Danish Electoral System

The Danish electoral system for the unicameral parliament of Kingdom of Denmark, the Folketing, is based on proportional representation. The Folketing consists of 175 members, plus 4 members from Faroe Islands and Greenland. According to the Danish Constitution the electoral system secures equal representation of different opinions.

Denmark is divided in three electoral regions (Metropolitan Copenhagen, Sealand-Southern Denmark and Northern and Central Jutland) and ten multi-member constituencies which are subdivided into 92 nomination districts. The distribution of seats takes place at two levels, a multi-member constituency level and a national level. The first 135 seats of the parliament are allocated to the ten multi-member constituencies, whereas the 40 remaining are distributed compensatory, as part of the higher tier in national level. In order to gain a compensatory seat in the parliament, a party shall win a seat directly in any of the ten constituencies; obtain in two of the three electoral regions at least the number of votes corresponding to the region seat ratio; and gain 2% of the valid votes. In fact, these are the thresholds in a highly proportional electoral formula in order for a party to participate in the distribution of the compensatory seats.

Voters may cast only one vote, either for the preferred party (a party vote), or for the preferred candidate among all the party’s candidates on the ballot (a personal vote). Each candidate except his/hers personal votes, credits also a share of the votes cast for the party in which he/she participates. The Faroe Islands and Greenland elect parliament members according to separate rules.


Sources: Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy, Wikipedia.org

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