2019 Danish General Election: Winners and losers - The Post

2019 Danish General Election: Winners and losers

Anders Samuelsen, the outgoing foreign secretary, the biggest casualty

Mette Frederiksen is set to become Denmark’s youngest ever PM (all photos: Hasse Ferrold)
June 6th, 2019 10:52 am| by Ben Hamilton

The politicians and media could be forgiven for catching up on a little sleep this morning, but following yesterday’s frenetic action, it’s time to assess which parties and individuals had a good night, and who didn’t.

As is often the case when the country’s 175 mandates are up for grabs (Greenland and the Faroes have two each), there are a number of big name casualties – including Liberal Alliance leader Anders Samuelsen, the outgoing foreign secretary, and possibly Martin Henriksen, the DF immigration spokesperson.

Below we’ve done our best to divide the parties into two camps – no, not red and blue bloc, but the winners and losers.

THE WINNERS:

Socialdemokratiet: The country’s most popular party might have only won one extra mandate, but thanks to the support of Radikale, SF and Enhedslisten, the left bloc has more than enough mandates to form the next government with Socialdemokratiet leader Mette Frederiksen at the helm. Just 41 years old, she will become Denmark’s youngest-ever prime minister.

Konservative: After a number of lean elections that scarcely merited their right to co-govern, the Danish Tories are back with six extra mandates. Søren Pape Poulsen, the outgoing justice minister, lapped up the applause last night in front of a crowd at Dansk Erhverv who looked like they have really started to believe again. Maybe this is only the beginning.

SF: With seven extra mandates, SF has banished the poor performance of 2015 into the annals of history, and party leader Pia Olsen Dyhr – a newbie who looked out of place four years ago – can rightly be proud of her party’s performance, as it took its total number of seats from seven to 14. Should Socialdemokratiet choose to form a government with just one party, it will be SF. The likelihood of both SF and Radikale playing a part is slim.

Radikale: After a poor show in 2015, party leader Morten Østergaard has instilled belief into the party’s ranks with a great election in which the party increased its number of mandates from eight to 16. The next four years will most likely see Radikale become the true flag-bearer of the left, as Socialdemokratiet becomes increasingly centrist. Unlikely, therefore, to play a part in the government, it will be expected to support S – and on issues such as immigration be in place, alongside Enhedslisten, to soften S’s stance.

Morten Østergaard

 

Nye Borgerlige: The new right-wing party started with nothing and thanks to an impressive election in which it won 2.4 percent of the public vote – ahead of Liberal Alliance, it now has four mandates, Its leader Pernille Vermund is particularly happy, as she competed valiantly against DF chair Kristian Thulesen Dahl in South Jutland, where DF’s share of the vote was more than halved from 28.4 to 12.5 percent. Mette Thiesen, Lars Boje Mathiesen and Peter Seier Christensen (the brother of Saxo Bank’s Lars) look most likely to fill the other mandates.

Pernille Vermund

 

Enhedslisten: At Vega in Vesterbro last night Pernille Skipper thanked a mostly 20-something crowd for making this a memorable election for the ultra left-wing party in the capital, where it very nearly won the biggest share of the vote. In ‘vegan-bro’, it romped home, and with 16.4 percent of the vote it was the second biggest party in the capital, but across the rest of the country its performance was so-so, and it ended up seeing its mandate share slide from 14 to 13.

Kristendemokraterne: Nobody gave Kristendemokraterne a chance a few months ago, but the promotion of 26-year-old Isabella Arendt to the position of leader last month put fresh wind in their sails, and in the end the party came up only marginally short. Not only did they increase their 0.8 percent share of the votes in 2015 to 1.7 percent, but they were just 191 votes short of winning representation in west Jutland – a full explanation of exactly how would require an entire article! With Arendt at the helm, it won’t be long until they return to Parliament for the first time since 2001.

THE LOSERS:

Venstre: After a good performance in the European elections ten days earlier, Venstre was tipped to do well, but nobody was expecting its leader, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen, to hang on to power (a miracle was needed) or for the leading blue party (overtaking DF this election) to be part of the next government. Venstre won nine extra mandates this election to take its total to 43 – just five shy of Socialdemokratiet – but in truth the damage was done a long time ago thanks to sloppy environmental policy (electric car subsidies, anyone?) and downright nasty immigration rules (the cake!). An eleventh-hour appeal to its main political rival to reach across the divide and form a government hardly did the other blue bloc parties any favours either.

Dansk Folkeparti: Dansk Folkeparti was expected to do badly after a barnstorming 2015, but not this badly. It lost 21 mandates to leave it with just 16 – of which only one is in Copenhagen. This means that either Martin Henriksen, the immigration spokesperson, or group chair Peter Skaarup will lose their seat. The emergence of Nye Borgerlige and Stram Kurs took the wind out of its hard right-wing credentials, but in truth the damage was done a long time ago when DF failed to make any real impact despite being the biggest blue bloc party in 2015. Pia Kjærsgaard looks set to retain her seat – the only remaining DF mandate in the Københavns Omegn constituency.

Pia Kjærsgaard

 

Liberal Alliance: The libertarian party lost over two-thirds of its mandates, as its allocation fell from 13 to four seats. The party lost both its mandates in the Nordsjællands Storkreds constituency, which means the party’s leader Anders Samuelsen will no longer be an MP. Likewise Joachim B Olsen, who memorably took an ad out on Pornhub, has also seen his load lightened.

Anders Samuelsen

 

Alternativet: Despite its strong climate focus, the liberal party was never expected to match its performance in 2015 when it ran as the new boys with a keen focus on green concerns and culture. It has lost four of its nine mandates. A slide in popularity in the capital has seen the party lose one of its two mandates, meaning party leader Uffe Elbæk will hold onto his seat, but group chair Carolina Magdalene Maier will not.

Stram Kurs: Heading into the election, the new far right party was grabbing all the headlines and seemingly on course to get more than 2 percent of the public vote – the minimum required to get a mandate (LA with 2.3 percent won four mandates) – but in the end it came up short, winning 1.8 percent. Did far-right voters ultimately decide that the more experienced Nye Borgerlige was a better bet? For Stram Kurs leader Rasmus Paludan, who only assembled his candidates in May, the election simply came too soon. But maybe he shouldn’t have made the naked artist guy one of his most prominent candidates.