Over half of Danes want Frederiksen as PM in new poll

More than one in two Danish voters prefers incumbent Mette Frederiksen as their choice for prime minister, a new poll has found.

Over half of Danes want Frederiksen as PM in new poll
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during events to mark Queen Margrethe's jubilee this weekend. Frederiksen has seen an upturn in poll numbers. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

In a poll conducted by Voxmeter on behalf of news wire Ritzau, 52.5 percent said Frederiksen was their preferred candidate for prime minister.

That compares favourably for Frederiksen with an earlier poll from the week before last, in which 48.7 percent said they wanted Frederiksen as government leader.

Earlier this summer, a poll showed that the ‘red bloc’ of allied parties on the left of Denmark’s centre, led by Frederiksen’s Social Democrats, no longer had an overall majority after a long period of sustained superiority over the rival conservative ‘blue bloc’ alliance.

READ ALSO: How likely is Denmark to have a general election ahead of schedule?

Respondents to the poll have three options to choose from: Frederiksen and two conservative party leaders, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen of the Liberal (Venstre) party and Søren Pape Poulsen of the Conservatives, both of whom will run in the next election as prime ministerial candidates.

Rumours in the late summer pointed towards an election being called by Frederiksen in the early autumn. That has yet to materialise, but conservative party leaders on Monday released a joint declaration urging the PM to call the election.

The centre-left Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party has also demanded an election by October.

A general election can take place as late as June 4th 2023, but political manoeuvring suggests it will happen prior to that date.

Frederiksen’s improved performance in the latest poll may be a result of the publication by the Conservatives of their “2030 plan”, an economic manifesto which an analyst said “made it easier for Mette Frederiksen to paint a picture of what Danes will get with a conservative government”.

“The Prime Minister has made a strong return from the summer holiday, partly by presenting more policies, but also by going on the offensive, especially against Søren Pape Poulsen and the Conservatives’ economic 2030 plan,” the analyst, Casper Dall of Avisen Danmark, told news wire Ritzau.

Damaging political issues including the outcome of an inquiry into the 2020 mink scandal left Frederiksen and the Social Democrats bruised going into the summer break.

The poll gives Poulsen 33.6 points among voters, compared to 35.2 percent in the prior poll.

Ellemann-Jensen gets the support of 14.2 percent, a fall-off from the previous 16.1 percent.

The Conservatives have meanwhile seen backing from voters decline from 16.5 percent to 15.1 percent, while for the Liberals it has increased from 11 to 13.8 points.

Poulsen has received negative press in recent days after Danish media reported that his husband, Josue Medina Vasquez Poulsen, is not the biological nephew of the former president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez. That conflicted with earlier information given by the couple. Poulsen subsequently issued an apology over the matter.

He was also reported to have participated in an unsanctioned meeting with Dominican Republic officials when Justice Minister in 2018. The meeting took place without the knowledge of the Danish Foreign Ministry, according to the reports.

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KEY POINTS: What is in Denmark’s 2023 budget proposal?

Denmark’s coalition government presented on Thursday a new budget proposal in which it said it was “stepping on the brakes” on state spending.

KEY POINTS: What is in Denmark’s 2023 budget proposal?

Danish budgets are usually tabled and eventually adopted during the autumn, but last year’s election disrupted the normal timetable.

The proposed budget, given the title “A Responsible Way Forward” (En ansvarlig vej frem) was presented by ministers from the three coalition parties on Thursday: Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen, acting Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen and Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt.

A cautious economic approach to spending is needed given global circumstances including the war in Ukraine, inflation and last year’s energy crisis, Wammen said.

“Even though a lot of things look good when we look at the Danish economy, that doesn’t change where we are. Uncertain times,” he said.

Engel-Schmidt added that some might describe the proposed budget as “boring”, given that it “doesn’t bring a shower of presents”.

Key points from the proposed budget are outlined below. The proposal will go into negotiations with other parties in parliament before being voted through in its final form.

Inflation assistance to lower income groups 

Last year saw the highest inflation rate for 40 years in Denmark, and the effects will still be felt in 2023 even if the inflation percentages themselves are less severe.

Although the government wants to “step on the brakes”, it has still set aside 2.4 billion kroner for financial assistance to people vulnerable to rising prices.

Some 1.1 billion kroner will be spent on 5,000 kroner “cheques” for elderly persons who receive social welfare. People who have high medicine costs and students who receive subsidies because they must provide for others, such as single parents (SU-forsørgertillæg) are also among groups to be assisted with the inflation spending.

READ ALSO: Danish government agrees inflation package for vulnerable families 

‘Acute plan’ for hospitals

An agreement with regional health authorities on an “acute” spending plan to address the most serious challenges faced by the health services has already been agreed, providing 2 billion kroner by the end of 2024.

The agreement was announced by the government along with regional and municipal officials in February.

READ ALSO: What exactly is wrong with the Danish health system?

‘Lower than ever’ reserve fund

A so-called “negotiation reserve” (forhandlingsreserve), a pool of money in the budget that can be allocated at a later date based on agreements between parties, has been significantly cut to 200 million kroner.

A 2023 budget proposal from August last year, which was not adopted due to the election, had the fund at 600 million kroner. The reserve has been as high as 1.5 billion kroner in the past, according to broadcaster DR’s report on Thursday’s proposal.

The previous, single-party Social Democratic government was reported to favour mental health services and the elderly as areas which could benefit from the fund in 2023.

The lower amount is partly due to the shorter timescale of this year’s budget. The 2024 budget will be proposed and passed in late 2023 under the regular timetable.

“There are still things we can prioritise but we are asking you to take responsibility to get Denmark through while inflation is still a major challenge,” Wammen said.

Spending on courts system

Some 32.2 million kroner has been put aside to specifically target a reduction in waiting times for court dates, DR writes. The money is part of a larger amount, 185 million kroner, to be spent on the courts.

Denmark’s courts system has in recent years seen a rising number of criminal cases and lengthy processing times.

Broadband internet to get boost in rural spending

The “broadband fund” or bredbåndspulje will get an additional 100 million kroner to improve coverage in areas that still have patchy connection.

Another 100 million kroner will go into the landsbypulje or “Village Fund”, giving rural municipalities funding for demolition or renovation of deteriorated buildings.


A majority in parliament has already voted in favour of a seven-billion kroner fund in 2023 to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

The fund will be spent on Danish military, civilian and commercial assistance to Ukraine.

Part of the spending is funded by Denmark’s international development budget, while over 5 billion comes from spending an increased portion of the national GDP on the 2023 budget.

READ ALSO: Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund