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Denmark's Left Party Favorite To Win General Elections

  • Mette Frederiksen (L), a Social Democrat politician, takes part in an election rally in Morud, Denmark, May 28, 2019.

    Mette Frederiksen (L), a Social Democrat politician, takes part in an election rally in Morud, Denmark, May 28, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 June 2019

The Danish social democracy's rise is accompanied by anti-immigrant attitudes of a population that seeks an ethnically homogenous society.

Denmark's Social Democrat Party (SD) increased its support to 59.2 percent of votes ahead of an election to be held Wednesday, as support for the xenophobic Danish People's Party (DF) fell from 21 to 10 percent, according to Voxmeter poll.


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Under Mette Frederiksen's leadership, however, the SD party, which governed the 2011-2015 legislature, has experienced a shift to the right in economic and migratory policies.

During his campaign, Fredriksen reiterated that there will be no sensible changes in these issues. It seems that her intention is to govern, on the one hand, by agreeing with the far-right on immigration measures; and on the other hand, by scoring agreements with other political forces on social and economic issues.

According to macroeconomic indicators, Denmark is currently in “the good health” given that it has an unemployment rate below 4 percent, a balance of payments surplus and a public debt reduction. Besides, the country’s annual growth has been over 2 percent over the last five years.

Nevertheless, this economic bonanza has been joined by greater social inequality. In the last 15 years, Denmark has moved towards the seventh place at the scale of the Gini index, which measures income inequalities in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

This loss of traditional equality standards has been related to the political force of ultra-liberals and xenophobic right politicians. The DF Party has supported the liberal-conservative executives since 2001 and has caused a profound shift in national attitudes towards immigration and asylum.

The ruling center-right Liberal Party and the SD party say that a tough stance on immigration is needed to protect Denmark's welfare system and to integrate the migrants and refugees. This ethnic homogenization logic appears even justified, in one way or another, in the discourse of the social democrats.

"For me, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of unregulated globalization, mass immigration and the free movement of labor is paid for by the lower classes," said Fredericksen, as reported by The Guardian.

Growing numbers of Danish Muslims report they have faced verbal abuse, exclusion and hate crimes since mainstream political parties began adopting anti-immigrant stances.

"In 2015, I thought: 'Wow, what's happening?' and I think it has got a lot worse over the last few years," said Manilla Ghafuri, 26-year woman, who came to Denmark from Afghanistan in 2001 as a refugee.

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