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Five things to watch in Danish election

By gee mong,

Five things to watch in Danish election

If your knowledge of Danish politics is limited to the fictional intrigues of TV drama Borgen, Tuesday's snap national elections might seem a case of life imitating art.

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It's not just that a female prime minister is fighting to stay in power in this battle for the centre ground. A new party has emerged as potential kingmaker with a very similar name to the fictional Moderates who rose to power on TV.

Here are five things to watch in Tuesday's vote.

PM seeks to escape shadow of Mink cull
Mette Frederiksen has led Denmark through its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic, but it was her government's controversial decision to cull up to 17 million mink because of a mutated form of the virus that led to Tuesday's snap election.

The cull destroyed Denmark's world-leading mink industry and last July led to a parliamentary reprimand for the prime minister because there was no legal basis for the slaughter.

Ms Frederiksen was found not to have known the order was illegal so she and her Social Democrat party are favourites to win the vote, but they'll need to assemble a coalition of 90 seats in the 179-member Folketing. Fourteen parties are running and polling stations close at 20:00 (19:00 GMT).

Life imitating art
When Borgen burst on to TV screens around the world 12 years ago, it propelled the fictional centrist Moderates (De moderate in Danish) party led by Birgitte Nyborg to power.

In Tuesday's election, a new party also called Moderates - but with the more colloquial Danish name Moderaterne - is aiming to become kingmaker.

Led by former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the Moderates have been doing well in the opinion polls and could play a key role in deciding whether the left-of-centre "red bloc" or the right-of-centre "blue bloc" led by Jakob Ellemann-Jensen's Liberals form the next government. Where it gets interesting is that neither bloc looks like it will secure an immediate, outright majority.

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