University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Thorning new Prime Minister

New Danish government as red bloc parties sweep to victory. Anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party loses

Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt will become the first Danish woman Prime Minister. This is clear after the general election results came out last night.

The centre-left opposition parties won a narrow majority of 89 mandates to 86, thereby ending ten years of conservative-liberal government that has been backed by the mandates of the anti-immigrant right.

»Everyone should feel that they have been heard. This means that we will co-operate over the centre of Danish politics. And tonight we stretch our hands to all those who want to take part,« Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in her victory speech.

Danish People’s Party the loser

A new Danish governing coalition will be formed in the coming days by Helle Thorning-Schmidt with a combination of her Social Democrat party and/or the left-wing Red-Green Alliance, the Socialist People’s Party and the Social Liberal Party. Negotiations for this governing coalition will be tough, as they span over wide differences in especially economic policy.

The centrist Social Liberal Party had a landslide election, with leader Margrethe Vestager gaining eight mandates to 17. The Social Liberal Party thereby re-enters the stage as kingmaker in Danish politics. Also a winner was the leftist Red-Green Alliance, with young leader Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen tripling the party’s mandates to 12.

The right-wing nationalist Danish People’s Party lost three mandates to 22, the first election in which it has not gained. And for the first time in ten years, the party not be able to use its mandates to push its anti-immigrant policy line on government.

Thorning studied at University of Copenhagen

Incumbent Lars Løkke Rasmussen of the Liberal Party admitted defeat.

»Tonight I hand over the keys to the Prime Minister’s office to Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Dear Helle, take good care of them. You’re only borrowing them,« he said.

Turnout for the election was high, even by Danish standards, at 87.7 per cent.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who studied political science at the University of Copenhagen, is married to Stephen Kinnock, son of former British leader of the Labour Party Neil Kinnock.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.