Premier Joergensen's Social Democratic Party retained power here in today's parliamentary election, gaining a strengthened hand against inflation and unemployment.
After 95 per cent of the votes had been counted in Denmark's general election today, the Social Democrats and four smaller allied parties on their right had won 60 per cent of the vote, a gain of 10 percentage points. By Danish standards, this was a landslide.
This result assures that Joergensen, 54, a low-keyed former union leader, will stay on a premier. His party was accounting for most of the gains, but he is still well short of a majority in Parliament. So he will again head a minority government, either in a coalition with some of the four allies or by making a deal with them on broad policy outlines.
A jubilant Joergenson said the vote demonstrates "the maturity" of Danes who have now "made it a little easier to cope with Denmark's many problems."
Here, as elsewhere in Scandinavia, left and right have become almost meaningless and a broad consenus has been established in a favor of a welfare, mixed-economy state.
The only issue here has been the incomes policy or wage restraint program that Joergensen and his partners proposed to apply. They are calling for pay increases limited to 6 per cent in return for special programs to expand jobs.
One mainstream party, the Liberals, held out against this plan and they dropped about half of the vote they earned two years ago and have lost their place as the second party.
That role will be assumed by Mogens Glistrup and his Progress Party who campaigned against any income tax and for a sharp reduction in the bureaucracy. When Glistrup first entered politics, he was regarded as a dangerous threat to Denmark's generous welfare society.
But he is stuck on a plateau, steadily winning about one vote in seven. Moreover, he has toned down much of his assault and is trying to scramble aboard the consensus bandwagon.
In the outgoing Parliament, Joergensen and his four allies - Radical Liberals, Christians, Center Democrats and Conservatives - hald just 89 of 179 seats. After today's vote, their total will rise to about 100. The Social Democrats dwarf the others and will have more than 60 seats.
Tonight's outcome is not only a triumph for Joergensen's political logic but his personality as well. He is fondly known as "Anker," a shrewd, Plain-speaking man who holds out no bold visions but offers what Danes regard as common sense.
Just as Glistrup on the extreme right appears to have reached a crest, there as little change in the ideological left-wing vote here. In the last election, the Communist Socialist People's Party and Left Socialist held 20 of the 1979 seats. This time, they are likely to end up with one or two less.
Twelve parties competed for the votes here, which leads outsiders to regard the system as woefully unstable. But the wide agreement on key issues permits the formation of working coalitions.
The Danish Trade Union Federation has been resisting the 6 per cent pay guideline and its wage deal with the employers runs out on March 1. That is why Joergensen called the election.
Now he can go back to the unions and claim a solid mandate for his policy. This will help the union chiefs sell the deal to their rank and file.
Like the rest of the industrial world, Denmark has been wrestling with recession and inflation. Price increases have been running at more than 9 per cent and unemployment is nearly 6 per cent. This country has less room to maneuver than most because nearly two-fifths of its output comes from foreign trade. When it tries to mop up unemployment by tax cuts or spending, it increases imports and runs too big a deficit in its foreign accounts.