Exit polls show no clear winning majority in Denmark election

© Ritzau Scanpix, via Reuters

Denmark's left-wing bloc led by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen appeared to take the lead in Tuesday's general election but without a majority, exit polls showed, setting the new centrist Moderate party up as likely kingmaker.

Exit polls published by broadcasters DR and TV2 gave the left-wing "red" bloc between 85 and 86 of the 179 seats in parliament.

Meanwhile the "blues" -- an informal liberal and conservative alliance supported by three populist parties -- were forecast to take between 72 and 73 seats.

With neither side gaining their own majority, both sides will need the backing of the Moderates Party -- a party founded earlier this year by two-time prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and which was credited with 17 seats -- to form a government.

The election was triggered by the "mink crisis" that has embroiled Denmark since the government decided in November 2020 to cull the country's roughly 15 million minks over fears of a mutated strain of the novel coronavirus.

The decision turned out to be illegal, however, and a party propping up Frederiksen's minority Social Democrats government threatened to topple it unless she called elections to regain the confidence of voters.

The election campaign was dominated by climate concerns, inflation and healthcare.

"Climate issues and psychiatry (mental health issues), but mostly climate, are the reasons behind my vote," 46-year-old Lone Kiitgaard told AFP after casting her ballot in central Copenhagen on Tuesday, without disclosing who she voted for.

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