Party leaders normally leave comments on opinion polls to their political spokesperson.
But the most recent poll on which government party leader is best at profiling their party in government, has got Foreign Minister and Socialist People’s Party Leader Villy Søvndal going public to guarantee that he will still be party leader at the next election.
“I would like to make it clear that the Socialist People’s Party leader is not decided by opinion polls. I am not the type to leave because things get a little difficult. I’m staying, if anyone should be in doubt,” Søvndal says.
Søvndal’s statement comes in the wake of a week of internal controversy within his party that has given rise to speculation that he may relinquish his leadership to concentrate on his foreign portfolio.
It also comes following the latest Megafon poll for Politiken and TV2 that shows only two per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed saying that Søvndal is the best of the three government leaders in profiling his party in the tripartite coalition.
The poll shows the Social Liberal Party Leader and Economy Minister Margrethe Vestager on 68 per cent and with Social Democratic Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on 12 per cent.
Of the Socialist People’s Party voters alone, 10 per cent point to Søvndal, and overall only two per cent ‘fully agree’ that the Socialist People’s Party has been able to impact government policy with views that the party had expressed prior to the election.
24 per cent feel that Søvndal is the right man for the job of furthering SPP policies, while 39 per cent feel that he should resign the leadership if he wants to further SPP policies. His support among Socialist People’s Party voters, however, is somewhat higher – 44 per cent feel he is the best person to profile the party, with 25 per cent saying he cannot do so.
Asked if he would not do best for his party by withdrawing from the leadership, Søvndal is adamant.
“No – of that I am sure. And I am 100 per cent sure that when you’re in the midst of a storm, it’s best not to waver. You have to fight,” Søvndal says.
“I have been part of this (Ed: party) since 1977 and I know how strong the SPP is when we refrain from artificial disagreements. I have seen a debate that I find strange – to put it diplomatically. On whether we should be a people’s party or a worker’s party. That is the strangest disagreement I have seen during my time in the party,” he adds.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood