Study: Tougher immigration policies help Sweden Democrats

Adopting more restrictive policies on immigration to try to push out the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats only makes them more popular, according to a new study from Gothenburg University.

Political scientists have looked at data from last year's local council election, and say that there are signs that when the other parties have spoken in favour of tighter controls on immigration, the Sweden Democrats are the ones who have seen their polling results improved, reports news agency TT.

The study also contradicts international research which claims that the attitudes of the country's largest conservative party has a major effect on the success of more far-right challengers. Here in Sweden, the researchers from Gothenburg University claim, it is instead the attitudes of the centre-left Social Democrats that most affect how well the Sweden Democrats poll.

The Sweden Democrats made it into the Swedish parliament for the first time last year, and now hold the balance of power in the Swedish parliament, something the other parties in Sweden's Riksdag are trying to manouver around.

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