The importance of her victory is highlighted by the large turnout, which saw nearly 88% of the voting population taking to the polling booths. Her centre-left bloc won 89 of parliament’s 179 seats. The centre-right opposition just missed out, with 86 seats.
Ms Thorning-Schmidt, who is married to Stephen Kinnock, the son of British Labour Party politicians Neil and Glenys Kinnock, has ended a period of nearly ten years in opposition for the Social Democrats.
Her campaign centred on tax rises and increased public spending as a means of pulling the country out of the economic downturn. She accused incumbent prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, of failing to encourage growth and allowing the deficit to grow.
She has suggested that she intends to increase government spending and has advocated an extra hour of work each week to improve productivity. The Social Democrats argue that even 12 minutes a day would help with growth.
Denmark is currently recovering from the worst economic crisis since World War II.