Left victory brings Denmark's first woman PM

Reuters/Erik Refner

Denmark has its first-ever woman prime minister after Helle Thorning-Schmidt and her centre-left bloc narrowly won Thursday’s general election. 


Nicknamed ‘Gucci Helle’ for her taste in expensive clothes, the bloc led by Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrat Party took 89 seats in the 179-seat parliament against 86 for the centre-right party of outgoing Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen.

Thorning-Schmidt’s victory is being attributed to her ability to draw into the same bloc the far-left Red Greens and the centrist and pro-market Social Liberal Party.

Both these parties are led by women prompting one of Denmark’s main newspapers, the Information, to hail the elections as “a victory for woman”. But the paper points out it has taken 96 years from the time Danish woman achieved the vote until one of them was elected to the post.

Thorning-Schmidt, who is the daughter-in-law of former British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, campaigned on a platform of tax increases, a rise in public spending and a promise to repeal the tough immigration laws recently outlined by a junior partner of the current coalition.

Four seats reserved for Denmark’s autonomous territories Greenland and the Faroe Islands have not yet officially been counted, but the outcome is unlikely to change the election’s outcome.



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