Moderates continue to lose ground

The conservative Moderate Party has fallen even lower in the biggest opinion poll of the year, released today.

The Moderates received around 23 percent support in previous polls, but saw a significant drop in today's poll, coming in at 18.1 percent, which is the largest decrease for any party. 

Though this is a poor result for the Moderates, some analysts had predicted an even worse outcome with the possibility of support falling below 15 percent.

Tomas Tobé, the Moderate’s party chair, said that the poll just confirms the downward trend they have seen over the past six months.

“We are in a tough position. We will have to turn this around. I think it is about giving more clarity about what we stand for,” he said.

The Statistics Sweden poll surveyed 9,000 people in May asking them how they would vote if the election were held today. For the first time, the poll shows the Moderates falling behind the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

The conservative Moderate Party has recently seen a steady decline in their polling numbers. This is, in part, attributed to the party leadership's stated willingness to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats, who have been boxed out of partnerships with any of the other political parties in parliament.

After months of declining poll numbers and conflict within the centre-right Alliance, there have been calls from inside the party to replace the Moderate leader, Anna Kinberg Batra, sources told a number of Swedish newspapers this week.

The government’s minority partner Green Party remained at a stable 4.5 percent support. The Alliance opposition Christian Democrats have fallen below the four percent threshold to be represented in parliament with only 3.2 percent support in today’s poll.

The Social Democrats remain the party with the most support and increased their support from 29.2 percent in last November’s poll to 31.1 percent today.

The Sweden Democrats have continued to see a rise in support with 18.4 percent and would be the second largest party in parliament if the election were held today.

Mattias Karlsson, the parliamentary leader of Sweden Democrat MPs, believes their growing popularity shows that other parties have to be willing to work with them if they want to create a government.

“There are no alternatives,” he said. “The Moderates have realized, while the Center Party and Liberals still pretend that you do not have to choose. But today, you have to choose between the Sweden Democrats and the Social Democrats – it is the only way to create a majority.”