New lows for the government in 'poll of polls'
The government parties are down to new lows in the latest poll of polls, Swedish Radio News reports. Meanwhile, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats continue to gain support, achieving their highest polling figures to date.
One in five of those polled, or 20 percent, say they would vote for the Sweden Democrats if there was an election today. That is the highest result ever recorded in a poll of polls put together by the polling company Novus Opinion. The poll is based on the answers from over 4,600 people, given to several different pollsters during the month of December.
"The ownership that the Sweden Democrats have of the immigration issue, which has been and still is dominating (the political debate) ought to have benefited the party," Tommy Möller, political scientist at Stockholm University told Swedish Radio News.
Meanwhile, the government parties continue to struggle in the polls. With 25.3 percent for the Social Democrats and 5.8 percent for the Green Party, this is the worst result in a long time for both parties.
According to Tommy Möller, this is an effect of the criticism against the government for being passive, but it is also due to the weak position the government has in parliament.
"We have a weak government today, which is the main explanation to the low figures. Maybe the weakest government in modern times. It has a weak position in parliament and it suffers from internal conflicts in important issues," Möller says.
For the other parties, the poll does not offer much news. For the centre-right Alliance parties, it is only the Liberals that gets slightly increased support, while the Christian Democrats are still below the threshold to get into parliament. The figures for the Centre Party as well as the conservative Moderates show a slight drop. The Left Party reaches its best result since last summer.
Swedish Radio's political commentator Thomas Ramberg says that oddly enough, the reason the minority government can govern without being too bothered by the opposition is the progress made by the Sweden Democrats.
"If the alliance parties manage to break the back of (Sweden Democrat leader) Åkesson's upward trend, the government would be in trouble," writes Ramberg.