First, 2014 versus (2009)
People’s Movement – 8,1 (7,2)
Socialist People’s Party – 10,9 (15,9)
Social Democrats – 19,1 (21,5)
Social Liberals – 6,5 (4,3)
Liberals – 16,7 (20,2)
Liberal Alliance – 2,9 (0,6)
Conservative People’s Party – 9,2 (12,7)
Danish People’s Party – 26,6 (15,3)
Turn-out – 56,3 (59,5)
Turn-out was down but still above the 50%-level which had been the norm until 2009. The question is how big a role the referendum on the European Patent Court played compared to the Danish People’s Party’s massive campaign to mobilise its voters.
Next, the European level of the Danish party system looks increasingly as a thing of the past. There are variations between the result and national opinion polls but the result gives clear clues to how the result of a national election would look right now. The People’s Movement is more or less a Red-Green Alliance Plus but we have a collection of very different anti-EU parties (PM, LA, DPP) to collect the anti-EU vote.
Obviously, the Danish People’s Party were the big winners following a massive campaign for lead candidate Morten Messerschmidt (can anyone name any of the other DPP candidates?). What is interesting is that the party is pushing the 20% limit in national opinon polls and it is no longer outlandish to imagine the party as the largest bourgeois party (and the largest party overall) in the next Folketing.
At the same time, the result is a massive disappointment to the Liberals. The scandal concerning party chairman Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s economy goes some way to explain the defeat. On the other hand, the Liberals have underperformed in previous European elections. Still, bad national polls should give the party reason to rethink its rather passive strategy.
The Social Democrats can be disappointed and celebrate the position as the second-largest party at the same time. It is not the party’s worst performance (1994 and 1999 were even worse) but it should be a(nother) wake-up call to a party which is in a crisis of historical proportions.
The Socialist People’s Party (Margrethe Auken always was a formidable campaigner) and the Conservatives (who may have benefited from the Liberals’ crisis) will draw sighs of relief. Losses, yes, but a far way from any electoral wipe-out.
The People’s Movement, the Social Liberals and Liberal Alliance performed more or less as expected and it is not surprising that the two Liberal parties underperform compared to national polls.
Still: The major story is the rise and rise of the Danish People’s Party.