ faction of left-wing, centre-left and green parties took the narrowest of majorities in Denmark’s election on Tuesday night. What happens next and what might the next government look like?

Danish election: What happens next after narrow win for left bloc?
Mette Frederiksen shakes hands with conservative party leaders after taking a slim election majority. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Current prime minister Mette Frederiksen is in a strong position to stay in her job after as the ‘red bloc’ traditionally led by her Social Democratic party, was able to scrape together a hairline, one-seat majority in parliament with 90 of the 179 mandates, or seats, on Tuesday night.

It was the North Atlantic mandates that ultimately pushed the red bloc over the edge — one of the Faroe Islands’ two seats and both of Greenland’s.  

Frederiksen’s own party returned a strong performance, taking a 27.5 percent vote share and gaining two seats to take its total to 50. It is the best election result for the Social Democrats for 20 years and makes them comfortably the largest party.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s red bloc takes knife-edge victory 

Although Frederiksen now looks in a position to secure enough backing from the left to form a government, she may still push through with her plan to attempt to form a government across the centre, giving centre-right parties a place in power.

What happens next?  

At 11 am, PM Frederiksen will meet with Queen Margrethe to formally tender the current government’s resignation and recommend a dronningerunde or “Queen’s round.” 

Each party head must pay a visit to the queen at Amalienborg to ceremonially tell the queen their pick for the “Queen’s investigator” to form a new government. That title, though not necessarily PM, will almost certainly go to Frederiksen.  

Frederiksen has reiterated her desire for a broad centrist government, suggesting she’ll be courting blue bloc parties in the coming days. 

In comments reported by broadcaster DR, Frederiksen said “it is certain there is no longer a majority behind the government in its current form,” meaning a minority government consisting only of the Social Democrats.

“The Social Democrats campaigned on the basis of a broad government [centre coalition, ed.]. If a majority of parties nominate me as Queen’s investigator, I will see whether this is possible,” she said.

The left wing Red Green Alliance and centre-left Socialist People’s Party (SF) have already stated that they oppose a centre coalition, calling for Frederiksen to form a centre-left government based on the parties that will nominate her to lead the Queen’s round.

What is certain is that Frederiksen is now in the driving seat in upcoming talks to form a government.

Despite his newly-formed party grabbing 16 seats, Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s position has been significantly depleted at the last moment.

As leader of the centrist Moderates, which he founded only last year, Rasmussen was expected to wake up a kingmaker — exit polls had suggested neither bloc would be able to reach a majority without the support of Rasmussen and the Moderates.

With the red bloc’s 90 seats, however, Rasmussen is left in a much weaker position than the exit polls projected.

Such was the last-minute nature of the red bloc majority, Rasmussen was still written up as the “breakout king” (udbryderkongen) on newspaper Politiken’s cover on Wednesday morning, while tabloid Ekstra Bladet described him as “the battering man” (smadremanden).

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Your guide to The Local’s Danish election coverage

Wondering where to find that article about public sector pay or our explainer on the bloc politics system? Are you unsure who all those parties actually are and what they are promising? Find all our election coverage here.

Your guide to The Local’s Danish election coverage

We’ll be covering the election closely on November 1st, including a live blog of exit polls and results as they come in this evening, so keep an eye on our website for all the latest developments.

How could the election change life for foreigners?

In contrast to previous elections, immigration has taken a back seat for much of the 2022 campaign. This is mainly because the majority of parties – left and right – now broadly agree on strict rules for asylum, immigration and citizenship.

We have, however, had a couple of chances to ask a minister and an expert about ways in which the current election, or its outcome, might bring about a change for foreigners in Denmark.

There has also been some discussion of how Denmark’s strict citizenship rules have the potential to harm democracy in the country.

Election pledges and party comparisons

Denmark has 13 parties in parliament and another outside of parliament running in the election. Such a high number does not make it easier to find out what they each stand for.

If you’re interested in reading more on the election pledges of each party in this election, have a look at these articles.

Policy announcements

For a more granular look at some of the policies presented by individual parties during their election campaigns, we have a series of news articles:

Our weekly roundups of the election news also provide a summary of policy announcements – as well as debates and talking points from the campaign.

Bloc politics

The established ‘bloc’ system in Danish politics, which groups the right and left-wing parties into opposing factions, is not entirely straightforward. Further complicating things in this election is the possible break with this system caused by the emergence of a new centrist party, the Moderates, led by former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

In the event of a very close election, the election could even be decided by voters in autonomous territories the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Have a look at these explainers and articles with the latest information.


If you want to see how the polls have trended in the lead-up to the election – and what that could mean for the result – have a look at the articles below.

It should be noted that poll directors do not expect the actual results to match polls exactly, and that no-one really knows how the cards will fall if neither bloc gains an overall majority.

Controversies and credibility

One party has been accused of antisemitism, another may have illegally broadcast TV ads and all parties could be guilty of distracting drivers with their election placards.

All parties will have wanted to avoid major credibility issues: the Danish system means they are likely to be punished for it, according to an expert.