Friday, June 19, 2015
The anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DPP) became the second largest party in Denmark's general election and the biggest in the right-wing bloc, which ousted a center-left government
Boosted by rising concerns over the cost of immigration to Denmark's generous welfare state and an erosion of Danish values, it secured 21.1% of the vote, its highest score ever and up from 12.3% in the previous election. "This election campaign has shown that we are a party that the others just can't avoid. We are a party to be taken seriously here in this country," party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl told cheering supporters at a party event in the Danish parliament. The Social Democrats, led by outgoing Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, was the largest single party with 26.3% of the vote while Venstre, previously the biggest right-wing party, won 19.5%. Overall the right-wing bloc won 90 seats compared with 85 for the rival center-left bloc. Denmark already has some of Europe's strictest migration laws after the party helped right-wing governments between 2001 and 2011 pass legislation in parliament in return for support on its key issue. Analysts speculated that the party's size will now put pressure on it to join a coalition - most of its supporters want it to - but it could also opt to remain outside government to retain its anti-establishment appeal. Denmark received almost 15,000 asylum seekers in 2014, more than double the number in 2013. Around 9% of the country's 5.7 million inhabitants were born abroad.