Elections in Denmark

There are three types of elections in Denmark: elections to the national parliament (the Folketing), local elections and elections to the European Parliament. Referendums may also be called to consult the Danish citizenry directly on an issue of national concern.

Parliamentary elections are called by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, usually four years after the last election, although early elections may occur. Elections to local councils (municipal or regional) and to the European Parliament are held on fixed dates. Elections use the party-list proportional representation system. Only citizens on the national register are eligible to vote in parliamentary elections and long-time residents may vote in local elections.

The last election was the Danish referendum on the replacement of the opt-out model on home and justice affairs held on 3 December 2015.

Parliamentary elections

The voter turnout for the Danish general elections 1953-present

The Kingdom of Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland) elects a unicameral parliament, the Folketing, on a national level. Of the 179 members of parliament, the Faroe Islands and Greenland elect two members each, 135 are elected from ten multi-member constituencies on a party list PR system using the d'Hondt method and the remaining 40 seats are allocated to ensure proportionality at a national level. To get a share of supplementary seats a party needs to get at least 2% of the total number of votes.

Denmark has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments and/or minority cabinets.

Elections to the Folketing must be held at least every four years.

Latest general election

Danish general election, 2015

For Denmark proper, the "Red" bloc (A+B+F+Ø+Å) won 85 seats and the "Blue" bloc (V+O+I+C+K) 90 seats. Even with all of the extra four seats from Greenland and the Faroe Islands going to the "Red" bloc, it would still be one seat behind the "Blue" bloc.

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Denmark proper
Social Democrats (A)924,94026.347+3
Danish People's Party (O)741,74621.137+15
Venstre (V)685,18819.534–13
Red–Green Alliance (Ø)274,4637.814+2
Liberal Alliance (I)265,1297.513+4
The Alternative (Å)168,7884.89New
Danish Social Liberal Party (B)161,0094.68–9
Socialist People's Party (F)147,5784.27–9
Conservative People's Party (C)118,0033.46–2
Christian Democrats (K)29,0770.800
Invalid/blank votes41,073
Registered voters/turnout4,145,10585.9
Faroe Islands
Social Democratic Party5,66624.310
Union Party5,50023.50–1
People's Party4,36818.700
Centre Party6052.600
Self-Government Party4031.700
Registered voters/turnout 65.6
Inuit Ataqatigiit7,90438.510
Partii Naleraq9624.70New
Invalid/blank votes538
Registered voters/turnout41,04850.0
Source: DST, KVF, Qinersineq
Popular vote

Local elections

Further information: Danish local elections, 2013

The latest elections for the ninety-eight municipal councils and the five regional councils were held on 19 November 2013.

European elections

The Denmark constituency directly elects thirteen members to the European Parliament every five years. The d'Hondt method of proportional representation is used. The last elections took place in May 2014:


The Constitution of Denmark requires a referendum to be held in the following three cases:

The option for one third of the members of the Parliament to put a law to a referendum has a number of restrictions. Finance Bills, Supplementary Appropriation Bills, Provisional Appropriation Bills, Government Loan Bills, Civil Servants (Amendment) Bills, Salaries and Pensions Bills, Naturalization Bills, Expropriation Bills, Taxation (Direct and Indirect) Bills, as well as Bills introduced for the purpose The Work of Parliament of discharging existing treaty obligations shall not be decided by a referendum. (Section 42, Subsection 6 of the Constitution)[1]

Even though the Constitution of Denmark requires referendum to be held only if super-majority of five sixths of members of Parliament cannot be obtained, in practise, referendums have been held every time new treaties of the European Union have been approved, even when more than five sixths can be found. Recently, the Danish government was highly criticized when it did not hold a referendum regarding the controversial Lisbon treaty.

In all three cases, to defeat the proposition the no votes must not only outnumber the yes votes, they must also number at least 30% of the electorate.

The Constitution of Denmark can be changed only after a referendum, after a complicated procedure (Section 88 of the Constitution).[1] First a government proposes a change in constitution, then a parliamentary election is held. After the new parliament approves the same text of the constitutional changes, the proposal is put to a referendum. To pass, the yes votes must not only outnumber the no votes, they must also number at least 40% of the electorate.

As of 2013 there were 16 referendums held in Denmark, most recent being Danish euro referendum in 2000 and Danish Act of Succession referendum in 2009.

Past elections

2011 elections

 Summary of the 15 September 2011 Parliament of Denmark election results[2][3][4][5][6]
Parties Leaders Votes % Seats ±
Denmark proper
Liberals (Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti) (V) Lars Løkke Rasmussen 947,725 26.7% 47 +1
Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne) (A) Helle Thorning-Schmidt 879,615 24.8% 44 −1
Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti) (O) Pia Kjærsgaard 436,726 12.3% 22 −3
Danish Social Liberal Party (Det Radikale Venstre) (B) Margrethe Vestager 336,698 9.5% 17 +8
Socialist People's Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti) (F) Villy Søvndal 326,192 9.2% 16 −7
Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) (Ø) Collective leadership 236,860 6.7% 12 +8
Liberal Alliance (Liberal Alliance) (I) Anders Samuelsen 176,585 5.0% 9 +4
Conservative People's Party (Det Konservative Folkeparti) (C) Lars Barfoed 175,047 4.9% 8 −10
Christian Democrats (Kristendemokraterne) (K) Per Ørum Jørgensen 28,070 0.8% 0 ±0
Candidates without parties 1,850 0.1% 0 ±0
Red Alliance (A, B, F, Ø) Helle Thorning-Schmidt 1,779,365 50.2% 89 +8
Blue Alliance (C, I, K, O, V) Lars Løkke Rasmussen 1,764,153 49.8% 86 −8
Invalid votes 34,307
Subtotal(Turnout: 87.7% – electorate: 4,079,910) 3,545,368 100.0% 175
Faroe Islands
Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin) (B) Kaj Leo Johannesen 6,361 30.8% 1 ±0
Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin) (C) Aksel Johannesen 4,328 21.0% 1 +1
Republic (Tjóðveldi) (E) Høgni Hoydal 3,998 19.4% 0 −1
People's Party (Fólkaflokkurin) (A) Jørgen Niclasen 3,932 19.0% 0 ±0
Centre Party (Miðflokkurin) (H) Jenis av Rana 872 4.2% 0 ±0
Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýrisflokkurin) (D) Kári á Rógvu 481 2.3% 0 ±0
Candidates without parties 672 3.3% 0 ±0
Invalid votes 301
Subtotal(Turnout: 58.9% – electorate: 35,044) 20,644 100.0% 2
Inuit Community (Inuit Ataqatigiit) Kuupik Kleist 9,780 42.7% 1 ±0
Forward (Siumut) Aleqa Hammond 8,499 37.1% 1 ±0
Democrats (Demokraatit) Jens B. Frederiksen 2,882 12.6% 0 ±0
Feeling of Community (Atassut) Finn Karlsen 1,728 7.5% 0 ±0
Candidates without parties 24 0.1% 0 ±0
Invalid votes 612
Subtotal(Turnout: 57.4% – electorate: 40,935) 22,913 100.0% 2
Red Alliance (A, B, F, Ø, Siumut, Inuit Ataqatigiit, Javnaðarflokkurin) Helle Thorning-Schmidt 1,801,972 50.2% 92
Blue Alliance (V, O, I, C, K, Union Party) Lars Løkke Rasmussen 1,770,514 49.3% 87
Total(Turnout: 87.2% – electorate: 4,156,735) 3,588,919 100.0% 179

All turnout figures include invalid votes, subtotals and totals exclude invalid votes

2007 elections

Party Leader Votes % Seats +/–
VenstreAnders Fogh Rasmussen908,47226.246–6
Social DemocratsHelle Thorning-Schmidt881,03725.5 45–2
Danish People's PartyPia Kjærsgaard479,53213.925+1
Socialist People's PartyVilly Søvndal450,97513.023+12
Conservative People's PartyBendt Bendtsen359,40410.418±0
Danish Social Liberal PartyMargrethe Vestager177,1615.19–8
New AllianceNaser Khader97,2952.85New
Red-Green AllianceCollective leadership74,9822.24–2
Christian DemocratsBodil Kornbek30,0130.90±0
Independents 5490.00±0
Invalid/blank votes24,113
Faroe Islands
RepublicHøgni Hoydal5,84925.41±0
Union PartyKaj Leo Johannesen5,41423.51+1
People's PartyJørgen Niclasen4,72820.50–1
Social Democratic PartyJóannes Eidesgaard4,70220.40±0
Centre PartyÁlvur Kirke1,5736.80±0
Self-Government PartyKári P. Højgaard7993.500
Invalid/blank votes149
Inuit AtaqatigiitJosef Motzfeldt8,06832.51±0
ForwardHans Enoksen8,06832.51±0
DemocratsPer Berthelsen4,58418.50±0
Feeling of CommunityFinn Karlsen4,09416.50±0
Invalid/blank votes500
Source: Nohen & Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook
Party Votes % of votes MPs swing % of MPs MPs %/votes %
Total 100 179 Steady0 100 1.00
3 biggest 65.6 116 Decrease7 64.8 0.99
The cabinet 50.5 90 Decrease5 50.3 0.98
The opposition 49.5 89 Increase5 49.7 1.02
Popular vote

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "The Constitution of Denmark" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  2. "Folketingsvalg torsdag 15. september 2011". dst.dk. Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  3. "Kringvarp.fo - Valúrslit". kringvarp.fo. Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  4. "Letter to Statistics Denmark regarding the Faroese election results" (PDF). dst.dk. Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  5. "Folketingimut qinersineq 2011-mi inernerit". knr.gl. KNR. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  6. "Letter to Statistics Denmark regarding the Greenlandic election results" (PDF). dst.dk. Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 16 September 2011.

External links

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