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Political Structure

Until 1953, Denmark had a bicameral system. After the abolition of the upper house, (Landsting), the Folketing remains. The voting age is 18. The election period is four years, but the Prime Minister may call an election at any time. If the Folketing passes a vote of no confidence in the government, it must resign or call an election. Elections are by proportional representation.

135 seats are allocated on a constituency basis, which ensures an even distribution across the country, with a small advantage to sparsely populated areas. 40 supplementary seats ensure that parties with perhaps more dispersed support also have a chance of being elected. If a party cannot obtain 2% of the votes, it will not be represented in the Folketing. This minimum percentage is considered low in an international context.

For the last 20 years, the poll has varied between 82% and 88%. Since 1909, no party has had an absolute majority. That is why the legislation is compromise-led and centre-seeking, which has given Danish politics the name "collaborative democracy". Since 1955, the Folketing has after every election nominated an Ombudsman, who may criticise the administration by the central and since 1998 also the local authorities. Around 200 new acts are passed every year.

The Danish government has believed that developments in trade, traffic and hospital techniques necessitate larger administrative units in local politics. Since 2007, Denmark's 271 municipalities have been consolidated into 98 larger municipalities, while the 13 counties have been replaced with 5 regions. In addition, the 54 police districts have been merged into 12 and the 82 city court districts into 24.