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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danish opposition parties criticise 2024 budget despite voting for it

Some 11 out of 12 parties are to vote for the 2024 budget after negotiations resulted in broad opposition backing for next year’s government spending.

Danish opposition parties criticise 2024 budget despite voting for it

A draft version of the budget was tabled by the government at end of August, with some leeway for negotiation of part of the planned state spending.

Some 500 million kroner was put aside for negotiated spending in the August draft budget, an amount that rose to 956 million kroner in the final version agreed by 11 out of parliament’s 12 parties as a result of the negotiations.

Only one of the nine opposition parties, the left-wing Red Green Alliance, is not part of the final budget, meaning it has broad parliamentary support.

The budget allocates billions of kroner of spending in 2024 on areas including welfare, psychiatry, green energy transition, education and the courts.

When it presented the draft version of the budget, the government said it wanted to keep a leash on spending due to concerns over inflation.

However, the so-called økonomisk råderum or financial surplus in government spending was found to be larger than expected by the order of several billion kroner.

One area of additional spending negotiated by opposition parties includes investment in peripheral areas of the country, known in Danish as udkantsdanmark.

Some 110 million kroner will be spent financing upper secondary schools (gymnasier) in these areas, while a special fund will be set up for localities hit by storm surges such as those suffered in parts of Denmark in October.

People who commute to work from outer areas will also be given additional tax deductions for doing so under the new budget. Ferry tickets to small islands will be reduced in price through government subsidies.

“We’ve succeeded in landing an overall agreement with important priorities in relation to development of rural districts,” Health and Interior Minister Sophie Løhde said at a press briefing on Monday.

Leader of the Denmark Democrats Inger Støjberg said that “rural districts wouldn’t have got as much focus” without her party’s involvement in the budget.

Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said the additional surplus “means that the budget we can present is even better than the one the government came up with in August”.

Another outlay tacked on to the budget is 275 million kroner on ambulances and other vehicles to be used in medical emergencies in peripheral regions.

Some opposition parties criticised the government and suggested the broad agreement was a sign of weakness, despite being signatories to it themselves.

“I think this majority government feels a bit insecure about its majority and is therefore concerned about negotiating with others,” leader of the Socialist People’s Party (SF) Pia Olsen Dyhr said.

Nevertheless, SF was able to secure additional funding for elderly care, school books, drinking water and marine habitats, she said.

On the opposite wing of the opposition, Liberal Alliance’s (LA) finance spokesperson Ole Birk Olesen said that Wammen’s goal with the budget was to make it look like the centrist coalition “has no opposition in Danish politics”.

LA joined the agreement to stop an increase in a registration tax for electric cars, Olesen said.

“The government had to give something to Liberal Alliance to get us to stand there with Wammen and pretend”, he said.

The budget “does not grasp the big problems,” he claimed.