Updated Updated: September 27, 2019

Betting on Danish Politics

denmark politics

Denmark is supposedly the happiest country on Earth, but that does not withhold its political system from having to conduct elections. In fact, Danish politics hosts a multiplicity of different political parties, many of which are represented in the Danish Parliament (known as Folketinget in Danish).

You might have an early idea of how Danish politics works – having watched the immensely popular but fictional tv-show Borgen, which aired on BBC – but this is a more specialized introduction to the workings of Danish politics. And how to bet on it, obviously!

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Betting on the next General Election

denmark election

General Elections are held in Denmark at the very least every fourth year. Unlike the USA or the United Kingdom, there is no scheduled date from the outset; instead, the Prime Minister is entrusted with deciding a date before his maximum term expires (4 years). That creates a very tactical aspect to the Danish elections: Since the Prime Minister decides when the election is held, he holds a strategic advantage over his opponents.

In some cases, the Prime Minister can wait for a very long time before calling an election. That is what happened in 2019 when Lars Lokke Rasmussen played the waiting-game while hoping for a turn in his favor in the polls.

That never happened with the Social Democrats and the left-leaning Red Bloc steaming ahead, and at last Rasmussen had to call an election while miles behind in the polls. In this case, Rasmussen waited too long and would have benefitted from calling an election in 2018.

danish parties

Lars Lokke Rasmussen and his Liberal Party predictably failed to regain the Prime Ministership, which paved the way for the Social Democrats with Mette Frederiksen as their leader. After weeks of negotiations, Denmark’s new government was presented in July 2019 as a one-party Social Democratic-government with parliamentary support from Enhedslisten (The Red-Green Alliance), Socialistisk Folkeparti (The Socialist People’s Party), and Det Radikale Venstre (The Danish Social-Liberal Party). 

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There was nothing surprising about Mette Frederiksen becoming Prime Minister, as she had been valued at 1/3 by Bethard just before the election.

However, Denmark’s multi-party system always allow for a bit of electoral drama. The many parties represented in Folketinget can sometimes create curious majorities across the political spectrum, and during the most recent election, Lars Lokke Rasmussen from the Liberal Party even proposed a coalition-government spanning across the center in Danish politics. That never materialized, but it shows how vibrant and creative the negotiations to construct a new government in Denmark can be.

Potentially, we are now years away from the next Danish General Election. However, there is always a chance for an early election. There are two possible ways this could happen:

  1. If there is a majority against the government, it will have to step down. This will force a new election.
  2. Mette Frederiksen can decide to call an early election, something that usually follows from a major political crisis.

In which year will the next Danish General Election be held? 

2019:15.00
2020:8.00
2021:5.50
2022:2.25
2023:1.72

Odds provided by Unibet, July 2019.

Betting on the next Danish Prime Minister

Danish political betting is hardly one of the biggest markets around, and it can sometimes be difficult to actually find it offered by the most prominent bookmakers. However, one of the markets that do generate some interest is that of betting on the next Danish Prime Minister. This is a popular market but also one for the more patient gamblers: as you can see above, you might have to wait for a long time for your prize to arrive.

danish elections

With Mette Frederiksen as the new Prime Minister, speculations have already started over the next General Election. In Denmark, tradition is that the Prime Minister comes from either the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne) or the Liberal Party (Venstre). Obviously, there is no rule dictating this; they have merely been the most popular and influential parties in Danish political history. Looking ahead to the next General Election, there is little doubt that they will be again.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen has until now led the Liberal Party, but discussions have started over his successor. Rasmussen comes from electoral results which saw his party grow: the election to the European Parliament as well as the Danish General Election – although he failed to continue as Denmark’s Prime Minister. Many now expect Rasmussen to resign, which have rekindled old infighting in the Liberal Party. 

venstre

Kristian Jensen was long expected to succeed Rasmussen, but he has struggled in electoral results as well as public appearances. Another name that is now considered realistic is Inger Stojberg, the hardline anti-immigration now former Minister of Integration, but she is a very polarising character among the Danish public.

The times they are a-changing as they say, and every election is a chance for other parties to ascend to governmental offices. However, the bookmakers give us a very solid idea of how unlikely this is: although both Pernille Skipper (Enhedslisten) and Uffe Elbæk (Alternative) pointed to themselves as candidates for the Prime Minister-position before the recent election, the bookies were never convinced this was even remotely likely to happen. On the day of the election, Skipper and Elbæk were priced at respectively 125/1 and 150/1.

The five most recent Danish Prime Ministers:

 Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (1993 – 2001) Social Democrats
 Anders Fogh Rasmussen (2001 – 2009) Liberal Party
 Lars Løkke Rasmussen (2009 – 2011) Liberal Party
 Helle Thorning-Schmidt (2011 – 2015) Social Democrats
 Lars Løkke Rasmussen (2015 – 2019) Liberal Party
 Mette Frederiksen (2019-) Social Democrats

As you can see above, the Liberal Party and the Social Democrats have exercised a tight grip on the Prime Minister-position for the past 25 years.

This is not a natural law and things could change, but recent odds on the next Danish Prime Minister reveal how entrenched these parties are in Danish politics. With Danske Spil, Mette Frederiksen is currently priced at 2/3 whereas ‘Any Candidate’ from the Liberal Party is listed at 5/4.

For decades, Danish politics has been a battleground between the Social Democrats and the Liberal Party, and looking at these numbers, there is little to argue that the future will be any different.

Bookmakers with Danish political betting

bookmakers

Betting on Danish politics is easily accessible to people in Denmark, but from the outside, it can be slightly more challenging. At the time of writing this, few bookmakers offer any odds whatsoever on the next Danish Prime Minister. One reason for this is the ongoing uncertainty about the next leader of the Liberal Party, but often these markets only appear relatively close to the General Election. There are, however, some exceptions:

Unibet

Unibet might not be the most well-known bookmaker outside Scandinavia, but in Denmark it is one of the leading actors. The bookmaker has a strong presence in the Scandinavian countries and was originally founded by a Swede. Unibet offers a number of different markets on Danish politics, not least when the General Election comes around. During the 2019 General Election, Unibet offered varied markets such as H2H between different politicians, U/O on specific political parties, and the chance to bet on the next Danish Minister of Finance. If you are interested in betting on Danish politics you have to include Unibet in your portfolio.

Bet365

Bet365 offers political betting on the Danish market as well, although they are most likely to appear a lot closer to an actual election. Earlier, they have made noise by allowing you to bet on specific Danish celebrities to become the next Danish Prime Minister – such as the controversial footballer Nicklas Bendtner. In fact, Bet365’s interface allows you to request a price on whoever you think will be the Prime Minister. A lot of entertainment waiting there!

SportPesa

sportpesa logo

During the 2019 General Election in Denmark, SportPesa was among the bookmakers making their presence felt on the market. They offered some of the most competitive odds overall, especially on the next Danish Prime Minister. SportPesa is a rapidly growing bookmakers with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and although far removed from Denmark in Northern Europe still an extremely relevant bookmaker.

Betting on Voter Turnout in Danish Elections

Trying to predict the turnout for an election is an integral part of election days in Denmark. Experts are called in to analyse the factors that can affect it: day of the week, how the campaign has unfolded, different demographic factors etc. Betting on voter turnout is also very popular, with odds popularly offered by leading bookmakers such as Betfair, Bet365 and Unibet. For example, during the 2019 General Election, Bethard offered 5/4 on the voter turnout being higher than 86.5%.

FAQs

Yes – the General Election might be the most publicised election, but Local Elections are held on a fixed date every fourth year, and Denmark is also a member of the European Union which means they have to elect representatives to the European Parliament every five years. Betting on these events is both possible and a popular thing, although the markets usually appear very close to the actual event. If interested in these markets, keep your eyes out on bookmakers such as Fun88 and SportPesa.

There is no right or wrong answer to the question: It depends on your language-skills, time and how much effort you are willing to invest to become an expert on Danish politics. However, reading online newspapers such as The Local and the Copenhagen Post is always useful, as it provides interesting perspectives on the goings of Danish politics. Looking at polls is also a good idea.

As long as you use a certified bookmaker that you trust, there is absolutely no issue with betting on political markets. Traditionally, betting has mainly concerned itself with sports, but the industry has reinvented itself in recent years and now have a much broader focus. Betting on American and British politics is particularly popular, but don’t hesitate to look at Danish politics as well.

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