There are three types of elections in Denmark: elections to the national parliament (the Folketing), local elections (to municipal and regional councils), and elections to the European Parliament. Referendums may also be called to consult the Danish citizenry directly on an issue of national concern.

Parliamentary elections are called by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, usually three to four years after the last election, although early elections may occur. Elections to local councils (municipal or regional) and to the European Parliament are held on fixed dates. Elections use the party-list proportional representation system. All Danish citizens, living in the Kingdom of Denmark and at least 18 years of age, are eligible to vote in parliamentary elections and long-time residents may vote in local elections.

Parliamentary elections

The voter turnout for the Danish general elections 1953-present
The voter turnout for the Danish general elections 1953-present

The Kingdom of Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland) elects a unicameral parliament, the Folketing, on a national level. Of the 179 members of parliament, the Faroe Islands and Greenland elect two members each, 135 are elected from ten multi-member constituencies on a party list PR system using the d'Hondt method and the remaining 40 seats are allocated to ensure proportionality at a national level. To get a share of supplementary seats a party needs to get at least 2% of the total number of votes.

Only parties that reach any one of three thresholds stipulated by section 77 of the Folketing (Parliamentary) Elections Act - winning at least one constituency seat; obtaining at least the Hare quota (valid votes in province/number of constituency seats in province) in two of the three provinces; or obtaining at least 2% of the national vote - compete for compensatory seats.[1]

Denmark has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments and/or minority cabinets.

Elections to the Folketing must be held at least every four years.

Latest general election

2019 general election

Main article: List of members of the Folketing, 2019–2023

Overall the election was a win for the "red bloc" – the parties that supported Mette Frederiksen, leader of the Social Democrats, as Prime Minister. In total, the Social Democrats, the Social Liberals, Socialist People's Party and the Red–Green Alliance won 91 seats. Green party The Alternative chose to go into opposition as a "green bloc".[2]

The Social Democrats defended their position as the largest party, and won an additional seat despite a slightly reduced voter share. They were closely followed by Venstre, who saw the largest gains in seats, picking up an extra nine. In the "blue bloc", only Venstre and the Conservative People's Party saw gains, the latter doubling their seats. The Danish People's Party's vote share fell by 12.4 percentage points (pp), well over half of their support. Leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl speculated that the bad result was due to an extraordinary good election in 2015, and that some voters felt they could "gain [their] policy elsewhere".[3] The Liberal Alliance saw their vote share fall by over two-thirds and became the smallest party in the Folketing, only 0.3pp above the 2% election threshold. Their leader Anders Samuelsen was not reelected and he subsequently resigned as leader, succeeded by Alex Vanopslagh.[4][5]

Of the new parties, only the New Right won seats, with Hard Line, the Christian Democrats and Klaus Riskær Pedersen failing to cross the national 2% threshold, although the Christian Democrats were within 200 votes of winning a direct seat in the western Jutland constituency.[6] On election night, Klaus Riskær Pedersen announced that he would dissolve his party.[7]

In the Faroe Islands, Republic (which had finished first in the 2015 elections)[8] dropped to fourth place and lost their seat. The Union Party replaced them as the first party while the Social Democratic Party finished in second place again, retaining their seat.[9] In Greenland, the result was a repeat of the 2015 elections, with Inuit Ataqatigiit and Siumut winning the two seats. Siumut regained parliamentary representation after their previous MP, Aleqa Hammond, was expelled from the party in 2016.[10][11] Hammond later joined Nunatta Qitornai,[12] which finished fourth and failed to win a seat.[11][13]

Popular vote in Denmark
A
25.9%
V
23.4%
O
8.7%
B
8.6%
F
7.7%
Ø
6.9%
C
6.6%
Å
3.0%
D
2.4%
I
2.3%
P
1.8%
K
1.7%
E
0.8%
Others
0.1%
Largest party in each nomination district.
Largest party in each nomination district.
Danish Parliament 2019.svg
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Denmark proper
Social Democrats914,88225.9048+1
Venstre826,16123.3943+9
Danish People's Party308,5138.7416–21
Danish Social Liberal Party304,7148.6316+8
Socialist People's Party272,3047.7114+7
Red–Green Alliance245,1006.9413–1
Conservative People's Party233,8656.6212+6
The Alternative104,2782.955–4
New Right83,2012.364New
Liberal Alliance82,2702.334–9
Stram Kurs63,1141.790New
Christian Democrats60,9441.7300
Klaus Riskær Pedersen29,6000.840New
Independents2,7740.0800
Total3,531,720100.001750
Valid votes3,531,72098.94
Invalid/blank votes37,8011.06
Total votes3,569,521100.00
Registered voters/turnout4,219,53784.60
Faroe Islands
Union Party7,36028.321+1
Social Democratic Party6,64025.5510
People's Party6,18123.7900
Republic4,83218.600–1
Progress6382.4600
Self-Government3341.2900
Total25,985100.0020
Valid votes25,98599.16
Invalid/blank votes2200.84
Total votes26,205100.00
Registered voters/turnout37,26470.32
Greenland
Inuit Ataqatigiit6,86734.3510
Siumut6,06330.3310
Democrats2,25811.3000
Nunatta Qitornai1,6228.110New
Partii Naleraq1,5647.8200
Atassut1,0985.4900
Cooperation Party5182.590New
Total19,990100.0020
Valid votes19,99097.16
Invalid/blank votes5852.84
Total votes20,575100.00
Registered voters/turnout41,34449.77
Source: Statistics Denmark, Kringvarp Føroya, Qinersineq

By constituency

Constituency A B C D E F I K O P V Ø Å
Copenhagen 17.2 16.4 5.3 1.4 1.0 11.5 2.6 0.7 4.2 1.3 15.0 16.8 6.5
Greater Copenhagen 25.8 10.9 9.4 2.3 0.8 9.4 2.6 0.9 8.2 1.9 17.2 7.2 3.1
North Zealand 21.3 11.2 11.2 3.3 1.0 6.9 3.3 1.1 7.5 1.5 23.4 5.6 2.7
Bornholm 34.0 3.3 1.8 1.7 0.9 4.3 1.0 4.1 10.4 1.9 25.3 8.1 3.3
Zealand 28.2 5.8 5.8 2.6 1.0 8.8 1.8 0.8 10.9 2.7 24.3 5.2 2.0
Funen 30.2 7.3 6.2 1.9 0.8 6.7 1.9 1.1 8.9 1.9 23.4 6.8 3.0
South Jutland 26.1 5.9 5.1 4.1 0.7 5.2 2.1 2.2 12.5 1.8 28.5 4.1 1.6
East Jutland 25.8 9.9 5.7 2.0 0.7 8.2 2.9 2.1 7.8 1.5 22.6 7.1 3.4
West Jutland 24.6 5.3 9.2 1.7 0.6 6.2 2.2 5.3 8.4 1.6 29.8 3.4 1.7
North Jutland 33.9 5.1 4.9 2.0 0.8 5.4 1.9 1.6 9.5 1.7 26.8 4.3 2.0

Seat distribution

The following is the number of constituency seats for each party with parenteses indicating levelling seats.[14]

Constituency A B C D F I O V Ø Å Total
Copenhagen 3 3 1 2 (1) (1) (1) 3 3 (1) 1 16 (4)
Greater Copenhagen 4 1 (1) 1 1 1 2 (1) 1 (1) 11 (3)
North Zealand 3 1 (1) 1 (1) (1) 1 1 3 (1) 10 (4)
Bornholm 1 1 2
Zealand 7 (1) 1 (1) 1 (1) (1) 2 (1) 2 (1) 6 (1) 1 (1) (1) 20 (9)
Funen 4 (1) 1 1 1 1 (1) 3 (1) 1 12 (3)
South Jutland 6 1 1 (1) 1 (1) 3 6 (1) 18 (3)
East Jutland 6 (1) 2 (1) 1 (1) 2 (1) 1 (1) 5 (1) 1 (1) 18 (7)
West Jutland 4 1 1 (1) 1 (1) 1 5 (1) 13 (3)
North Jutland 6 (1) 1 1 1 1 (1) 5 (1) (1) 15 (4)
Total 44 (4) 12 (4) 9 (3) (4) 12 (2) (4) 11 (5) 39 (4) 7 (6) 1 (4) 135 (40)


Local elections

Further information: 2021 Danish local elections

The latest elections for the ninety-eight municipal councils and the five regional councils were held on 16 November 2021.

European elections

The Denmark constituency directly elects thirteen members to the European Parliament every five years. The d'Hondt method of proportional representation is used. The last elections took place in May 2019:

Main article: European Parliament election, 2019 (Denmark)

Referendums

The Constitution of Denmark requires a referendum to be held in the following three cases:

The option for one third of the members of the Parliament to put a law to a referendum has a number of restrictions. Finance Bills, Supplementary Appropriation Bills, Provisional Appropriation Bills, Government Loan Bills, Civil Servants (Amendment) Bills, Salaries and Pensions Bills, Naturalization Bills, Expropriation Bills, Taxation (Direct and Indirect) Bills, as well as Bills introduced for the purpose The Work of Parliament of discharging existing treaty obligations shall not be decided by a referendum. (Section 42, Subsection 6 of the Constitution)[15]

Even though the Constitution of Denmark requires referendum to be held only if super-majority of five-sixths of members of Parliament cannot be obtained, in practice, referendums have been held every time new treaties of the European Union have been approved, even when more than five-sixths can be found. Recently, the Danish government was highly criticized when it did not hold a referendum regarding the controversial Lisbon treaty.

In all three cases, to defeat the proposition the no votes must not only outnumber the yes votes, they must also number at least 30% of the electorate.

The Constitution of Denmark can be changed only through the procedure set out in Section 88 of the Constitution.[15] First, the government has to propose a change in constitution, then a parliamentary election is held. After the new parliament approves the same text of the constitutional changes, the proposal is put to a referendum. To pass, the yes votes must not only outnumber the no votes, they must also number at least 40% of the electorate.

Of the 19 referendums held in Denmark, the most recent are the 2015 referendum on ending the opt-out from the European Union justice laws and the 2022 referendum on ending the opt-out from the European Union security and military framework.

Past elections

2015 elections

Main article: Danish parliamentary election, 2015

2015 Danish Folketing.svg
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Denmark proper
Social Democrats924,94026.2847+3
Danish People's Party741,74621.0837+15
Venstre685,18819.4734–13
Red–Green Alliance274,4637.8014+2
Liberal Alliance265,1297.5313+4
The Alternative168,7884.809New
Danish Social Liberal Party161,0094.588–9
Socialist People's Party147,5784.197–9
Conservative People's Party118,0033.356–2
Christian Democrats29,0770.8300
Independents3,0660.0900
Total3,518,987100.001750
Valid votes3,518,98798.85
Invalid/blank votes41,0731.15
Total votes3,560,060100.00
Registered voters/turnout4,145,10585.89
Faroe Islands
Republic5,71824.471+1
Social Democratic Party5,67024.2710
Union Party5,49623.520–1
People's Party4,38418.7600
Progress7443.180New
Centre Party6052.5900
Self-Government4001.7100
Independent3471.4900
Total23,364100.0020
Valid votes23,36499.08
Invalid/blank votes2160.92
Total votes23,580100.00
Registered voters/turnout35,60766.22
Greenland
Inuit Ataqatigiit7,91439.1710
Siumut7,85438.8710
Democrats1,8529.1700
Atassut1,5287.5600
Partii Naleraq1,0585.240New
Total20,206100.0020
Valid votes20,20697.67
Invalid/blank votes4822.33
Total votes20,688100.00
Registered voters/turnout41,04850.40
Source: DST

2011 elections

Main article: Danish parliamentary election, 2011

2011 Danish Folketing.svg
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Denmark proper
Venstre947,72526.7347+1
Social Democrats879,61524.8144−1
Danish People's Party436,72612.3222−3
Danish Social Liberal Party336,6989.5017+8
Socialist People's Party326,1929.2016−7
Red–Green Alliance236,8606.6812+8
Liberal Alliance176,5854.989+4
Conservative People's Party175,0474.948−10
Christian Democrats28,0700.7900
Independents1,8500.0500
Total3,545,368100.001750
Valid votes3,545,36899.04
Invalid/blank votes34,3070.96
Total votes3,579,675100.00
Registered voters/turnout4,079,91087.74
Faroe Islands
Union Party6,36230.7710
Social Democratic Party4,33220.951+1
Republic3,99519.320−1
People's Party3,93519.0300
Centre Party8754.2300
Self-Government4832.3400
Independents6923.3500
Total20,674100.0020
Valid votes20,67498.62
Invalid/blank votes2901.38
Total votes20,964100.00
Registered voters/turnout35,04759.82
Greenland
Inuit Ataqatigiit9,58742.6110
Siumut8,37437.2210
Democrats2,83112.5800
Atassut1,7067.5800
Total22,498100.0020
Valid votes22,49895.55
Invalid/blank votes1,0484.45
Total votes23,546100.00
Registered voters/turnout40,93757.52
Source: Danmarks Statistik

2007 elections

Main article: Danish parliamentary election, 2007

2007 Danish Folketing.svg
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Denmark proper
Venstre908,47226.2646–6
Social Democrats881,03725.4745–2
Danish People's Party479,53213.8625+1
Socialist People's Party450,97513.0423+12
Conservative People's Party359,40410.39180
Danish Social Liberal Party177,1615.129–8
New Alliance97,2952.815New
Red–Green Alliance74,9822.174–2
Christian Democrats30,0130.8700
Independents5490.0200
Total3,459,420100.001750
Valid votes3,459,42099.31
Invalid/blank votes24,1130.69
Total votes3,483,533100.00
Registered voters/turnout4,022,92086.59
Faroe Islands
Republic5,84925.3610
Union Party5,41423.471+1
People's Party4,72820.500–1
Social Democratic Party4,70220.3900
Centre Party1,5736.8200
Self-Government7993.4600
Total23,065100.0020
Valid votes23,06599.36
Invalid/blank votes1490.64
Total votes23,214100.00
Registered voters/turnout34,52967.23
Greenland
Inuit Ataqatigiit8,34333.2510
Siumut8,06832.1610
Democrats4,58418.2700
Atassut4,09416.3200
Total25,089100.0020
Valid votes25,08998.05
Invalid/blank votes5001.95
Total votes25,589100.00
Registered voters/turnout39,63464.56
Source: Danmarks Statistik, Nohen & Stöver[16]
Party Votes % of votes MPs swing % of MPs MPs %/votes %
Total 100 179 Steady0 100 1.00
3 biggest 65.6 116 Decrease7 64.8 0.99
The cabinet 50.5 90 Decrease5 50.3 0.98
The opposition 49.5 89 Increase5 49.7 1.02
Popular vote
V
26.26%
A
25.47%
O
13.86%
F
13.04%
C
10.39%
B
5.12%
I
2.81%
Ø
2.17%
K
0.87%
Others
0.02%

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Electoral System in Denmark: Parliamentary Elections" (PDF) (in Danish). Copenhagen, Denmark: Ministry of the Interior and Housing. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  2. ^ Kildegaard, Kasper (6 June 2019). "På en varm dag i juni blev Danmark malet rødt: Nu venter benhårde forhandlinger". Berlingske (in Danish). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Thulesen: Vi har fået en vælgerlussing". Politiken (in Danish). 5 June 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  4. ^ Ingvorsen, Emil Søndergård; Nielsen, Kevin Ahrens (9 June 2019). "Alex Vanopslagh bliver Liberal Alliances nye politiske leder". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  5. ^ Thomsen, Per Bang; Toft, Emma (5 June 2019). "Katastrofevalg til Liberal Alliance: Samuelsen er ude af Folketinget". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  6. ^ Søe, Carl-Emil (5 June 2019). "Kristendemokraterne under 200 stemmer fra at komme i Folketinget". TV2 (in Danish). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  7. ^ Josevski, Aleksandar (5 June 2019). "Klaus Riskær Pedersen opløser sit parti". TV2 (in Danish). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  8. ^ Tjóðveldi og Javnaðarflokkurin størstir KVF, 18 June 2015
  9. ^ Af Andreas Krog | 6. juni 2019 kl. 9:05 | Print (6 June 2019). "Løsrivelsespartier ryger ud af Folketinget". Altinget.dk. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Omstridte Aleqa Hammond smides ud af rødt valgforbund". DR (in Danish). 19 December 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Røde partier vinder valget på Grønland". TV 2 (in Danish). 6 June 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Grønlandsk løsrivelsesparti er Løkkes sikkerhedsnet". BT. Ritzau. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Kalaallit Nunaanni Qinersinerit – Valg i Greenland". Valg.gl. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Folketingsvalget den 5. juni 2019". Danmarks Statistik. September 2020. p. 84. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d e "The Constitution of Denmark". Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  16. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7