An anticipated strong showing by the Euro-sceptic Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti, DF) may unseat the present ruling coalition led by the left-wing Social Democrat party at national elections on Thursday, as the public focus turns to immigration.
Recent polling suggests a swing in favour of anti-immigration, socially conservative and Euro-sceptic party DF. If that swing translates into votes it could put the party less than one per cent behind the main conservative party, Venestre, and hence in a strong position in a right-wing coalition. Venestre has been Denmark’s largest party after every general election since 2001, but electoral arithmetic allowed Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s left wing coalition of parties to take control for the first time in more than a decade in 2011.
A projected swing from 12.3 per cent to almost 20 per cent would give a ‘blue alliance’ the MPs it needs to kick the reds out of power again.
Spending on asylum seekers has spiralled under Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrats, and public attitudes suggest the time for change has come. TheLocal.dk reports the comments of one typical DF voter, what they identify as an “elderly, working class Dane”, who object to government spending on “unintergrated immigrants”, asylum seekers and the unemployed at the expense of Danish Danes, health care, and child care.
She told TheLocal that DF would tighten migration rules, stemming the tide of economic migrants so the limited resources available in the country could be focussed on more deserving migrants, like refugees fleeing conflict and genocide.
DF’s prospects are being helped by the lower propensity of migrants to Denmark to vote than Danish Danes. In a country of only 5.7 million people, almost one in ten are foreigners – with the majority of those being from ‘non Western’ countries. Since the resolution of the Danish-Prussian wars of the 19th centuries the nation has lived with and successfully integrated a small number of migrants from nearby countries, including Germany, Britain, and Belgium, but has faced more difficulties with more recent arrivals, with large numbers coming from nations like Somalia, Iraq, and Turkey.
Breitbart London reported in March on a programme proposed by DF, which would aim to help new arrivals of the Islamic faith to renounce their religion, to help them faster integrate with their new home. The proposal came only a week after the party education spokesman called for cartoons of Mohammad to be included on the national curriculum, to teach children about the sources of Islamist terrorism.