June 1, 2015 / 7:27 AM / in 4 years

Danish ruling bloc takes poll lead in countdown to vote

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and opposition leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen (not pictured) attend their first one-on-one debate held in a temporary television studio outside the Danish parliament building, in Copenhagen May 31, 2015. REUTERS/Keld Navntoft/Scanpix Denmark

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Centre-left parties backing Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt edged into the lead in an opinion poll published on Monday in the countdown to a national election, their first time at the head of the pack in months.

More than half of respondents who had made up their mind, 50.5 percent, said they would vote for Thorning-Schmidt’s bloc, in the first survey by polling agency Voxmeter since she announced a $5.7 billion spending package and then called the vote for June 18.

Her group had trailed the centre-right bloc led by The Liberal Party’s Lars Lokke Rasmussen in Voxmeter surveys since November 2013. The ‘red bloc’ only had 45.6 percent of the votes in a poll published on May 25.

But on May 26, Thorning-Schmidt promised to boost spending on healthcare, the elderly, children’s day care, the environment and police and declared the country’s economic crisis over. The government also increased its 2015 growth forecast.

Analysts said the new poll, issued by Danish news agency Ritzau, suggested a close election race.

Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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