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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Danes Set to Return Incumbent

COPENHAGEN -- Danes voted Wednesday in a general election that opinion polls predicted would return Social Democrat Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen to power but make him dependent on far-left parties.

"Nyrup Again" said a front-page headline in the left of center Politiken daily.

"Only a Sensation Can Topple Nyrup" agreed the conservative daily Berlingske Tidende.

Election eve opinion polls showed Rasmussen's four-party center-left coalition government continuing in power with the help of two far-left parties, the red-green Socialist People's party and the anti-European Union Unity Party.

Rasmussen, 51, a pragmatic, former trade union economist, has pressed home charges that a rightist government relying on the votes of the populist, anti-immigration Progress Party would ruin the welfare state cherished by most Danes.

No Danish party has had a majority since 1914.

A Vilstrup institute poll in Politiken gave the government and the far left a combined 56.5 percent backing. This was against 41.7 percent for the three-party right-wing opposition -- the Liberals, Conservatives and far-right Progess Party.

"We do not fear a minority government. These are often the case in Denmark and we have become good political craftsmen. We can handle the situation," Rasmussen said in a televised party leaders' debate, which took place Tuesday night.