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Danish general election, 2001

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Danish general election, 2001

Danish general election, 2001

20 November 2001

All 179 seats to the Folketing
90 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 87.1%
  First party Second party
Leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Party Venstre Social Democrats
Last election 42 seats, 24.0% 63 seats, 35.9%
Seats won 56 52
Seat change +14 -11
Popular vote 1,077,858 1,003,023
Percentage 31.2% 29.1%

Prime Minister before election

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Social Democrats


Anders Fogh Rasmussen

General elections were held in Denmark on 20 November 2001.[1] For the first time since the 1924 elections, the Social Democrats did not win the most seats. Anders Fogh Rasmussen of the centre-right Venstre became Prime Minister in coalition with the Conservative People's Party, as the head of the first Rasmussen government, with the support from Danish People's Party.

The coalition relied on the votes of other right-wing parties such as the Danish People's Party, which polled better than ever before. Voter turnout was 87.1% in Denmark proper, 80.0% in the Faroe Islands and 61.5% in Greenland.[2] The Venstre led coalition government would last until the 2011 election, lasting through two intermediate elections.

The election marked a major shift in Danish politics: It was the first time that the right leaning parties held an outright majority in the parliament since the beginning of the modern democratic system in Denmark in 1901;[3] although right leaning parties had held power several times, they had always had to share power with more centrist or left-wing parties in coalition governments, such as the Danish Social Liberal Party. Historian Bo Lidegaard said that the vote showed a move away from broad national consensus which had existed since the 1930s regarding the style of governance in Denmark. One of the most important changes that forced the change was the rise of immigration as a political issue and the ensuing rise of the Danish People's Party.[3] Immigration played a central role in the 2001 campaign and was thrust into focus by the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, although it had been gaining attention for years.[3]


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Venstre 1,077,858 31.2 56 +14
Social Democratic Party 1,003,323 29.1 52 –11
Danish People's Party 413,987 12.0 22 +9
Conservative People's Party 312,770 9.1 16 ±0
Socialist People's Party 219,842 6.4 12 –1
Danish Social Liberal Party 179,023 5.2 9 +2
Red-Green Alliance 82,685 2.4 4 –1
Christian People's Party 78,793 2.3 4 ±0
Centre Democrats 61,031 1.8 0 –8
Progress Party 19,340 0.5 0 –4
Independents 1,016 0.0 0 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 35,247
Total 3,484,915 100 175 0
Faroe Islands
Union Party 7,208 27.3 1 +1
Republican Party 6,578 24.9 1 +1
Social Democratic Party 6,187 23.4 0 –1
People's Party 5,417 20.5 0 –1
Centre Party 569 2.2 0 New
Self-Government Party 434 1.6 0 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 105
Total 26,393 100 2 0
Inuit Ataqatigiit 7,172 30.8 1 +1
Forward 6,033 25.9 1 ±0
Feeling of Community 5,138 22.1 0 –1
Independents 4,917 21.1 0 ±0
Invalid/blank votes 559
Total 23,819 100 2 0
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Popular vote


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p525 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p549
  3. ^ a b c Lidegaard, Bo (2011). En Fortælling om Danmark i det 20. Århundrede (in Danish). Copenhagen: Gyldendal. p. 428. 
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