At the time of the Danish EP elections in June 2004 the Liberal-led coalition with the Conservatives had held office for some two and a half years. Mainly with the support of the Danish People’s Party, it had accomplished a large part of the programme it launched when it took over from the Social Democratic-led coalition with the Social Liberals that had been in office in 1993–2001. (Until 1994 the Christian People’s Party and until 1996 the Centre Democrats were also part of this coalition.) The Danes are well known for their Euroscepticism. This scepticism surfaces especially during referendums. Denmark has a tradition of referendums on the European issue. Five have been held since the 1972 referendum of EC membership. In 1986 the electorate supported the Single European Act. It voted twice on the Maastricht Treaty, once against it in 1992 and then for it in 1993 following the Edinburgh amendment to meet its concerns over citizenship. In 1998, the electorate accepted the Amsterdam Treaty but in 2000 it rejected the euro. The European Constitution will also be put to a referendum. In these referendums turnout has held steady in the mid 80s (the level at national elections) and never dropped below 74 per cent. EP election turnout has been much lower, varying from 47.8 per cent in 1979 to 52.4 per cent in 1984, dropping to a low of 46.2 per cent in 1989, a high of 52.9 per cent in 1994 and back to 50.4 per cent in 1999.


Party System National Election Maastricht Treaty European Constitution Exit Poll 
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© Karina Pedersen 2005

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  • Karina Pedersen

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