Denmark heads to the polls

The Danes will elect a new parliament today: according to the polls neither the red bloc of the governing Social Democrats nor the divided blue bloc of the liberal-conservative opposition will be able to secure a majority. Two new parties can expect strong gains: the right-wing populist Denmark Democrats and the Moderates under former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Will the country be left with a minority government?

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Politiken (DK) /

This election really is about policies

Former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen could tip the scales with his new Moderaterne party, writes Politiken:

“Which side would the moderates lean towards if they ended up as kingmakers? Løkke's answer so far has been a broad government, but what if - as is to be expected - that fails to materialise? In which direction do the moderates cast their lot? Based on the party's political programme, everything points in the direction of the blue bloc [the conservatives]. A bloc that will make Denmark more unequal and less green. It is important that you realise this before you tick your boxes. Because as Lars Løkke himself says, this election really is about policies.”

Berlingske (DK) /

A broad coalition would be a bad outcome

What is needed is politically justified action and not the mere preservation of power, Berlingske insists:

“Power must never become an exercise in eliminating policies. Power can and must be a framework for the struggle for political goals. ... Mette Frederiksen's fatal mistake, which was most clearly expressed in the mink scandal, must not, however, have the consequence of taking the political out of politics. That only risks strengthening the extremes and making voters even more disillusioned and distrustful of power and authority. And that's the last thing we need now. Better either a blue or a red government bloc that has to strive for cooperation than a powerless mixture with which no one can identify.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Shocking immigration policy won't change

The elections are likely to have little impact on the country's asylum practices, says The Irish Times:

“If Denmark shifts over to the more traditional European coalition model it still remains an outlier in immigration and asylum policy. Frederiksen has caused surprise and shock in Europe with immigration and asylum policies that, a decade ago, her Social Democratic government would have attacked as far-right populism. Repatriating Syrians to Damascus and offshoring asylum processing to Rwanda are not controversial plots in [the Danish TV series] Borgen, but Danish government policy. They are likely to remain so with any new government, given the policies have majority public support.”