• Sweden edition
Sweden Democrats rake in southern support

Sweden Democrats rake in southern support

Published: 22 Apr 2013 13:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Apr 2013 13:17 GMT+02:00

"In Malmö, our membership numbers are up by 30 percent in the past six months," Sweden Democrat Malmö municipal district chairman Jörgen Grubb told The Local. "We see a general increase so it doesn't surprise me that support has gone up regionally."

Neither did the new poll result surprise observers who are traditionally critical of the Sweden Democrats.

"Skåne has traditionally been their strongest stronghold, so it's not surprising their support there is above the national average," Alexander Bengtsson, deputy CEO of the magazine Expo, which covers nationalism and racism, told The Local.

Some commentators reacted to the news on Monday by saying the Sweden Democrats may be gaining ground in Skåne due to the widespread discontent in the region at how the healthcare system was being run.

"Part of it is probably due to how much coverage the healthcare crisis in Skåne is getting," political scientist Anders Sannerstedt at Lund University told Metro.

Alexander Bengtsson at Expo disagreed.

"I don't think Skåne residents fed up with healthcare have jumped ship to the Sweden Democrats, nor have they as a party regionally made an effort to cash in by, for example, making the nurses' cause their own," he said.

"It's not a strategy they have."

"What we can see is that the people responsible for cuts to the healthcare budgets have gone back in this poll," said opposition Social Democrat Elin Bruzewitz, who sits as a replacement in the regional assembly healthcare committee.

"But personally I don't think voters see the Sweden Democrats as the main oppositional force in healthcare questions, that's usually the Social Democrats' role," she said, adding that her party had gone from 29 percent of voter support to 34 in the past year based on opinions polls from March.

She added that the Sweden Democrat surge was "obviously worrying".

The Yougov poll asked 1,009 Skåne residents where their allegiances lay but also their views in different policy areas. Two thirds of survey respondents said they had very low or low confidence in the politicians currently in charge of healthcare policy, which across Sweden is administered at regional level.

Lars-Johan Hallgren, who heads the 14-strong group of Sweden Democrats in the 149-seat regional assembly, also said he believed Swedish voters were abandoning Sweden's traditional bloc politics.

"People see us as a third alternative, so where before the socialists and the conservatives vied for power, also regionally, more and more people think there is another option," Hallgren told The Local.

The southern Skåne region is currently under the regime of the Green Party working in conjunction with the centre-right Alliance, which also rules Sweden at national level. The collaboration, dubbed the Femklöver (the five-leaf clover), would not get a majority if elections were held today, instead attracting about 44 percent of regional votes.

The new survey also revealed that both the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats would sink below three percent. It stands to note that the two government coalition parties are also taking a battering on the national stage, with doubts cast if they can muster enough support to keep ahold of power in upcoming 2014 polls.

On Monday night, Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson will meet Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag in a debate about asylum and integration, hosted at Lund University. Tickets to the event have sold out.

At Expo, Alexander Bengtsson thought meeting Åkesson in a debate was the right thing for the integration minister to do.

"I mean, do you legitimize Åkesson by debating with him? He is an elected leader of a party in parliament," he told The Local. "But he was supposed to debate against us, at first, but he's too scared to."

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported
Police at the scene of the threat in June. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported

The 43-year-old man who threatened Stockholm's Gamla Stan with a bomb in June was sentenced on Friday to two years in jail, followed by deportation. READ  

Swedish police: 'We're sweaty all the time'
Swedish cops are unhappy with the heat. Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

Swedish police: 'We're sweaty all the time'

Swedish weather agencies say the summer's warmest day is yet to come, but police in the north have decided that they can't take the heat - and filed a report about the own stifling police station. READ  

SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv
File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has resumed flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv after the airline completed a 'thorough security analysis' of the situation in Israel. READ  

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself
A Stockholm police car. File photo: TT

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself

A man and a woman, reported to be both 45-years-old, were found dead on Thursday in an apartment on Lidingö in Stockholm with police suspecting a murder and suicide. READ  

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire
Central Norrköping in eastern Sweden. Photo: Stefan Vilcans

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire

Swedish police suspect arson after buildings at a mosque in Norrköping in eastern Sweden burned down in the early hours of Friday morning. READ  

'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

Caught in an identity limbo and surrounded by often apathetic "love refugees", The Local's resident Swedophile Solveig Rundquist wonders if she's the only expat who moved to Sweden for the culture alone. READ  

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets

Sweden's Prison and Probation Services are beginning a project in which suspected criminals will be given surf tablets to look at evidence against them. READ  

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
What's On in Sweden
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »


22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
People-watching July 11-13
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: