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What to Know About Denmark’s Election

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As in many other places, domestic issues have risen to the top of the agenda, political analysts say. Voters are worried about the economy, including inflation, labor shortages and lagging salaries, particularly in the health care system. And they are concerned about the environment and climate change policy.

Less important have been issues of foreign policy, including the war in Ukraine. The government has announced increases in military spending and veered from its traditional hesitation over joining European security and defense policy since the war began. That will stay the same regardless of the election result, experts say.

“Nothing outside Denmark’s borders has any influence on what Danes will vote on Tuesday,” said Jesper Claus Larsen, an election analyst for Electica, a research organization. “Local issues matter a lot to us,” he added.

Once pivotal, immigration has fallen down the agenda, partly because the governing Social Democrats have vowed to remain tough on migration, depriving right-leaning parties of a possible issue, said Kasper M. Hansen, a professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen.

Denmark, which has some of the toughest anti-immigration laws in Europe, passed legislation that offered Ukrainian refugees expedited residency. But that left many pointing out the contrast with how Denmark has treated asylum seekers from Syria, who have languished for months in deportation centers.

Generally, the main parties have navigated around major disagreements on key subjects, Professor Hansen said, with the system promoting the need to find consensus. “They’ve really been good at putting these issues to bed,” he noted. Perhaps one upshot of that in this election, however, is that the personalities of the leaders have come to the fore.

Though the electorate will ostensibly vote for a party, analysts say that it will really come down to which leader they prefer to steer Denmark.

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