2015 Danish general election

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2015 Danish general election
Kingdom of Denmark
← 2011 18 June 2015 2019 →

All 179 seats in the Folketing
Turnout 85.89% (Denmark)
Party Leader % Seats ±
Elected in Denmark
Social Democrats Helle Thorning-Schmidt 26.3% 47 +3
DPP Kristian Thulesen Dahl 21.1% 37 +15
Venstre Lars Løkke Rasmussen 19.5% 34 -13
Red–Green Collective leadership 7.8% 14 +2
Liberal Alliance Anders Samuelsen 7.5% 13 +4
The Alternative Uffe Elbæk 4.8% 9 New
Social Liberals Morten Østergaard 4.6% 8 -9
SF Pia Olsen Dyhr 4.2% 7 -9
Conservative Søren Pape Poulsen 3.4% 6 -2
Elected in the Faroe Islands
Republic Høgni Hoydal 24.5% 1 +1
Social Democratic Sjúrður Skaale 24.3% 1 0
Elected in Greenland
Inuit Ataqatigiit Aaja Chemnitz Larsen 38.5% 1 0
Siumut Aleqa Hammond 38.2% 1 0
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Wahlkarte Folketing Dänemark 2015 da.svg
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Helle Thorning-Schmidt-2.jpg Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Social Democrats
Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Venstre
Lars Løkke Rasmussen (2009).jpg

General elections were held in the Kingdom of Denmark on 18 June 2015 to elect the 179 members of the Folketing. 175 members were elected in the Denmark proper, two in the Faroe Islands and two in Greenland. Although the ruling Social Democrats became the largest party in the Folketing and increased their seat count, the opposition Venstre party was able to form a minority government headed by Lars Løkke Rasmussen with the support of the Danish People's Party, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party.

Background[edit]

Following the 2011 general election, a minority government was formed by the Social Democrats, the Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party. The government was supported by the Red–Green Alliance. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the leader of the Social Democrats, became Prime Minister.[1]

The government had rocky relations with the Red–Green Alliance, relying on their ad hoc support to pass bills instead of a formalized alliance. They have occasionally preferred to cooperate with Venstre to pass legislation. Symbolically, Red–Green deputy Frank Aaen told Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon "Happy New Year" on 28 February 2013, because the government had failed to meet with his party since the beginning of 2013.[2]

On 3 February 2014, the Socialist People's Party left the government in protest over the sale of shares in the public energy company DONG Energy to the investment bank Goldman Sachs.[3] This sparked a crisis within the Socialist People's Party, as three former cabinet ministers left the party, joining either the Social Democrats or the Social Liberal Party. However, the Socialist People's Party continued to support the government on confidence motions, preventing an early election.[4]

The incumbent government prior to the elections consisted of a coalition between the Social Democrats and Social Liberal Party, with Helle Thorning-Schmidt continuing as Prime Minister. The cabinet was composed of 14 Social Democratic ministers and 6 Social Liberal ministers.[5][6]

Electoral system[edit]

The 179 members of the Folketing were elected in Denmark (175), the Faroe Islands (2) and Greenland (2). The 175 seats in Denmark included 135 seats elected in ten multi-member constituencies by proportional representation, using a modified version of the Sainte-Laguë method and Hare quota, and 40 "top-up" seats, allocated to parties in order to address any imbalance in the distribution of the constituency seats.[7]

According to the Danish Constitution, the election had to be held no later than 15 September 2015, as the last election was held on 15 September 2011. The Prime Minister was able to call the election at any date, provided it was no later than four years from the previous election, and this is often cited as a tactical advantage to the sitting government, as it can call an early election when polls are favourable. On 27 May Thorning-Schmidt announced that the elections would be held on 18 June 2015.[8]

Opinion polls[edit]

Polls notably underestimated the vote share received by the Danish People's Party.[9][10]

Polling Firm Date V A O B F Ø I C K Å Lead Red
(A+B+F+Ø+Å)
Blue
(V+O+I+C+K)
Gallup June 17 20.6 25.9 18.1 5.2 5.3 8.0 7.1 3.8 1.1 4.7 5.3 49.2 50.7
Greens June 17 20.9 24.4 18.5 5.6 5.4 8.5 7.6 3.3 0.6 5.2 3.5 49.1 50.9
Voxmeter June 17 19.6 25.9 17.2 4.6 6.3 9.8 7.7 3.5 0.9 4.5 6.3 51.1 48.9
Epinion June 17 20.6 24.5 18.0 5.2 5.3 9.3 7.5 3.9 0.7 4.9 4.3 49.2 50.7
Megafon June 17 20.6 25.5 17.9 5.0 5.2 8.6 7.7 3.9 0.9 4.6 5.1 48.9 51.0

Results[edit]

Shaded, from red (A+B+F+Å+Ø) to blue (C+I+K+O+V)
Danish Parliament 2015.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Denmark proper
Social Democrats 924,940 26.3 47 +3
Danish People's Party 741,746 21.1 37 +15
Venstre 685,188 19.5 34 –13
Red–Green Alliance 274,463 7.8 14 +2
Liberal Alliance 265,129 7.5 13 +4
The Alternative 168,788 4.8 9 New
Danish Social Liberal Party 161,009 4.6 8 –9
Socialist People's Party 147,578 4.2 7 –9
Conservative People's Party 118,003 3.4 6 –2
Christian Democrats 29,077 0.8 0 0
Independents 3,066 0.1 0
Invalid/blank votes 41,073
Total 3,560,060 100 175 0
Registered voters/turnout 4,145,105 85.9
Faroe Islands
Republic 5,730 24.5 1 +1
Social Democratic Party 5,666 24.3 1 0
Union Party 5,500 23.5 0 –1
People's Party 4,368 18.7 0 0
Progress 749 3.2 0 New
Centre Party 605 2.6 0 0
Self-Government Party 403 1.7 0 0
Independents 345 1.5 0 0
Total 23,366 100 2 0
Registered voters/turnout 65.6
Greenland
Inuit Ataqatigiit 7,904 38.5 1 0
Siumut 7,831 38.2 1 0
Atassut 1,526 7.4 0 0
Democrats 1,753 8.5 0 0
Partii Naleraq 962 4.7 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 538
Total 20,514 100 2 0
Registered voters/turnout 41,048 50.0
Source: DST, KVF, Qinersineq
Popular vote
A
26.28%
O
21.08%
V
19.47%
Ø
7.80%
I
7.53%
Å
4.80%
B
4.58%
F
4.19%
C
3.35%
K
0.83%
Others
0.09%

Aftermath and government formation[edit]

Although the Social Democrats increased their share of the vote and won the most seats for the first time since 2001, the "Blue" opposition bloc led by Venstre's Rasmussen (Venstre, Danish People's Party, Liberal Alliance, Conservative People's Party, and Christian Democrats) gained a parliamentary majority over the "Red" Social Democrat-led bloc (Social Democrats, Red–Green Alliance, The Alternative, Social Liberals, and Socialist People's Party). Within an hour of the election result being declared, Thorning-Schmidt announced her government would step down on 19 June, and that she would also resign as party leader on the same day.[9]

In accordance with the Danish Constitution, on the day after the election each party submitted their recommendation to Queen Margrethe II for the appointment of a party to be in charge of government formation negotiations (the role of the Queen was purely formal, as her appointment had to reflect the will of the majority of the elected MPs). The submitted recommendations showed a parliamentary majority (all "blue bloc" parties) for Venstre to lead the process of government formation. The negotiation mandate was unconditional from all "blue bloc" parties, except Liberal Alliance, who initially made their support conditional on a first negotiation phase being restricted to the attempt to assemble a majority government (including all elected "blue bloc" parties). After Rasmussen had been granted this specific mandate, he invited such negotiations to begin on 20 June.[11]

Negotiations began on 20 June, but it was not thought likely that a majority government involving all the "blue bloc" parties was possible. The Conservative People's Party indicated they would rather stay out of a government coalition.[12]

The Danish People's Party set out four conditions for their involvement in a coalition: a Eurosceptic approach to the EU, the re-introduction of border controls, further restrictions on immigration and asylum policy, and 0.8% growth in public spending. Meanwhile, the Liberal Alliance also indicated willingness to be in a coalition, but the party supports reductions in public spending,[12] as does Venstre.[13]

On 21 June, Rasmussen concluded that, having tried, it would not be possible to form a majority government and he announced his intention to seek a new negotiation mandate allowing a minority government. On 28 June, Lars Løkke Rasmussen's new government assumed office with a cabinet composed solely of Venstre ministers.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Priesler, Marie (6 October 2011). "Helle Thorning-Schmidt: Danes must work more". Nordic Labour Journal. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  2. ^ Kristensen, Kim (4 April 2013). "Det røde ægteskab er gået i stykker". Dagbladet Information (in Danish). Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  3. ^ Hakim, Danny (30 January 2014). "Goldman Deal Threatens Danish Government". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  4. ^ "SF leaves government, Vilhelmsen steps down". The Copenhagen Post. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Regeringen Helle Thorning-Schmidt II" (in Danish). Ministry of the State of Denmark. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  6. ^ Rømer, Mikel (1 September 2014). "Benny Engelbrecht bliver ny skatteminister" (in Danish). DR. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Folketinget (The Danish Parliament)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 10 April 1991. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Danish PM calls general election, saying voters must have say on spending". The Guardian. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Danish election: Opposition bloc wins". BBC News. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  10. ^ Rose, Flemming (19 June 2015). "Six takeaways from the Danish elections". Politico. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Denmark's center-right coalition to form new gov't". China.org.cn. 20 June 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Rasmussen begins govt negotiations". The Local. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Denmark's Rasmussen to form minority govt". Yahoo! News. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Her er hele Lars Løkkes ministerhold" (in Danish). Jyllands-Posten. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.

External links[edit]