From The Guardian:
Social Democrats are election frontrunners but critics say their leader has dragged the party sharply to the right
Richard Orange Copenhagen
Sat 11 May 2019
… Mette Frederiksen, leader of Denmark’s opposition Social Democrats, was in hospital with food poisoning when the prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, called a general election last week, and was two days late joining the campaign.
But the 41-year-old has all the momentum, with her left-of-centre bloc starting with an eight percentage point lead, and few doubting that she will become Denmark’s youngest-ever prime minister after the election on 5 June.
… A victory for Frederiksen would be a boon for Europe’s social democrats as they gaze across the continent at a dispiriting political landscape. But it would not be without controversy, for under Frederiksen the party has been ruthlessly reshaped: dragged to the left economically – and sharply to the right on immigration.
“For me, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of unregulated globalisation, mass immigration and the free movement of labour is paid for by the lower classes,” she wrote in a recent biography.
Denmark’s current right-wing coalition government last year enacted the most anti-immigration legislation in Danish history and, rather than position her party in stark opposition, Frederikson has embraced much of it.
Under her leadership, the SD have called for a cap on “non-western immigrants”, for asylum seekers to be expelled to a reception centre in North Africa, and for all immigrants to be forced to work 37 hours a week in exchange for benefits.
She has reached out to the populist Danish People’s party (DPP), doing a series of joint interviews with its leader, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, and discussing cooperating with them in government.
But it is the government policies her party has supported which have been most alarming for her allies in the left-of-centre red bloc. These include a law allowing jewellery to be stripped from refugees, a burqa and niqab ban, mandatory handshakes irrespective of religious sentiment at citizenship ceremonies, and a plan to house criminal asylum seekers on an island used for researching contagious animal diseases. In February, she backed what the DPP has branded a “paradigm shift” – a push to make repatriation, rather than integration, the goal of asylum policy.