Gains for Denmark’s divided anti-immigration parties – but overall victory for left

Inger Støjberg, leader of the new anti-immigration party Denmark Democrats

In today’s Danish general election, the country’s bitterly divided anti-immigration parties made substantial gains.

As expected, the largest anti-immigration party in the new parliament will be the Denmark Democrats, formed only four months ago by Inger Støjberg, a former government minister who quit the liberal Venstre party last year. Venstre is liberal in the classical European sense, i.e. ‘right-wing’ on economics, but liberal in its social attitudes. As with such parties across Europe, this ideology has proved incapable of coping with the new era of ‘identity politics’ and the challenge of mass immigration by non-Europeans.

Støjberg’s party had already built a bloc of MPs in the old parliament who had followed their leader in defecting from other parties. In today’s election they polled 8.1% and won 14 seats.

The election was a disaster for Støjberg’s rival Morten Messerschmidt and his Danish People’s Party

The Denmark Democrats had already won defections not only from the mainstream right but also from the existing anti-immigration party, the Danish People’s Party – a right-wing populist party which unlike Støjberg has ‘left-wing’, big-state ideas on economic policy, but like many European nationalist parties is fanatically pro-Israel. Largely due to the failings of its leadership, the DPP had a disastrous election, falling to 2.6% and winning only five seats, compared to eleven at the previous election in 2019.

Yet another anti-immigration party, the New Right, polled 3.7% and won six seats (a gain of two since 2019).

The New Right, led by Pernille Vermund – another conservative who broke away from the mainstream right on the issue of immigration, advanced from four seats to six.

The election’s big losers were the mainstream conservative Venstre party who just about remained the largest opposition party but lost almost half of their seats, down from 43 to 23.

Incumbent social democrat Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen seems certain to stay in office and will now have a choice of coalition partners: she can opt to rely on a range of left-wing and green parties, or attempt a more stable coalition including the centrist ‘Moderate Party’. The other big losers were Frederiksen’s former coalition partners, the Social Liberal Party, who had precipitated the election by bringing down her previous government in a row over the forced culling of mink during the CoVID pandemic. The Social Liberals lost nine of their sixteen seats.

What seems certain is that Danish resistance to the consequences of mass immigration will grow: what remains unclear is whether any united anti-immigration front will be possible.

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