Sverigedemokraternas partiledare Jimmie Åkesson
Jimmie Åkesson is the leader of the Sweden Democrats. Credit: Sammy Steen/SR Sisuradio

Jimmie Åkesson: We are the anti-immigration party

4:08 min

In Radio Sweden's series of party leader interviews, Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, says his party is neither on the right nor left, but socially conservative, for the welfare state, and against immigration.

"If I have to I would place us in the middle. If we are talking about values, maybe we are a bit to the traditional right, if we are talking about welfare system and economics we are in the middle, maybe on the left," he says.

The Sweden Democrat Party was once considered by all the other parties to be too extreme to be talked to, because of its historical links to the white-power movement.

But the party has doubled its share of the vote in the last three elections, rising to almost 13 percent last time, and could soon be the biggest or second biggest, currently polling in the 20 percent range. Leader Jimmie Åkesson has also declared a zero-tolerance policy on racism in the party.

This all means that one possible outcome of September's election is that Sweden's traditional opposition, the Moderate Party, may soon lead a government based partly on Sweden Democrat support, or at least based on the Sweden Democrats abstaining.

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