Actually, we have a bit more than 25 minutes (or days) to go until election day, but nobody can be doubting that Denmark for all practical purposes has entered the final stage of the 2007-2011 parliamentary term and that both opposition and government is in campaign mode.
So, when will the election be called. Christianborgologists have noted that the PM has cancelled his trip to Greenland on August 23 when the Finance Minister will be presenting the government’s 2012 budget proposal. A likely day to call an election for September 20. In any event, I will – for once – not be complaining about media trying to predict the date, but just note that the PM and the leader of the Conservative Party are the only people who know anything for certain. So Lars Løkke Rasmussen can delay the election until November if he pleases.
With regard to the Liberal Party’s campaign against the S-SF plan, we could note that negative campaigning is part of every election campaign. My colleague Christian Elmelund-Præstekjær has published research about this in European Journal of Political Research
This article supplements and further develops the almost exclusively American literature on the determinants of negative campaigning by analyzing the tone of the Danish parties’ election campaigns. It concludes that proximity to governmental power matters, as oppositional parties are more negative than incumbents. This is comparable to the American experiences. The prospect of electoral failure, however, does not affect the tone the same way as poor poll standings do in the US. Moreover, it is suggested that future studies of negativity might consider how different party organizations affect the campaign tone; at least this study finds indications that parties with large proportions of party identifiers are slightly more negative than other parties. Finally, it is found that parties campaign differently in different channels of communication; that is, they are generally more negative in channels that allow direct interaction among politicians. This finding poses the question whether some channels are better empirical sources for studies of negativity than others, which is addressed in the closing section of the article.
That the Liberals would choose economic policy as a main topic was a no-brainer, that the execution would be so clumsy was rather surprising.
And with this, election-blogging is kicked off. You have been warned.