The Chamber of the Danish Parliament is a large room occupying three storeys of Christiansborg Palace. The present appearance of the Chamber is not very different from the way it looked when it was inaugurated in 1918. However, the carpet and the works of art are additions of more recent date, as are also modern devices such as electronic voting boards and microphones. The room is dominated by the seats of the Members of Parliament (MPs), which are arranged in the shape of a horseshoe, with the Speaker's seat in the centre.
The Speaker’s seat
From the Speaker's seat, the Speaker, or one of the four Deputy Speakers, chairs debates and makes sure that voting procedures are followed correctly. The Rostrum is to the left of the Speaker, and parliamentary civil servants assisting the Speaker during debates sit on his right and at the table below the Speaker’s seat. On each side of the Speaker, electronic voting boards show the agenda item being debated and how MPs vote.
Left, right and centre in the Danish Parliament
When MPs are said to be on the right or on the left of Danish politics, this has to do with the way they are seated in the Danish Parliament – seen from the Speaker’s seat, this is. As a rule, MPs from the left-wing parties are seated left of the central aisle whereas MPs from right-wing parties are on the right. However, over the past 20-25 years, still more new parties have been elected to the Danish Parliament, and the division into "left wing" and "right wing" can no longer be maintained consistently.
Members have permanent seats
MPs of the same party are generally seated together in the Chamber, and each MP has his/her own permanent seat. The political group chairmen and spokespersons from the largest parties sit at the front of each section with their fellow party members behind them. Members with the highest seniority usually sit closest to the Rostrum.
Ministers are seated together as a group, separate from their party colleagues, to the left of the Speaker's seat, with the Prime Minister closest to the Rostrum.
Designated seats are available for visitors to the Chamber. From galleries on three sides of the Chamber, visitors can attend debates. In addition to visitors' galleries open to the public, there are galleries reserved for the press, the Royal Family and former MPs.
The Danish Parliament has only one chamber, called the Folketing. Until the middle of the 20th century, the Parliament had two chambers: the Folketing and the Landsting, but the latter was abolished in 1953 by an amendment of the Constitutional Act. Thus, today Denmark has a unicameral system.