Inger Støjberg and Lars Løkke Rasmussen are former Venstre colleagues who head new political parties with the potential to shake up the establishment at the general election on November 1.
While Støjberg is committed to supporting the Blue Bloc, but on her terms, Rasmussen has not yet indicated he will wholeheartedly support the left or the right, underlining his status as the undoubted kingmaker of this year’s contest.
Over the last week, his centrist party Moderaterne has made significant ground, picking up an extra 3.2 percent of the national vote to sit on 6.5 percent (12 seats in Parliament), according to the latest Epinion poll for DR.
Støjberg’s Danmarksdemokraterne, meanwhile, would only win two more seats than Moderaterne, as it has in recent weeks lost 2.3 percent of its share to command just 8.0 percent of the public vote.
The overall upshot, based on the poll, is that the Red Bloc would win 87 seats and the Blue Bloc 76, but 88 with the support of Moderaterne. Should the Faroes and Greenland (two seats each) vote the same as in 2019, the Red Bloc would win 90 to 89.
Not enough budget to properly compete
When Støjberg launched her new party in June, the ensuing polls showed that her party had over 10 percent of the public vote.
The party’s political spokesperson, Peter Skaarup, remains optimistic, however.
“I think there was an incredibly positive atmosphere when we got started, and today standing at 8 percent as a brand new party, I think is really nice,” he told DR.
“But it’s worth remembering that we don’t have a huge campaign apparatus like Socialdemokratiet, Venstre or Konservative, who receive large sums of money for an election campaign. We do the best we can.”
Is Danmarksdemokraterne a victim of its own policy?
Pundits have questioned whether the drop in popularity is directly related to Danmarksdemokraterne revealing more of its policy.
Voters more or less knew that the party wants to curb Muslim immigration and prioritise the regions over the capital. But now they know more specifics.
For example, Støjberg wants to earmark nine more weeks of parental leave with funds obtained from reducing aid to developing countries. She also wants to eat into culture funding and allocate more to the travel allowances paid out to commuters who live in the regions.
Furthermore, Støjberg has warned the two potential leaders of the Blue Bloc that they must earn her support by promising not to abolish the top tax bracket and ensuring that public consumption stays in line with population development.
One thing’s for sure, though: Dansk Folkeparti is not eating into its share, as it is only expected to win 2.3 percent of the vote, just 0.3 percent above the threshold for representation – a barrier Alternativet has recently broken through, as it now commands a 2.4 percent share.
Talking up Løkke’s chances of a third term as PM
Meanwhile, a number of political commentators, along with the former foreign minister and Liberal Alliance leader Anders Samuelsen, have been talking up Løkke Rasmussen’s chances of becoming PM.
Samuelsen contends that Rasmussen, and not Konservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen, should be involved in the PM candidate debates.
PM Mette Frederiksen, Venstre leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen and Ramussen “are the real candidates for the post. Now that debate would be interesting – and it would set fire to the election campaign,” he wrote on Twitter.
“That would reflect to a greater extent the real possibilities for who can sit in the Prime Minister’s Office,” concurred pundit Henrik Qvortrup.
Rasmussen has not ruled himself out, telling DR: “I know in myself that I have the skills to be able to compete for the job”, but that overall he doesn’t think it is realistic.
Ramussen favours a government across the centre formed by Socialdemokratiet, Venstre, Konservative and his party Moderaterne. Were an election held today, they would win 53.4 percent of the vote.