…and a new female prime minister, their first ever:
The Social Democratic Leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt and her centre-left alliance won Thursday’s general election to give Denmark its first woman prime minister and the first Social Democratic-led government in a decade.
In a cliffhanger election, which on occasion saw the two sides of the political divide neck and neck, the centre-left won 89 seats in the 179-seat Folketing compared to the 86 mandates for the centre-right of Liberal Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
Conceding defeat, Løkke Rasmussen said he would be going to the Queen on Friday to tender his government’s resignation, remaining as caretaker prime minster until a new government is formed.
While Thorning-Schmidt is heading for the premier’s office, her Social Democratic Party dropped a mandate to land on 44 mandates in Parliament. Her campaign government platform partner the Socialist People’s Party dropped a full seven mandates to land on 16 seats.
But the reductions for the main two centre-left parties were more than compensated by advances for the two other parties in the group. The Social Liberals of Margrethe Vestager added eight seats to their poll, becoming larger than the Socialist People’s Party with 17 mandates, while the Red Green Party, which also added eight seats to its tally, ended on 12 mandates.
There were also losses and gains for the centre-right, with Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s Liberals adding a single vote to land on 47 seats as the largest party in Parliament. The Liberal Alliance could also party, with four extra mandates to land on nine seats.
But the Conservative Party was decimated, dropping 10 seats to land on eight mandates, while the Danish People’s Party saw three of its seats disappear to end up with 22 seats.
I’m assuming that “dropped mandates” is their way of saying “lost seats”. They seem to use the two terms interchangeably there.
This part is hilarious, though:
“I will be handing the keys of the prime minister’s office to Helle Thorning-Schmidt. And Helle, look after them, as they are only on loan,” Løkke Rasmussen quipped.
We’ll have to wait and see about that, eh?
Meanwhile, congratulations, Helle. And don’t let the corporatists grind you down, you hear?