EU elections

"Take the Polls with Two Handfuls of Salt"

With early voting for Sweden’s EU parliament elections already underway, the polls diverge widely about how well some parties will do.

A Demoskop survey conducted for the week starting May 13th indicated that the pro-filesharing Pirate Party would finish an astonishing third with 7.9 percent of Swedish voters. That could be enough to get two seats in the European Parliament.

But in Skop’s latest poll, published Friday morning, the Pirate Party remains fairly stable, at 4.4 percent, which would still win one place in Brussels. Otherwise, the survey shows both the two largest parties, the Social Democrats and the conservative Moderates, slipping 2 or 3 percentage points, with corresponding gains for the Greens and Christian Democrats.

Political scientist Mikael Gilljam of Gothenburg University says people shouldn’t pay too much attention to the polls. If you’d normally take them with grain of salt, he says, this time you should take them with two handfuls of salt.

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