March 15, 2014 / 10:09 AM / 5 years ago

Eurosceptic party leads in Danish poll before European election

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The far-right, euro-skeptic Danish People’s Party may emerge as Denmark’s biggest vote getter at the European parliamentary elections in May, a poll indicated on Saturday.

The People’s Party would get 15 percent of the vote if the elections, slated for May 22-25, were held now - outdoing both the Social Democrats and Liberal Party, long the two biggest mainstream parties in the Nordic state.

The Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and Liberals are expected to get 13-14 percent each, the Gallup poll conducted for the Berlingske newspaper showed.

One of Denmark’s 13 members of the European Parliament is from the Danish People’s Party while the Social Democrats hold four seats and the Liberals three.

The Peoples Party has surged in the polls in part because of discontent over the right of all mothers, including foreign immigrants, to receive quarterly child allowance payments regardless of income, Marlene Wind, Director of the Centre for European Politics at Copenhagen University, told the newspaper.

“We are in the middle of a debate about free movement and the Danes are worried about (the effect of immigration on) the welfare system,” Wind said.

The polls suggested nearly one-third of Danes have not made up their minds about who to vote for at the May election.

Many polls in the 28 EU member states point to a big spike in votes for far-left, far-right and anti-EU protest parties, venting discontent with years of economic crisis, rising unemployment, low growth and immigration from outside the bloc.

Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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