Denmark's ruling coalition likely to be stronger after deputy PM's exit - analysts

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Denmark's Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said on Monday he is retiring from politics with immediate effect, a move political analysts expect will strengthen the government coalition.

Ellemann-Jensen's Liberal Party has trailed in opinion polls since last December, when it entered a rare reform-oriented bipartisan government with the Social Democratic Party and the Moderates.

The coalition government currently holds a narrow majority in the 179-member parliament.

Ellemann-Jensen returned to politics in August following a six months leave due to stress. But weak opinion polls had put pressure on him from party members.

Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen will become acting deputy prime minister and economy minister.

"I would like to make clear that we will continue our work to implement the government platform, because I believe that the Liberal Party should continue in government," Lund Poulsen told a press briefing.

Lund Poulsen is also favourite to be elected as party chair at a meeting next month, according to political analysts.

"There is greater confidence that he can stabilize the party and this stability will likely extend into the government," political commentator Jarl Cordua told Reuters.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Johannes Birkebaek; Editing by Terje Solsvik, Bernadette Baum and Mike Harrison)