EU vote could distract from Danish royal referendum

margarethe-iiAlthough a majority of Danes appear to be in favour of changing the law of royal succession, a scheduling conflict could distract many citizens from casting their vote in this important referendum. The problem is the referendum is set for 7 June, the same day when European Parliamentary elections take place.

Election analysts are already concerned over a predicted paltry 40.2 percent turnout for the 7 June EU vote. If less than 40 percent of Danes fail to vote for the referendum, which falls on the same day, it will fail to pass because it involves changing the constitution, according to the Copenhagen Post.

At stake is a radical change to the Danish constitution that will give the right of royal succession to the monarch’s first-born child, regardless of its gender. Presently, it must pass to the first-born son. If less than 40 percent of voters turn out, the constitution cannot be altered.

Soren Risbjerg Thomsen, a professor and election researcher, is concerned that “There has been a decreasing voting tendency to the most recent European parliamentary elections, and EU citizens from other countries can also vote in Denmark. [But] since those people can’t vote on the referendum, it means the number of Danes voting is likely lower than that 40.2 percent.”

To help encourage Danes to get out and vote on the referendum, which an estimated 84 percent of Danes say they support, the office of the Prime Minister has launched a campaign on the Internet and in printed matter voicing its enthusiasm for the measure.

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