Here’s an analysis from one of our Danish contacts, who was an observer at the polls earlier today:
The result is quite muddy. Social Democrats didn’t win, but will get the premiership anyway. Socialistisk Folkeparti (tougher left) lost heavily, hard left Enhedslisten won out big.
The centrist, pro-immigration Radikale Venstre also won big, as well as the new Libertarian party, Liberal Alliance.
Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s party) lost three seats. That’s not a disaster, but it’s their first loss ever.
It’s not as bad as I had reason to fear:
1. The lefty majority is slim. 2. It includes Radikale Venstre, who are fiscal conservatives. 3. Bridging that with Enhedslisten is next to impossible.
My prediction: The new government can easily fall.
Danmarks Radio (state radio) notably didn’t bring up immigration in the final debate, and skipped asking anything EU-related as well. DR should be privatized, now.
- Compared to the polls a week or two ago, the final result is a large improvement. The polls back then would have given a fairly stable leftwing government.
- Now they will have the chance to try out Keynes on steroids
- Dansk Folkeparti richly deserves some internal crisis.
- The Social Democrats will be responsible for the financial situation now.
- It’s worrisome that the hard left won so much.
Here’s a report from the Danish MSM, via the English-language Copenhagen Post:
Social Dems ‘Did It’
Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt put an end to a decade in opposition for her party tonight, when her centre-left coalition mustered enough votes to win a slim five-vote majority in parliament.
The electoral win puts a woman in the prime minister’s office for the first time in Danish history while at the same time ousting the Liberal-Conservative government, and its backers in the right-wing Danish People’s Party.
Addressing a crowd late Thursday evening Thorning-Schmidt proclaimed “we did it”.
“Today is change-day in Denmark. The Social Democrats are ready to work,” Thorning-Schmidt told a crowd of party faithful gathered at Copenhagen’s Vega concert hall.
The centre-left had campaigned on a platform of reinvigorating the social welfare state, and in her acceptance speech Thorning-Schmidt pledged to work for a society that “included everyone, and where everyone got a second chance — and another second chance”.
Continuing a theme that has laced this general election, Thorning-Schmidt also pledged to seek broad-based compromise and called on “everyone”, politicians and ordinary voters alike, to take part in that effort.
The new Social Democrat-led government and its allies are projected to have won control of 92 seats in the 179-member parliament. The Liberal-led alliance of now-former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen is forecast to end with 87 seats.
Election night proved bittersweet for Rasmussen. Despite the centre-right bloc being forced into opposition, his Liberal party surpassed the Social Democrats to become parliament’s largest party with 47 seats, one more seat than the party earned in 2007.
The strong result had Rasmussen cautioning Thorning-Schmidt not to get too comfortable in her position.
“Take care of the keys to the Prime Minister’s Office, they are only yours to borrow,” Rasmussen said during his concession speech.
While it was Thorning-Schmit that claimed victory as the country’s new leader, it was two of her allied parties, the centrist Social Liberals and the far-left Red-Green Alliance that were the election night’s biggest winners.
Both parties more than doubled their representation in parliament and will wield significant influence over a minority Social Democrats-Socialist People’s Party government.
Also adding seats was the Liberal Alliance, a centre-right party supporting lower taxes and a smaller state.
Both the Social Democrats and the Socialist People’s Party lost seats in the election, as did the Danish People’s Party — the first time the party has suffered an electoral setback since entering parliament in 1998.
Part of the responsibility for the centre-right’s defeat is also due to be pinned on the Conservatives, who lost more than half of their representation and is now parliament’s smallest party.