Socialist success in Danish elections

Submitted by Anon on 20 February, 2005 - 3:55

By Bjarke Friborg, Red-Green Alliance

On 8 February the Danish right wing government secured four more years in power. The Conservatives and the Liberal party, together with their far right support party Dansk Folkeparti, now hold 93 of the 179 mandates, or three more than needed to form a majority.

On the other hand, the opposition bloc gained more votes and mandates than in 2001. The main beneficiary was the Social Liberal party (“the Radicals”), doubling its support to 10% in total and gaining eight new mandates — making their group the same size as the Conservatives. In the elections they led a very successful campaign against the sitting government’s discriminatory and xenophobic immigration and integration policies.

However, this victory was outweighed by the setback for the Social Democratic Labour party. With only 25.9% of the electorate behind them, they got their worst result since the 1920s, even less than their “catastrophic” result in 2001. On election night, the sitting chairman Mogens Lykketoft resigned — signalling a new round of factional struggle between the right and left wings of the party.

On the far left the Red-Green Alliance got its best result ever, increasing from four to six mandates and 3.4% of the votes. In many places the Red-Green Alliance got more votes than the Socialist People’s Party (SF), most notably in some districts of Copenhagen. SF lost one seat, even though it was very popular among young voters. After, the chairman Holger K Nielsen also resigned, leaving the party without clear candidates for the new chairmanship.

The Red-Green Alliance has very good chances for further growth — effectively having positioned itself as a dynamic pole of attraction for the left-leaning part of the population. Originally established as an electoral pact between four left wing parties (Left Socialists, Communists, Fourth Internationalists and old Maoists), the so-called “United List” or “Enhedslisten” now effectively has become a democratic, socialist and proclaimed revolutionary party in its own right, with an energetic youth organisation and a total membership of now nearly 3,000 (reflecting an inflow of more than 500 new members during the election campaign).


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