Tore Keller, Danish correspondent in France: “The legislative elections are a source of concern”

“It raises a whole bunch of questions about the coherence of Europe, our policy towards Ukraine… So yes, the upcoming legislative elections in France are extremely important for you, but also for us, Europeans”says Tore Keller, correspondent in France for the Danish media Dagbladet Information.

A National Rally (RN) in a position of strengtha united left, a weakened president… The legislative elections looming in France are being scrutinized with particular interest abroad, particularly because of the swing they could cause. “This raises questions about the coherence of Europe, our policy towards Ukraine, and, for many Danes, it is a source of concern (…). Can France hold on or not?”

Considering the chances of success of the New Popular Front, Tore Keller suggests that strong personalities – “not (ready) to put their own ambitions aside” – could create insurmountable tensions and, ultimately, harm the left bloc. “France does not have this culture and this tradition of compromise that we have here.” It must be said that the Danish parliamentary system gives pride of place to “coalitions” and obliges the parties “to compromise”.

Strategic shift

In Denmark, this culture of compromise has led part of the left to adopt a strategy that would be difficult for French voters to imagine. “The historic Danish left – the social democrats – took up some of the ideas of the extreme right, while the party equivalent to La France insoumise non”, summarizes the journalist.

Social Democracy (Socialdemokratiet), the official name of the Danish center-left party, had been losing momentum since the 1980s. Its new president, Mette Frederiksen, “quickly realized that if she wanted to get her hands on (voters)” who had joined a growing far-right party – the Danish People’s Party, 21% in the 2015 legislative elections –, “she should defend a policy in which they could recognize themselves”, reminds us of everyday life Politics.

Since 2015, therefore, the party has included in its program elements intended to pull the rug out from under the feet of far-right groups. A winning bet since Social democracy won the 2022 legislative elections and formed a coalition government with the Liberals and a center-right party. But this led to the establishment of a particularly restrictive immigration policy. “Firm but not stupid”, even Tore Keller suggests.

According to him, this model should lead politicians to question how to deal with the rise of the extreme right in Europe. For the left, a real dilemma arises: to follow “its principles” or listen to the “voice of the people”, as did the Danish Social Democrats. “If we look at the polls, it is clear that in France immigration is a source of concern”, he notes.

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