Mette’s magical formula is in the pot

Who will join Socialdemokratiet in a majority remains to be seen, but it could very well be the country’s next three most popular parties: Venstre, SF and Lars Løkke’s Moderaterne

Mette the big winner overall (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
November 12th, 2022 5:43 am| by Christian W

It’s already been 12 days since the 2022 General Election, and not much has happened yet!

One thing’s for sure, though. PM Mette Frederiksen might have dissolved her government on November 2, as is customary the day after an election, but she remains very much in charge.

Negotiations for a majority, entwined with forming a new government, have been ongoing in earnest since Friday November 4.

Yesterday, Frederiksen said that a new government was not on the horizon, so negotiations could conceivably continue for some time yet!

Coalition on the cards
The current government is made up entirely of members of the PM’s party Socialdemokratiet. But that looks likely to change with the new set-up, with as many as four parties represented in the cabinet.

Frederiksen had exactly the right number of mandates to form the same Red Bloc majority that took her into power in 2019 – 90 of the 179 seats in Parliament. But that is a slender majority – some would call it fragile.

Frederiksen clearly favours forming a party down the centre and it is highly likely she will exclude allies Radikale, whose ultimatum led to the election being held eight months earlier than scheduled, and Enhedslisten. 

Down the centre
New party Moderaterne, led by two-time PM and election kingmaker Lars Løkke Rasmussen, will undoubtedly be there, as he has so far been involved in almost all the negotiations.

Together, Socialdemokratiet and Moderaterne have 66 mandates – who will join them remains to be seen.

But were they to involve the parties closest to the centre, it would probably be Venstre and SF, who together have 38 mandates – a comfortable majority of 104.

Venstre u-turn
Venstre leader Jacob Ellemann-Jensen has performed something of a u-turn in the last fortnight.

Initially joined at the hip with Konservate leader Søren Pape Poulsen – to be fair, the latter was always the ventriloquist’s dummy – he has switched from not trusting the PM to being entirely open to working with her.

Nevertheless, his inclusion – some are tipping him to be the next foreign minister – is not certain. But it is thought Rasmussen has had a big say in Venstre, his former party, being at the table.

Exit polls misleading
The negotiations followed a vote in which Socialdemokratiet, with 27.5 percent of the vote, secured two more mandates than in 2019, its best result since 2001 and, crucially for the excitement factor for the viewing public, 4.4 percentage points more than what the exit polls predicted!

The  exit votes were also wide of the mark regarding Danmarksdemokraterne, which ended up with 14 mandates. The party ended up on over 8 percent after exit polling at 6.9.

In fact, throughout the entire duration of its coverage, DR projected the Red Bloc missing out on a 90-mandate majority by one seat, only to update this right at the end, once all the votes had been counted.

Before their chickens hatched
Up until that point, Blue Bloc supporters genuinely believed they still had a chance to command a majority! The exit poll had only predicted the Red Bloc winning 85 mandates.

On election night, Venstre political spokesperson Sophie Løhde suggested Rasmussen should join the Blue Bloc and forget about the centre, providing he backed Ellemann-Jensen as PM. 

Even Konservate leader Søren Pape Poulsen seemed upbeat despite ending up with just 5.5 percent – ten mandates – a far cry from the 16 percent his party was polling in early September before the scandal over his untruthful husband and their subsequent divorce. 

He started the night contemplating a majority, but ended it insisting he wouldn’t step down.

Big winners

Liberal Alliance: What a turnaround for a party that was struggling to survive after the election in 2019. Jumping from 4 to 14 mandates spells a massive success for Alex Vanopslagh’s party.

Moderaterne: After founding Moderaterne just months ago, Rasmussen must be over the moon that his party stormed into Parliament with 16 mandates.

Danmarksdemokraterne: Inger Støjberg and Danmarksdemokraterne also made a dream election debut, sweeping into Parliament with an impressive 14 mandates – a 1.2 percent gain on the share predicted in the exit poll.

Big losers:

Venstre: Support fell 13.3 percentage points compared to 2019 – a loss of 20 mandates to end with 23 – to hand the party its worst election result in 34 years.

Radikale: It lost over half of its mandates, to slip from 16 to just seven.

Dansk Folkeparti: The party ended up with just 2.7 percent of votes – its worst performance in history.

See factbox below for more key figures from the election.

Key figures:

– The turnout was the lowest since 1990, but only marginally below the number who voted in 2019. Just 84.1 percent of the 4,269,044 eligible voters took part, compared to 84.6 percent in 2019.

– Some 38.4 percent of the candidates were women – 389 in total. Normally the share fluctuates between 27 and 34 percent.

– A record number of women make up Denmark’s new Parliament – 79 of 179 MPs (44.13 percent) are women. Until now, the highest share of women in a newly-formed Parliament following an election was 38.9 percent – set in 2011 and again in 2019.

– Some 54,506 votes were ‘lost’ through votes cast for Frie Grønne and Kristendemokraterne (0.9 and 0.5 percent of the vote), or an independent, or because the ballot was blank or spoiled.

– The highest voter turnout was in the Rudersdal voting district, north of Copenhagen, with 90.39 percent, followed by Gentofte (89.57) and Falkoner (89.48).

– The lowest voter turnout was in Brøndby at 76.78 percent, preceded by Lolland (77.64) and Bispebjerg (78.62).

– In Copenhagen, Socialdemokratiet won the most votes (19.1 percent), followed by Enhedslisten (13.8), SF (11.4), Moderaterne (9.5) and Alternativet (9.4).

– On election day, Megafon reported that one in seven voters were unsure about who they would vote for, compared to 65 percent of the population in mid-October. Uncertainty was more common among Red Bloc voters.

– The electorate has increased in size since 2019 by 48,414 eligible voters. In total, 4,267,951 people were able to vote.

– In total, 1,014 candidates were in the running – the highest number since 1998. Konservative led the way with 99 candidates.

– Liberal Alliance spent 2.6 million kroner on Facebook. Socialdemokratiet and Konservative were the next two biggest spenders with 1.13 and 1.09 million, while Frie Grønne spent the least: 29,166 kroner.