January 6, 2016 / 7:57 AM / 4 years ago

Support for Denmark's government slumps, smaller parties favoured

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Support for Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s ruling Liberal Party has fallen to the lowest level in 25 years, six month after he took the reins of the government, Borsen newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lokke Rasmussen attends the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Ornitz

Voters have moved to back minor alternative parties with support for the large populist Danish People’s Party (DF), not part of the government but voting with the Liberals in most parliamentary votes, also declining slightly.

Rasmussen’s political bloc - the Liberals, DF and two smaller parties - is now backed by only 46.8 percent of Danes compared with 52.3 in the election, the opinion poll from polling agency Greens showed.

The Liberals have been in a precarious situation since they were elected last summer. They are the third largest party after the Social Democrats, who came out top but who’s bloc did not gain a majority, and after DF, which ultimately refused to join a coalition government due to differences over social spending.

The government now relies on various configurations of support in parliament to pass laws - for example, the Social Democrats tend to support EU-friendly bills, while DF backs clamping down on immigration.

“It is not satisfactory. It goes without saying,” Liberal Party spokesman Jacob Jensen told Borsen in reaction to the poll. “But there are turbulent times now - both financially and in terms of the asylum and immigration question.”

“We are the only party with government responsibility and therefore we are the target of attacks,” he said.

Support for the Liberal Party has fallen to 16.6 percent from 19.5 percent at the June election. DF’s support has fallen to 19.2 percent from 21.1 percent at the election.

Support for the Social Democrats has gone down to 25.3 percent from 26.3 percent, whereas its former coalition partner the Social-Liberal Party has increased its support to 8.1 percent from 4.6 percent.

Some 25 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Rasmussen’s handling of his job as prime minister, while 61 percent said they were not.

The opinion poll was conducted before the government decided to introduce border controls on Monday.

Reporting by Teis Jensen Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.

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