The bloc of Prime Minister Helle Throrning-Schmidt is likely to lose the majority following the parliamentary elections in Denmark, television stations have projected. The results are still coming in.
State broadcaster DR estimated that the liberal conservative bloc led by Lars Loekke Rasmussen will win 92 seats compared with 83 for the ruling centre-left coalition, based on 62 percent votes cast in the Thursday election.
"As it looks now it seems we have lost the election," said Carsten Hansen, a senior member of the governing Social Democratic Party.
The TV2 news channel also projected opposition win, with Rasmussen and his political allies taking 92 seats towards the rivals' 83. At the same time, both media outlets predicted that the right-wing Danish People's Party, noted for its skepticism towards the European union, would be the second largest singe party in the Danish parliament.
Only the Liberals, led by Rasmussen, would get more seats in the 179-seat legislature. Other projections even put the Danish People's Party ahead of the Liberals.
"This election campaign has shown that we are a party that the others just can't avoid. We are a party to be taken seriously here in this country," the People's Party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl said, commenting on the preliminary results.
Back to borders
Although Liberals and DPP are allied in the opposition block, it remains unclear whether the euroskeptics intend to enter Rasmussen's government or support it from the sidelines.
Earlier on Thursday, Dahl said the party would stay "where the political influence is greatest. If that is in a government then that is where we will be, if it is outside of the government then that it where we will be."
"That is the driver for us, not minister titles," he said.
Part of the controversy surrounding the party is their push to reintroduce border controls against neighboring countries, stirring criticism from many in the EU.
However, both Thorning-Schmidt and Loekke Rasmussen promised they would tighten migrant control during the campaign.
Exit poll only 'indication'
Earlier an exit poll indicated a much closer race, with opposition securing only 88 seats and government supporters 87. However, the poll did not take into account the four seats from Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The two territories in the North Atlantic are mostly self-ruled, but the issues such as foreign and defense policy are still referred to the Kopenhagen.
It's "only an indication of what a representative group of people had voted," Kasper Jensen of polling institute Megafon said on the poll, based on about 6,000 interviews.
dj/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)