Late last week, Danish voters went to the polls to decide one of the closest races in recent memory. The central-conservative alliance led by Lars Lokke Rasmussen defeated the incumbent Social Democrats and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. She resigned in the wake of the results, after serving in office for four years.
Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s political party, Venstre, is expected to try and form a new coalition government. Venstre gained only 19.5% of the vote, and some of its leaders expressed dismay at this result, despite the defeat of the incumbent party. Mr. Rasmussen acknowledged:”Venstre has lost support, we haven’t had a very good election.”
Keith Mann knows that one of the most startling outcome of the election concerned the growing popularity of the Danish People’s Party, which gained significant support from elderly voters during the election. The Danish People’s Party (DPP) won nearly 21% of the vote, up from 12.3% during the previous national election. It won 90 seats in Parliament.
Kristian Thulesan Dahl became the leader of the DPP in 2012. His party advocates tighter restrictions on immigration, higher pay for pensioners, higher health care spending and a higher pension for low income workers.
Last year, Denmark accepted nearly 15,000 new immigrants as asylum seekers, twice the number accepted by the country in 2013. Many of the new arrivals came from the Middle East and Africa. Immigrations figured prominently as a campaign issue.