1. Governance
June 30, 2015updated 20 Jul 2021 10:17am

During Denmark's election, its cities were festooned with terrifying posters

By Emmanuel Akinwotu

Twelve days ago, the Danish left narrowly lost in a general election.

Shortly before election day, the polls showed that the centre left parties were trailing by less than 2 per cent. Unlike the polls released before Britain’s recent election, this reflected the final result fairly accurately.Danish pollsters, apparently, are nothing like their UK counterparts.

The far right Danish People Party almost doubled their representation to become the 2nd largest party. The Danish far right differs from Britain’s, too, in that when they win votes, they get seats, too.

There’s another way in which the election highlighted the difference between British and Danish politics: the ubiquitous campaign advertising.

Consider this picture of outgoing prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, which shows that the politicians’ desire to be seen on construction sites – pretty much the last places their expertise would actually be useful – was not just a British fetish. 

Image: Anders Hemmingsen/Instagram.

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Thorning-Schmidt’s popularity had grown in the last 6 months after a difficult 1st term. Her Social Democracy party was the biggest party, but nonetheless lost due to the number of centre right votes.

The person who bent this poster summed up the dichotomy quite prophetically. 

Image: Anders Hemmingsen/Instagram.

This is the Danish rapper Kesi. He has no declared political ambitions, he just wants you to know, he’s “good at spending money”.


Image: Anders Hemmingsen/Instagram.

Kesi was not the only celebrity to, knowingly or unknowingly, declare their political ambitions on posters. Danish footballer Niklas Bendtner, known for his huge ego and inversely proportional talent, also threw his hat into the ring.


Image: Anders Hemmingsen/Instagram.

And then there’s the independent candidate, John Erik Wagner who, despite top quality poster action, didn’t win a seat.


For some reason.


In Denmark, voters are automatically registered to vote. It clearly works: the turnout in the recent elections stood at 86 per cent, 20 per cent more than in the UK a month earlier. 

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