Messerschmidt like a boxer flexing his muscles, complains rivals for Dansk Folkeparti leadership
Midnight signals the deadline for candidates to register their interest in contesting the Dansk Folkeparti leadership contest on January 23, where the right-wing party’s members will vote for a successor to Kristian Thulesen Dahl.
There had been high hopes that Inger Støjberg would be among the candidates, and for a while she was the odds-on favourite.
But she’s in jail, leaving four candidates in the field.
Four in the field
The candidates are deputy leader and favourite Morten Messerschmidt, Martin Henriksen, the former immigration spokesperson, and outsiders Merete Dea Larsen and Erik Høgh-Sørensen.
In order to stand, the candidates needed to demonstrate they had the support of 25 official party members, and the underdogs are clearly somewhat irked by Messerschmidt’s recent posturing, which has involved him saying he can call on the support of 400.
“I made sure I had the number of party members we needed. I do not need to display a demonstration of power around it,” said Larsen, who like Pia Kjærsgaard for most of the 1990s, is a blonde-haired woman in her 40s.
“Coming out with 400 supporters is reminiscent of a boxer standing in the corner of the ring before the fight and playing with the muscles,” added Høgh-Sørensen, who can look both innocent and villainous at the same photo shoot.
Henriksen’s slight edge
Henriksen, meanwhile, lost his seat as an MP in 2019, although he has just won a seat on the municipal council in Stevns.
With 12 years in Parliament (2007-19) he has more experience than Messerschmidt, who has so far served two terms: 2005-09, at which point he embarked on his career as an EMP, and since 2019.
However, DR’s political analyst Pia Glud Munksgaard is confident Messerschmidt will win.
“He must be the favourite for the leadership,” she told P1 Morgen.