The campaign of the centre-left coalition, called the 'Red Bloc', was centred around a promise to raise taxes on the country's investment banks and wealthiest citizens, reversing a trend of decreasing corporate taxes led by the previous government. The victory for this message is a stinging rebuke to the current austerity crusade dominating the governments of Europe. The Social Democrats, led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt (pictured above), promised to actually expand Denmark's welfare system, which is already one of Europe's largest. They have also promised to use the proceeds from increasing taxes on investment banks and the wealthy to improve roads, schools and hospitals.
So is this a sign that Europe's hobbled left may be on it's way back? Are voters across Europe growing tired with the messages of the right and ready to turn to a new direction? Or are the circumstances of this change in direction limited to Denmark?
Centre-right governments across Europe have been making increasingly populist moves in order to keep themselves from losing voters to the far right. From Nicolas Sarkozy's gypsy deportation last year to David Cameron's 'multiculturalism is a failure' speech, the centre-right has been keen to co-opt some of the ideas of the far right, which has been growing in popularity in Europe.
unilaterally imposing controls at its borders with Sweden and Germany – something forbidden under the Schengen passport-free agreement.
It may be that the increasingly aggressive moves in this direction backfired on the party. It is also highly likely that the far-right terrorism in neighbouring Norway in July influenced the election, with voters not looking to kindly on a coalition that has embraced the far right. The Danish People's Party lost seats in this election for the first time in three election cycles.
But are these conditions that exist throughout Europe? With the exception of Italy, no governing centre-right government has co-opted the ideas of the far right as much as Denmark's government has over the past few years. The revulsion felt toward the far right and those who collaborate with them following the Norway attack would likely not have the same resonance in France or Germany than it did in Denmark.
It's hard to say whether the Denmark election victory heralds new momentum for Europe's Socialists, who have been locked out of power in member states for several years now. One thing is for sure – the map of European governments looks a lot more promising to the left than it did last week. With the addition of Denmark, the left will once again have a voice in Northern Europe. On the other hand Denmark is a small, low-populated country that is not in the Eurozone, and therefore will not be centrally involved in the upcoming discussions over tighter financial union in that bloc.
But every journey begins with the first step.