Denmark’s ‘blue bloc’ of conservative parties secures a slender victor in a general election that also saw the euro-sceptic, right-wing People’s Party replace the Liberals as the country’s second-largest party. David Pollard reports.
Denmark shifting away from EU?
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
Her decision to call a snap election last month backfiring disastrously – and ending in resignation.
(SOUNDBITE) (Danish) DANISH PRIME MINISTER AND SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATE, HELLE THORNING-SCHMIDT, SAYING:
“Good leadership is also knowing when to say stop, and that moment is now.”
To the victor the spoils – even if the victor is there by the slimmest of margins.
Lars Lokke Rasmussen took 90 seats for his ‘blue bloc’ of conservative parties in Thursday’s poll.
That despite a slump in support for his own Liberal Party.
The outgoing leader’s ‘red bloc’ took 85 seats.
Meaning Rasmussen may need their help after all.
(SOUNDBITE) (Danish) LIBERAL PARTY LEADER, LARS LOKKE RASMUSSEN, SAYING:
“With the result that we got here today, there is a great political work that lies ahead of us. We need to cooperate, and I am very happy that the Prime Minister tonight on behalf of the Social Democrats have committed themselves to future cooperation.”
But if his slender win was one shock, there was another.
The anti-immigration, euro-sceptic, People’s Party saw their share of the vote jump from 9 per cent to over 21.
Something even its leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl wasn’t banking on.
(SOUNDBITE) (Danish) DANISH PEOPLE’S PARTY CHAIRMAN, KRISTIAN THULESEN DAHL, SAYING:
“I am really surprised about this result. We are probably not doing as well in the big cities, but no matter what, this is a marvellous result for Danish People’s Party.”
Perhaps not such a marvellous result for Europe, says Carsten Brzeski, Chief Economist ING Germany.
After the Conservative Party’s dominant win in the UK election last month, investors have to ask whether Europe is shifting to the right.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CARSTEN BRZESKI, CHIEF ECONOMIST ING GERMANY, SAYING:
”It’s a shift to the right which will also make further European integration difficult, so therefore this also illustrating how difficult it is for Europe right now to really get huge support from European voters for the European project.”
The focus now shifts to Denmark’s parliament – where Rasmussen will try to form a coalition government with the other parties in the blue bloc.
It’s not known yet whether the People’s Party will be invited to take a place at the cabinet table.