University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


No-camp takes the lead before Danish EU referendum

DANISH NEWS - Most politicians recommend a 'yes', but voters are tired of politicians, say bookmakers before the vote on Thursday

With less than 24 hours to go before the polls open for a decisive referendum on Denmark’s EU future, a new poll shows the ‘no’ side, which will maintain the justice opt-out, has taken the lead, reports and other media.

36 per cent of the respondents in Epinion’s latest poll for DR News intend to vote no tomorrow, with 32 per cent on the yes side. One-in-four remain undecided, which could hold the key to the outcome, although the number of doubters is falling as the referendum approaches – two weeks ago one-in-three were undecided where to put their cross on the ballot paper.

Despite the real prospect of defeat tomorrow, the Social Democrats’ foreign affairs spokesman, Nick Hækkerup, said ‘it aint over till the fat lady sings’. “This poll shows that every single vote will count. Danes always seem to believe that if we just vote no then everything will remain the same, but a no this time will send us out of Europol so a yes is the safest bet,” he said.

Low voter turnout

Voter turnout in Thursday’s EU referendum is expected to be low by Danish standards.

Election expert, Professor Kaspar Møller Hansen of the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) forecasts just over half of the electorate will be bothered to vote on Denmark’s EU future.

“Turnout will be nowhere near the 87 per cent of the euro referendum in 2010, probably closer to 60 per cent,” he said Monday.

No enthusiasm in the ‘yes’ camp

To Reuters, UCPH political scientist Marlene Wind says “the “yes” camp has failed to really ask the fundamental question of where Denmark should place itself in the future of the EU.”

She adds that “there’s no enthusiasm in the “Yes” camp at all; all they do is defend it as not being so bad.”

And with the no-camp taking the lead in the polls, betting firms are confident of the outcome – 3 out of 4 leading bookmakers predict a no.

Tired of politicians

Nordicbet has the yes side as the odds-on favourite when the campaign started but “the wind is blowing in another direction now” a spokesman said yesterday.

“We’re monitoring the debate very closely and can feel the mood has changed. At the same time, voters have become tired of politicians over the past few years and some will vote no to spite them,” he said.

Links to other media (in Danish) DR and here.

Do you have a good story? We would like to hear from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook for features, guides and tips on upcoming events and follow us on Twitter for links to other Copenhagen academia news stories.