Populist parties saw heavy losses in the Danish national election this week with large gains for the opposition centre-left and the liberal parties while the anti-Islamisation Stram Kurs (Hard Line) fail to enter parliament.
The election is a significant victory for the Social Democrats which won the election with 25.9 per cent of the vote, according to preliminary results, winning 91 of the 179 parliamentary seats according to a report from the BBC, while the formerly ruling liberal Venstre party saw its vote also grow from 19.5 per cent to 23.8 per cent.
Denmark: The preliminary final result shows significant losses for Salvini ally and right-wing O (ECR/EAPN). Centre-left A (S&D) can't improve despite being in the opposition, gains for centre-right EPP, liberal ALDE parties and Greens/EFA parties. #fv19 pic.twitter.com/NaoCGdoY8V
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) June 5, 2019
The biggest loss was for the populist Danish People’s Party (DF) whose vote collapsed from 21.1 per cent to just 8.7 per cent, mirroring their European Parliament election results where the party also saw heavy losses.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, leader of Venstre, admitted defeat saying: “We had a really good election, but there will be a change of government.”
Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen is now expected to become the country’s new prime minister following her party’s adoption of more hardline policies on immigration, a factor likely helping the collapse of the Danish People’s Party which was formerly the main party espousing anti-mass migration policies.
While many polls initially predicted that the anti-Islamisation Stram Kurs (Hard Line) would enter the parliament for the first time, preliminary results show the party managed to achieve 1.9 per cent of the vote, under the two per cent threshold to enter the chamber.
The party and its leader, lawyer Rasmus Paludan, became infamous across Denmark for their actions which have included burning the Quran in order to make a statement regarding Islam and free speech.
In March of this year, Paludan and his followers faced off against the Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir group outside of the Danish parliament and burned a Quran in front of them. A month later in April, Paludan sparked a riot in Copenhagen that led to 23 people being arrested in reaction to Paludan throwing around a copy of the Islamic holy book.