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Danish EP election roundup

by JakeS Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 04:07:43 PM EST

Final results are now in, and they are as follows:

Independent GUE/NGL [see first comment by DoDo]:
Popular Movement against EU {N} (Folkebevægelsen imod EU): 7.2 %, 1 seat

Popular Socialists {SF} (Socialistisk Folkeparti): 15.9 %, 2 seats

Social Democrats {S} (Socialdemokraterne): 21.5 %, 4 seats

Conservatives {K} (Konservative Folkeparti): 12.7 %, 1 seat

ALDE (sane wing)
Social Liberals {R} (Radikale Venstre): 4.3 %, 0 seats
ALDE (lunatic wing)
Liberal Alliance {I} [formerly New Alliance {Y}] (Liberal Alliance [formerly Ny Alliance]): 0.6 %, 0 seats
Liberals {V} (Venstre): 20.2 %, 3 seats

June Movement {J} (Junibevægelsen): 2.4 %, 0 seats

Danish Popular Party {DF} (Dansk Folkeparti): 15.3 %, 2 seats

The seats are assigned by a countrywide count under the d'Hondt method, and there were three electoral pacts (listeforbund in Danish, Wahlblock in German):

  • Popular Socialists (Greens), SocDems (PES) and Social Liberals (ALDE - sane)

  • Liberals (ALDE - lunatic), Conservatives (EPP) and Liberal Alliance (ALDE - lunatic)

  • Popular Movement against EU (independent) and the June Movement (ID).

With the Popular Party (UEN) being the only party outside such a union.1

I'm not going to go into a detailed description of the different parties involved (what I've written here, here and here should suffice for the present purposes).2 Instead, I'm going to split these numbers along different fracture lines and try to do some tea-leaf reading based on this treatment.

The most obvious comparison is to the last elections for the local Danish parliament:

Ø: 2.2 % vs. [Does not run for EP, but their cadres overlap heavily with N and J]
N: [Does not run for the Danish parliament, but draws its cadres heavily from Ø] vs. 7.2 %
J: [Does not run for the Danish parliament, but draws its cadres heavily from Ø] vs. 2.4 %
SF: 13.0 % vs. 15.9 %
S: 25.5 % vs. 21.5 %
R: 5.1 % vs. 4.3 %
DF: 13.8 % vs. 15.3 %
V: 26.3 % vs. 20.2 %
K: 10.4 % vs. 12.7 %
I: 2.8 % vs. 0.6 %

From these figures, I read the following:

  • Left-Euroscepticism (totalling almost 10 % of the EP vote) is vastly more popular in Denmark than left-wing policy (which totals around 2 % of the popular vote).

  • My prediction3 that Liberal Alliance would for all practical purposes fuse with the Conservatives seems to have been accurate: The conservative base is solidly pro-EU (one of their very few redeeming features), so it is unlikely that they have lost significant votes to DF in this election.

  • SF cement their claim as a "serious party," by being the only avowedly integrationist party to gain relative to the euroskeptics (if you accept my argument that I and K should be counted as one party for these purposes). Of course, part of this may be that some people think that SF, being recent converts to an integrationist line, will less disposed to act like outright europhiles.4

  • Danes are, on the whole, much more euroskeptic when they vote for EP than when they vote for their local parliament (a full 25 % voted for disintegrationist parties at the EP elections, compared to 16 % at the last local election).

  • The extra euroskeptics are overwhelmingly on the left (around 7.5 "extra" percentage points to the left-euroskeptics, compared to 1.5 "extra" percentage points to the right-euroskeptics).

  • In absolute figures, however, the picture is reversed: Euroskepticism is a right-wing thing, by 15 percentage points to 10 percentage points.

  • Assuming that everyone who voted for J and N go to the leftist group (i.e. that all right-euroskeptics went to DF yesterday), VKOI will lose their majority if people vote like they did yesterday in the next local parliamentary election. Even if two percentage points out of the ten go to the bad guys, we'd still come out ahead, if Ø gets above the threshold, and I throws away half a wingnut percentage point (although they'll probably be in an electoral pact with V or K by then...).

Splitting along EP group left-right lines, we get 7 in the left camp (4 PES, 2 Greens, one independent) vs. 6 in the right-wing camp (3 ALDE-lunatic, 1 EPP, 2 neofascists).5 A marginal left(ish) victory, in other words.

Nothing much to see here, except that the roles of EPP and ALDE-lunatic are inversed and both the Greens and the neofascists make a considerably better showing than in the continent-wide results.

Splitting along integrationist/disintegrationist lines, we get:

Integrationists (SF, S, R, V, K, I): 75.2 %, 10 seats
Disintegrationists (N, J, DF): 24.9 %, 3 seats

In other words, the system actually delivers what it claims on the label (proportional representation). It also does so on the left-right comparison, and considering the limited number of seats, it is also reasonably proportional when you compare electoral pacts (the cheapest seat cost 7 percentage points, the most expensive one cost 10 - that's not bad with only 13 seats [exact proportionality would award one seat for every 7.7 percentage points]).

- Jake

1These electoral pacts are a rather striking display of parochialism: They break down the list along "Left-Euroskeptic/Left-Integrationist/Right-Integrationist/Right-Euroskeptic" lines, completely disregarding the EP groups. Apparently, the Danish parties still consider the EP elections "folketingsvalg plus or minus 10 %."

2The two parties not described in the links above are EP-only parties, not new arrivals since the last elections. Both are Euroskeptic and both claim to be tværpolitiske (parteiübergreifend in German - there is no good English word for it, on account of the tradition for two-party systems in the English-speaking world, but "bi-partisan" has the same connotations). But their prominent membership is drafted heavily from left-wing Euroskeptics.

The only difference that I've been able to tell between them (apart from the fact that Folkebevægelsen ran a more competent campaign) is that officially Junibevægelsen is "not against the EU." If that sounds like the same kind of newspeak that the Irish electorate was treated to by Libertas, then that's because it is: Junibevægelsen has never, to the best of my knowledge, met an EU treaty they actually liked.

3Made in the immediate aftermath of the '07 Danish parliamentary elections.

4This would be a profoundly uninformed line of reasoning, given the very explicitly integrationist policies that the SF candidates have been running on (and the ruthlessness with which the makeover into a "serious party" has been implemented). But then again, uninformed parochialism seems to be par for the course for EP elections these days...

5I've put the MEP from N in the left-wing column because the MEP in question is Søren Søndergaard, a long-time high-profile Ø politician. He's on our side on every single actual policy issue. But I don't know how willing he'll be to vote in favour of harmonisation in those cases where the harmonisation would worsen policy in Denmark relative to the status quo, even if it would improve policy in the EU-wide aggregate.

He's elected on a mandate to vote against such measures. But on the other hand he's important enough in the popular imagination that he can probably get away with breaking the party line for a sufficiently good cause without getting into a major row - he has a national platform to fall back on; the Popular Movement against EU does not. Note also DoDo's comment below.

Popular Movement against EU {N} (Folkebevægelsen imod EU)


I've put the MEP from N in the left-wing column because the MEP in question is Søren Søndergaard, a long-time high-profile Ø politician.

I was suspicious that that's not an Independent, and indeed:


Parties with MEPs as Associate Members of the Group:
Folkebevaegelsen mod EU
Sigurdsgade 39A
2200 Copenhagen NDenmark
Tel: +45 35821800
Fax: +45 35821806
E-mail: folkebevaegelsen@folkebevaegelsen.dk
Website: http://www.folkebevaegelsen.dk

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 05:21:10 PM EST
Well, I'll be damned. It does dovetail rather nicely with his views, so in that sense I'm not terribly surprised.

But the Popular Movement's campaign claimed - rather stridently - that they were not affiliated with any group...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 05:27:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. The EP's results page has him as GUE/NGL, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 04:41:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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