INTRODUCTION: Voting in the Danish general elections on Tuesday (15 February) was heavier than originally forecast by public opinion polls and early results showed that the ruling Social Democrats had gained eleven seats.
INTRODUCTION: Voting in the Danish general elections on Tuesday (15 February) was heavier than originally forecast by public opinion polls and early results showed that the ruling Social Democrats had gained eleven seats. The polls had reported wide-spread apathy among voters, apparently largely due to disillusionment among the electorate because of prolonged manoeuvring among the twelve parties seeking election. Ten of them were already represented in Parliament.
SYNOPSIS: The election was called two years ahead of schedule by the ruling minority Social Democrat Government, led by Prime Minister Anker Joergensen. The government felt elections necessary in order to solve the twin problems of rising unemployment and rising foreign debt. Paradoxically, Denmark has one of the lowest percentages of unemployment in Europe, and one of the highest individual standards of living.
It was Denmark's fourth general election in five years. The Social Democrats held 54 in the 179-seat parliament, able to govern only with complicated and fragile coalition agreements with opposition parties.
Voting was generally brisk from the opening of the polling booths, with invalids being encouraged to register their choice by being given special 'drive-in' facilities at voting stations. On announcing the early election, the Social Democrats said they were looking for another five seats in parliament -- which would held make the country more governable, they claimed. The early returns confirmed they achieved their aim with the extra eleven seats. The party, which has been in power for the past two years, could no longer continue to govern under a minority rule in the face of unemployment and foreign debt, they originally said.