For four years Dansk Folkeparti has dominated the Danish political scene, holding the post of speaker in Parliament as well as the political balance in the government.
Now a broad range of parties have adopted austerity and symbol politics on immigration, although there are no asylum-seekers to speak of. No longer having a monopoly on their flagship policies and with new parties establishing themselves to the right, the meltdown was coming.
The storm has cost the party 21 seats – losses in excess of 50 percent – and DF has plummeted from peak influence to no influence at all. Even Pia Kjærsgaard has had to step down as speaker.
On the other hand the pink liberal party Radikale is once again at the centre of it all and will be decisive in the formation of the next government.
It still remains to be seen which parties will constitute the government, but it seems likely that it will be a Socialdemokratiet minority government with Mette Frederiksen as PM.
There might be room for some softening on immigration, although a broad hard line majority is still dominant.
Symbolic border control, along with the concentration camp-like conditions for rejected asylum-seekers who do not agree to go home voluntarily, will have to go.
More foreigners in
EU quota refugees will start to be received again and there will be more liberal rules on foreign labour to satisfy Danish industry, which is craving for hands.
The left wing wants thousands of ‘warm hands’ in the health and social services sector. The irony is that these hands are simply not there and will have to be imported from non-EU countries.
Demographically Denmark has a declining and ageing population. If politicians want to increase welfare for the population in general – and that is what they claim they want – they need economic growth.
That is hardly possible without an influx of foreigners from non-EU countries, as the EU is not enough. The same dilemma also exists in most other EU member countries.
More taxes and welfare
Frederiksen won the election with a program of pension rights for people in the labour market who are worn-out and tired. She did not reveal any specifics but said she would negotiate with industry and unions after the election.
It will be interesting to see the outcome, but it seems likely it will satisfy fewer than it will disappoint, and it has the potential to store up trouble for the next election.
She is also expected to announce increased taxes to finance the promised welfare improvements. You can win an election and government power with promises, but you can lose it when the bills have to be paid.
The same goes for the consensus on climate measures. When the bill for reducing CO2 emissions comes in, it will be the general population that has to pay it. Taxes on air travel, fossil fuels and imported goods produced elsewhere and transported here will hit everybody.
After all of that, it will be interesting to see if the green faces turn pale when the bailiffs come knocking.