Denmark votes in close election

Danes voted on Thursday in a cliff-hanger election, where an opposition centre-right alliance is seeking to oust Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Denmark votes in close election

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Danes vote on Thursday on whether to keep Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt in power after unpopular belt-tightening reforms that eventually bore economic recovery or to elect centre-right rivals who promise tax breaks.

Denmark's first female premier, Thorning-Schmidt hopes people will forget broken promises after the last election and instead bask in a growing economy. But her bloc of parties is neck and neck with the opposition led by Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

The latest Gallup poll carried out on Tuesday put the centre-right on 50.7 percent against 49.2 percent for the centre-left. But another poll put them squarely at 50-50 while a third showed a small lead for Thorning-Schmidt's bloc.

Pollsters said up to a fifth of voters were undecided, suggesting an unpredictable outcome. But if the polls are correct, the vote may become a repeat of a 1998 election which was so tight that just 180 votes from the Faroe Islands tipped the balance in favour of the centre-left.

"It has been 50-50 all the election campaign," said Gallup's Camilla Fjeldsoe.

Differences between the two blocs have more to do with their leaders' styles rather than their policies in a Nordic country known for consensus politics. While Rasmussen's Liberals want to freeze state spending and introduce tax breaks, Thorning-Schmidt's Social Democrats have pledged increased spending.

Economists say any such increase would be marginal, having scant effect on markets and future economic growth dependent on European demand for Denmark's exports.

Polls close at 1800 GMT followed immediately by two exit polls. Counting in Denmark is expected to finish at 2200 GMT. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Haziran 2015, 12:47