Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats take opinion poll lead

Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats overtake the Social Democrats to become the country’s most popular party for the first time, new opinion poll reveals

  • Sweden Democrats have become the Scandinavian country’s most popular party
  • Far-right group overtook the Social Democrats to lead the polls for the first time
  • New opinion polls states anti-immigrant party would get 24.2 per cent of votes
  • Social Democrats would get 22.2 per cent, the lowest the party has ever polled 

Anti-immigrant party the Sweden Democrats have become the country’s most popular party for the first time, a poll released today revealed. 

The far-right group overtook the Social Democrats, nine years after winning its first seats in parliament.

A new opinion poll showed the Sweden Democrats would get 24.2 per cent of the votes if an election was held now.

But the Social Democrats would get 22.2 per cent, the lowest ever polled by Swedish pollsters Demoskop.

This newest survey was published in the the Swedish daily newspaper, Aftonbladet. 

Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson pictured (above) arriving at the Swedish Parliament House for the opening in September. His party has now taken the lead in the polls for the first time ever

The Social Democrats, who are in a coalition government along with junior party The Greens, have been criticised in recent months for failing to deal with a gang-related crime wave.

In the 2018 election the Sweden Democrats won 17.5 per cent of the vote, trailing the Social Democrats on 28.3 per cent and the Moderates on 19.8 per cent.

Sweden Democrats have their roots as a faction of the neo-Nazi skinheads groups in the 1990s.

They rose to prominence after the 2010 election when the party won 20 seats to enter parliament for the first time. 

Jimmie Akesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats, attributed the new figures to crime and immigration. 

He told Aftonbladet today: ‘I’m not surprised. I’ve long argued we would be the biggest party sooner or later.

Swedish prime minister and leader of the Social Democrats, Stefan Lofven. He is pictured (above) at the funeral of former UEFA president Lennart Johansson in June

‘We’ve been talking constructively over gang criminality, escalating insecurity, and a migration policy that doesn’t work for so many years.’

Lena Radstrom Baastad, party secretary for the Social Democrats, blamed their dip in popularity on the compromises the party made to form a coalition in January. 

She said: ‘It’s a damned tough situation right now, so I’m not surprised when you consider what we’ve got against us, with gang murders, shootings and explosions. It’s us, as a the ruling party, who has to pay the price.’

Following a general election in September 2018, the Social Democrats formed a coalition with The Greens and formed a policy agreement with the centre-right parties, the Liberals and the Centre Party.

Right-wing parties The Moderates, Sweden Democrats and Christian Democrats now have a combined 49.4 per cent of the vote, putting them well ahead of the left-liberal bloc of Social Democrats, Green Party, Centre Party and Liberal Party. 

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