Copenhagen, Denmark – Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen is set to become the youngest prime minister in Denmark’s history following an election victory for left-wing parties.
“Dear young people, you have made this election the first climate election in Danish history,” Frederiksen, 41, said in his victory speech to a cheering crowd on Wednesday evening.
“This election was also about well-being and the response from the Danes was absolutely clear: from tonight we will put well-being first,” she said.
In Wednesday’s parliamentary elections, the left-wing “red bloc”, led by the Social Democrats, won a decisive victory over the right-wing “blue bloc” parties. Frederiksen is now set to form a coalition government with the support of other left-wing parties in parliament after right-wing parties have ruled for 14 of the past 18 years.
|Danish election results|
Source: Danish Broadcasting Corporation
Right-wing parties suffered significant losses, with the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party suffering the biggest defeat, losing more than half of its seats in parliament.
the anti-islam extremist party, Hard Line, did not meet the 2% threshold necessary to ensure representation in Parliament.
Climate, well-being, immigration
However, the defeat of the right does not necessarily show that the Danes have moved to the left on all issues.
Oliver Stilling, editor of Danish political magazine Foljeton, said the PDP’s anti-immigration agenda had now been embraced by several mainstream parties.
“The centre-right government, with the support of the Danish People’s Party, has pushed Denmark’s immigration policies to the limit of international conventions, and even the Social Democrats have adopted their stance on immigration,” he said. he told Al Jazeera.
“So there’s really nothing more to say on this issue for the DPP. They lose their raison d’etre.
According to a recent survey, climate and welfare were the main issues for Danish voters in this election, with immigration coming third.
“The climate was really the major problem. Voters from all walks of life are realizing that climate change is a serious issue and that we need politicians to act. And the only ones that have rallied around a climate agenda are the left-wing red bloc parties,” Stilling said.
Change of attitude
But this election was a historic event in Denmark for other reasons.
Immigrants in the traditionally Scandinavian country have low voter turnout, with only 66% of immigrants in the 2015 elections, against an overall turnout of around 85%.
However, some analysts believe that this election marked a turning point.
“This election will mark a history turning point for minorities. For the first time, many people from minorities see this as an obligation to vote and they demand to be heard,” Danish author and sociologist Aydin Soei told Al Jazeera.
“Politicians are realizing that they have to take minorities seriously and that they will now be a bigger power factor in Denmark,” Soei said, referring to local vote counts already showing a sharp rise in the voter turnout rate. participation in neighborhoods with an immigrant majority.
Although there are several reasons for this mobilization in ethnic minority communities, the rise of two new far-right anti-Muslim parties has been seen as a contributing factor.
“Anti-Muslim extremism has become so serious, even from mainstream politicians, and with parties like Hard Line openly calling for expulsions and ethnic cleansing of Muslims, many have realized there is no longer any excuse to sit on the fence,” Amal said. Hassani, president of CEDAR, the Center for Danish-Muslim Relations, an organization that combats Islamophobia in Denmark.
Although the election result is a clear victory for the “red bloc”, it will not be easy for Frederiksen to form a government. She will have to count on the support of other left-wing parties, notably the Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People’s Party – which has campaigned for a softening of rhetoric and policies targeting immigrants, refugees and Muslims.
“It will be very difficult to reach a settlement on these issues,” said Oliver Stilling. “It could be weeks before we have a new Danish government.”