Elections Round-Up: Record number of women appointed mayor

Elsewhere, German minority party in historic win, Hvidovre finally makes a change and ballot errors mar election in Copenhagen 

Despite three municipalities having yet to reveal a new mayor following the 2021 local elections, the record for most women in the mayoral chair has already been smashed.

Since the municipal reform changed the number of municipalities to 98 in 2007, there have never been so many women elected mayor. 

So far, 19 women have been picked to run their respective municipalities – an increase of five compared to 2017 and seven compared to 2013. 

Of the 19, nine are newly-elected mayors, including Sophie Hæstorp Andersen in Copenhagen, while ten have won re-election.

“Originally, the parties were clubs for men. Women have had to fight to get in and two-thirds of parties members are still men,” Roger Buch, an election and municipality researcher at DMJX, told Berlingske newspaper.

“Even today, voters primarily go for men. That’s another reason why there are so few women acting as mayors and municipal politicians.”

READ ALSO: Local Election results are in: Scintillating night for Konservative

Change from within
Buch pointed to Christina Krzyrosiak Hansen (Holbæk) and Sofia Osmani (Lyngby-Taarbæk), who secured huge wins in their races, as an inspiration to women with an ambition to become mayor.

However, he also contended that the parties themselves need to act – particularly when appointing leading candidates.

“It’s about becoming a lead candidate, and about the internal battle within the parties,” said Buch.

German minority gets a mayor
The German minority party Slesvigsk Parti has got its first mayoral post in recent times following Jørgen Popp Petersen’s appointment in Tønder. The party linked up with Sociedemokratiet and Venstre, who pointed to Petersen as mayor despite the two traditional powerhouse parties having more mandates than Slesvigsk Parti. It’s the first time since 1946 that the German minority party has had a mayor.

Sociedemokratiet reign over in Hvidovre
Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) raised eyebrows in Hvidovre, unseating Helle Adelborg as mayor following a nine-year stint. Instead, SF’s Anders Wolf Andresen will assume the mayoral reins after the party linked up with Enhedslisten, Konservative, Hvidovrelisten and Venstre. It marks the first time in 96 years that the municipality won’t have a mayor from Socialdemokratiet.

Not even cLose
In the regional election, Venstre’s Stephanie Lose has set a new record for the number of personal votes tallied. Lose gobbled up 147,485 votes in South Denmark Region – which is almost ten times as many as the region’s runner-up, Mette With Hagensen (15,619). However, Anders Kühnau looks set to become the head of the Danish Regions, despite him getting significantly less personal votes (47,116) in the Mid Jutland Region.

Christina can’t be stopped
Christina Krzyrosiak Hansen hit the headlines four years ago when she became the youngest mayor in Denmark aged just 24. Now, the Holbæk mayor has turned heads again by getting 46 percent of all personal votes in her municipality – the highest percentage of votes in the entire election. She gathered 79 percent of all Socialdemokratiet votes and over ten times as many votes as the runner-up in Holbæk, Venstre’s Camilla Hove Lund (1,614).

Like father, like son
The son of Denmark’s former legendary PM Jens Otto Krag seems to be following in his father’s footsteps. Like his more famous father, Peter Hansted is from Socialdemokratiet and landed the mayor’s posting on the island of Ærø. He still has a way to go to match his father’s political legacy, however. Krag was the PM of Denmark from 1962-1968 and then again from 1971-72.

Shirtless success in Funen
Sometimes it pays to think outside the box, as Malte Jäger from Nye Borgerlige can attest to. The 19-year-old attracted attention during the election by appearing shirtless on his election posters in Kerteminde, a manoeuvre than seems to have paid off. His 185 votes was enough to see him win a spot on the local city council – the first mandate for Nye Borgerlige in Kerteminde, no less!

Ballot error in CPH
An error on the ballot in Copenhagen has prompted one local politician to call for a new election. Of the five candidates appearing on the ballot for Frihedslisten, four did not have a box that voters could tick. Copenhagen Municipality apologised for the error, but underlined that all votes would be valid as long as the box around the candidates’ names was ticked. However, one of the candidates affected, Per Brændgaard, contends that the error should be grounds for a new election. 

Manu down in Frederiksberg
Former minister Manu Sareen failed to get into in Frederiksberg City Hall after getting 271 votes on election day. , despite switching over from Radikale to Socialdemokratiet. The former children, equality and integration minister (2014-15) was just 59 votes short of getting the party’s fifth and final mandate. Meanwhile, former pro cycle racer Brian Holm was re-elected with Konservative thanks to his 1,135 votes.

Vilson wasn’t an x-factor
Being famous doesn’t always guarantee success in an election, as Vilson Ferati was forced to come to terms with this week. The former X-Factor contestant ran for Socialdemokratiet in Sønderborg, but only managed to pick up a measly 18 votes – the joint fewest number of votes gained by any candidate in his party in the municipality. Ferati took part in this year’s X-Factor edition, but was sent packing in the third live show.