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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 22:47 GMT
Danish centre-right win new term
Ballot box is emptied in the Danish town of Fredericia
Danes have again rejected the once all-powerful Social Democrats
Denmark's centre-right coalition led by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has won a second term, returns from Tuesday's general election show.

"I'm, of course, very, very happy that the government will continue," Prime Minister Rasmussen told his supporters.

With nearly all of the vote counted, the opposition Social Democrats have admitted defeat and their leader has said he will resign.

The prime minister's bloc stood to take 94 seats in the 179-seat parliament.

He was earlier congratulated by opposition leader Mogens Lykketoft.

Describing the result as "bad" for his party, Mr Lykketoft announced he would resign as its leader.

For much of the last century, the Social Democrats dominated Danish politics but were ousted by Mr Rasmussen and his coalition of Liberals and Conservatives, and their allies the far-right Danish People's Party, in 2001.

Welfare agenda

With the economy looking healthy, the prime minister called an early election last month.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen after casting his vote
Rasmussen had slipped in the polls

The Danish People's Party is firmly anti-immigration but the debate on Denmark's welfare state dominated the low-key campaign.

This year's economic growth forecast is 2.4%, mirroring last year's.

Mr Rasmussen has pledged to keep Denmark's "fair and firm immigration policy" and work for better integration of immigrants.

Immigrants and the descendants of immigrants form 8% of the population.

About four million Danes were eligible to vote in the poll.

The main parties avoided issues such as the Iraq war and the European constitution during the campaign.

What the result means for Denmark

Denmark to hold early elections
18 Jan 05 |  Europe
Q&A: Denmark's election
07 Feb 05 |  Europe
Country profile: Denmark
30 Jan 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Denmark
16 Nov 04 |  Country profiles

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