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Danish parliamentary election, 2007 (President McCain)

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‹ 2005 Flag of Denmark 2011 › ›
Danish parliamentary election, 2007
All 179 seats to the Storting
November 13, 2007
First party Second party
Anders Fogh Rasmussen Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Party Venstre Socialdemokratiet
Last election 52 seats 47 seats
Seats won 61 45
Seat change +10 -2
Popular vote 1,077,858 881,037
Percentage 33.6% 25.5%
Seat Results Denmark 2007

Seat results. The ruling Liberal-Conservative coalition secured 83 seats, comprising of the Liberal Party with 61 seats and Conservatives with 22 seats. The support of the Danish People's Party, with 25 seats, left the coalition with 108 seats, thus having a majority of the parliament with 19 seats. Finally, the coalition-friendly Union Party of former Faroese prime minister Edmund Joensen won one additional seat in the Faroese elections, leaving the VK coalition with 109 seats.
Prime Minister before election
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Venstre
Elected Prime Minister
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Venstre

The 66th Folketing election in Denmark was held on November 13, 2007. The election allowed prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to continue for a third term in a coalition government consisting of the Liberals and the Conservative People's Party with parliamentary support from the Danish People's Party.

Background

Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced this election date on October 24, 2007. The election was held ahead of time in the sense that by law, the election needed to be held before February 8, 2009, four years after the previous election.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen explained that the elections were called early in order to allow the parliament to work on important upcoming topics without being distracted by a future election. Referring specifically to welfare reform, he said rival parties would then try to outdo each other with expensive reforms which would damage the Danish economy.

Coalitions

According to the Constitution of Denmark, Denmark is governed according to the principle of negative parliamentarism, meaning that while a government doesn't need the majority of seats in parliament, it must never have a majority of seats against it in a vote of no confidence. Before the ongoing elections, this was relevant since the government, consisting of the Conservative People's Party and the Liberals did not have a majority of seats, but depended on the support of the Danish People's Party. Early opinion polls showed that neither a right-wing or a left-wing government could gather enough seats to be in government without the support of the newly established New Alliance. This caused a lot of interest, since New Alliance had stated that they will first give the current government the opportunity to propose a programme for government, but that they would not definitely support a right-wing government prior to seeing how many of their political agendas they could work together on. Many people were unsure how this would be possible, since New Alliance was originally formed to limit the influence of the Danish People's Party, without whom a right-wing government did not seem possible in opinion polls. After the elections, however, it was clear that New Alliance did not get enough seats in parliament to break the previous right-wing majority.

The opposition

Shortly after the elections were called, the Social Liberal Party stated that they supported a government led by the Social Democrats. The Red-Green Alliance support a left-wing government almost by default. The Socialist People's Party also support a left-wing government, and have stated that they wish to not only support such a government but to be a part of it. In spite of a dramatic increase in support of the Socialist People's Party in opinion polls, these four parties never stood to get enough seats in parliament to head a government. Consequently, prior to the election, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (the leader of the Social Democrats) invited both New Alliance and the Conservative People's Party to participate in a centre-left government, but both parties have refused.

Parties that had previously declared their intention to run

The Centre Democrats lacked about 2,000 - 3,000 of the required 20,000 signatures in order to run in the 2007 election when Anders Fogh Rasmussen called it on October 24, meaning that they won't be able to run. The Liberalists had reached 5,000 signatures. The Danish Ministry of Welfare has registered more than 70 parties that had not handed in the required number of signatures.

Central themes in the election

Several topics have been mentioned as central to the election. These include welfare, taxes, immigration, foreign policy and the health system. The election also clears the Rasmussen government from having a potentially unpopular parliamentary debate on the European Union Treaty of Lisbon, as it will become a topic in the election instead.

Election results

Summary of the November 13, 2007 Danish Folketing election results
Parties Leaders Votes  % Seats +/ –
Flag of Denmark Denmark Flag of Denmark
Venstre (Denmark) Logo Liberals (Venstre) (V) Anders Fogh Rasmussen 1,137,127 33.6% 61 +10
Socialdemokraterne Small Logo Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne) (A) Helle Thorning-Schmidt 861,632 26.5% 45 –2
Dansk Folkeparti Logo Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti) (O) Pia Kjærsgaard 504,403 13.9% 25 +1
Konservative Folkeparti Small Logo Conservative People's Party (Det Konservative Folkeparti) (C) Bendt Bendtsen 486,259 13.4% 22 +4
Socialistisk Folkeparti Logo Socialist People's Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti) (F) Villy Søvndal 271,744 13.0% 11 +5
Radikale Venstre Logo Social Liberal Party (Det Radikale Venstre) (B) Margrethe Vestager 185,068 5.1% 8 –9
Liberal Alliance Logo New Alliance (Ny Alliance) (Y) Naser Khader 101,606 2.8% 3 +3
Enhedslisten Logo Small Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) (Ø) Collective leadership 43,545 1.2% 0 –6
Kristendemokraterne Logo Christian Democrats (Kristendemokraterne) (K) Bodil Kornbek 32,659 0.9% 0 ±0
Candidates without parties   543 0.016% 0 ±0
Subtotal 3,624,586 100.0% 175
Eligible voters 4.022.849
Voter turnout 90.1%
Flag of the Faroe Islands Faroe Islands Flag of the Faroe Islands
Republican Party (Tjóðveldi) (E) Høgni Hoydal 5,949 25.4 1 ±0.0 %
Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin) (B) Kaj Leo Johannesen 5,413 23.5 1 +2.1 %
People's Party (Fólkaflokkurin) (A) Jørgen Niclasen 4,726 20.5 0 -3.6 %
Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin) (C) Jóannes Eidesgaard 4,702 20.4 0 -1.8 %
Centre Party (Miðflokkurin) (H) Álvur Kirke 1,577 6.8 0 +3.5 %
Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýrisflokkurin) (D) Kári P. Højgaard 797 3.5 0 +1.1 %
Subtotal 23,063 100.0% 2  
Eligible voters 34,531
Voter turnout 66.8%
Flag of Greenland Greenland Flag of Greenland
Inuit Community (Inuit Ataqatigiit) Josef Motzfeldt 7,107 33.5 1  
Forward (Siumut) Hans Enoksen 6,658 31.4 1  
Feeling of Community (Atassut) Finn Karlsen 4,004 18.9 0  
Democrats (Demokraatit) Per Berthelsen 3,436 16.2 0  
Subtotal 25,089 100.0% 2  
Eligible voters 39,634
Voter turnout 64.6%
Total     179  

The Liberal Party had the election's largest gain, securing 61 seats in the new parliament compared to 52 in the 2005 elections, and thus the party remains the biggest party for the third consecutive election. The Conservative People's Party gained four additional seats, leaving it at 22. The Danish People's Party gained one additional seat, leaving it at 25. The New Alliance secured three seats in its first election, a result lower than projected in earlier opinion polls. The Socialist People's Party gained 5 seats, leaving it at 11.

The biggest setback was suffered by the Danish Social Liberal Party which was reduced from 17 seats to 8. The Social Democrats lost two seats, leaving it at 45. The Red-Green Alliance lost all their seats, falling below the marginal line of 2%. The Christian Democrats did not ensure representation.

Greenland's vote resulted in one seat for Siumut and one for Inuit Ataqatigiit. The Faroe Islands returned Høgni Hoydal representing the Republican Party, its second seat went to the Union Party, a seat gained from the People's Party which did not achieve representation.


Rasmussen cabinet continues

The Danish parliament is comprised of 179 seats. Four (4) seats are reserved for the Faroe Islands and Greenland, Denmark's overseas territories. Under the Danish system of "negative parliamentarism," the governing cabinet must hold the opposition short of a parliamentary majority; doing so requires 90 seats.

The ruling Liberal-Conservative coalition secured 83 seats. The support of the Danish People's Party (DPP), with 25 seats, left the coalition with 108 seats, thus having a majority of the parliament with 19 seats. Finally, the coalition-friendly Union Party of former Faroese prime minister Edmund Joensen won one additional seat in the Faroese elections, leaving the VK coalition with 109 seats.

Parties backing Helle Thorning-Schmidt, in opposition, won 67 seats. (This includes remaining three seats of the overseas territories.)

The New Alliance won the remaining three (3) seats.

Prime minister Rasmussen announced that the party composition of cabinet would remain as before, but that parties not in cabinet that support his premiership will have influence over policy. This statement apparently was aimed at the New Alliance. Rasmussen's capacity to accommodate both the New Alliance and the Danish People's Party going forward is not assured – the New Alliance was established, in part, to limit the Danish Peoples's Party's influence. With the DPP in coalition, Rasmussen is able to govern: a New Alliance-supported opposition would be short of a majority by one vote. Edmund Joensen's pledge to abstain on matters related to internal affairs of Denmark and would alter this, giving the New Alliance the balance of power and risking conflict with the DPP, but Joensen has also pledged that if doing so would risk giving the opposition a majority, he would not abstain, but instead vote with the government.

As after the last election, where Rasmussen also secured continuing power, there were some shuffling of minister posts in the cabinet. The resulting Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen III was presented a few days after the election.

See also

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