Last week, Berlingske Tidende published a poll indicating that some 9 percent of voters might consider voting for a national equivalent of Fælleslisten – even if nobody has any idea about the specific policies of such a party. Strangely, Berlingske manages to argue that “Fælleslisten enjoys support everywhere” and “Danes do not believe in Fælleslisten” but this merely tells us what we already know: Newspaper headlines always, without exception, make too sweeping conclusions. The correct description is that a) Fælleslisten enjoys support outside and of North-Western Jutland and b) about a quarter of voters think that stopping the economic and administrative centralisation is a realistic option while about half of the voters think it is not a realistic option.
Unfortunately, Berlingske has not published the details of the poll on the web but the tables published in the print edition give us some extra information.
First, we should note that it is unlikely that FL would win 9-10 percent of the vote. Voters usually consider voting for more than one party – in the real world, some 4-5 percent would be a realistic target. (You might want to compare with the buzz surrounding Ny Alliance when it was formed three years ago). But that is still a respectable share of the vote which could make life uncomfortable for more than one of the established parties.
Second, the break-down of data shows some interesting distributions of the support.
The highest level of support comes from the 18-36 year-olds (16 percent), not the 60+ group (9 percent). On the other hand, we should remember that young voters generally are more fleeting in their preferences – FL is the new boy in town and we should expect that it attracted the interest of new voters. Still, calling FL a gathering of old people does not quite describe its potential, even if it would be nice to see this being broken down according to age, education and geography.
The distribution of potential FL supporters on parties is also of interest. That DF supporters are over-represented (11 percent) might not be a surprise, even if it does not quite fit the distribution according to age. But this could mean that DF will be more aggressive in pushing local projects in the coming parliamentary year. Conservatives, Social Liberals (well duh) and Liberals on the other hand look more immune to the direct challenge while FL could make some inroads among Social Democratic and Socialist voters. Again, we could expect the Social Democrats and Socialists to somehow rediscover the periphery.
But what about political leaders and programme?
To be continued