Elections in Denmark

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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 local election on 19 November 2013.

Parliamentary elections[edit]

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 election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 15 September 2011 Parliament of Denmark election results[1][2][3][4][5]
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

Local elections[edit]

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

European elections[edit]

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 election was carried out in June 2009:

e • d  Summary of the June 2009 European Parliament election results[6]
Parties and coalitions Votes Seats
Symbol Name (Danish name) European party No. % ±% No. ±
A Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne) PES 503,439 21.49 -11.1 4 -1
V Liberals (Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti) ELDR 474,041 20.24 +0.8 3 ±0
F Socialist People's Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti) EGP observer 371,603 15.87 +7.8 2 +1
O Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti) AEN 357,942 15.28 +8.5 2 +1
C Conservative People's Party (Det Konservative Folkeparti) EPP 297,199 12.69 +1.3 1 ±0
N People's Movement against the EU (Folkebevægelsen mod EU) none (GUE/NGL group) 168,555 7.20 +2.2 1 ±0
B Danish Social Liberal Party (Det Radikale Venstre) 100,094 4.27 -2.2 0 -1
J June Movement (JuniBevægelsen) 55,459 2.37 -6.8 0 -1
I Liberal Alliance (Liberal Alliance) 13,796 0.59 N/A 0 N/A
Valid votes 2,268,688 96.86
Blank and invalid votes 73,440 3.14
Totals 2,342,128 100.00 13 1 Decrease
Electorate (eligible voters) and voter turnout 4,059,385 57.70 Increase

Turnout figure includes blank and invalid votes, but these are excluded from the total.


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

  • if one third of the members of the Parliament demands a referendum on a law that has been passed in the previous 30 days (excluding some ) (Section 42 of the Constitution),[7] or
  • a law that transfers sovereignty to an international organisation has not received a majority of five sixth of the MPs (Section 20 of the Constitution),[7] or
  • in case of changing the electoral age (Section 29 of the Constitution).[7]

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)[7]

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).[7] 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[edit]

  • See below

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]