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Centre-right parties target Sweden's 'red' north

Published tisdag 15 februari 2011 kl 14.08
"It is because of the heavy industries in the north"
(5:08 min)
Main Street Jokkmokk. Photo: Tom Sullivan/SR International

A new report from the conservative and liberal think tank, Timbro, argues that centre-right political parties may have a lot more potential support in smaller towns and rural areas than previously thought.

The author of the report, Hanna Wagenius, says that the tradition of self sufficiency in sparsely populated areas is closer to the ideology of conservative - liberal parties than to the left.

"I'm from a tiny rural area and we learn to take care of ourselves and want to take care of ourselves," she told Radio Sweden, adding that the centre-right parties need to pay as much attention to rural voters as the big cities.

Wagenius ran for election last year for the Centre Party, which has had a traditional power base in the countryside but lost heavily at the last elections.

Erik Laasko, a Social Democrat blogger and activist says the tradition of left voting in country areas and especially the north of Sweden runs deep.

"In the north you tend vote as your grandfather and father did. You talk lot of politics and you're considered to be very different if you vote for the right parties. It's a big step to change party," he said.

"And there's a lot of 'we don't want Stockholm or the European Union' so people vote left because there's no other option."

Reporter: Tom Sullivan - tom.sullivan@sr.se

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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