Swedish Government Poll Shows Populist Party Surge as Migration Issues Take Centre Stage
A poll from the Statistics Sweden, the official statistics agency of the Swedish state, shows a solid increase in support for the populist Sweden Democrats (SD) as mass migration issues come to the forefront of the election campaign.
The poll, which was released Tuesday, shows the anti-mass migration party increase their support by 3.7 per cent to a total of 18.5 per cent, while the ruling Social Democrats have slipped 4.3 per cent to 28.3 per cent, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.“There are very strong numbers in this measurement. Historically, we usually measure ourselves quite badly. This confirms the trend, we are growing right now, and the Social Democrats are decreasing,” said the leader of the Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson.
The SD leader has seen a surge in support following a leaders’ debate last month which focused on four key election issues including law and order and immigration – subjects which Åkesson dominated according to polling taken after the debate.
Some, like Swedish journalist Fredrik Furtenbach, have credited the rise in support for the SD to the prevalence of mass migration in both debates and in the news cycle.“SD has risen in the spring and I think it’s about how much people are talking about migration – how much migration dominates the political debate,” Furtenbach said.
While calling the poll a “high-quality measurement”, Furtenbach added that the election was still several months away and added: “We know from other measurements that the majority of voters have not decided who to vote for.”
While the poll shows the SD well behind the Social Democrats, other polls have shown very different results. Last month a YouGov poll put the SD neck and neck with the ruling party at 23 per cent.
Many of the SD’s supporters are also from younger demographics with the party being the most popular with voters between the ages of 18 and 34.