Denmark’s Social Democratic prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has announced that parliamentary elections will be held on 18 June. She said the minority government, whose term ends in September, would not resign before the election, but that it was time for voters to have their say on its policies. “It’s the right time to ask Danes whether we should keep the course or if we want experiments by [the opposition],” Thorning-Schmidt told a news conference on Wednesday. The opposition centre-right bloc, led by former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, has a four-percentage-point lead in recent opinion polls. However, Thorning-Schmidt is ahead of Rasmussen in other polls when it comes to credibility.
A major point of disagreement between the blocs is public spending. Thorning-Schmidt, who points to 18 months of economic growth, has promised to raise welfare spending, while the opposition maintains that improvements can be achieved without expanding the public sector.
On Tuesday, the government raised its economic growth forecast for 2015 to 1.7% from a previous estimate of 1.4%, and maintained a two per cent growth estimate for next year.