FILE - In this Friday Sept. 23, 2016 file photo, Danish Social Democrats chairman Mette Frederiksen gestures, during her opening speech at the Social Democratic Party's Congress 2016 in Aalborg, Denmark. A member of Denmark’s parliament, since 2001, she comes from a working-class background and has insisted on forming a one-party government if her party can garner a majority in upcoming general election Wednesday June 5, 2019. (Rene Schutze/Polfoto via AP, File)

Exit polls in Denmark suggest win for opposition bloc

June 05, 2019 - 2:31 pm

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark's opposition will likely get the most votes in the general election Wednesday, exit polls said, which would mark a return to power for the center-left Social Democrats after four years.

The party, led by 41-year-old Mette Frederiksen and which took a tougher stance on immigration, got 25.3% of the vote, according to the exit polls for broadcaster DR and it would be supported by a "red bloc" of other left-leaning parties that also made gains. Together they would get 90 seats in the 179-seat parliament, which is a majority.

The exit polls were based on 4,550 people who were interviewed after casting their ballots.

The center-right bloc would get only 75 seats. The remaining four seats are held by lawmakers on the Faeroe Islands and Greenland — two Danish semi-autonomous territories.

And unlike in other European countries, far-right populists aren't on the rise. Denmark's second-largest party, the populist Danish People's Party, which has been supporting the minority government, got 9.8% compared to 21.1% in 2015, according to the DR exit polls.

Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen's three-party coalition within the "blue bloc" hasn't been campaigning together, and none wants to rely on support from the anti-immigration newcomers, the Hardliner Course and New Right.

The Social Democrats have said they want to form a one-party government headed by Frederiksen, who is set to become the country's youngest-ever prime minister. The party has said it will seek support on the right when it comes to immigration issues and on the left for matters like social welfare.

Many Danish People's Party voters have drifted to the Social Democrats, mainly because of a stricter stance on immigration policy. It's a position they already had in the 1980s and 1990s, but which they later watered down in a coalition with left-wing parties. They also have voted for several of the center-right government's laws to tighten immigration.

"There is a limit as to how many people we can take in and preserve (Denmark's) welfare state," Wammen said Monday.

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