Parliamentary Chamber: Folkentiget


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  21 September 1994

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament three months before the normal expiry of its term. Since general elections had previously been held in December 1990, they were at the latest due by the end of 1994.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Following the previous (December 1990) general elections, Prime Minister Poul Schluter and his conservative coalition Cabinet resigned in January 1993 over a refugees-related scandal and Mr. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen succeeded Mr. Schluter at the head of a centre-left coalition since his Social Democratic Party (SD) held a parliamentary plurality at the time. The centre-right groups had been in power since 1982.

On 29 August 1994, the election date was set for September – i.e., three months before the polling deadline. Economic issues dominated debate during the short campaign, as both the ruling coalition and its opponents sought to take credit for recent positive developments in this field – continued annual growth in the gross national product (GNP), paralleled by a low inflation rate and decreasing budget deficit. The two sides disagreed on the question of Denmark’s extensive welfare system, with Mr. Rasmussen pledging to bolster it and Mr. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, leader of the Liberal Party, advocating cuts so as to reduce the deficit further. The latter in fact generally called for more restraint on public spending to allow for lower taxes and to stimulate higher private-sector growth.

On polling day, the outgoing governing coalition – comprising the SD, the Radical Liberals (RV), the Centre Democrats (CD) and the Christian People’s Party (KrF) – lost a total of 14 seats while the Liberal gained an almost equivalent number to become the second-ranked party in the Folketing. Despite this turn of events, the SD and its allies (minus the KrF) were returned to power, Prime Minister Rasmussen and his Cabinet being sworn in on 26 September. As this minority Government controlled but 76 of the 179 Folketing seats (14 short of a majority), it would need the support of two other leftist parties including the extremist Red-Green Alliance, an anti-European Union group represented in Parliament for the first time. At the other end of the ideological gamut, the far-right, anti-foreigner Progress Party (FP) captured 11 seats, but its controversial extremist policies had led to criticism of Mr. Ellemann-Jensen during the campaign when he had proposed that the group participate in a right-wing governing alliance.

Round no 1 (21 September 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 3,988,787
Voters 3,360,637 (84.3%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 33,040
Valid votes 3,327,597

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Social Democratic Party 106 1,150,048 34.6
Liberal Party (Venstre) 99 775,176 23.3
Conservative People’s Party 103 499,845 15.0
Socialist People’s Party 103 242,398 7.3
Progress Party 103 214,057 6.4
Radical Liberal Party 98 152,901 4.6
Red-Green Alliance 99 104,701 3.1
Centre Democrats 96 94,496 2.8
Christian People’s Party 104 61,507 1.9
Independents 28 32,668 1.0

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Social Democratic Party 62 -7
Liberal Party (Venstre) 42 +13
Conservative People’s Party 27 -3
Socialist People’s Party 13 -2
Progress Party 11 -1
Radical Liberal Party 8 +1
Red-Green Alliance 6 +6
Centre Democrats 5 -4
Christian People’s Party 0 -4
Independents 1 +1

  Excluding Greenland and Faeroe Islands seats.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 119
Women: 60

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 30 years 8
30-39 years 26
40-49 years 58
50-59 years 74
60-69 years 12
70 years 1

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Salaried employees in the public sector 69
Salaried employees in the private sector 61
Self-employed 35
Workers in the public sector 2
Workers in the private sector 2
Wage-earners (non-specified) 2
Unemployed 8

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Copyright 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union