No new Danish government expected for ‘at least two weeks’

Negotiations to find a new Danish government look set to become protracted with no deal expected until at least late November.

No new Danish government expected for 'at least two weeks'
A new government is not expected to be in place in Denmark until at least late November. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The talks, which began on Friday last week, will continue for at least another two weeks, the Social Democratic party said in a statement on Friday.

“Initial negotiations” will be ongoing up to and including November 24th, according to the statement.

So far, around 30 meetings have been held between the parliamentary parties and North Atlantic mandate holders, it stated.

“We have come far during these days and will proceed next week. Some parties could not take part in recent days,” lead negotiator and acting prime minister Mette Frederiksen said following talks at the Prime Minister’s Office at the Christiansborg parliament in Copenhagen on Friday.

Various topics – including health and the economy – have so far been the subject of discussions. Next week will see talks on children and young people, followed by climate and the environment, Frederiksen said.


“The initial rounds of talks on the major political and social agendas are likely to continue for some time to come,” she said.

Economy, reforms and the response to be inflation will also be discussed next week, the second time these areas have been addressed.

The week of November 21st will include talks on foreign and security policy and bilateral meetings with the four MPs from the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

The Social Democrats said in the statement that they will also seek to find an agreement with other parties over a temporary 2024 budget which can be tabled by a new government.

Denmark’s annual budget is usually passed by parliament by December but protracted negotiations following the election mean a temporary plan for state spending may be needed. This has happened on a number of occasions in recent Danish history, in 2001, 2007 and 2011.

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Question marks remain about Søren Pape despite party support

The Danish Conservatives on Saturday expressed unanimous support for chairman Søren Pape Poulsen despite the very disappointing election result on November 1st.

Question marks remain about Søren Pape despite party support

The Danish Conservative party expressed unanimous support for chairman Søren Pape Poulsen on Saturday, despite a very disappointing election result on November 1st.

It seems that Pape has weathered the storm for the time being. That is the opinion of political commentator Hans Engell, “but whether he is the leading conservative candidate in four years can probably be questioned,” he says.

Engell points out that Pape and the Conservatives are currently in the process of negotiating with acting Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen about the possibility of entering into a broad coalition government that stretches across the Danish political spectrum, an idea that Pape categorically refused to consider during the election campaign.

After the election, however, he has opened up to the possibility of a broad government.

READ ALSO: Danish government: Rasmussen backs coalition with traditional rivals

“The Conservatives could theoretically be in a government in a month. It is clear that during that phase, the party always gives support to its leading figures,” Engell says. “But of course, this does not mean that the critics and those who wanted a more thorough analysis are completely silent.”

No obvious successor

Engell points out that there is currently no obvious successor to Pape. The leadership of the Conservatives gathered at Egelund Castle in North Zealand on Saturday to discuss the result of the general election.

When Pape announced his candidacy for Prime Minister on August 15th, support for the Conservatives increased significantly. Barely a week later, the party had the support of 16.5 percent of the voters in an opinion poll by the analysis institute Voxmeter.

However, there followed a series of personal stories surrounding Pape’s private life and political judgment, and in the end, the Conservatives ended up with just 5.5 percent of the vote in the election.

Engell points out that the issues that the Conservatives focused on did not manage to set the tone of the election campaign. This applies to, among other things, the mink case and tax breaks.

“Many of the topics they ran on did not affect the electorate at all,” Engell pointed out.