Christina Egelund and Simon Ammitzbøll-Bille both recently resigned from the libertarian Liberal Alliance party, a member of the coalition government from 2016 until this year’s election.
The pair announced the launch of their new party, Fremad (‘Forward’) on Wednesday, Berlingske reported.
Ammitzbøll-Bille, who will lead the new party, told the newspaper he saw the need for a conservative party which broke with what he considered a trend of making symbolic anti-immigration measures.
“Danes want to have strict immigration laws. We understand that, and we also support it. What we are seeing is that this should also exude fairness and rule of law. That’s the adjustment we want to make,” he told Berlingske.
On his Twitter profile, the former Liberal Alliance deputy leader described his new party as a ‘centrist liberal party’.
In the Danish political context, the word ‘liberal' is associated more with the ideals of individual freedom, rather than with left-wing progressive politics as it tends to be used in particular in the United States.
The Fremad party has placed itself in Denmark’s ‘blue bloc’, meaning it would join other conservative groups in backing Liberal party leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen as the prime ministerial candidate in a general election.
Right-of-centre parties in the Folketinget parliament currently number five: the Liberal Party, Liberal Alliance, the Conservative Party, the Danish People's Party and Nye Borgelige (New Right).
Another fiscally conservative party, Klaus Riskær Pedersen, did not reach the threshold for parliamentary representation at June's general election. Neither did the socially conservative Christian Democrats. Far-right extremists Stram Kurs also ran in the election without reaching the threshold, which is around two percent.
Speculation over the emergence of a new centre-right party led by Ammitzbøll-Bille has been rife in recent weeks following a number of defections from Liberal Alliance.
Ammitzbøll-Bille was minister of the interior and economy under the previous government, while Egelund held a senior position as political spokesperson with Liberal Alliance.
The libertarian party suffered a disastrous 2019 general election and was reduced from 13 to 4 MPs, with Egelund and former leader and foreign minister Anders Samuelsen among those to lose their seats in parliament.