Just for the fun of it, I decided to try an compare today’s Berlingske Barometer (2011-09-09, to be specific) to previous elections. My interest was less to look at individual parties than to compare the performance of the various parts of the party system. Here is how it looks if you take 1973 (the earthquake election which blew up the classical party system) as the point of departure:
The left wing today is SF and the Red-Greens but historically also included VS, DKP and a couple of minor parties. It may be rather surprising that the left wing peaked in the late 1980s (when the centre-right was safely in power) but this was when SF originally peaked with the 1987 and 1988 elections. At the same time there were more parties on the left wing competing for the post-1968 vote. 2007 was a resurgence for the left wing and despite the prospect of losses for SF, 2011 will continue the trend.
At the same time the left bloc (or the Social Democrats to you and me) has been languishing during the 2000s. The party appears to be stuck at 25-26%, a very bad performance in historical terms.
We could argue if LA should be considered part of the centre (would it cooperate with a S-SF government on economic policy? Hardly) with the Social Liberals and the Christian Democrats but the rumours of the Death of the Centre still look premature. Historically, the trend has been for the centre’s share of the vote to decline slightly and stabilise around 10%.
The right bloc (Liberals and Conservatives) looks set for the worst election since 1981. I would argue that going below 30% is a strategic problem, not just for the Conservatives but also the Liberals.
Finally, there is the right wing (DF) which has been strong and stable during the 2000s. Opinion polls usually underestimate the party so we shouldn’t be surprised if DF wins the same share of the vote as in 2007.