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It was the eve of a potential government change in Britain, and Danish politicians gathered to see where votes were won and lost. On the screen, the result emerges: A ‘hung parliament’
Large British Union Jack flags were on display, adding to the atmosphere of the packed room at the University of Copenhagen.
On the panel, a group of political heavyweights: Danish government ministers Lykke Friis and Søren Pind, and opposition members Jeppe Kofod and Steen Gade. Rounding out the panel was associate professor Klaus Kjøller from the Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics.
They stood for a lively exchange of thoughts on the recent television debates, a first in British electoral politics. From the predominantly Danish audience the big question was: how will this election change British relations with Europe?
As we go to press, the outcome of the election has not emerged.
As election results come in, it looks to be a ‘hung parliament’ with the Conservatives as the largest party, but unable to form a majority on their own.
Meanwhile, at our event in Copenhagen, which, by the way, was organised by alumni association Kubulus, unofficial voting was on offer. Upon entry, voting forms for the 3 main UK parties were displayed to put an X on. But the poll the University Post has not yet got an indication on the swing of Danish support for the UK parties.
On the TV, the drama unfolds.
Angry scenes around the UK on election eve, as hundreds of voters were unable to vote when polling stations closed at 10pm despite queuing for hours, casting a shadow over the results of the election and potentially casting a shadow over the proceedings in the coming days.
Police had to be called in to some polling stations to help disperse shocked and angered crowds who blamed the unorganised and scandalous voting set-up.
Gordon Brown was »very concerned« about people being turned away from polling stations and »would support a thorough investigation into them«, according to his spokesman.
Much has been said and written about the campaign. More than anyone anticipated, the election has been shaped by the, for the UK, new concept of televised debates.
The turn out at the polls will surely show how effective this new form of debate has been.