Danish parliamentary elections Tuesday appear headed for a close finish, with voter surveys showing the ruling center-right coalition facing a tough opposition challenge driven by immigration and welfare issues.

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rassmussen, in power since 2001, called elections 15 months early, hoping to take advantage of high approval ratings and an alliance with a new center-right party, the New Alliance.

His minority two-party government has ruled with the backing of the right-wing Danish People's Party, known for its hardline stance on immigration.

Several polls released this week show a Rassmussen coalition winning 86 to 89 seats in the 179-seat Folketing. The same polls show a Rasmussen coalition that includes New Alliance gaining control of the legislature.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.