Denmark has a new government after parties agree on coalition

Denmark has a new government after weeks of negotiations that will bring together a left-right political alliance between the Moderates, the Social Democrats and the Liberals, prime minister Mette Frederiksen said on Tuesday.

Denmark has a new government after parties agree on coalition
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will lead a new coalition government with parties across the political centre after a deal was agreed on Tuesday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

“A new government will be presented on Thursday,” Frederiksen told reporters, following a narrow election victory for her Social Democrats in November.

The November 1st election handed a slim one-seat majority to the ‘red bloc’ of traditionally allied parties on the left, but Frederiksen, whose Social Democratic party took the largest vote share, chose to pursue a coalition across the political centre.

Frederiksen said the new government would be “made up of the Social Democrats, the Liberals and the Moderates”, after informing Queen Margrethe of the alliance.

The monarch tasked her with trying to form a government in November, after individually meeting the leaders of Denmark’s 11 other parties in parliament.

The new government would have “a lot of compromises, but above all, a lot of ambitions,” Frederiksen said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the centre-left Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party, which was strongly tipped to be part of the new coalition government, quit negotiations at the final hurdle, citing policy differences over climate and children’s welfare.

The Social Democrats, used to leading minority governments, are by far the largest party with 50 seats out of the 179 in Parliament.

The party said even before the vote that it wanted to govern beyond traditional divisions.

They had to negotiate with the main Danish party on the political right, the Liberal (Venstre) party, and the newly-formed centrist party, the Moderates, created by former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The Moderates won more than nine percent of votes and Rasmussen insisted he wanted to be “the bridge” between the left and right.

The far-right has heavily influenced Danish politics in recent decades, but three populist parties together won just 14.4 percent of votes.

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Denmark’s ‘election tests’ moved ‘thousands’ of votes in 2022 polls

So-called ‘election tests’ taken online by voters in Denmark can move as many as 100,000 votes between parties, researchers have concluded.

Denmark’s 'election tests' moved 'thousands' of votes in 2022 polls

Ahead of the 2022 election, some 110,000 voters in Denmark changed their mind about who to vote after taking a political questionnaire on a media website, researchers at Aarhus University have concluded.

Many Danish media offer the tests, valgtest in Danish, on their websites prior to elections. In the tests, users are presented with a set of multiple-choice questions about their political views.

The tests then calculate a percentage rating for how closely aligned the voter is with the various parties, based on statements given by the parties themselves.

An example of the test on DR’s website for the 2022 general election can be found here.

The 110,000 figure for voters who changed their minds after taking the tests in 2022 was reported by newspaper Jyllands-Posten based on research led by professor Mathias Wessel Tromborg of Aarhus University’s Political Science department.

“This obviously comes with some conditions, as things always do when you’re talking to researchers like us. But yes, that’s our best bet,” Tromborg told the newspaper.

The study shows that for every 100 voters who get a different party in the test to the one they had originally been leaning towards, 16 will change their vote to the suggested party.

The tests are used by a large proportion of voters, elections researcher Kasper Møller Hansen of the University of Copenhagen said.

According to Hansen’s research, some 62 percent of voters took one of the tests in 2022 and 45 percent of these said they voted for the party which was recommended to them.

“Election tests are without comparison the thing voters use the most in an election campaign. They can see a poster or attend a debate, but election tests triumph most of all. They have simply become a definitive part of how we navigate politics,” he said.

The Aarhus University study also shows that around 175,000 votes in 2022 were affected by the tests. That includes voters whose doubt over who to vote for increased after taking the test, as well as those who specifically switched party.